Filed under Fail

Week Nine – Horrible Fail / Get Out of Jail Free

Here it is, kindly designed for me by Neil, the first of two get out of jail free cards.  I of course, am continuing to work on the piece of art I started four weeks ago.  I will openly admit that I am now dragging my feet on it.  I sort of resent it for sucking my social life down the drain.  Not even sort of – I just straight up do resent it.  Because I didn’t want to finish it, I decided to replace a pair of Pajama pants that are totally old and falling apart.

I made myself this awesome freezer paper pattern from the pants themselves.  For your sanity’s sake, I am not including a photograph of the original pants.  Trust me – they’re covered in paint and holes, and you don’t want to see them.  Just know that the pattern is really pretty true to the originals, and I am surprised at how good it is.

I don’t have a serger, or any kind of fancy shmancy machine to sew knits, so I used this tutorial I found online for sewing knit fabrics with a conventional machine, and chose to use the double needle method.  I worked super-terrifically until I got to the waistband of the pants, at which point my machine started only catching on every fifth stitch.  I chose to ignore that, since the seam it sewed like that on was not structurally necessary.

I get to the last seams on Sunday afternoon – all I needed to do was hem the dumb things.  The sewing machine started catching every tenth stitch.  I try sewing conventional woven thread?  Works like a dream.  Obviously I am doing something wrong with the knit fabric.  I went to go online to troubleshoot my problem, and I had no internet.  Did I mention that I don’t know why I’m paying Sprint for data?  My phone has no data connectivity either.

And so – after much swearing and gnashing of teeth, I threw in the towel.  More next week.

SEWING MACHINE UPDATE:  Yesterday I went to sew a birthday present for Neil’s goodly wife, Maureen, and discovered that my machine only sews one layer of fabric like a dream, rendering it completely useless as a sewing machine.  Takeaway?  I need a new shuttle for that machine.  Also, in hindsight, I could have just switched machines.  It’s not like I don’t have four other waiting in the wings.  In my own defense, however, I didn’t think it was the machine, just that I was humanly incapable of sewing knit fabrics together.

Week Six – Blood, Sweat and Tears

Yeah, yeah, I’m terrible at updating.  I know.  Suffice it to say, that things have been rolling along.  Week six was the week where everything got real.  The transmission dropped out of my car and I spent the whole week trying to force money on people in exchange for vehicles.  It’s harder to do than it sounds.

Blah, blah excuse, blah, blah, blah aside, I didn’t really have a lot of time to spend working on something for Thing a Week. (That would be the sweat part)  I did however, discover that Valparaiso has two things that I love combined together!  Letter-boxing and a labyrinth!  For those of you who don’t know what letter boxing is, it’s something akin to Geochaching, but with stamps.  You look up a set of clues online, solve the clues, find the letter box, and stamp your personal stamp in the letterbox, and the letterbox’s stamp in your journal or on your hand, or really wherever you like.  Valparaiso has a public labyrinth (!!!) which has it’s very own letterbox (again – !!!) Basically two whole fistfuls of awesome smashed into one.  And I don’t already have a letterbox stamp.  Obvious answer?  My project for Thing a Week this week is a letter-boxing stamp.

The stamp needs to be not larger than two inches square.  I had a piece of linoleum mounted on MDF that fit that description.  Unfortunately (for me, anyways) it was a piece of very hard linoleum, designed to be cut with wood engraving tools, which I don’t have.  I have cut blocks like this before using my normal lino knives, however, so I wasn’t really worried.  That is, until I realized that a 5×7 piece of mounted lino gives you a lot more space to keep your other hand out of the way of bouncing knives than a 2×2 piece does.

OuchSuffice it to say that I sliced my finger open. (That would be the blood and tears bit.)  I was going to just give up and use a get out of jail free card, but then I got really mad at the stupid stamp, cut myself a normal piece of lino, and made the stupid thing over without re-slicing my finger.  Here is a photo of the negative, stamp and positive image that I wound up with.  Linked image of the three with my slashed-open finger for the strong of stomach.


The takeaway?  The letterbox isn’t there anymore.  We looked and looked.  I think the landscaping got redone last year, and someone threw out the letterbox.  But at least I have a stamp now?  Whatever.