62: the best of times, the blu-rst of times
Sunday was spent in a mad rush occasioned by the baptism of my cousins’ second son. I had started to knit him a pair of blu jeans shortly after he was born, but their completion was thwarted by several factors:
Factor 1: My sewing up is crap; my embroidery doubly-so, thus when Jean-Anne offered to tutor me in the latter at an upcoming Drunken Knitter’s Night, I gladly accepted. So although my knitting was finished in May, I delayed the start of sewing-up to June, when I would next see J-A.
Factor 2: When I next saw Jean-Anne, she was as good as her word, and she even embroidered one of the back pockets for me. But then I left for the night without my embroidery thread. D’oh. J-A sweetly picked it up for me, but we kept missing each other the whole summer that followed. A few weeks ago, she mailed the floss to me. (Along with a lovely hand-written card that asked me to be kind and not correct her grammar. So I did. Because what else are my 2 degrees good for if not meaningless sticklerism?)
Factor 3: I am a major procrastinatrix. I need a deadline to motivate me. And I didn’t have one until a few weeks ago. For some reason, even this looming deadline didn't distract me from other, deadline-less projects. (Hell, I didn’t even buy the elastic for the waistband until after morning church. Can you spell screwed?)
Thus, the combination of dread, clumsiness & procrastination swirled into a bitter cocktail that I found necessary to drink on Sunday morning. And I drained it to the lees.
Kicking my ass for a fool, I took the whole shebang to morning church. As of 11 o'clock Sunday morning, I had sewn the front rise and about 3 inches of the bum rise. During the service, I finished the bum rise and used sewing thread on one of the folded seam portions. I did the second one between feeding everyone else and scarfing down my own bowl of beef n' cabbage (see also: yum). I started the inseam on the car ride to the baptism, cranky as all hell. I sewed until we hit the church, then put it away. Unlike my home church, I don't seem to be able to craft in other people's places of worship. Drag.
When we hit the reception hall and I laid out my materials, my family was sceptical. "You're going to finish that today?" my zia heckled. "They are cute, though," she admitted soon after. I was pretty sure she was right about both those things. I mean, there was no way. But my alternatives - giving another IOU, handing over a tiny t-shirt in a gift bag - were crap, so I pushed on. And I sewed. I sewed. I finished the inseam and took a break to eat deliciously greasy food. Then I started the elastic loop.
"Why don't run that through a sewing machine?" my dad wanted to know.
"You got one you're not using at the moment?" I shot back.
"You should have done this at home, earlier in the week."
"Dad, I didn't even own this elastic until 4 hours ago."
"Guess you're screwed then."
I bolted an egg tart and kept sewing. I finished one half of the waistband and cut through the thread while trying to remove the waste yarn from the live stitches. Crap. Went back with the thread, sewed it over, and hoped it wouldn't unravel. 3 minutes into the last half, my thread tangled. I blame my own boasting, as I was loudly bragging that I would finish after all. My family - and the thread -were not impressed with this display of hubris. I cut away, reknotted and kept sewing. And then...the final stitch. The last knot. The cutting away of waste yarn and the last seam check.
The completed Blus had a reassuring heft to them, a cozy weight that seemed destined to block the bitter wind of a Canadian winter. Both parents liked them; the mother was even ready to tuck them into her diaper bag. The pants left me 20 minutes after they were completed. And I haven't felt that elated since the last time I pulled an essay out of thin air, against fleeing time and all odds.
in lieu of a blu-on-baby shot, here's the baby on my blue blouse
I'm still kind of high just thinking about it. That, and my shoulder is wicked sore from repetitive strain. My board writing was atrocious today.
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