Thursday, May 12, 2005

I Hate To Sew

I was reminded of this fact today while suffering through my latest knitting project:

mohari bag
A mohair bag

The bag is adorable, in my opinion. A cinch to knit. I was finished in two days. But because it had no lining -- in the strap or the bottom part -- my teacher from the evening “adult education” knitting course that I’m taking at the local high school suggested I put ribbon on the inside of the strap to keep it from stretching and sagging. (Hey – can I put some ribbon on me, too??)

Always the over achiever me, I decided to not just reinforce the strap – but to add some lining inside because, come on, how cute would that be?

Cute. But the process? Suck, suck, sucky.

I was born with the gene to hate sewing. It runs in my family. My mother hates to sew, too. When I was about 10 years old I joined the Brownies. That’s what little girls did in the 70s. We joined the Brownies, then graduated to a Girl Scout so we could sell boxes and boxes of cookies to make somebody else a bunch of money. Do Brownies even exist anymore? They weren't the ones selling the cookies so who knows.

All I know is that I got kicked out of the Brownies. Really. I did. And you know why? Because my uniform wasn’t hemmed by the deadline for hemming. It was stapled. You read that right: Stapled. There I was, standing in the gymnasium with all my other little Brownie friends, and it was time for “hem checking” for all new recruits. (Of which I was one.)

Dum duh dum dum. “What’s this?” one of those old bitty troop masters said when she got to me. “Come over here!” she bellowed to the other bitty troop master.

Bitty #1: “This uniform isn’t properly hemmed. It’s STAPLED!! Who did this??”

Me: “Um, my mother.”

Bitty #2: “Stapling is NOT in the official Brownie Guidebook.”

Bitty #1 “Sorry kid – but your days as a Brownie are over. Stapling your hem is NOT permitted. You’re out.”

And that was it. Bounced. From the Brownies. Because my mother stapled my hem instead of sewing.

My mother. The first recipient in the family of the “hate to sew” gene.

Which brings me back to my mohair bag. Sewing this lining is torture! Partially because I don’t know jack about sewing. And partially because I just HATE it. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

How can I spend 2 hours in the middle of a beautiful sunny day knitting on the couch and not mind a bit that I’m killing the day, but think that every minute spent with a sewing needle in my hand is nothing but a complete waste of my time??

It all goes back to something my grandmother said when I was little. She was teaching me how to sew (having long ago given up on my mother…clearly). I kept wanting to put the longest thread on the needle, so not to have to re-thread it mid-project. And she said to me:

Ma: “You know how you can tell a bad sewer?”

Me: “How?”

Ma: “They make their thread too long.”

Even back then my grandmother got it: Second recipient in the family of the “hate to sew” gene. Me.

Does anyone have a stapler I can borrow to finish this lining?

unsewn lining


ww said...

I feel your pain!!! Knitting is one thing and sewing is a headache waiting to can make cool stuff but it's so technical and geographical (back to front, inside out, all the lines have to line up, blah blah blah) and all of the things that don't come easily to me. Who wants to do that with their time off??? Not me!

meow said...

Why oh why must I always take the brunt of your humor with these knitting "asides"? I can remember the stapled hem. It was quite strategically done. And look how far"nonsewing" has come. You can now buy "Stitch Witchery" and TAPE your friggin' hems up!!!!
I tried it; it actually works!
Certainly not as much fun as knitting, but it served its purpose.

M.Thom said...

I just wanted to report that the Brownies still exist, and the uniform is optional now. Did they really kick you out? That is SO against the Girl Scout Law!

Kat said...

Two words - Duct Tape, for the hem, not the bag.

Your bag is gorgeous! You could take it to a seamstress and have them finish it up for less than you paid for the fabulous orange mohair, and you wouldn't have to tell because you really had done all of the work of cutting it and getting it started and knitting the bag. Just like baking a cake from a box - without the frosting.

laurie said...

I don't know if it will make you feel better but I got kicked out of the brownies, too.

I lived with my real mom back then, and she was a Big Time Hippie. We lived on what one might call a "communal farm." Back then in the 70s everyone in the brownies had to have a meeting hosted at their house, in round-robin fashion. When the other moms discovered my brownie night would be at The Farm, they promptly kicked me out of brownies.

Luckily, all the brownie girls got pregnant in 11th grade and now have 17 kids and genital warts. That is what I believe anyway ;)

Your bag is purty.

Inky said...

are Brownies made from real chocolate? mauhahahaha

your bag is adorable and deserves to be finished inside so you can wear it out. or leave out the lining and don't put anything too heavy in there

Chela Jane said...

Reading your blog backwards... you know what really works for that pesky lining? Double sided, fuseable(sp?) interfacing. Works like a charm on hems too.

I was kicked out of Brownies in '73 for refusing to take my "smile" out of my pocket. Reallllllly, even at 8 I knew that was preposterous. I don't think my mom was too terribly upset by it somehow.

beverly said...

I was a Brownie and a Camp Fire Girl. All I ever really wanted was to be a Girl Scout. Since purchasing my first I-Mac G-5 (or whatever it is), I have not been able to utilize any of the benefits of the $100.00 package because I forgot my password upon installation and the mac tech support has no idea how to find my password. If your friend who is a Mac Pro can help me out, I will pay him the big bucks.