Thursday, August 20, 2009

The One Where Sewing Quickly Goes Downhill

Hello, all! (And a hearty welcome to my newest reader: Mom!) Thanks to everyone for their kind comments on my first sewing project. It was a lot of fun to make that tote bag, and I'm totally jazzed about jumping back in for my next one. But more on that in a minute.

First, I want to talk about my latest knitting projects (because this is a knitting blog, after all). I recently had the privilege of knitting up a sample sweater for Hannah Fettig's newest sweater design, and I finished that last week. I gotta tell you: this was the softest, cuddliest, most enjoyable sweater I have knitted up in a long time! Keep an eye on her pattern release because I predict that a lot of people are going to want to make this one. I'll be first in line!

In other fun knitting news, Hannah also asked me to knit up another sample for her, which I was more than happy to sign on for. And I also got asked by a hand-dyer to knit up some lace shawls out of her yarn. How exciting and fun is that?!? She's overnighting the yarn to me so that I can get started right away, and hopefully have at least one shawl done before she goes to Stitches in early September. Unemployment does have some benefits, I guess.

While I am between projects and waiting for yarn to arrive in the mail, I decided it's time to get back to my sewing. This leads me to my next bit of fabulousness: one of my super fantastic blog readers, Jacey, actually sent me a pile of fabric! Can you believe how generous and super sweet that is?!? Jacey and I have been commenting on each other's blogs for a while so we're bloggy friends, but I was still bowled over by her offer. Free fabric for the poor and destitute!!! What a friend! She even threw in some zippers and bias tape so I can practice with them. I can't tell you how excited I was when this package showed up on my doorstep earlier this week. Thank you so much, Jacey!

I got a JoAnn flyer in the mail last week, and you were right, Cookie, when you said that picking up another hobby was going to be trouble. I couldn't resist running out to get a rotary cutter (on sale!) so that my previously jagged edges can now be all neat and clean. (Just like the real sewers do it!) Enthused by fun fabric and new tools, I used a couple of free hours this afternoon to sit down and cut out pieces for my next tote bag. Things were zooming along, and I was wielding that rotary cutter like a pro!

Until... (If you are squeamish, you might want to stop reading now. I mean it.)

Well...first there was a slight bump and then a snap! and then a small spurt of blood on my pretty fabric. Then a geyser of blood which I managed to contain until I got to the kitchen sink. I had sliced right through the end of my finger!!! The snap was the rotary cutter making a neat and clean cut right through my fingernail. (Just like the real sewers do it!) Now my finger is bandaged up like a mummy because I'm afraid that even the slightest bump will dislodge the little wedge of fingernail that is so valiantly hanging on, or cause the top half of my finger to flap open. I know...EW!!! (Pictures at the end of the post. You've been warned.)

I honestly don't know what's so great about sewing. What has sewing ever done for me? I never bled all over my knitting because of a puncture wound! It must be a sign. Maybe I need to change my handle to "Competent Knitter, Clumsy Sewer"? I want to finish that tote bag, but the thought of using that rotary cutter any time soon kind of makes my skin crawl. And the worst part about it? I have to figure out how I'm going to knit lace at top speed with my mummy finger!


Yarndude said...

Oh no! When you called and told us about that, I didn't realize what a rotary cutter was. Blood on your fabric? Oh no!

KGLO said...

eep! Do you have a quilter's ruler, or some kind of hard, flat edge you can used to press on the fabric instead of using your hand directly? I'm pretty darn clumsy, but I've been using one of those, and I've never actually cut myself....yet....

Don't worry. You can show it off as a battle scar later. It'll make a good story as you show off gorgeous new handmade clothes and laugh about a finger?

Hope it feels better soon.... :)

Jacey said...

On no! I'm so sorry to hear about your sewing injury. I hope this doesn't deter you from trying again. Let your finger heal first, of course, but I hope yo give it another shot. And you're welcome for the fabric. I was happy to share with you. :)

Dana KBS said...

Ugh! poor you!

My mother in law used to own a quilting shop and was teaching a class on how to use rotary cutters when they first came out--mid '80s, I'd guess. One student was getting confused and, still holding the unshielded cutter, made a shrugging gesture AND SLICED THROUGH THE SLEEVE AND ARM OF THE WOMAN STANDING NEXT TO HER.

I hope you heal up soon!

Leah said...

Oh my, I hope your finger heals up soon. And how cool that you got to knit a sample for Hannah Fettig -- can't wait to see that design!

Hilary said...

You poor thing!!! That's terrible! I did something similar with a kitchen knife I was cleaning earlier this year, but it was my ring finger, which doesn't really get in the way of knitting. I will say that it was pretty well healed after a week...I hope yours doesn't take too long to heal up! And don't let it discourage's just the sewing gods testing you. :)

soknitpicky said...

OUCH! I feel for you :-(

Michelle said...

One day I'll tell you why I no longer employ a standard issue pocket knife. Thankfully I still have all 10 fingers to illustrate the tale. Heal fast!

Cookie said...

I'm so sorry about the finger. You may want to change the way you hold your cutter. You may be chocking up on it too much. Oh, and you can use your own saliva to get your own blood out of fabric. However, if it's set in, you may want to go with a soak in cold water.

Please don't let this take away your new found love for sewing. We all bleed a bit sooner or later.

And I think I love that sweater!

Hai Mom!

leann said...

yikes!!! I hope you heal fast! And keep at the'll get more skilled with the rotary.

Mom said...

When I worked for Lemon Bear sewing those stuffed animals, the woman who cut all the fabric (with a rotary cutter) had a chain-mail type glove on her left hand. Now I know why.

Anonymous said...

Holy Sewing Setback...I'm so sorry about your rotary incident! And that little round blade looks so innocent. Guess that means I should slow down when I'm using mine.

Sending vibes to your finger to mend quickly (I hope, I hope, for your lace's sake). As Jacey said - don't give up on sewing. The Big Seamstress in the sky is poking at you to see what you're made of.

The red circle to mark the offending blood spot is a nice touch. It's like a crime scene. You should still use that fabric - badge of honor on your tote bag.

Love that Lightweight Pullover. Ding dong.

Heal fast.

Briley said...

I have been lirking here recently, after reading about you on your brother's blog often, and had to come out of lurkdom to tell you that my stomach is doing summersaults for you over this. I've often had the fear of doing it myself. Don't give up on sewing, though. Your first bag was beautiful, and you will only get better with experience.

I think a bigger cutting mat would be helpful. That way you could hold the fabric firmly on the mat with out your fingers being so close to the blade.