08 May 2008

"Sew? What Did You Say?"

And now for a little humor directed at myself.

I learned to knit last August. It was Kat's fault, really. When she came to visit last July she wanted to go to a yarn shop, so I took her to the Knit Nook. Petting the yarn, I was suddenly seized with the desire to learn how to knit. Weird, very, very weird. I don't do crafts. Never have, really, outside of Bible School and Girl Scout camp. But that's what started it all.

Since then I've learned the basics of knitting, and continue to learn (tomorrow starts a short "felting" class - woo hoo!). I don't yet think of myself as a knitter, but as someone who knows how to knit. And I've not yet decided what the difference is, but in my mind there is one. Along the way, I've searched out websites and blogs of other knitters, and slowly came to realize that along with knitting, I was beginning to get the urge to sew.

Sew. This was not a good development. After keeping the idea to myself for a few months, I finally admitted to Kat in a comment on her blog that this newest urge was taking over, and her response was that knitting was akin to marijuana in that knitting was a gateway craft to other crafting endeavors the way some say pot leads to other drugs. I tried resisting the urge to get hooked, mostly because doing so would mean admitting this to my mother.

And now, as Paul Harvey intones, is the rest of the story:

When I was 17 my mother informed me that I wouldn't be able to go on the church choir tour to Canada, that summer because my mom didn't trust the choir director. You can call up your own memories of being told "no" as a teenager and get a good idea of how well I handled this decision. Yelling and tears, and lots of both. Instead mom signed me up for a sewing camp at the local mega sewing store. To me, this seemed like further cruelty. I took voice lessons and sang in 3 choirs in high school, so singing was a big thing for me. Sewing...I had never so much as been interested in sewing for one minute of my life. To add salt to the wound, I was the oldest "student" by at least 4 years, and was actually closer to the age of the instructor. I went, because my summer would have been even worse if I hadn't (you didn't cross my mom, as cool as she was/is), but I wasn't happy. I clearly remember the various projects we did, including a tank top and shorts and a cloth bowl. I actually have always loved the cloth bowl, but it still didn't make up for the class in my memory.

As time passed and long after my mother and I both survived that very unhappy summer, I have been able to use my mom's idea that a sewing class would make up for a missed choir trip in a humorous way of pointing out "What were you thinking?" Soooo, the idea of mentioning to her now that I wanted to (re)learn how to sew was going to be a huge thing. She would now be able to lord this over me in much the same way as I have during the intervening years. Was I willing to give her this gift and live with the consequences?

I considered learning to sew "in the dark" and simply not telling her. Kat could teach me the next time I went to Portland for a visit. But sewing is a hard hobby to hide, when you consider the amount of equipment and raw material (haha) involved. The clincher was that my mother is the proud owner of a Bernina sewing machine and serger. I don't know much about sewing, but I know Bernina's a good machines (and expensive). If I really was serious and really was going to learn, I was probably going to want to use her machine...and maybe even borrow it for an extended period of time.

I commiserated with Kat over this dilemma last Saturday, and then suddenly found myself confessing my urge to my mom on Sunday when we went out to brunch after church. Despite having some pretty serious difficulties with her teeth that made her not want to open her mouth very much, my confession brought forth a very loud hoot on my mom's part. And I was clearly right, because when I checked in with her earlier today she asked if I'd blogged anymore and mentioned that she thought this would be a good story to tell. It's never going to end, and I knew this was the way it would be.

Now I guess I need to go sign up for another class at the mega sewing store where I went to sewing camp 18 years ago.


Chrissie said...

OK, not to be an enabler or anything but just last night I was rolling around the idea of getting a new machine. Mine is a basic work-horse - great for a beginner but I'm ready for the next level. My only hesitation was justifying it. I mean, I already have a machine. Why do I need a new one? However, if I had someone, somewhere, who could use a nice basic sewing machine..... Seriously. How crazy is that? So if this new sewing bug is for real, and you want a nice basic machine, let me know 'cause mine might be looking for a new home soon!

KnittyChicka said...

come to the dark side. you know you want to sew with us. in portland. soon.
miss ya!!