I know, I know, my little Janome Jem (truly outrageous - sorry, couldn't help it) has been through thick and thin...some of these instances have even been chronicled here! Therefor it should be no surprise that it's bound to be an adventure whenever I have to take out my little patchwork Jem.
This was to be an easy venture. My dad's xmas gift, which needs to be packed and shipped tomorrow if I'm to fulfill my ruse. Oh, did I not mention this?
Right, it's been a while. And I've been under radio silence because somehow time keeps passing much quicker than I need it to and it's easier to keep quiet about everything to everyone that to make up stories to keep the lie going....
See, for the first time in what seems like decades, I'm going home for xmas. To make it extra crispy special, we're not telling my mom, it's her xmas gift :). Why am I spilling the beans now? Because I leave in 4 days and I needed some rant and understanding time.
I've planned and plotted with my mom every year to try to get the gifts home on time for distribution and general last minute nonsenses (i.e. "I don't know what to get so-and-so, what are "we" getting him/her/them.") It's usually my dad's gift, you see.
This time though! I figured it out! ALL. By. Myself. I was soooo proud.
The man needs an upgrade from the sad towels he uses to warm his legs in the early winter mornings on his drive across LA to get to work. I would find him a cool lap blanket. Yes, I do know the term oxymoron. Yes, I quickly found out that there is no such thing as a "cool" and/or lap-sized anything with the term "blanket" as a part of its name.
See, this year? It's about throws. Big, fluffy, floofy, fancy throws made of cashmere, merino, mink (seriously?), high quality fake furs, and any and all things non machine-washable.
Hence the need for a trip to a big box craft store to pick up some fleece and thread, and time to pull out my wee little Janome Jem (truly outrageous) for some sewing fun!
Cuz sewing is fun! Really! Unless you need to wind a bobbin and notice this:
My bobbin winder's bobbin holder (say that 3xs fast) has had a piece of it snapped off. I found the piece in the bag. My theory is that it happened during the last move... Regardless, I either need to find a way to fix it, or buy a new machine.
What? Why so drastic a remedy? Because I am done.
I never loved this machine the way I did my Singer (see that linked post above), and every, single, time I need to use it lately has involved my laying out cash for bits, pieces or, in this case, pre-spooled bobbins.
Why didn't I just go get one of those "side-winder" thingies? Because I did. Go out. In the freezing pre-snow-feeling Seattle weather (maybe not down here, but it is snowing in Everett as I type), to hunt it down. The one place that had it? The same big box store previously mentioned, for $40. No, you're not reading that wrong. Yes, I know it's only $19 for the pink one on the website, but in the store? It costs more than I'm willing to shell out for something that might not even wind bobbins that fit with my machine. They had a whole list down the side of the box...not a gamble I wanted to take, I'd rather spend that $40 in LA next week.
So instead I went to Quality Sewing & Vacuum in Ballard to see what my options were...fixing that wee piece, is now more than the machine is worth. See, it's $150 just to send it in to be looked at. When I needed it cleaned and checked out for last years stockings? It was cheaper than buying a new one, I had a coupon, so I went for it.
After being told everything is good and yet STILL having to fight with it every step of the way? I kinda came to the realization that this little machine and I may need to part ways. Today? possibly the last straw.
See, I did accomplish my task:
One lap blanket in black fleece and some black/gray flannel that was going to become pajama pants, but as it was mis-measured for me at the same big-named craft store it was sitting in my sewing tub waiting for a project.
I folded it so you could see the two sides, but also so that it hides the fact that it's not quite rectangular. See, along with the usual cursing and letting of blood that my sewing adventure usually gives me...I also fought with the "teeth" that help move the fabric along. Apparently my little Jem was hungry.
I may have mentioned a straw breaking above? Yep...I'm thinking I need to start saving for a new sewing machine. By the time I need to sew again? I may have gathered enough pennies. (Have you all noticed I only bust out the machine a couple times a year? And to prove I'm not the professional sewer, um, this is the machine that I'm thinking of replacing my little guy with, and before you say anything, yes, it's another Janome.)
And for you knitters:
Done!65 inches after washing. I didn't block it because, well, it's Berocco Comfort and it's not like the college student that gets this will either.
It's to be packed and sent off to OFA tomorrow...yey!
Speaking of packing? I need to get my act together as I leave on Thursday morning and there are a million things on my to do list before I get dropped off at the airport. This is the part of traveling that I really really hate.