Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sewing Machine Language

I spent the weekend knitting and sewing, and I finished a log cabin baby blanket and a dozen caps for the nurses at work to wear in the OR. 

Every time I break out my sewing machine, I smile. Not because sewing is fun and makes me happy (which is true), but because I remember the story of my Sewing Machine Language (which is always capitalized in my mind). 

Years ago, when I was living in my third apartment, my Gramma gave me her old sewing machine because she had just bought a new one. The old one was OLD, but still mostly functional. I'd been sewing for years, but this was my first time using a machine that wasn't my mom's. 

I was making a costume for a Halloween party - I was going to be a cheerleader, with a cute red-and-white uniform. Unfortunately, I had underestimated the time it would take for me to finish... So I was still sewing away when my mom called to chat. 

Things were fine until... Well, it was an old machine, as I said. Old enough that the handwheel connected to a motor outside of the machine with a belt. The belt was mostly covered by a protective piece of metal. Mostly. 

Have I mentioned that I have small hands? Tiny little fingers that fit into places they shouldn't fit into? I was talking on the phone and trying to finish up the line of top stitching by turning the handwheel, and I got my baby finger caught between the wheel and that protective cover. 

It hurt. A lot. And there was blood. And the language that came out of my mouth would have made my career-military father stop and stare. 

And I said all of these horrible words while I was on the phone. With my mother. Who I had been very careful not to swear in front of up to this point. 

She handled it well. She was quiet (possibly in shock), and suggested that she might call me back at a better time. 

Since that day, my entire family has referred to swearing as 'Sewing Machine Language.' Even though I have another sewing machine now (I inherited Gramma's newer machine a few years back), I still smile when I start sewing. And I make sure to end any phone calls before I start to sew. 

This is a horrible photo of the caps, because until they're on heads, they just look like blobs. 

This is a decent photo of the baby blanket, which now brings my stash of blankets up to a whopping total of two. 

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