Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lindcraft Angel

I've just returned from Lindcraft. I met an Angel; an elderly man with a European accent who was hovering near the thimbles when I asked a shop assistant for help with sewing machine needles.

"This would be the best person to ask," she said cheerfully. He was wonderful. He helped me get the right needles, he told me the reasons why the cotton can loop underneath the fabric. He told me to ask God for help when I sew, to feel happy when I sit down to sew.

"I'm such a beginner," I said. I didn't say I was also such an atheist.

Let the people have their God, I thought.

But I do need all the help I can get, I thought after that, wondering.

No, I told myself. Don't be a using hypocrite. You can't just borrow Him when you want. When you need to.

But that's what other people do. They rush to church when tragedy strikes, isn't this the same sort of thing?

No. They are believers anyway.

They're not seeking comfort in the beauty of the architecture? The music? The words of a wise preacher?

Oh shut up.


I wanted to cling to the man, ask if he could adopt me and make me his acolyte, even though I think I'm the wrong gender for acolyte-ism, and probably a few decades too old. I wanted to ask if he gave lessons, did he have a card, did he ever sew for anyone famous, what stories does he have, which country did he leave and why? Who knows? He could have been Melbourne's Dior for all I know. Or another old Nazi.

He bought a thimble with an open top - he said they are the best types. He wished me good luck, and to have a wonderful day. I told him he was very kind, and thank you. I didn't want to walk away from him. Did he feel it too? I wonder.

I bought:

- a measuring tape: soft, not a fucking metal builder one which I've been using and which likes to attack me as I'm stretched out on the table, in my most vulnerable positions.

- some fabric scissors.

- some thread snippers.

- a metre metal ruler. Look out.

- some cotton.

- sewing machine needles, pack o' 5.

So I'm all set to go. Again.

Tomorrow is sewing day. Again.

I will practise more on the fabric scraps, which are kind of running out. I will fix my looping thread problem. I will get these curtains done.

Happy Tuesday to you all.


groverjones said...

I'm having similar difficulties with my new coffee machine. It looks so easy in the cafe, in the manual, in the online videos, yet I can't get good crema and my froth is crap and I'm trying to not believe everyone who tells me the problem is that I haven't bought a $400 coffee bean grinder. I need a coffee angel, who I imagine would be buzzing around the ceiling rather than lounging near the thimbles!

Also, in answer to last month's question, 2666 is by Roberto Bolano and, having finished it, I really think you should read it!.

Melba said...

Hey, groverjones. Yes, they all make it look so easy don't they? And don't you dare spend $400 on a bean grinder. How ridiculous.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Always love a recommendation.

ALSO in more sewing news, I have fixed the looping problem. It was to do with the way I loaded the bobbin.

Proper sewing of seams tomorrow, people. Good times.

Unknown said...

Old people just fricking rock.

I had a great natter with this old dude waiting in line at the Newsagency on the day of the big Lotto draw. We were both waiting to buy stamps and talked about lotto wins and lightning strikes.

Also, every day when I go for my late morning walk I get overtaken twice by a running granny. She's an absolute gun and makes me feel terribly inadequate, but also I'd like to do that to young people when I'm her age.

And as for sewing, I'm so shit at it it took six months for me to get my sewing licence in Year 7, but guess what subject I've been regularly taking relief lessons for? Yep, sewing. Bastards could give me cooking, at least then I could do something useful and taste test.

elaine said...

hey grover,

the froth: make sure you get rid of the water in the steaming tube before you stick it in the milk. keep the nozzle just below the surface of the milk and the jug at an angle.

the crema: are you using crap beans? that makes a difference. also: you may have to play around with the grind and tamping - each machine is a little different in its preferences.

melba: hurrah! for tension issues being solved. It'll be all systems go henceforth.

elaine: useful in the domestic arts. wishes "housewife" was a modern career path.

I'm not Craig said...

Wow, a post about God and sewing and not a single bad pun about reaping.

Until now, obvs.

Well done.

Melba said...

Trust old God to get you out of the woodwork, INC. Nice to see you!

You should see my curtains. They are so good. I am walking on air.

Elaine, I did one more today, so now I have the two gold ones hanging in the lounge and they look fantastic.

squib said...

I went to sew a retro space scarf for our dog to wear at Littlesquib's space party the other week. Sewing always makes me irritable and impatient. I zoomed through it but because I was in such a rush, right near the end, the needle broke. I thought God,don't tell me I have to drive all the way to fucking Spotlight (I HATE you Spotlight) to get a needle for the machine. I pulled out my Nan's sewing box. There was a whole packet of ancient sewing machine needles in there. I didn't think they'd fit my machine but lo! It slotted into place. I didn't thank God but I did thank my dearly departed Nan :)

Melba said...

I went for a walk yesterday squib and I realised that the reasons why I have FORMERLY been shit at sewing are these:

1/ I like everything to happen as fast as my brain thinks. My mind jumps around alot and speeds ahead. I'm also quick with my hands with things I'm good at - ball sports, cooking, tidying the house. Do it all quickly. So when I come across something I can't do quickly, I get impatient.

This leads to 2.

2/ With sewing, if you are not patient and try to do stuff quickly, you fuck it up.


3/ Sewing is methodical and exact. I am pretty methodical but I'm not exact. I am a bit slap dash in my life, and this and sewing so don't go together.


4/ I have a psychological thing with sewing. Because historically I haven't enjoyed success with it, I've gotten into a mind-set where "I suck at sewing." I have worked hard to overcome this in the last couple of days, and I am happy to say I am almost finished the third curtain. My mum is coming over tomorrow so we can do the fourth and final one together. She will be inpressed with my mad skills. Oh yes.

For anyone wanting to learn sewing, I do suggest a session or more with a teacher. I found it so helpful.

Any luck with the coffee machine, groverjones?

groverjones said...

Thanks for the tips, Elaine. The froth is improving. Beans are pretty good quality, I think the grinder may be the issue. With the whirly grinder, you can't get the consistency in the grind. If I could be sure of the beans being ground the same and it was still awful, then I'd know it was me doing it wrong with the tamp/dose etc.

I'll push on until I work another weekend on-call - then if it's still not right I can reward myself with a grinder (Sunbeam do a good one that's not $400, Melba, so I'll feel much less guilty.)

elaine said...

whirly grinders just don't quite cut it for espresso machines. This is because the grind is unven throughout the 'dose'

If you can't/don't want to afford a more expensive jobby, the manual grinders give an even grind. You can get them at places like Grinders in Lygon St.

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eman sherkawy said...


eman sherkawy said...

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