Last night the cable went out for about four hours in the evening, which meant the phone, internet, and TV were all unavailable. When it first went out, we were like, "You know, we should probably do something like this regularly, maybe pick one day a week where we don't turn on the computer or TV or anything electronic, except maybe the radio or stereo." (All of a sudden I feel old for using the word stereo...do people even have stereos anymore?)
See, normally at that time of night, Norm is watching something enlightening on television (*cough* TMZ ) and I am pretending to work at the computer while actually perusing blogs and pinning the internet. Surely, we agreed, these are habits we can take a break from, from time to time.
Stuff like that always sounds good, in theory. Like giving up junk food. Or fasting, voluntarily. Something I have never done except in advance of a medical procedure. Heck, I can't even starve a fever.
So, in our time of "darkness," we put some music on the stereo (there it is again) as I did the dishes. We discussed an article in a local magazine about Native Americans in our area two centuries ago. That was interesting. Thirty minutes down.
Then I went to walk on the treadmill, but with no TV or Netflix to distract me, I became bored with the endeavor after a half hour, so I wandered into the laundry room and decided to wash a stack of fabric that's been on the shelf over the washer for, oh, three months or so.
A couple hours passed—still no cable—and though neither of us would admit it, we were both beginning to get a little twitchy. Finally, I went to the sewing room, turned on public radio, and looked at Everett.
Poor, neglected Everett, the Brother sewing machine I bought on a lightning deal on Amazon after Thanksgiving but hadn't so much as plugged in yet. So I did.
I turned him on.
(Did you ever think you'd read that sentence on a sewing blog?)
A few minutes later, his bobbin was wound and he was threaded and ready (oh, brother...).
Soon I was experimenting with stitches and settings and such, manual close at hand for frequent reference. Things seemed to go okay. I made a little four-patch block from scraps to see how true the 1/4-inch seam guide was, and it came out right on. I tried the blanket stitches and made a few adjustments to what I thought was the tension, although it could have been the presser foot pressure I fiddled with. I didn't read the manual on that one, just turned a dial.
First impressions: The machine is lightweight, and I can see carrying it to a class or on vacation very easily. Another facet of that is it definitely feels more "plasticky," kind of like a toy versus the boat anchors that are my other heavy metal machines.
More pros: It's quiet. It threads easily. The bobbin drops in from the top with easy access. There are a crap-ton of decorative stitches.
I do notice I seem to be hunching over it while threading it or squinting to see the fabric being sewn. Seems like I want to set it up higher on something to give me a better line of sight. But that could be because it's new and I'm really focusing, intent on learning its bells, whistles, and idiosyncrasies.
And you know how it is when you start driving a car with the shifter on the floor versus on the column? That's how I am with grabbing behind the needle with my left hand to raise the presser foot when the lever is actually located on the right side within the harp space. I'm sure I'll do the air grab many more times until I finally get it. Speaking of harp space, there isn't a whole lot of it (for quilting), but that's what the Juki is for.
So we've broken the ice, me and Everett, and are off to a decent start. I guess I can thank the cable company for that!