Tuesday, February 28, 2006


For a couple of months, I’ve had a Lopi cardigan almost finished. All it needed was the steek sewn and cut, the buttonbands and collar knitted, and the ends woven in. I know a lot of people hang up here. The steek.

I’m chicken. I admit it.

I’m afraid of my sewing machine.

Most people who tremble at steeks are afraid to cut all that gorgeous knitting. It does give me pause, but I’d rather reknit my whole sweater than fire up the sewing machine and run my knitting through it.

(Yes, I am a quilter. This is why I do everything by hand. When I found out that I was expected to sew my bias strips into a tube by machine, I thought I’d been tricked. Anyway…)

My machine’s favorite trick in the past has been to make enormous knots in the bobbin thread on the inside of my sweater. I mean, I have dust bunnies smaller than these knots, and that’s saying somethin’.

So, I pulled the bobbin out, and poked and prodded and grumbled until I realized I’d been putting it in wrong! I blame the manual.

After some further discussion with the machine about feed dogs, electricity (oh, you want to be plugged in?) and other issues, I managed a pair of seams. They’re fairly shaky, but there’s two of them, and they’re both in the steek stitches rather than the body of the sweater.

And after that, I took Elizabeth Zimmermann’s advice, and went into a dark room to lie down.