Saturday, January 11, 2014

Some days, everything just goes right.

Early last year, I bought two machines off eBay. One was a Rocketeer and the other was an old Kenmore. I needed a machine that would sew through a truck tire if I asked it to, and I figured they would do the trick. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the shaft on the Rocketeer wouldn't take any of the darning feet I owned and when the Kenmore arrived, the power pedal had been crushed in transit. They've been sitting idle since they arrived, perfectly useless to me... until today.

My roommate owns a dance studio and they were throwing away two sewing machines and he asked if I wanted to come by and see if I wanted them. I didn't get my hopes up; he was talking up their wondrous abilities, but he's never sewn a stitch in his life, so I brushed off his raves but went to see them anyway. What I found were two Kenmore machines that I didn't want... but with two perfectly functioning power pedals. I snatched 'em both. Working machine number one; score 1.

I received a call yesterday that my little embroidery machine (that I'd presumed dead) had been fixed and was ready to pick up, so I took the subway out to get it. Working machine number two; score 2.

I thought this was the death of my tiny machine.
I'd wanted to switch over from using my manual typewriter for a while because it couldn't keep up with the speed of my typing, so I've been borrowing an old electric that my roommate keeps on hand. I've had cars smaller than that thing. With that in mind and the fact that I hate borrowing things, I've been on the hunt for an electric typewriter of my very own but couldn't justify the expense, until today.

One my way to pick up my newly repaired machine, I passed by a second-hand store and ran in on the off chance that they had a used one. I know that in places like that, I'd seen them for sale for around $40, and that was a price I was willing to pay. There was one on a shelf, almost buried, in the basement section of the store. I plugged it in, tested it out, and then looked for the price... no price sticker. Usually, when you bring an unmarked item tot he counter in any store, it's a mess. They have to look something up, call a supervisor, sigh a lot, etc., so when I set it down at the register, I apologized that I chosen something with no price: a preemptive strike against any eye rolling that might be about to ensue. She glanced at it, saw that I was right, shrugged and said, "three ninety nine."

When something happens that my brain can't comprehend, I immediately have a horribly constipated look on my face as rusty gears try to grind into motion. My coworkers have taken this look to be anger on more than one occasion. The poor clerk seemed to think that too. But I was having trouble. Either the price was ten times too high or ten times too low and it took me a minute to figure it out. I bought a great little typewriter for $3.99. On my way out the door, the cashier told me to "have a nice day." I assured her that I just had. New cheap typewriter; score 3.


I've always cleaned my machine by pulling out as much lint as I could with tweezers and then using canned air to blow the rest away. That's what broke my machine. They told me that blowing the lint drives some of it farther into the machine and that vacuuming instead of blowing would keep this from happening again. I grew up around sewing machines and had no idea about that.

On my way out of the store, I noticed that they had a Slant-o-matic Rocketeer (just like mine) on display in their window. That reminded me of the free motion quilting deficiency of mine and I asked about a darning foot for it. He pulled one off a peg on the wall and I almost squealed; but, of course decorum doesn't allow for that. I bought two. Another fully functioning machine; score 4.

Some days, absolutely everything goes right. I'm glad today was one of those days.

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