Sunday, March 26, 2006


Ah, perhaps you’ve been wondering where this Damselfly has been for the last few days. For starters, the T-Man is taking a week off work so my usual schedule (such as it is) is disrupted. Yesterday we went on a very long walk starting with shopping for an adapter so T-Man can use his iPod in the car. Then across the bridge to downtown where he bought a new harmonica to replace one that’s busted. We had lunch at Tsunami Sushi with the floating sushi boats going around and around. It’s a lot of fun to just grab something that looks yummy as it zips by. (No sinking these ferries!) Then we walked uptown across the bridge to the Pfaff sewing store where I broke down and bought the overlock machine I’ve had my eye on. What can I say — it was on sale for $200 off. But then how to get it home? Remember we were on foot (sore feet by now at that) so T-Man lugged the box to the bus stop and we took public transit home. It’s a long walk (3 very long blocks) from our stop to our house so we each took an end of the box. I think my arms are stretched a couple of inches longer now but we got the darn thing home ok. It’s surprising how something that doesn’t feel that heavy at first increases its weight geometrically each block you carry it so that it weighs immensely more by the time you get it home.

This is the machine, a limited edition coverstitch/overlock that has 18 different stitch programs and differential feed. It’s not the top of the line, but I don’t really need a computer system with a little screen to tell me how to set things up and thread the machine. Just more things to go wrong. I don’t miss the automatic tensioning that comes with the higher models either. I know I’d be overriding them often anyhow. Just something else that thinks it’s smarter than me.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time today playing with the threading and learning its quirks. It’s actually somewhat easier to thread than my old machine because it has little levers that pop the loopers out where you can get at them. It takes 3 little tools to change the needles and thread them but it’s not as fiddly as it sounds. The only hard part is learning what things need to be changed for each type of stitch. I scanned and printed out cheat-sheets from the dinky little manual and popped them into page protectors.

One thing though, it’s a good thing that I’ve already been using a serger for 16 years. There are so many options and little levers and buttons and dials that it would be intimidating to a first-timer for sure. And the cheaper foot pedal that comes with this model has only one speed: racecar! The dealer of course offers free one-on-one classes to get you started. I think I might schedule one in a couple of weeks. There’s always tips and tricks that the manual doesn’t tell you. I’ve already learned that even though it says you must use the special EL needles, you can get away with regular ones in a pinch. Good to know.

One thing that I’m disappointed with is the spool pins are plastic and not metal. They’re also pretty short so I hope they support larger thread cones properly. I’ll have to be gentle with them and hope the plastic doesn’t get brittle over time. Yes, this is a concern. I keep my equipment for a very long time. My sewing machine is almost 30, my old serger is 17, my big loom is also 17, my little loom is 16, my first spinning wheel is 30, my second one is 14 and so on. I’m a little faster to replace things like computer equipment though! But I still squeeze all the juice I can out of them first.

Guess I’ll be messing around with this machine for awhile learning what fun things I can make it do. I need some new clothes and I also plan to restitch some of my t-shirts into more form-fitting and modern styles. I’m tired of my clothes looking baggy since I lost weight. Meanwhile I’m going to find out what can be done for my old serger. It’s still got some life in it if I can get it refurbished. It's so old I bet parts are getting hard to come by, which worries me somewhat. The place I'm planning to take it deals in Elnas though which means they should know what's what. They are the premier repair place around for just about all makes and models. More "Adventures in Serging" anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new serger! Santa brought me one for Christmas and I've had fun learning to use my 'easy lok' by White. I find it takes care of handwoven material eadges beautifully! neat and tidy and no chance of fraying before hemming etc.

Oh, by the way... we just sold our house today and moving closer your way!
Curious yet?

:) Susan