Sunday, May 1, 2011

Professional Development

My neighbour across the road and two doors up is a highschool textiles teacher. We got talking a couple of weeks ago. She has a particularly challenging VCE class this year and a sadly under-resourced school. There wasn't much I could do except listen. When she mentioned that one of the school's overlockers was driving her nuts I thought I might be able to help. L was sure it was just an issue with the tension, but wasn't sure how to go about fixing it. I suggested my favourite trick of threading the overlocker up with four different colours. L said she'd bring the machine home and I could have a look at it. Agreed. Yesterday afternoon we were finally both free at the same time. Here's how the stitch looked when we sat down to it. First we had to replace one of the needles. To do that we borrowed the sharp eyes of L's eight-year-old daughter. Two middle aged women cramping their necks to peer through multifocals makes good comedy, but it's not very efficient. We also found that the special little tool for the job was still tucked in it's place behind the machine's face plate. Score! Next I adjusted the tension dials one at a time. L sat next to me cutting more and more strips of the cheap yellow fabric we were using for samples. We had quite a little routine going. Meanwhile the eight year old had returned to her colouring in competition. Sensible child.

After a fair bit of fiddling and a break for a cold drink, we arrived at this: That's definitely better. I left L to reconnect the spools of black thread and came home with my prize sample.

Now today is the day of the Neighbourhood House Market. So I need to pack my car with all the goodies I've been making and head off. We've been promised coffee and croissants with set-up, so there's an added incentive to be early.


joseph said...

Tension issues can be so frustrating! Glad you got it sorted;-)

Textile Tragic said...

Thanks Joseph--it was definitely a satisfying half hour and much less personal tension than if it had been my machine. Funny how that works.

Dee said...

yeay for you. tension sorted and friendship reinforced. :)