All the women in my family sew. Sewing machines are treasured gifts and trips to JoAnn Fabric are on the regular errand rotation. My Granny sewed for a living, well before it was cool to be a crafty entrepreneur. My mom makes beautiful, functional curtains, slipcovers and pillowcases several times a year. (She likes to redecorate, clearly.) My Nana has an embroidery business, and my cousins were such accomplished seamstresses as teens that they made their own prom dresses.
But me? I hate sewing.
It’s not that it’s hard. (Although, it kind of is.) It’s that cutting out a pattern brings out the worst perfectionism in me. That tissue-like pattern paper is so darned difficult to cut, even with the sharpest scissors and especially if you’re not what one would call “proficient” with scissors.
Yes, I graduated from kindergarten, thank you for asking. But my scissor skills may not have advanced much since then.
As the only non-sewer in my family, I’ve always felt like a bit of a domestic failure. My mom dutifully taught me to thread a machine, hem pants, sew on buttons and embroider lovely samplers. But you can’t teach love. And love it I do not.
I remember one summer, my mom thought that perhaps I’d learn better from my aunt. So Nana helped me make a pair of boxer shorts. They were made of black and white cow print cotton, though I’m not sure WHY I picked that particular fabric. And I loved those shorts. In hindsight, they were hideous (I mean, come on. Who really needs cow print on their backside?) But I was so proud of those shorts I’d made myself.
Not that I turned into a sewing machine (yes, pun [sadly] intended) after that. I don’t own a sewing machine, and while I have a sewing kit, I only get it out to sew buttons back on their shirts or jackets.
And, actually, my jacket has had a loose button for more than a year – and I still haven’t gotten around to fixing it. I really don’t enjoy sewing.
I tell you all this so you will understand just how desperate I was feeling when I said last week, “I think I might have to learn how to knit.”
Wha? Me? Knit? No, I don’t think so. But yeah, that’s what I said. The reason? Slippers.
For as long as I can remember (and, I’m certain, well before that), my grandma has been making knitted slippers for everyone in our (constantly expanding) family. They aren’t pretty. And because you get what you get and don’t throw a fit, sometimes the colors are the last ones you’d pick. But they are warm. And comfortable. And what your feet need in the winter.
Sadly, Grandma is getting older and over the past few years, she’s decided to stop making slippers. I hadn’t gotten too worked up about this, because even after my (Christmas-themed red and green) slippers wore out, I had Mark’s that I could wear. They were a little too big, but they still worked pretty well.
Until last week. I put on
his my slippers and walked out to the garage. Immediately, I hopped onto one foot. Why was my right foot so cold? Had I stepped in water?
No. The bottom of my right slipper was completely torn open. It was busted. Just like Jimmy Buffet’s flip flop in Margaritaville. (I blew out my flip flop / Stepped on a pop top / Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home. I don’t know why these things pop into my head. But they sure do.)
My first reaction – I have to learn how to knit. – was replaced by reason. I quickly moved onto this thought: How can I convince my cousin Jenny to learn to knit? And then, doubt creeped in: Are they knitted? Or crocheted? What is the difference, and why can I not remember this? Finally, I remembered Etsy, the home of everything handmade and homemade. And so began my search.
Many, many pages appeared when I searched for “knitted slippers.” But after clicking and scrolling and clicking some more, only one shop had the answer. But one shop is all it takes! And charliebear saved the slipper day. This family of crafters makes slippers exactly like my Grandma’s – and charges less than $10 for them! It was a slipper miracle.
Today, I received my new slippers in the mail. Just a few days after all my moaning, groaning and general gnashing of teeth, my feet are toasty warm again.
Do I wish I had the sewing gene that seems to have skipped me? Do I wish I had more patience and less perfectionism, not to mention a basic mastery of cutting with scissors? Do I wish my Grandma could still make slippers for me? Absolutely. But since none of those things are likely to happen, I’m incredibly happy to have found someone else who makes slippers.
And I am beyond thrilled to NOT have to learn to knit!
Do YOU like to sew? Or knit? Or embroider? Or hem pants?