Friday, November 22, 2013

"Simplicity," riiiiight.

Finished my first pair of pants. I took them in by eye and that shifted the waist; it feels comfortable and the line is good, but it doesn't lie straight on the hanger. Same comment for the legs; they don't quite press flat -- more so than I am used to for even jeans with a generous ease in them. I also left off a bunch of the decorative stitching (want to wait on stuff like that until my new presser foot and guide shows up, anyhow). But since they are black, can probably get away with wearing them to work.

Picked up three yards of a very nice looking heathered cotton-poly at just five bucks a yard for my next endeavor. It is a speckled grey that should be dark enough for work. I think I might need to look at a McCall's pattern next, though. I don't like either of the Simplicity trousers I have.

Also cleaned and oiled the Bernina today, and it is purring. Berninas are described by many as a noisier machine, but it like it. It sounds like Industry.

Isn't it the way, though? We humans are hard-wired to want to learn things. If we can't learn where the water hole is or a better way to hunt, we learn the names of all the actors who have played The Doctor, in chronological order (your discretion on whether to include Roland Atkinson and/or Peter Cushing!)

Trouble is, although "life" is not necessarily more complex today as compared to any previous century, there are a great many more specialities you can indulge in. And fields keep evolving. I know how to build mods for games that no-one plays anymore, and I have hard-won skills in software that I'll never run again. And skills with hardware and work-arounds that are mostly replaced by easier solutions.

In theater alone, I know how to construct an old-style canvass flat with glue and tack hammer, how to run an old carbon-arc follow-spot, and even how to lash flats and use stage braces.  Do I really expect to need those skills again?

And, yeah, is is kinda fun to walk down the tool aisles of the local OSH going, "I know what that is, and that, and that, used to own one of those, still own one of those..."

Oh yeah. In true good-money-after-bad tradition, once you've learned a skill, you feel driven to keep it up. Heck, you feel this way even if it turns out you never were any good at it in the first place.  You feel this compulsion anyhow to develop a completely useless and extraneous skill, because it is part of your self-image that you had that skill in the first place.

Which is why this week I've been trying to schedule classes in machining skills I've never had, reading up to improve and extend mixing skills I have, and running a ton of fabric through the Bernina developing sewing skills I thought I had (and turn out to, largely, not have had.) And bemoaning the lack of time to program, play ukelele, draw, write, and do any of the other hundreds of random skills I've picked up over the years.

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