Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Adventures in Serging or How I Almost Took a Baseball Bat to The Thing

Patrick had a recording gig last night for the new Batman game coming out (as far as I know it's only being released on PS4 and Xbox One, if any of you care), so he was out until 9:30 or so. I debated going over to my friend Brynn's house, but I felt a bit ill from stupidly trying to eat all our avocadoes so they wouldn't go bad, and I just stayed home.

Well, I'm here. What should I do? I KNOW, I'll set up my new serger!

Oh my god, you guys. It was horrifying. Look at this shit:

I looked at this and my stomach dropped through the floor and started to dig into the house's foundation.
Apparently in all the years I'd borrowed my mom's serger to make random crap, I had never actually threaded the damn thing myself, so I hadn't the foggiest idea how to do it. This instruction manual was more torture construct than useful guide.

It doesn't get any better when you look at the entire two pages.
I persevered in spite of the horrible notion that I was about to make the entire business explode or create a wormhole or melt down into a puddle of sadness. How hard can it be, right? It's got numbers and letters to guide me!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah, that's cute. It's got so many letters and numbers that they ran out of regular ones and had to start putting other sets in little circles. I could follow the basic stuff all right, like "bring the thread up from the spool and through the guide at the top (the weird metal pole with holes in it that looks like a T in the diagram)."

So I get everything set up with the exception of one looper. Because this looper is a Special Looper. This machine is an overlock serger, which means that it has to make little loopy bits (overlock), via two weird little metal thingies, and you have to thread said metal thingies correctly or nothing at all works. You'll just get a bunch of sad little stitches that don't really hold anything together and then fall out at one pull.

See how half that shit isn't even visible? It is buried underneath the presser foot and basically everything else on that side of the machine. It's LURKING inside there, just waiting to fuck with you.
Special Looper could not be reached by normal means. I had to unscrew the bottom of it, and it sort of swung down on its connection point. I thought I managed to thread it correctly and get it working, but NO, I DIDN'T. It was all a vicious lie. I screwed it back on with what I now know was a big mess of bad, and the shocking part was that it actually DID work for like 2 seconds, before everything fell apart and the Stitches of Sadness came back.

I stared at it, chagrined.

Opened it up again, looked at everything, tried re-threading the Special Looper. More screwdrivers and tweezers and cursing. Closed it back up and attempted sewing. CLACK CLACK CLACK. Plus a weird mess of threads all in a pile.

I stared at it again and wailed, "WHYYYYYY?!"

In general, I'm pretty sure loud metal noises are a bad sign. Opened it again, gave the Special Looper a vicious glare, and applied more screwdriver-ness. I lowered it all the way down, in the hope that it was banging on something and I could make that horribleness stop. No more mess of threads this time or CLACK CLACKs, just Sad Stitches.

Kinda wish I'd had the presence of mind to photograph the Sad Stitches, but I was too busy suppressing the desire to throw things.

It was at this point that I strongly contemplated either scream-crying, going out to buy a baseball bat for the sole purpose of beating this demonic contraption to death, or both.

Instead, I sulked. Stared at it. Muttered obscene things about its questionable parentage.

I did the only thing I could think of, which was to hold the cursed thing in place with tweezers, unscrew the connection, raise it a bunch to its top height, and re-screw it. If it CLACK CLACKed again or just exploded, so be it.

But lo! It sort of worked! The tension was still screwy, and I wasn't really sure what to do about that, but I decided to fool with it later. I'd had quite enough of this crap for one night.

See how the loops are in weird places and kind of migrate around? BUT THERE ARE LOOPS, AND FOR THAT, REJOICE!
Mom, if you are reading this, I looked at the stupid manual and switched the tension on all the threads to 4, because that looked like the most universally applicable setting. I haven't tried it yet, because FEAR, but that's my idea so far. I thought about calling you to see if you had any advice, but it was hard enough trying to figure out wtf was what while having it right in front of my face, much less trying to describe it over the phone.

Also, I probably would've just rage-yelled incoherently. Not productive.

Patrick is going to help me try to finish setting it up tonight. Pray for us.


The wandering pilot said...

I had to smile at the serger saga. You have learned my mantra well, grasshopper: "Never let the machine win". Well done.

Jennifer said...

I know this was terrible, but I just had to laugh. You're too good a story-teller!

Also, as a side note, I freakin' rock at instructions like these. And IKEA furniture. For whatever reason, I can put that shit together like nobody's business.

Margaret said...

I have been in your position, except with lawnmowers. Terribly frustrating. You made such a great story out of it though. :) Hope it works!!