Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Memorial Day Sewing To Do List*

Ah, the weekend beckons. Here it's still cold enough to warrant wearing a sweater coat, scarf, stockings and a hat. And that's attire that would probably be suitable for watching the Memorial Day parade in this town, except I think red, white and blue might be more appropriate.

For me, there's this push-pull quality to Memorial Day weekend. Do I clean? (Perhaps. The dust-mites need to be arranged.) Do I explore? (Metra's $5 weekend pass is an extraordinary deal because there's the bonus holiday on Monday.) Or do I sew? (I've a slew of patterns waiting ever so patiently in my bedroom. They want to be loved and used sometime soon.)

Or do I do all three? I think something in each category would make for a satisfying entry into summer. It actually promises to be 80 degrees here on Sunday, so Memorial Day in this part of the world could be warm for once. It's usually bone-chilling, teeth-chattering cold.

Ah, the cleaning, this is such a challenge (or a brick wall if you want to use "Last Lecture"-speak) because I spend so much time around my apartment right now. I'm much more willing to scrub pots, pans, sink and anything else when I'm not around as much. But when I see dirty appliances almost on an hourly basis, all I can think about is getting away as quickly as possible. But when I don't spend my waking hours here? I look forward to coming home and sprucing up the place. I find that odd. Clearly, I need to do more work out of the home just to keep it clean and put me in a house-keeping mode. Since that's not the case currently, I figure I'll aim for a bare minimum of cleaning the bathroom and doing the laundry, and do any major cleaning after a week away, which might be a while.

Even eight hours away in this space on Saturday might be the Mr. Clean ticket. For $5, I can sew all day long, spread my stuff all over, cut, cut and cut lots of pretty fabric, and then not have to worry about sweeping when I'm done. With a little luck, I could crank out another version of Valerie's top in a soft blue white jersey. This time I'd omit the darts. Another t-shirt or two? Or maybe this dress using some of my leftover stretch lace for a modesty panel? I could start summer with a new wardrobe.

A little travel. Actually, I could be content at this campground. But it looks like I'll be going camping with some siblings and my nieces elsewhere somewhere close enough that it won't deplete the gas tank. Since I lack wheels (even of the Razor variety), I'll likely board a Metra train with my Aerobed, a pillow, a change of clothes to meet my brother at this depot. I'll squish myself into between the nieces, and off we'll go camping. The best part about camping? Getting away and then coming back. I find sleeping in a tent slightly claustrophobic, and I never get a decent night's sleep usually due to a combination of rocks on the ground and noisy neighbors, but at least I have a story to tell upon my return. Remind me to buy some batteries for my flashlight, which I frequently forget to bring.

Shopping! What Memorial Day weekend would be complete without adding to my stuff? I could see myself hopping on the Red Line to go to Hancock's, but Jo-Ann Fabrics tends to have better sales, but I really don't like going to the mall where this store is located. It has to do with snarl of autos that try to kill me as I cross busy intersections plus the assorted buses and trains I must take simply to get to the darn place. But if I do go, I'd love to stock up on thread, particularly Guttermans. I'd also add some patterns to my collection, but no fabric. Zilch! I virtually never buy any fabric from the department stores, unless I plan to stitch up a fleece blanket or hat. Now what would really be fun would be to hit up some antique stores this weekend, I haven't done that in a long while. That would be a different type of shopping...I'd look for vintage patterns, hats, or a vintage display model. Oh, the other fun thing: going to a antique show like the one in Sandwich, Ill., although with gas prices being what they are, you could easily spend more on fuel than on actual antiques. Oh well, it's fun to pretend. What are you doing this weekend? Any sewing, knitting or crocheting on the agenda?
* The shawl you see above? It was supposed to be a skirt, but I knitted a flounce inadvertently at the waist, and I refused to rip out. Anyhow, I get so many compliments on the shawl, and it's sooo warm even now at the end of May. I'm wearing it with the sheer sweatercoat I sewed. It's so cool that you can see what I'm underneath.

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