It was a bleak and grimy day. Clouds hung low in the sky with the menace of rain – the kind of day when mood mirrors weather.
But contrary to Nature’s cheerless condition, my heart was light, my step was springy.
This was The Day. This day was my carrot dangling before my salivating brain during three long months of focused labor. If I finish this project by this date, I will allow myself a weekend off, doing whatever I want to do.
Part of what I wanted to do was to spend a nice stretch of hours on a Sunday afternoon in the leisurely pursuit of stitching. In the company of a good audio book, I would hole myself up and revel in the delights of embroidery, with no interruptions and only the birds outside my window for company.
I could picture it perfectly, and I was all set to enjoy it.
With my work table clear, Late Harvest set up before me, audiobook selected, lights situated, tools accounted for, I settled down to a guilt-free afternoon of quiet stitching.
Ten minutes later…
You do know what happened, don’t you?
Call it Murphy’s Law.
Call it whatever you want.
I seem to recall calling it a few choice names.
The electricity went out, of course! And my workroom was engulfed in a cloak of half-light gloom.
My Happy Mood Balloon deflated.
You’ve got to be joking, said I.
I played the waiting game. Nothing happened. I got on my mobile and started making the rounds. What’s going on? I asked everyone I knew. And then the answer came: Scheduled power outage for upgrades. Four hours. Don’t you read the newspaper?
Oh, rats! I cried. (Or something akin to that.) Now what?
And then I remembered…
Magnification and light save the day…and reveal much
The magnifier that I use when I need magnification is the Craftlite Dublin magnifier and light combination unit, that I reviewed here years ago. I’ve had it for almost five years, and it is a trusty thing. It’s held up well and it works great.
It has a special feature on it – it has a battery pack so that it doesn’t have to be plugged into a wall (a nice feature if you take it to classes, camping, or the like).
And when the light dawned in my head about this fact, my Happy Mood Balloon inflated again.
My dad always stowed batteries in the house for emergencies (in his sock drawer, of all places), and he somehow instilled that habit in me. I rummaged through my sock drawer, found the Needful Things, set up the battery back, and rejoiced!
And then, before me, under the magnifier, in the glow of the light, I started noticing things.
For example, I noticed that this filling in the photo above is not quite right. The two parallel lines of green, where the arrow points, should not be parallel. The one on the right should be offset.
Then I noticed this thick bulk of thread in my bead line in the photo above. That shouldn’t be there. Where did it come from? A knot? A thread I didn’t pull through all the way?
Of course, if I can only see these things under magnification, then I really shouldn’t sweat them, right?
But then the thought occurred to me that maybe, while I’m working on this project, I do need magnification. The lattice fillings are quite fine and quite closely worked. The beads are pretty tiny. Maybe this piece would benefit from magnification, at least in the areas where beads and woven fillings are concerned.
I learned a few things The Day the Lights Went Out:
1. It’s impossible to stitch well in the half-gloom of a rainy day.
2. My magnifier-light has a battery pack – and it works!
3. I might need magnification more often than I realized. At least, it doesn’t hurt to occasionally check.
4. I should probably read the local newspaper now and then.
And thus ended my day off – a good day all around, I’d say!
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