Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thread Ball

Why is it that when you're working flat out, doing everything right, doing everything you can to get as much done as possible, your machine decides to do something evil?

We've all had threadball, right?  That nasty snarl of bobbin thread on the underside of your garment, letting you know that you've been a lazy slob and not cleaned out or re-threaded or changed your needle recently?  The basic warning by the machine that if you take care of it, it might - depending on its mood - take care of you.

Has anyone ever gotten interior threadball before?  I was sewing along and all of a sudden I heard this weird, muffled crunching sound.  The machine didn't stop sewing, but it . . . lurched, kind of the sewing machine equivalent of a balky shopping cart wheel.  

I stopped.  I raised the needle, took the fabric out.  Bobbin thread seemed fine, stitches were holding, but when I looked at the machine itself, the hook thing (the one that goes up and down and that I can't remember the name of because I'm still traumatized) was crooked.  It was almost leaning up against the side of the case, instead of being straight in the middle.

I could have called my repair guy, who would have picked it up at 4:30, taken it to work the next day and then brought it back by this evening,  but I didn't want to wait that long.  I also didn't want to take a cab 15 blocks to a crappy neighborhood and drop it off on the chance he could finish it by dinnertime.  

So I got my handy screwdriver and opened up the front of the machine, a place I've never gone before.  Lo and behold, wrapped around some interior working that I have no name for, was a big ball of thread.  How it managed to do that, and yet not come unthreaded, is a complete and total freaking mystery.  I steeled myself, got my surgical implements (Kai embroidery snips and tweezers) and went to town.  After about 10 minutes of painstaking tweezing, I got all the thread.  Everything still seemed to move properly, but the hook was still a little sideways.  Holding my breath, I took hold of it and bent it back to where it should be.

And it works.  

I still think she needs a checkup, but now I can wait until the weekend.  



annie said...

Brave girl but I think I would have done the same thing. My closest repair man is an hour's drive away.

badmomgoodmom said...

A good time to apply a little "bendology". ;-)

I got over my fear of bendology when a mountain bike fall messed with my derailleur. Getting home before dark necessitated improvisational measures.

Rosie said...

I cannot say this as ever happened to me. I'm so glad you were able to get the thread out and do your "bendology" to tide you over until the weekend.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Wow! I've never experienced that and I'm impressed with your bravery. Glad everything worked out well. As Capt. Picard would say, "Carry on!"

Faye Lewis said...

I had an invisible thread ball (not at all visible to me) under my bobbin case. It knocked the entire bobbin case out of my machine. Wow, that was scary. I was able to clean it out and very carefully replace the bobbin case. Mmmmm that reminds me, I need to clean my machine.

Connie said...

It must have been in the air, as I had my bobbin case apart yesterday! Hope the new adventure is going well! Also I hope this comment posts cause the last few I posted while on the ipad didn't!

Out My window said...

This has happened to me before, I don't know what causes it, but a good cleaning and a new needle will do wonders for a machine. I keep several different needle types in a cushion and change out as I change fabrics. Had two very weird sewing clients today...... you just got a thread ball:)

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Oh man, anytime my machine does something scary my heart stops and I panic because I'll have to be without it while it's getting fixed. Worst nightmare! I'm glad you were able to get it running again.

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Kyle said...

Thanks for your kind words on my blog, Karen!
Hope your table at the craft fair went well today!!