The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Drinking and Writing? Maybe. Sewing and drinking? No way.

I happened to wander into the The 3rd Annual Drinking & Writing Festival; "Write 'Til You Puke" yesterday at Hopleaf Bar, a Chicago hangout. I was looking for a little lunchtime Guinness after volunteering at a neighborhood festival.

So I sit down at the bar, and get my brew (which incidentally comes in a can straight from Ireland - most Guinness in the U.S., particularly the liquid that's on tap, originates in Cananda.) I'm sitting next to a woman who's wearing a nametag that says "Don't Try" upside down. I thought she was being silly, until I saw other people wearing the same name tag, right side up.

I had to find out more. Turns all these beer fans were in the pub for a Drinking and Writing Festival, celebrating the Life of Charles Bukowski, who I'd never heard of. They were going to sample different brews, listen to writers talk about ale and see a presentation of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Drinking & Writing to Chicago journalist Rick Kogan. The best part? A two-drink minimum writing contest.

That last part really intrigued me. I was almost ready to sign up, and I'd done half of my minimum already. I just love the idea of loosening up, and liberating a bunch of printed words on paper, even it turns out to be unpublishable gibberish. But...I'm on a diet. Not a strict one (I just ate some Doritos dipped in avocado.) I've lost seven pounds. I want to keep that weight off and lose even more heft. That competition, at fun as it sounds, would have done me in. I have to admit if I had a guy I really liked I probably would haved signed both of us up in a matter of half-nano-seconds. Then I thought....I have to wait another year for the festival (the drinking one, not the neighborhood version)? That's a long time to do something literary with a Rock Bottom or a Three Floyd's in your hand. I told the guy taking tickets at the door they needed do something at least once a month. He said I might have to do that.

Which got me thinking (rare, I know. My brain goes on a major vacation, particularly on summery Saturdays.). Drinking and wordsmithing, a hoot. What about a beer and sewing? Eh.
For one thing, there are some sharp objects in this hobby: scissors, sergers and seam rippers come to mind. One false slip and your project could be a history project. With scribbling words on paper, only the latter gets damaged. Besides, sewing is for the most part, a solitary journey. Imbibing along the way only magnifies the solitude (and sometimes your frustrations with the stitching at hand. ) If I'm going to quaff any alcohol, it's going to be after I turn the sewing machine off and I've angrily tossed my dress-in-progress in a corner. That's when I head to the refrigerator for a libation. Problem is I don't often keep alcohol in my house, so post-sewing drinking isn't an option. In that case, I just have a glass of ice water if it's hot, green tea if it's cold. What are your thoughts on sewing and beer (or wine)?

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Blogger Ladygrande said...

A glass of wine is always appropriate after completing sewing in a zipper! Maybe two glasses...

12:47 PM  
Blogger mamafrog said...

Never thought about drinking while sewing--but I'm with you about frustration with a project leading to it!!! Definately drinking after a project is a possibility! Especially the pleated skirt I've been working on for a year for one of my daughters. I hate pleats but would like to finish it before she turns 21! (This year) I usually keep a stash of chocolate in one of my cabinet drawers for serious emergencies. I'm not a big chocolate eater, I prefer hard candies, but sometimes sewing will drive me to it. Endorphins are our friends, to paraphrase a commercial. I try to finish everything that's been started, but something really hard may drive me to a good beer at times. I'm going to start making shirts for the hubby again, after a twenty year drought, and I think it's time to stock up on something more potent than my favorite tea!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Ha, I've often been known to drink and sew! But actually, sewing more has helped me cut back on the drinking (and snacking) because I get so into the sewing process I forget about the beer and bag of chips nearby.

7:53 PM  

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