11.09.2014

the end of the spool

oonaballoona | the end of the spool

It's Rapunzel's hair, golden floss, silky strands that glide effortlessly through everything I've thrown at it, and though it's been like the loaves n' fishes for several years running, it's coming to an end.

As I finished up the hem of my mohair cape with this magical stuff, I realized: I am going to be supremely sad when this spool of thread is finished! The realization hit me like a well intentioned, but poorly planned, surprise party. The end of an era wound around a little plastic tube. 

It was purchased at Greenberg & Hammer. Years ago, when I walked into that elevator-accessed store, I was not greeted warmly, I did want help, I had no clue what I was doing, and felt very aware that the staff instantly knew ALL OF THOSE THINGS ABOUT ME. I spent fifteen minutes trying to act like I belonged there, hesitating before unmarked drawers, stammering out a question about some advanced tool which completely gave me away...they were so totally over me. In their defense, it was September, and they were plagued with students coming in for class materials. I was a freshman of the internet with no list in hand.

I ended up walking out with two spools of thread plucked hastily out of a bowl by the counter, purchased to prove that I was indeed Someone Who Sews. Chosen for their color: one turquoise cord, one gold floss, neither of which I had any clue what to do with. Obviously I knew I should sew with them... but WHAT. Were they meant for buttonholes? Basting? Handsewing? Topstitching? For about a year, their only function was to remind me of my poorly executed shopping trip. 

Finally, I decided the universe would not implode if I just started using Goldielocks for... whatever I wanted. She was too pretty to languish in a drawer. Then I started topstitching with Cordy.  They're magical because I've invented their function. I do wish I could stroll back into that store, and open drawers and pick up new notions with confidence. But, Greenberg & Hammer reached the end of its era in 2012. 

Who knows what other magic I missed.

30 comments:

  1. Honey, I feel for you. I do. Stuff that I love that I can't get anymore (don't get me started on hair and cosmetic products. That's just not entirely another story, it's a Book!). But you find other STUFF you love. Just keep shopping. It's what I do and everyone should copy me. Ha!

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    1. ah, i feel you on cosmetics! EVERYTHING HAS SOY IN IT NOW!!!

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  2. Loved it! You should write a book I'd buy the first copy.

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    1. faye, i would send you the first copy with a marching band to back it up!

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  3. No, write a MUSICAL about sewing and STAR in it!! It would be awesome!!! And you could direct and do all the costumes too! Oona the Musical. You're not in Kalkatroona any more, Oona. There's no Place like Mood. Please sir, may I have some thread? Oh yeah we got trouble, right here in NY city, we got trouble with a T and that rhymes with O, no wait it doesn't...I could have sewn all night, I could have sewn all night...I don't know how to dress him,..The hills are alive with the sound of sewing machines......

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    1. Love it! I would buy a ticket for opening night.

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    2. "I don't know how to dress him."

      feel over laughing when i read that one.

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    3. Ruggy can play Judas! "Every time I look at you I don't understand, how you let your sewing space get so out of hand. could have been much better if you sewed to a plan"

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    4. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. I hear your pain! I miss Greenberg & Hammer. What a shame that they closed.

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  5. I think Greenberg and Hammer had that affect on everyone! I pretty much felt the same way when I walked into it the first time too and I've been sewing for forever!

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  6. I hope you soon find the start of a new era wrapped around something unexpected! I often think maybe I should start a new era of drinking slightly less. Then I notice my hand wrapped around a glass of something lovely and red and think, "Seriously? Fuck it."

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  7. Ah, Greenberg and Hammer! It's been driving me crazy trying to remember the name as they were my last hope for a special tool. Oh well, I guess that is where bad customer service gets you- out of business. Sadly this attitude exists in a lot of garment center locations and it's why we stick to our tried and true stores.
    Don't worry, you will find something even more fabulous. All good things must come to an end.

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    1. so the service was generally like that? i was sure it was the smell of my obviously amateur status...

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  8. Greenberg and Hammer, sound more like "Hammer House of Horror". I have to say my local fabric shop isn't quite so intimidating but then it's also not a hotbed of couture either. I asked for some horsehair tape the other day, they didn't really have any call for that kind of thing! I don't know which is worse.

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  9. I wish I could have parused the shop too, Imagine all of the amazingness that was born from those notions over the years.

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  10. This is such a lovely bit of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  11. Two amazing colors
    Such a sad story.

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  12. I too know the pain of coming to the end of an irreplaceable spool of superior thread. I still have a small horde of Molnlykcke thread, which I cannot find anymore. I love it but I hate to use it because if I do it will be gone and I won't have it anymore (sob) and yet, it's not doing me any good just sitting there in the drawer.

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    1. now, of course, i MUST find molnlykcke thread.

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    2. I see that I misspelled it. It's molnlycke. I used to get it at a Hancock's fabric store when I lived in Virginia but they stopped stocking it because most customers thought it was "too expensive." It wasn't really.

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    3. that's a bummer, i love visiting hancock's when we jet to ruggy's hometown. they always seem to have something fascinating.

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  13. ahh... cording! Do you want to know something fascinating someone told me on Saturday during The Sewing Party. That cording can be used as underwire for bras. Bonkers!

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    1. ooo then i'm calling it the wrong thing! surely what i have can't do that. but now i'm thinking my elastic cord would feel so much better than wire!

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  14. I love this story! It makes me so happy to read about other people feeling the same way I do at one time or another. There are so many times that I walk into a fancy fabric store and feel hugely intimidated. I'm glad you got to use Goldilocks and Cordy - and how cool is it that they will always be with you in your garments!

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    1. i never thought of it that way-- of course!!

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  15. I loved when Greenberg & Hammer tried to launch online shopping. I'd always "window shopped" because it was all stuff that just couldn't be found elsewhere and certainly not here. And I remember that awkwardness the 1st, 3rd, and 10th time I walked into an art supply store and feeling like a kid in a candy shop but having no idea what was what. Then I'd end up buying random tubes of oil paint for the color, and brushes I had no idea how to use, just to prove I was there for legit reasons! It seems like art stores are globally staffed with artists who think everyone should know what they are doing.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!