There are a few writers whose books are so well-written and entertaining that I would like them to give up all other activities and just write books for me to read. Christopher Buckley is one of them, and this is one of my favorites of his. I loaned it to someone years ago (probably pressed it into their barely-willing hands, because this is a bad habit of mine) and never got it back. Now that it has been made into a movie, there is a new mass edition, so I have a copy again and am re-reading it with great pleasure.

I have done no knitting since the last thrilling installment, and this is all the further I have gotten with my current sewing project: a pleat. Not even a sewn pleat, just a pinned one.

Partly this is because my sewing machine is at work and I have been busy writing and went to class last night. The writing has been semi-fictional so far. I cleaned up #2 daughter’s job application which she couldn’t quite finish up before leaving the country and emailed it in. I didn’t feel that I could make stuff up too freely there. Then I did a press release. My press releases are pretty successful, in that they are usually printed, and often much as they were written. I always make up quotes. Then I check with the person whose name I put on the quote, to make sure that they are okay with it. I see nothing wrong with this. Press releases are advertising masquerading as news, and the whole point of the exercise is to make the masquerade convincing. You can’t always do that with stuff people actually say.

Then I worked on the store newsletter. This is not fiction; it is describing the new products. However, when I write it I like to take on a different persona. The person writing the newsletter is worried about the things that our customers worry about, committed to state mandates, and capable of getting very excited over the new look in bulletin boards. I think this is true of fashion magazine writers, too. They don’t give a flip about the Return of the White Dress, but are temporarily taking on the personality of someone who does. Like the cartoon showing a bald, overweight, middle-aged guy with a cigarette dangling from his lip and a beer by his typewriter, with the caption “I guess you could say I’m that typical Cosmo girl…”

So this is why there was no knitting yesterday. The lack of sewing progress, however, is not just about time. It is also about space.

In general, I feel reasonably adept with dimensionality. After all, I routinely take two-dimensional stuff like fabric, and even rather one-dimensional stuff like yarn, and make it into three-dimensional things. My attempt to make a flat piece of fabric into something shaped like this bag, however, has me remembering a conversation I had with a mathematician friend of mine.

We were admiring a Zome construct he had made (that’s Zome, on the left) and he was explaining its history and fine points. Though I gazed at it intently, I had at length to admit that I did not see the fine points in question. He looked at me pityingly and explained that that was because they were in other dimensions.

I sort of feel that way about the bag. I tried all sorts of things to get that center pleat right, including kite folds. I am here to tell you that this doesn’t work on fabric. It looks perfect, but when you pick it up, the bias grain wars with the straight grain and the whole thing behaves neither like a kite nor a bag, but like something which has left some of its parts in another dimension.

With my husband’s assistance, I finally got the center pleat done, but then the question arises: how to get the right shape at the bottom? I made the little prototype bag from a single rectangle with pleats at both ends, but it has a straight bottom, not a curved one. Possibly I need to cut a curve for it, but it also seems possible that further pleats of a satchel-like nature would do it.

Not everyone has these geometrical challenges. Some people can move directly to three dimensionality without extensive preliminary thoughts about gravity and the space-time continuum. Oschene, for example, made a fabric origami wallet, which you can admire here. It involved report-cover plastic, and I intend to copy that idea and make myself another.

I also have to try this, from Dweezy.