Doug worked on the flat bed press for several hours Saturday, then again on Sunday. It is now working - but I'm worried it will just continue to break down. At 35 years of age, used way more than would be expected for a piece of domestic laundry equipment, it really doesn't owe me a cent.
Once it was working I managed to do the hard press on the samples I'd run through the washer/dryer, but even just standing to do that I realized that my ability to stand for extended periods of time is very compromised.
I thought about continuing to weave, then wondering how I could manage the pressing. Certainly doing it by hand with a hand iron was not really a good idea.
So I wrote about it on my blog, as I tend to do. Writing about a challenge in my life frequently brings me to a point of understanding what needs to happen. What path I should take.
I started looking on line at what was available for small flat bed presses, and after poking around for a while found one on offer at wayfair.ca that would actually work for me. It was about the same size as my Elna, with similar features, AND it was on sale. It was also IN STOCK! And they could ship it immediately.
The price was just about within my price range, but still, not an expense I had budgeted for, so I was musing aloud (so to speak) trying to decide if I could justify the purchase or I could manage without it.
I'd no sooner posted that when I checked my email and was stunned. Someone had sent a rather generous amount via my ko-fi account. I stared at the screen for several minutes, not quite believing my eyes, then emailed to ask if they had meant to send that amount - if not I would issue a refund.
The answer was 'yes' - they had meant to send that amount and thanked me for my encouragement to find ways to work ergonomically and the knowledge I shared.
It got dusty in here. Very dusty.
Doug continued to try to get schematics and a parts list and suggested I wait to order a new press, but today's search didn't reveal anything very helpful so, recent donation in hand, I went back to wayfair.ca and then couldn't find the one that I'd marked as being a possibility. They did have a more expensive one, and again, because I had a bit of a cushion I was going to order that one (more expensive, larger, heavier, not really what I wanted, but still within my budget given the donation), except down at the bottom of the page, there was the smaller one! I clicked on it and yes, it was still available, still on sale. So I ordered that one. Shipping was even free, something I had not expected.
But now I feel a lot more secure about being able to continue to wet finish my textiles in a way that I feel is appropriate. And I'll be trying to work out how to set up a permanent pressing station so that I can do the job sitting down instead of standing.
My brother had one of those inflatable 'clowns' with a weight in the bottom. He could knock it over and it would keep standing back up again. There are days when I feel very much like that clown. Life continues to knock me over. But dammit I will keep getting up again. One way or another. For as long as I can.
Thank you to the person who reached out when I was feeling knocked over. You helped me stand up again.