So, I'm making these diamonds, right? And, in the table runner in the magazine I am working from, they alternate direction to make a chevron pattern. The instructions say NOTHING about this, so I assume that it's going to be pretty simple, and I just start cutting away with my nifty template/ruler combo thing.
I sew together two rows of diamonds, assuming that in order to change the direction, you just turn the strip the opposite way. Because I am too spatially-challenged to understand that THE ONLY WAY TO CHANGE DIRECTION IS TO TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN.
See - happy diamonds, angled to the left:
Now, flip it around - STILL angled to the left:
But, turn it upside down:
And, voila!, angled to the right. So I get it in my head that to create the alternating rows, I need to have TWO templates, one oriented to the right, so I take the original paper template and trace it on plastic again, only this time UPSIDE DOWN. Because I am so, so clever.
Now, it does occur to me once or twice that these diamonds are symmetrical, but the empirical evidence doesn't lie, so I am clearly on the right path. I tape the "new" template to the other side of the ruler:
and then spend several more minutes wondering why I still seem to be cutting on the SAME ANGLE. So then I lay the template/ruler combo thing down on the OPPOSITE end of the strip and NOW my cuts are angled in the opposite direction. Success!
Feeling all proud for having overcome my handicap, I take my new stack of diamonds over to the machine and stitch 'em up...but they're still angled to the left. Motherfucker! I look over my stacks of diamonds and slowly begin to realize that there is no discernible difference between those cut from the "new" template and those cut from the old, and in a moment of clarity that I suspect was caused by solar flares, realized that you just have to put your two pieces together differently before you sew. Lay them out one way and they will angle one way; turn them 90 degrees and they'll go the other way.
So, of course, instead of just sucking it up and moving on, I chose to blog about it, so I could go over it again and again in my mind, replaying it like a game-losing fumble on the jumbo-tron. Because I never fail to be utterly fascinated by my own stupidity.