Stitchy Fingers

Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


Night yet again. Only this time, So'l hasn't come to the Living Caverns for food. Instead, he's got a jumble of leather pieces safely ensconced in his backpack along with some strong thread and shears. Making his way into the cavern proper, he finds an empty table with plenty of room to work and patiently waits for his tutor to show. After a couple of minutes, he changes his mind about refreshments and snags a glass of chilled juice to nurse while he waits. Nodding to a couple of people he knows here already, he retakes his seat and starts pulling the materials out of the bag and onto the table.

Abigail had promised not to be late, and promised to indeed tutor with the strap lesson. Not being late is key though and she is a few moments behind So'l whom is setting things out across the table. She carries with her a few items tucked under an arm and within her hands. "Hello So'l." See, she made it. The items she is carrying is set down while she offers him a smile before looking over the thing she has brought. A brown firelizard is perched upon her shoulder, and from the looks of it he has on a 'small' set of straps, which may look rather amusing actually. The saddle part is not there and in the place there are instead small rings to attach notes to it perhaps.

"Abigail!" The weyrling looks up with delight, very glad to see her obviously. He stands then, pulling out a chair for her and then retaking his own seat. Smiling, So'l says, "Thanks again for the help. The lessons have been good - I know overall what I'm supposed to be doing - but my work is just kind of sloppy, I guess?" Once she's seated, he pushes some pieces he's cut and sewn together towards the woman. She'll be able to see some stitching gone awry though the pieces he's chosen, at least, seem strong and suitable. "This is just practice stuff; we won't be making our real set until tomorrow and I'm obviously still in need of work," he laughs nervously, then spies the brown with miniature straps. "Those are fantastic! I never thought of equipping a firelizard with straps like that…"

Abigail keeps her warm smile and lets her hand lightly rest against his arm to thank him before settling down upon the chair and looks over the items there. "No problem at all. I'm happy to help. Truthfully gives me something to do other than paper work." There is a slight pause and a glance is sent his way. "Plus… I get to spend time with ye so it's ok in my book." A soft though tired smile seen for a moment, the baby has been keeping her up more then she'll admit, all moveable and such. Her fingers slide across the stitches and she ponders. "It's not bad, but yes a bit of work still for ye." She chuckles softly. "Well I tried everything and then figured why not try it for him as well. It doesn't work on /all/ firelizards mind ye. Me bronze shrugs it off all the time." Huritt hops down and gives his wings a slight flutter to show off the straps as it were. "Now.. Show me how ye do the stitches?" This questioned curiously while she pushes over a bit of leather and tread.

The gentle touch brings another smile and So'l says, "I'll take any excuse to come visit my favorite brownrider." The smile fades, though, as Abigail begins going over his work and the notion of it not being quite up to snuff is no surprise. Huritt's little display, though, has the weyrling curiously studying the strap configuration. It's not altogether dissimilar from the straps he's been studying with M'icha and the other weyrlings though, obviously, they're /way/ smaller and missing a saddle. When Abigail asks him to demonstrate his work, So'l looks away from the brown and nods, picking up a couple of pieces and his needle - already threaded. As he was taught, he begins stitching along the first edge, the small needle difficult to hold in such small hands. "This would be easier if my fingers weren't so big," he laughs.

Abigail smiles and nods glad to hear that he does like to spend time with her as well, good things for both of them. "Good to hear." She doesn't nitpick over anything that he has done and ponders while watching as he goes about stitching. "Have ye tried a longer needle?" This questioned as she pulls out a small kit and takes out a longer needle, which she offers to him. "Maybe be easier as it's not as small. Though ye did right to keep near the edge like that to make sure it is kept tight." She waves a hand slightly at the talk of his fingers. "Naw, don't think about it like that."

"A longer needle?" So'l asks, his look a bit perplexed. "I haven't, no. None of the other weyrlings have - at least, not that I've noticed," he remarks. "But then again, my hands are like twice the size of theirs." He accepts the replacement needle, quickly threading it and once again attacking the edge. This time, he doesn't seem to struggle as much with pushing the needle through the leather pieces and then pulling it out. "Well that's easier…" So'l comments with a smirk. For the next several moments, he works on stitching up that edge, his work less sloppy now but still not perfect. For instance, the threaded line running down the edge isn't perfectly straight; in fact, it's kind of jagged. "As many times as I've cut straight lines into boards, you'd think I could /sew/ in a straight line," he snerks at himself.

Abigail can't help but chuckle softly while watching as he works. "No one said ye couldn't use a longer needle." She points out softly. "Be it with the bigger hands I figured the longer needle would be better. Seems I was right." A wink is seen while she watches still. "Have ye tried to draw the line along the leather with chalk?" A chalk pencil is taken out and waggled a few times. "I use it to try and get me lines straighter. Basically ye draw along the edge where ye want to stitch and then just follow the line with the needle and thread." She grins and nods. "Cutting wood is a bit different then working on sewing a straight line."

"As I'm finding out," So'l laughs lightly. The notion of using chalk is a good one and, with the help of a straight edge from his bag, the weyrling quickly draws a straight line on the opposite edge. "And yes, the longer needle was an excellent suggestion. Thank you," he smiles warmly at Abigail before resuming work on his threading. Truth be told, chalk had already been suggested in class but So'l's confidence in his woodworking - namely, drawing a very straight line on boards without a straight edge - had him forgoing it. "Seems like I need to sort of deprogram myself. You're right, woodworking /is/ different and I shouldn't think I'll catch on perfectly so quickly." «So stop berating yourself,» a pine-scented voice touches his thoughts, drowsy and muddied. «Typriaeth is being noisy again. I am awake now.» 'Sorry, Sharuth,' the weyrling sends back, still stitching through the exchange. 'I'll be back soon, then.' «Do not hurry. Improve your skill,» the bronze encourages. "Sorry," So'l looks to Abigail, "Sharuth just woke up. It's fine though, for now." He hands the work over for the brownrider's study. The line is, indeed, much straighter this time. However, the bond between pieces isn't as strong as it could be. "If I pull too hard," So'l offers as the pieces are inspected, "the thread breaks…so I try to be a little gentler."

Abigail keeps her smile as she watches, her hand lifting so her chin can rest in the palm of it. "Could use a measuring tape if yer worried about not making a straight line. I did it for a time until I got the hang of making a mostly straight line while working on it." She points to the thread. "Double thread it, will give the stitch more strength and also take the pulling a bit better." A piece of leather is pulled over so he can see where she has made small X's across the line. "I also do the line in the x's to help with the abuse of the leather moving. Sometimes triple stitch it on areas that could be given a lot of abuse." Her pale gaze settles on his and she pauses a moment before nodding. "No one is perfect at first, so don't beat yerself up so much. Nothing to be sorry about either. If'nn ye need to go we can continue later. Also give it time, and practice that is the key in things like this." A nod is sent to Huritt whom is busy preening over a foot. "It took me too many times to count to get that right for a firelizard. One can only learn from their mistakes."

As usual, Abigail is full of wisdom. She's reinforcing things they've been learning in class - well, minus the X stitches along the line (brilliant!) - but her one-on-one attention is perhaps having more of an impact now that all of the other weyrlings aren't subject to overhearing critiquing remarks about So'l's work. "That makes a lot of sense," he nods, growing more confident in his stitching now that both the longer needle and the change in mental approach have yielded more success for him. As Abigail and Sharuth instruct, he pushes aside self-doubt and just focuses on the work. Twenty minutes later and both edges have been stitched through with X's. Now comes the series of cross-stitching across the breadth of the strap, meant to further secure the pieces together. For the sake of aesthetics, So'l chooses to triple stitch these rather than cross the lines with small X's and, when he's done, he'll try to wrench the two pieces apart. Thankfully, they actually hold and don't look half bad, either.

Abigail does indeed have her moments of wisdom, she's been through this before, and has made plenty of straps and harnesses over the years so has a few ideas of how to deal with suck things. "I have my moments of making sense." This said with a playful tone while she lets her arms fold upon the table. A few soft ideas and pointers are offered to So'l while he continues to work. "See? It doesn't look half bad now does it? I told ye that all would be fine." A slight grin is seen while she leans back a touch to glance across the straps that he has made once more. "Given time yer be doing this in yer sleep." This said with a teasing tone.

The idea of doing it in his sleep causes So'l to grin. "You know, with enough practice, I'll bet your right." Surveying the pieces he's already worked on, he nods to himself before saying, "You've been tremendously help. I'm going to practice with these," he holds up the long needle and the chalk, "until this all feels really easy. Thank you for your help," he grins, the last hour or so of assistance greatly appreciated. "And you do, indeed, have your moments," Abigail gets a toothy grin. "Many of them, in fact." He begins packing his bag and says, "Sharuth's awake and hungry, so I'd better get over there. Thank you again," the weyrling says, placing a hand on one of Abigail's and squeezing it gently.

Abigail chuckles softly and nods. "Not that I've ever actually stitched anything workable in my sleep." This said with an amused tone. "I'm glad to have been helpful to ye. Yer welcome ta keep 'em." There is a pause while she closes the small leather bound 'sewing' kit and offers it to him. "There are more chalk and long needles inside it. Needles dull and the if ye use the chalk up ye have more." A little gift it seems, not that there is much too it but still. At the bit on herself she blushes a touch and then soon grins. "Oh, good to know." She chuckles once more and nods to the talk of Sharuth being awake and hungry. "Of course, tell me Nium and I say hello." As for the touch of his hand she turns her slightly to give his a soft squeeze back. "Yer welcome. Keep well So'l."

"Thank you," So'l smiles wide again, the gift very much appreciated indeed. "I'll definitely be putting it to good use. And thanks for not smacking me with a stick," he chuckles. "G'night, Abigail. Sleep well and I'll come see you again soon," he promises. "And let Niumdreoth know we say hello as well!" Packing the kit into his bag, he crouches down a bit to match eye level with Huritt. "Thank /you/, too. You look very handsome in your straps, Huritt." Chuckling he rises and gives Abigail a wave, heading off to feed Sharuth back to sleep.


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