Monday, November 23, 2015

Unsafe to complain about sewing on the train

Dear readers,

Most of us are sewers here, aren't we? I have a question. Do you sew when you are taking public transport, say train or bus? If you answer yes, have you ever thought about how it might affect terrify the other passengers?

Well, this week, I read this letter of complaint in a newspaper forum by a train passenger in Singapore. You can read her letter here. I have also reproduced it below:

Ms Tan Lay Hoon was on the train and encountered this....

"Recently, I came across a young woman working on a piece of cross-stitch embroidery inside an SMRT train.

She sat forward with a gap between her and the back of her seat, perhaps to facilitate the flow of her needlework movements.

The embroidery floss running through the needle was about 45cm long."

Sensing the danger posed by the ever moving needle, Ms Tan decided to do something about it.

"I suggested to the woman that it could be dangerous to sew inside the confines of a moving MRT train. She replied that she had been sewing while riding in MRT trains for a long time and returned to her task. There were commuters seated on both sides of her."

Sewing is not a safe activity

"While the train was relatively empty during the off-peak hour, sewing is not a safe activity to pursue inside a train that is travelling.

At times, MRT trains lurch when moving or halting. If the woman is pulling the needle in an upward movement and is caught unexpectedly by a sudden staggering of the train, an involuntary jerk of the hand holding the needle may cause the needle to jab at a fellow commuter sitting or standing close by."

If the needle impales an eye
"There will be very serious consequences if the needle impales an eye or other body part of a nearby commuter who could not move away in time. How can the injured commuter seek recourse?

If the SMRT's regulations do not permit sewing inside MRT trains in operation, what is the appropriate action that a concerned fellow commuter can take in such a situation?"

Ms Tan ended her letter by asking:
"By the way, what circumstances warrant an activation of the emergency communication button?"

Yes, apparently Ms Tan felt so threatened by the wayward needle, she considered activating the EMERGENCY button.

I feel for Ms Tan. I really do because the Internet is cruel.
This is an example of a response to her complaint:
I saw a guy swaying to music once. And I thought this was very dangerous. The trains lurch sometimes and if he sways in the direction of the lurch he could be propelled forward into another commuter who would then be rammed into one of the poles, breaking his neck, or back, or even cracking his skull. If he misses the pole, he might find himself propelled out the window, causing other commuters to fall out the window with him.
There are lots more similar responses. However, there has been no response from SMRT to Ms Tan's complaint. I look forward to what SMRT has to say.

I have a confession to make. Back in the days when I was selling at craft markets, I often left sewing the gap in the lining last. As a result, I ended up with a bunch of bags and pouches with hand sewing needed to close the gaps. To make full use of my time on the train, sometimes an hour long, I would sew on the train. And I use pretty sharp needles. I remember I would get stares by other women whenever I did my sewing. But no one told me to stop sewing.

By the way, I sew in a safe way. You see, when I was 7 and started learning to sew in school, my teacher who probably feared having her eyes impaled by clumsy 7 year-olds taught me and my classmates that the ONLY way to pull the needle is with a downward motion. That way, the needle will never accidentally poke someone in the eye or other body parts. After I finished school, I was 19 or so, I went to this school to learn to draft and construct clothing. The first thing the teacher taught me was also to pull the needle in a downward motion.

So if you have been pulling your needle upward, like the cross-stitcher on Ms Tan's train, you may possibly prick someone in the eye or other body parts. And you don't have to be on a train to hurt someone with a needle. Remember. We are sewers/sewists, not terrorists.

7 comments:

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Brilliant! Reading the free newspapers on a train is dangerous. What if the news that one is reading is so appalingly devastating it causes someone to inhale quickly and deeply in horro, JUST at the same moment someone is spraying perfume on themselves nearby? The newspaper reader may choke on the fumes of the perfume. Dangerous stuff.

Sandra :) said...

I think Ms. Tan needs to take the stick out of her a** and quit being such a crybaby. We already cater far too much to the lowest common denominator (aka stupid people) - imagine having to put a warning sign on a bag of peanuts ... "May contain peanuts" or having to remind people that "Product will be hot after heating" :D

I took a sewing project on the bus a few weeks ago - I was stitching beads onto a zipper bag so I had a really LONG NEEDLE - it was a beading needle about 2" long. Now I know why everybody moved to the opposite end of the bus - they were worried that somehow I would have a seizure and poke someone in the eyeball! ;)

YarnAddictAnni said...

I think Ms Tan needs to get a life! I knit on the train & planes & everywhere else so I'm all for sewing while travelling.

Projects By Jane said...

@YarnAddictAnni
Knitting needles. Those are long and pointy too. As dangerous as @Amy's Crafty Shenanigan's per-"fumes".

Chris H said...

That is totally nuts! How anyone could fear a sewer on a train is beyond me. A tiny needle ain't gunna do any damage except maybe a slight 'prick'! lol

Jane McLellan said...

Well, if that's all Mrs. Tan has to worry about, she must be leading a very safe life!

pennydog said...

I sew on planes, I have little scissors too. Don't mess with me....

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