“I like to cut”

Yup. So do I. But not that way.

Let me explain that very ambiguous introduction. Today, I went back to see the oncology surgeon, to tell him what I’ve decided to do about the pre-cancer lurking on the left side of my chest. We’re going to watch and wait, I told him. Okaaayyyy, he said. Hmmm, I thought. So I asked him if I had made the wrong decision. He told me I was asking the wrong person. “I’m a surgeon”, he said, “I like to cut”. He went on: at this stage of the Little Bugger’s development, it didn’t really matter either way. We were going to nip it in the bud now… or later. I was OK to wait. We’ll do another MRI in 6 months, and then again every year. I have a history of ‘invisible’ tumours, and it needs to be an MRI or it might not show up till too late. I went away as happy as a person can be with a very gently ticking potential bombshell on her person.

I laughed about his “I like to cut” all the way home. His candour tickled me as much as his expectation that I would get the joke. And seriously, I like to cut too. I’m a quilter, it’s all about the cutting. But it made me think about my cutting collection.

This is just a selection. (The one on the right, with a scabbard, is a handmade and signed blade.) I also have pinking shears and an extremely hi-tech pair of secateurs, plus all my ‘bad’ scissors, the ones I allow the Husband to use. Then there’s the kitchen knives. It’s probably best not to let me get started on those. I keep the number of an excellent mobile sharpening service in my phone – he comes to you and you bring out your blunt, burred, nicked and notched, and the lovely Dave restores them to shiny vorpalness. You see? I am a cutting tragic. I’m sure there are others out there who have more, but for a stout, middle-aged quilter there’s quite a lot of unnecessary redundancy there…

I have never minded the initial stage of a quilt, where you stand at your cutting table and with a new blade in your cutter and freshly pressed fabric, you turn meterage into magic. Measure twice, cut once?  No, no, no! Measure twice, and cut and cut and cut… crisp, tidy shapes that come together to create something more than the sum of its parts.

Yes, I like to cut 🙂

46 thoughts on ““I like to cut”

  1. Marty K says:

    Glad to hear that the cutting in your life is going to be on fabric. 🙂

  2. craftycreeky says:

    I’m getting quite a collection of scissors with my ones handmade in Sheffield being my most precious, I find it hard to resist pretty little embroidery scissors 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      A really nice, comfortable pair of scissors is hard to beat. I really like my sprung shears for dressmaking, but these days I have to keep tightening the screw as they’re getting a little worn. My tiniest pair of gold embroidery scissors aren’t even there!

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    As you know I am the opposite. I measure then measure, then put it away, then panic, then measure, measure measure, then make one cut, panic….measure,panic cut, remember to breathe, panic, measure, cut…

  4. tialys says:

    Only you could turn something a surgeon says to you into a blog post about scissors 😂

    • katechiconi says:

      But it was so funny 😀 I kept thinking “I’m a quilter. I like to cut too!” And then it occurred to me that I was rather well endowed with cutting implements. The post almost wrote itself…

  5. Happy your surgeon did not have to do any “cutting” … you can keep cutting and continue to make magic with your fabric 😍

  6. You have set me thinking about all the things I sharpen!

  7. Only you could have made that doctor visit into a witty post about vorpalness! May you joyously slash your way past this threat.

  8. I think you’ve made an excellent decision, but I appreciate that it wasn’t an easy time you’ve been through. Sterkte! xx

  9. Chris S in Canada says:

    Oh did you tell him you’re a quilter and you like to cut too?? Would he get the joke?

    You have (and will continue to acquire) as many cutting tools as you need. Never think you might have too many. A knitter I greatly admire (Yarn Harlot) once asked her uncle, a woodworker and carpenter, why he had so many saws He explained every one of them had a particular job that it was best suited for and he needed every one of them for the beautiful work he produced. That line of thought applies to pretty much every tool for every craftsman or craftswoman.

    There is an old saying “never trust a skinny cook”. I would also say never trust a cook with only one pot.

    Chris S

    • katechiconi says:

      And I would say a quilter with only one cutter and one pair of scissors isn’t serious about her craft! No… I didn’t tell him, it didn’t occur to me till I’d left. Maybe I’ll remember next time!

  10. Sharon says:

    My collection of scissors is sorely lacking …I need to catch up. on the other hand, I am glad you got in and got his opinion and made the decision your comfortable with – like a great pair of scissors

  11. Dayphoto says:

    Cutting on fabric is much better than cutting on you!

  12. I’m with you on the cutting thing. I even have a hard time cutting up fabric. I love your cutting collection though. I have more kinds of scissors and nippers and rotary cutters than one can imagine. Each with it’s own unique purpose. I just ordered some nippers for my son as he can’t get his big fingers in little scissors to nip threads when he’s working on a sewing machine. He’s managed to get my mother’s old Pfaff running quite well for his (ex) wife to use.

  13. claire93 says:

    I too have something of a scissor addiction.

  14. I’m just going to comment quietly… I’m not much of cutter, just necessarily. Sharp things in my hands are… well… they are sharp. But I admire your collection, the specialist’s candour and respect for your opinion.

  15. kymlucas says:

    I much prefer blunt doctors to those who aren’t. Give me the truth straight up and let’s go from there.

  16. anne54 says:

    I love the sound of scissors cutting through material, and the table often amplifies the sound. I love the little blade things that nestle in your hand ~ I think I have just learnt they are called ‘nippers’ (great name!) ~ to snip threads. They are so easy to pick up, with our needing to get fingers through handles of embroidery scissors.
    Imagine the collection of cutting tools the surgeon must have!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, there’s something lovely about the rustle and crunch of sharp scissors. I love the ‘whisk’ of a rotary cutter against the ruler, too. It’s a multi-sensory experience, isn’t it?

  17. cedar51 says:

    I’ve not at times had a lot of luck with scissors – or as I’m prone to do “lose them” and not find them for years!

    Many of my cutters are for paper, I’ve had trouble with them as well…actually have none of the Friskars on hand now that supposedly cut circles or similar. I had to have a credit for the very last one…I took it back, and said “it doesn’t cut”…assistant 1 (A1) said “you do it like this…” and proceeded to exactly what I had done and said “oh it doesn’t work”…have a credit. I walked around the store, bought other things back and A2 in place. Tell why and she picks up the tool and says “you do it like this”….”oh it doesn’t work”….she has to call over someone else and A3 said “of course it will work…” you no doubt can see what happens!

    I now kind of freehand any type of cut I want…or use an already made diecut…

    Love the surgeons response!

    • katechiconi says:

      My hand co-ordination is still pretty good, so cutting fabric circles is OK with scissors. It’s not something I need to do often enough to justify any kind of tool, but if I did, I’d undoubtedly have one of those too! The surgeon is a funny as well as a kind, competent and friendly man. Just as well. One day I may have to trust my life to him!

  18. magpiesue says:

    So glad the cutting will continue to be done on fabric and not on/in you – at least for the foreseeable future. I delight in my growing collection of pretty or unusual embroidery scissors. I do want to replace a pair of nippers I bought online however. The blades have never been sharp and Hubby doesn’t see how they can be sharpened due to the way the nippers were constructed. Can’t win ’em all I guess!

    • katechiconi says:

      I do like a pretty pair… I keep eyeing up the rose gold sets at my LQS: dressmaker, embroidery and stitch ripper, with embossed handles. Very nice, but what I really need is a hand pair of nippers. Hmmm. I think I owe myself a present!

  19. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you ! My husband has cancer for the 3rd time, they don’t know yet where the cancer is situated but his bloodresults show there is definitely cancer . When he got cancer the 2nd time we had to wait for 3 years before it showed up on scans. Cancer is such a horrible disease and so unpredictable !

  20. I am currently in love with my new dressmaking shears… made by hand in Sheffield… a joy to use.
    As for people… one of the things that stopped me from training as a doctor (or a vet) was the fact that I didn’t think I could bring myself to cut into the flesh of a real live human being (or pet). I hope you don’t need the surgeon’s cutting skills, but it’s good to know that they are there if you do.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think I’d be happier about surgery if it wasn’t so…. squidgy. And blood’s so messy too! Look, there’s stuff there that’s both pre-cancerous and strongly predisposed to change into something nasty, but Not Yet. So I’m not submitting to the knife. Yet.

  21. Decision made – phew – always feels better when that is done – onwards and upwards – not easy, but you have some breathing space.
    I love the way you turn things around “Attitude changes everything”
    Now – I’m off to look up ‘vorpalness’ – I am always learing on this site. 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      There’s a link on the word in the post, taking you to the Urban Dictionary. And I’ve always been a fan of Edward Lear…. And I totally agree, I’m a great one for looking for silver linings in dark clouds.

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