On the floor of the room was a pile of Atsey Chayim - wooden rollers. When working on a Torah, the first thing one does is remove these as they make handling difficult and surprisingly one does have to be quite physical moving the rolled up scrolls around and they arenít as delicate as people think.
This immediately cast my mind back to my sewing lesson with Vivian. When I was younger my late auntie Reggie had taught me how to knit. However, I never dreamt that I would have to learn to sew! Sewing sofer-style, however is a bit different.
For a start, one uses giddin (spun sinews from a kosher animal), from the thigh or the heel and secondly you are using a gold or silver plated needle (no base metals - remember!) This stuff is pretty tough and it is quite an effort to pull it through the parchment. This is doubly hard on the last sheet that is attached in three places to the ets chayim. I tried to make a diagram of what I was doing for the future (Iím no sailor and very bad with knots) and to be honest this is something Iím will have to do a few times before it sinks in.
But Iím digressing. We also visited UK no. 1 scribe on that day. Ostensibly it was to see a gizmo he had made to help cut quills at a consistent angle, get Vivian to make him some wooden bits for his gizmo and also for Vivian to see whether a scroll he had been given to look at by a community was kasher.