I survived the streets alone and had a rather successful yarn shopping adventure...
This is the apartment that I stayed in! It was a great deal at only 60 Euros a night. Although, Tarzan was living above us, his keepers enjoyed rearranging the furniture to give him better launching points on a regular basis, and I could hear the neighbor's clinking dishes every time she washed dishes! It was a great addition to my many adventures and I loved living the Hamburg life for a few days!
Hamburg was covered with Bicycles and I learned the bicycle rules very very quickly! There were bicycle paths in addition to walking paths EVERYWHERE. And you should NEVER EVER walk in the bicycle path, because they will squish you. And you should look both ways before crossing the bicycle path, just like crossing the road.
Unfortunately, I never found a place to rent one but it turned out that the subway system was great and I was able to go everywhere I wanted to go!
First stop: Pur Pur
Pur Pur sells upscale boutique clothes and hand knitted items in addition to knitting supplies.
Nothing like seeing hand knitted sweaters selling for 200 Euros!
I found a lovely scarf, in orange, red, and yellow, that was marked for 40 Euros... found the yarn for 16 Euros, counted the stitches and soon the needles were clicking!
Speaking of needles... Check out the size of these Addi Turbos!!! 15mm (US 19) Next Stop: Wolle Laden But they don't open until 1300 and I had an hour to waste.
Then I found this place, I wondered in because the front windows were lined with shiny jars filled with the most wonderful buttons! These guys were making one of a kind, hand made leather coats and purses. They were amazing! I looked at a couple of their jackets and they were sporting a price tag of around 300 Euros. They were happy to show me their work then they sold me a handful of buttons for a very fair price of about .50 Euro cents each (they even threw in a few extra!) One day I will go back when I have 300 Euros to spare and get them to make a jacket for me!
Finally Wolle Laden opened!!
It is owned and ran by the sweetest lady in all of Hamburg. I don't remember her name, probably something I would say incorrectly anyway! She spoke a little English but as always, we both understood the language of knitting!!
All of the yarn in the shop was hand dyed by her.
Some of it was hand spun as well!
She was selling 100 grams for about 6,50 Euros!!
I also found some lovely silk yarn that she sold me for 10 Euros she was worried that it cost too much =)
She was so sweet and gave me some pink roving for spinning myself!
All the way back across town now to the Gaarnhuus!!
I got a little lost, found a mud pit that I wish I had played in, and the circus of the knights who say Knie
This store also sold pricey clothes and had a nice selection of fabrics (also pricey!)
100 grams for 8 Euros!!
I had lots of fun, bought lots of pretty pretty yarn, I even wore the dead cat sweater (who may officially be dead now... seriously considering dying it in the turkey fryer).
I swear I had nothing to do with the failing of this poor boat!
You can see that I am sporting my newly knitted dead cat sweater! It's a fail in it's own right, it sheds like a dead cat and the color clashes with my hair. I'm not giving up on it yet though. I bought some fabric to line behind where the zipper is to hopefully make it lay flat and not go in wonky directions. But if I never come to terms with the color, I'm going to dye the whole dang thing! What good is a sweater that I spend so much time working on, if I hate wearing it?
Yarn shopping was a success and I am bringing back many lovely things. I will post pics of each shop with the complete story once I get some more time. Until then, here is a picture of me sporting my awesome Hamburg bag, in Hamburg!
It finally made it from rolling around in my head to becoming a reality! YAY!!!
The 32 Flavor yarn made it in on the sides, my chrome64 zipper pull is on the front zipper. You can see that my monkey's back looks much better now! There is a "hidden" pocket on the back made from left over plastic from a shower curtain! Woot waterproof pocket!
There is another hidden pocket on the front. The most important design feature is that the front flat opens from the top and the bag could be expanded to stand up several inches taller should I need to fill it full of something grand like yarn!
Also, because I am a super knitting nerd, notice that the fabric used to line the inside of the bag, is covered with knitting abbreviations! How cool!
I knitted the back for my Hamburg backpack today and then felted it in the washing machine.
I used Cascade Pastaza with no pattern, I just knitted what looked about right and then threw it in the machine.
This is what came out:
So as you can see I am the proud owner of a Monkey's back!
I don't know about you but the first thought that came to my mind was, "I know! I'll shave my monkey!!"
This is the final result and I'm happy with it: (notice the dead cat lying above my monkey's back...) It's crooked and lopsided, but what the heck, everything in my life is crooked and lopsided so I think it suits me just fine! I'm going to knit another short piece for the top and then put a crooked zipper between those pieces with a flat, hidden inside pocket that will rest against my back when I have it on.
I've decided to use the 32 Flavors yarn on the side pieces and I think I'm going to piece together pieces of leather for the bottom. Then the front will be a patchwork of what ever I feel like patching together. We'll see if this thing is a success!
And happily sitting atop the dots is my new serger! It took me about 30 minutes to carefully follow the instructions to thread it and then off I went!
I was so excited that I wanted to serge something, who cares if I know what I'm doing?
So I grabbed some fabric and went nuts!
I managed to come up with a crooked wacky poorly done circular needle holder! But it was so easy to use. So now I know that if I slow down and get some instructions on how to do things with this contraption (like how to do a straight line), then I can make some awesome stuff. (yes mostly things to hold my knitting things!)
Here it is! Project number one (a small subset of the Hamburg Project...):
I also got my Chrome64 zipper pull and it is really awesome! I must have more of them =)
So, I'm planning to visit Hamburg for a grand total of 5 days and 2 1/2 of those days I will be completely on my own. I have mapped out where all the local yarn stores are and I'm planning to rent a bicycle. I will ride around Hamburg to all the major tourist attractions and hit yarn stores as I go. It will be cold right? I need a sweater, I know, I'll knit one! But I've never knitted a sweater or anything else that complicated!! So I comb through all of my patterns for the right one and look through all of my yarn. Of course this will require me to buy more yarn as I never have exactly what I need when I decide to make something.
I go to the yarn store.
A lady there helped me pick out the right yarn to go with the pattern and the yarn that I was already planning to use. And then the panicking started.
This is too complicated, I am not talented enough to make a whole sweater, I'll put all of this work into it and then it won't fit, it will be too big, or even worse too small, I could just buy a sweater, what if it's not even cold in Hamburg, I am being so selfish knitting something for myself, I should be knitting for other people, what if I don't finish it in time to leave, what if it looks stupid and then I don't even want to wear it, maybe I should put this yarn back and just make some socks, I could make lots of socks in this amount of time and I already have the yarn for those!!!! But ooooooooo look at this strippy yarn, I could make a scarf to go with my sweater... 1 ball or 2... oh wait maybe I need three. OK just get two and come back if you need more.
Now breathe, it will all be OK!
Yarn bought and I spend the rest of the day knitting my new chunky scarf yarn while thinking of the sweater that I would begin later in the day. Oh no, not enough yarn for the scarf, I will have to go back to the yarn store again tomorrow. I will pick up those great rosewood cable needles while I'm there.
I start the sweater, and it turns out that it's really not that bad. I hate the needles that I'm using so I order a set of Addi Lace circular needles online. I'll still have plenty left to knit on this sweater by the time these come in. As I knit, my mind darts all over the place about the fact that I will need a bag to carry in Hamburg. I know! I'll make one!
So the bag, it needs to be a backpack (for ease of carrying while on a bicycle). Not too big, but expandable for carrying all the fabulous yarn that I will buy. And I'm going to have yarn left over from the sweater so I can make it match. But I want something funky, so maybe the straps will match the sweater. Oh and I will use the other half of my shower curtain to make waterproof see through pockets.
I can do a patchwork bag, I will use black wool felted on the back. The front will be a hodgepodge of all kinds of fabrics, maybe some leather. Oooooo and the 32 Flavors yarn from Rivulette on Etsy! I'll work this in somewhere!!!!!
Have I mentioned Etsy yet?
Etsy will be the death of me!
Etsy is a place where people sell their one of a kind crafts and such and yes if I ever made things that weren't for me or intended to be gifts, I could sell stuff there too. They suck you in with the "Only 1 available!" Quick, you must buy it before it's gone!!!
So I found some awesome sweaters there by KatWise (www.katwise.com). This one is mine:
You Rock Kat!
She is cutting it down the front and adding a zipper for me! I can't wait to get it and show it off to everyone I know. We will just ignore the fact that it is currently 100 degrees outside everyday. So, this is put together with a serger... I like that. In fact, I can use that on my bag design! It would be perfect for putting together all of the hodgepodge pieces. I must have one! Never mind the fact that I have no idea how to use one of these machines, I simply must have one!
Then I got distracted by something shiney on Etsy and off I went and ordered a custom zipper pull from Dusty Newt (www.dustynewt.com):
It's as big around as a pencil!! How cool!! If it looks as awesome in person, I will order several more to be used on upcoming projects, including my bag!!!
I signed up for a Serger class for next week and tomorrow my brand new Juki MO-644D will arrive!!! I had a break through idea for my bag design from a bag I saw at Barnes and Noble and now I know how I want to make my bag. (more details in the future!)
The Hamburg Project, In Summary: I'm knitting a sweater, a scarf, a bag, and a hat, I bought a zipper and a zipper pull for the sweater, a serger to sew parts of the bag, countless balls of yarn, rosewood cable needles, Addi Lace needles, a kickass sweater from Kat, I'm taking a class to learn how to use the serger, and will spend an unknown number of hours putting it all together and undoubtedly getting it wrong several times in the process. All so that I can then go to Hamburg, rent a bicycle while wearing my sweater, scarf, and hat, ride from yarn store to yarn store, buy lots of yarn, carry new yarn in my knitted bag so that I can then take it home and make fabulous things with it.
If you care to see my progress, here's the sweater so far:
Writing a blog about my ankle socks during a break while raiding Ulduar.
And I've decided that my iPhone does a really sucky job of showing colors of my knitting creations. But I'm too lazy to use a different camera and then edit the pictures blah blah blah
So I'm just going to post my crappy pictures with post about things that no one really cares about. But now that I can tell everyone and no one about my silly yarn adventures through blogging and if you really don't care, you can just choose not to read it :)