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: