P.S. More Backpacks!!!

As promised....

Back in September a group of sewing buddies got together to make backpacks.  We spent one VERY long day and finally the group mutinied, cried "uncle" and said they would come back for a second day to finish up the project.  I was super proud that they really hung in there through a whole bunch of zippers and pockets, but it really is more than a one day sew. ....to be continued....

Three of the "packers" were planning trips before the second round sewing day was scheduled, so we had an 'emergency' sewing session to get their packs ready for the road.

This color blocked version is made with nylon ripstop in bright, happy colors.  It turned out great and weighs almost nothing!

This canvas pack has a darling butterfly lining.  (and yes, the bottom of the pack did get finished!)

The maker of this pack never shies away from a challenge.  She quilted several pieces of her pack before sewing them together.  I think she only went through one package of heavy duty needles!!!

...on another fine day later in October....The Bag Ladies got back together to finish their backpacks. I am very pleased to say that everyone went home wearing a newly minted pack!  Each one was perfectly suited to its maker and ready for lots of travels.

These lovely periwinkle and purple packs are made with water proof raincoat fabric.  It's light weight and keeps everything inside nice and dry!


Two more rainwear packs...this time in tailored navy with fun aqua straps and a classic "LBP"  (little black pack!)

This pack uses the same nylon print throughout which is lovely, however!...its' owner has the dubious honor of "most unsewing during the workshop!"  Because all the pieces were the same, sometimes the wrong ones ended up getting sewn together....oops!  Note for future packs, choose different fabrics!  I am very proud that even with all the ripping, the pack turned out beautifully and the maker is recovering nicely.  
She hasn't, however, committed to making another pack at this point.😏

"Hey, did we show up at the party with the same backpack?!"

...not quite...here we have another version of the "LBP" and a great mid century modern bark cloth print with cool rose gold colored zippers.  One of our crew arranged to have all the zippers and hardware for the workshop made into kits.  We used wonderful zippers and buckles from Sallie Tomato.  If you need bag making supplies this is a great website.  The zippers, particularly are excellent and come in a wonderful selection of colors.

I also finished my workshop pack...I had one that I was using to demonstrate with and I didn't want to be the only one who didn't finish her backpack....I really love the hardware on this one.  I got it at the Farm and Family in the horse bridle department!!!!  It also has an additional side pocket for sunglasses.  I don't think the group would have sat still for one more pocket! 😡

It was a challenging couple of sewing days, but everyone stuck with it and the results are terrific!  All the packs are different, but the one thing that everyone agreed on was what fun it is to sew together.  We just don't do it often enough!  I can't wait to see where all of these packs go.....to be continued....


Knitting Season Comes Early

It's here!!!!!   ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄😩 I'm not ready!  My Japanese Maple wasn't ready either.....
it seems to be holding onto its leaves just to spite the weather Gods!  I love the defiance!

When the snow shows up the knitting needles come out.  I love sitting and watching the snow from the coziness of my living room.  (not so happy about going out and struggling through it!)  I make a fire, a cup of tea, and snuggle in and knitting just seems to be the thing to do.

I have been learning a new cast on.  I have been using a 'long tail' cast on since I started knitting...I didn't even really know there were actually dozens of cast ons that I could be doing.  A knitting friend showed me her new favorite book and I was smitten! 

I went right to Amazon and got my own copy (delivered super speedy the next day!)  It has all kinds of great cast ons AND bind offs, again, I never knew!  The instructions are great and accompanied by very clear photos.  And if I get really stuck I just head over to You Tube and somebody has made a video.  I am having fun!

The project I am working on right now is a 'left overs' project.  I have several different yarns all not quite enough for anything on their own, but gang them all up and BAM, a sweater....I hope! 

There is a lovely alpaca yarn that was hand spun by a friend for my birthday.  It is kind of a dark caramel color.  Then there are a few balls of a grey alpaca, no clue when or how they ended up in my stash.  And to make up the yardage, a couple of balls of black alpaca.  I must have been on an alpaca kick at some point. 

I really loved my recent project (here) that was worked in one by one stripes in the round.  I thought the caramel and grey alpaca would look super together.  I started with a tubular cast on, 😝in black and then started knitting stripes.  It sounds so easy when I say it like that.  Actually, I think I wore out the yarn knitting and un-knitting it to get the cast on right!!!!  I finally think I have it and when it's right, it looks simply marvelous and it is really stretchy!

I have no idea if I have enough yarn to get an entire sweater, I may be back scrounging in my stash for yet another orphaned alpaca before it's all said and done.  For now, I am enjoying the stripes.

I did finish a couple of knitting projects in time for "sweater weather."  Again, both of them are alpaca!  I guess I'm just a sucker for the soft, soft softness of the little critters.  The first project is a sweater that I actually followed a pattern! 😳  Yes, I downloaded a pattern from Ravelry and followed the instructions as written...mostly!😏  You can see the pattern HERE.  It's called Clara and it was the really cool bands that I fell in love with when I saw it.  (and the slouchy, oversized fit, and the fact that it goes down in the back over the tush....well, you know, pretty much everything about it!)  The whole thing is knitted or picked up and knit so when you get to the end you are done!  I love that!  And I love my sweater.  It is as cozy as the critters that donated the fiber!


(my attempt at and 'arty' sweater photo...)

The second project is one that I saw at my local yarn haunt and the only way I could get the yarn was to buy the 'kit'...so I bought the kit.  It was a ball of green/black alpaca (of course) and a pattern for a darned cute floppy hat.  

I tried out my new favorite tubular cast on, and I only had to do it twice!  Progress!  The hat was very straight forward, but it was knit on size 3, yes you heard that right, size 3 needles!  Yikes!  It was like knitting with toothpicks!  But the resulting hat is wonderful!  It is light weight and really warm.  A new favorite for sure.  And it looks stunning with the Wingspan scarf I knit a few years ago.


So knitting season is off and running.  I usually run out of steam just before I finish the second sleeve, so we'll see how it goes.  Maybe since we got our first dump of snow on Halloween!!!!#%*^# the knitting season will be extended this year and I'll get all the way through a whole sweater!