Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monkey Days and Candlelit Nights

Do you want to block my monkey?

Blocking is magic. Why have I been so resistant to blocking? I only do it when I absolutley have to, but it's always such a thrill to see a wad of knitting go all smooth and competent.§

The Monkey Pack has this keen design element, kinda like racing stripes designed by Garanimals.

[SUMMARY: You say potayto, I say potahto.]

It has a lining. With frogs.#

Monkey Pack
Punk Rock Backpack pattern from Stitch 'n' Bitch (Debbie Stoller)
Elann Superwash Worsted in 3 moss green (wasn't quite enough), 1 each ivory, russet, rich chestnut and deep rose (which was more than enough -- I'm making mousies with the leftovers)
Size 4 needles (the yarn called for size 6, the pattern called for size 5, the fabric was just better tighter. And it was kind of an accident.)
Lined with frogs, which was a pain in the ass. The lining... not the frogs.
Zippered, which was scary. I've never done a zipper before. It's not so bad.
Serious modification: I knit for size, rather than stitch count, so I cast on 65 rather than 45 to get the right size.
Another modification: I didn't knit straps. I thought they would be too stretchy. So I went to my local Ross (dress for less!) store and bought a very small, very cheap backpack and cut the straps off of it.

Due to unforeseen sewing machine circumstances,†† I was more than an hour late and missed dinner.

I did not, however, miss cake.

[SUMMARY: Not rain nor snow nor vagaries of sewing machine...]

Or singing Happy Birthday. I like singing.

Throughout the construction of this backpack, I was worried it was too small. The finished size was supposed to be 9.5"‡‡ across, and when I stretched out the little snake sweaters, it was going to be right to scale, but it looked way small.

Dr. Doom pulled it out of the gift bag and the first thing he said?

"It's HUGE!"

[SUMMARY: Yeah, buddy... that's what she said.]

Turns out in all its lumpy, bumpy, dorky glory, it's perfectly Dr. Doom-sized.

And that's all I ever really wanted.§§

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You couldn't have told me this earlier? I spent an hour and a half blocking the monkey. You could have saved me a lot of time.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Like when the Monkey Pack looks like a garter snake cosy and I have to explain to someone for the fifteenth time, while holding various resistant edgepoints out with my fingers, that it's really 10.5" and will make a fine small-person backpack.

(When I said 10.5", did anyone else get a little chill?)

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Despite its procedural pain in the assedness.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): We will continue to refer to it as a "design element" through all the nagging little voices in our heads trying to remind us we ran out of green yarn with *that* much left to go on the gusset.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And many hidden treasures in the form of jungles of thread loops where I didn't have the bobbin threaded correctly. Then I had the tension set wrong. Then I found out the bobbin winder isn't working and I had to wind all my bobbins by hand, just like they did in the old days. All this, buried between the wrong side of the knitting and the back side of the lining, lurking, waiting to pop forth and expose me for the hot mess I am.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Well, and issues of thinking I have superpowers and can line a backpack and set a zipper, even never having done these things before, in a couple of hours. See Hat Attack for delusional thought process.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): There's that chill again. Did anybody feel that?

§§FOOTNOTE (turnaroun): Well, that and a pony. And a Brasilian houseboy with very little chest hair and a knack with a refreshing rum beverage.

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