Thursday, December 6, 2018

My new pack #4

I made this pack in kind of a hurry because my old pack was falling apart.  Still this is my nicest looking one yet.  I only took cell phone photos of the construction.

My sewing is mostly self taught, with very little help from YouTube.  I wanted to learn to sew since I was a child but it was always a struggle for one reason or another.

In home economics  I tried to make a duffel bag but there was only one teacher 30 students and about 15 sewing machines.  I needed one on one instructions and a machine to use at all times.  I gave up and did not complete the project.  My parents then got mad and made me pay for all the material.  My step-mother then sewed the bag and kept it for herself.  It still makes me angry.

Why didn't she teach me how to sew the bag and why did she keep it after making me pay for it?  Why were they so convinced that I was just slacking off in class?  I was trying hard but I had to give up in frustration.

What I did not understand was the box stitch, the teacher told me to just do it and walked off.  Even now almost 40 years later I think of all the frustration involved with that bag every time I do a box stitch.

For the first 30 years of my adult life I struggled with a broken sewing machine too.  I did not know it was broken.  When things went wrong I blamed myself.  Sewing always made my cry and get angry.  Always.  Then one day I saw a YouTube video that showed a machine self feeding the fabric.  I thought I was supposed to pull the fabric through myself.  All those years I struggled.

Now I have good old heavy duty machine thanks to Sew Now Studio in Shelton.  Now sewing is fun.  Now when the bobbin needs to be reloaded it is not a problem.

With my old garbage machine even reloading the bobbin was always an hour long ordeal.

Now when I sew, I don't hear my parents mocking me and telling me how awful I am at it.  I know better. What a shame it took so many years though. 

This time around for pack number 4 I had the self confidence to buy new material to sew with.  I knew that I probably would not screw it all up and waste my money.  Now I have a pretty pack in my favorite color!

Maybe next time I will buy all new parts and thread for my project too.  I used green thread for this project.   Green was the only color I had of the right type of thread.  I wanted black thread, but I did not want to face Walmart in December just to buy a spool of thread, so I used my old green thread.

Of course I forgot the buy black thread when I was in there grocery shopping.  They probably would have been out of the right type of thread anyway.  The Walmart in town is terrible at keeping things in stock.

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Front back and side panels cut out

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all panels and 4 pockets cut out
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Shoulder pad material cut out
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Shoulder pads sewn together in a tube (my methods are unconventional since I am self taught)
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Panels to hold my sit pad cut out.  Panels are made of an old shirt.  I used a Jersey needle when I stitched them.
I used pink thread that is part cotton on the main spool and kept my green thread on the bobbin.  It seemed to work
and the green thread only shows through on the bottom where it can't be seen.  I hope that the part cotton
pink thread will not rot when it gets wet, but why should it?  I always dry my pack out after a hike and the thread
is part polyester.
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front of pack and side panels assembled.  Next time I will wait until the panels are sewn
together before I bunch up the elastic.  I will just leave an opening where the elastic goes.  The panels
will be easier to stitch together when they are not stretched out of shape so that I have to stretch them back while
sewing them.  I sure wish I had thought of that years ago.
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Back panel pad holder pockets sew into place shoulder straps all assembled
Outside of pack is pretty much done and ready to sew together.
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Front and one side sewn together
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Front and sides pinned together with lots of pins due to elastic 
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Front back and sides sewn together all that is left is to sew the bottom of the straps into the seams and sew the bottom on.  I had to re hem the top after sewing it all together because it did not all match up nice at the top.  
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On the trail the next day for an 8 mile test
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Photo of the back of the pack with out the pad in place.  I want to get a purple or black pad to match
the pack, but not sure where to get one.   I would like to have a pink pack but dont' want to advertise my gender.
All of the pink on this pack is hidden when I am actually wearing it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Two dog day on Kamilchee Ridge

First hike with my new pack.  Home made pack #4 my own design.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New backpack

My 4th backpack is done.  This time I splurged and actually bought the fabric to make it.  I got the fabric from Seattle Fabrics.   The cost of the fabric was $25.50 with shipping "handling" and regressive Washington state sales tax.

 I did not buy anything else to make this pack, all the other materials were things I already had on hand.  I cannibalized a few parts of the first backpack that I ever made.

The material is all slightly heavier than the 75D ripstop tent rain fly that I made my first three packs from.  I'm hoping that having both brand new and heavier material will make this pack more durable.

I'm really happy to finally have a pack that is a color that I like too.

It took me at least 32 hours to sew this using pretty much all the same design as my last two packs.  The only pattern that I made was for the shoulder straps and I've used that pattern three times now. This time I cut the pads much wider though.  I hope this pack will be more comfortable  than the last one.

Item ID
60" 210 D. Coated "SALE" Oxford @ $4.99/ linear yard
Color: Purple 
60" 400 x 300 D. Nylon/Polyester Diamond Ripstop @ $10.95/ linear yard
Color: Black 
Processing & Handling 

puple backpack sitting on a green leather couch

Friday, November 30, 2018

Duck a Bush! Another night hike on the Duck.

Usnea longissma lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria lichen, Porrella navicularis liverwort, possible Orthotrichum moss

My husband is getting demented and driving me up the walls, between dealing with his literal shit and dealing with my teenager’s shitty attitude, I need to carve out some me time.

A good long hike was called for.  I thought about Dosewallips, but with the permanent closure of the road at the washout before the washout, it is too far to go now.  Plus it’s getting popular.  I can do 13 miles, but I’m not sure that Sage is up for a thirteen with her hip.

Then I hit on the idea of Duckabush.  I don’t particularly like the Duckabush trail, and it’s been too damaged by forest fires for me to be able to make it beyond Big Hump for quite some time.

 It seems that a lot of people don’t much like that trial though, so I figured I could get some solitude there and maybe the way was now clear to five mile camp.

I got off to a late start thanks to working late the night before.  I did not hit the trail until about 10:30.  My turn around time if I wanted to hike out before nightfall was 1:30. 

The way to five mile camp was clear and I missed my turn around time by nearly an hour and a half.  Oh well, I’ve done this trail in the dark before.  As long as I could make it back down Big Hump before dark I would be satisfied.

The hike to five mile camp was exactly five miles, but it was longer than I remembered.  The camp is kind of dreary and certainly haunted.
Lunch was hot ramen without the seasoning packet but with ground beef, tomato sauce, hot sauces and soy sauce.  Dessert was a homemade grape leather roll. Lunch was good!

I started my hike out at 3pm.  Just as I started coming back down from Big Hump, I saw the only other hiker that I would see all day.  She was a woman with a dog who also was not afraid of hiking in the dark!  The woman was still hiking in as I was hiking out!  I told her that sunset was in forty minutes, just in case she did not know, I would tell a guy the same thing, and she thanked me but kept on hiking in .   She passed me on the way out, about one hour after sunset. 

I wore Sage out on this hike, maybe it was too much for her.  It is hard to know what to do with a dog that is so determined to go hiking, but suffers for it in the end.  I’m suffering today too, but I knew full well I would be suffering the next day. 

Russula brevipes in the dark with a headlamp
I packed my mini tripod, off camera flash and flash controller, but did not have time to use any of that stuff.  I did do some after dark photography with my headlamp.

My backpack is wearing out and I ripped a huge hole into my water bottle pocket  on this hike.   I have the material to make a new pack, I better get started on it! 

This next pack will be my fourth handmade pack but for the first time I have bought material to make the pack with it.  My first three packs were made from an old tent rain fly.  The material was old to start with.
I need to go back and look at my records to see how many miles this pack lasted. I also need to patch it before my next hike.  It does take me more than a week to make a new pack.

10 miles with about 2,000 feet total elevation gain on an up and down route.

Pooped pooch at five mile camp

this is like this

Moments before sunset

back to the trail head

Friday, November 23, 2018

Turkey Burn 2018

I'm tired, maybe I will write about it later.  With pouring rain expected all day, I did not bring a camera. These are all cell phone pictures.

Matsutake in the usual spot just five feet from the ranger station