Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You're Getting Warm

After freezing my extremities off riding my bike this winter, I've come up with what I think is a bright idea.  Over-sized mitts that fit on the handlebars that I can place my gloved hands into to keep them warm on my commutes to and from work.
As seen on the "Jingle Ride"

I've seen commercially made bar mitts and a fellow on the "Jingle Ride" had a pair made of neoprene that fitted onto his road bike handlebars.  Maybe that is where I got my inspiration.

There was no problem finding ripstop nylon for the outer shell and a fluffy/downy material for the insides.  The big problem was to sew these different fabrics together into some semblance of a large mitt.  This was going to require sewing on a machine as the materials when placed together would be too thick to sew by hand which is what I am used to doing.

The desire to sew has always been there but footplates and tensioning and bobbins intimidated me no end.  With a lot of coaxing I convinced my wife that I wouldn't destroy her sewing machine and could she please show me what to do?  Using a scrap of cloth, she showed how important it was to make sure that both the top and bottom threads were pointed to the back of the machine.  Then there was using the zigzag option to keep the edges of the fuzzy material from fraying and then to make sure that the footplate was in its proper position and to be sure to start the seam by turning the balance wheel or what some people call the machine pulley by hand and then...

 Remembering to place everything into the correct order when sewing the item inside-out was challenging as well and it wasn't long before I went to track down my wife in her woman-cave.  She was really impressed I assure you to find out that not only had the thread broken but the bobin was jammed and even though the machine was not set to zigzag, looking at my crooked seam, she was sure that the settings that she had so carefully adjusted just minutes ago had been tampered by you know who.
I have one of the mitts almost completed and as cold as it is outside, I can't bring myself to ride to and from work with only one mitt on the handlebar.  How would I know which hand needs covering the most?  Seams  to me that both my hands freeze up equally as well as just one.

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