Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gloves Galore

In autumn I lost one of my favourite cold weather cycling gloves. I think I left it on a bus. The pair not only fitted like gloves, but were the best I had for both bicycling, every day, and mountain climbing. What a sad loss...

So I bought some kevlar and some Gore-windstopper from Rockywoods, and started to learn how gloves are constructed. I looked at all our pairs of gloves. They are all rather differently constructed. It seems there is no right way to make a pair of gloves. I drew around my hand and also James', and made some mockups and then some wearable mockups out of some leftover lightweight windpro. Now my friends are fascinated that my gloves match my jacket! These gloves are OK for autumn or spring but not warm enough for winter cycling. They also are not good for cycling as they have no padding on the palms.   

Somewhere along the way, my lovely idea of a pair of all-round winter gloves for me got transformed into a pair of lobster-claw cycling gloves for James. I'm not sure how... partly because I am soft, but also because I can put a pair of lightweight fleece gloves inside the windpro ones and have a result warm enough for cold days and mountains, and I do also have a pair of winter cycling gloves that are not quite as warm as the one I lost, but could do with being worn out of my closet. 

The big leap of understanding in the hiatus between the construction of the windpro gloves and the lobster claws was the realisation that we don't walk around with our fingers straight, but with them curled towards the palm. Thus, flat gloves work their way off the hand in use. The lobster claw pattern has shorter fingers on the palm side, and the gusset between the middle two fingers is also interestingly shaped. 

I am told that the results are nice and warm but it turns out that this particular Gore windstopper is not the best for gloves because it has a fleecy outer and a smooth lining. For gloves you want a hard outer and fleecy inner! You'd think I could just turn it round, but the lining has a kind of loopy stitch that would catch on any rough edge. So I've sent off for some more bits from Rockwoods - then perhaps I will be able to start work on my all-round winter gloves...?

Some stitchers measure their progress on their fabric stash in terms of yardage in and yardage out. Be warned that spending a month making gloves is disastrous when seen in these terms!! I have worked through barely a metre, and bought several metres for future projects in the meantime...!

[Note for jules - have adjusted the finger lengths on the gloves pattern, but need to re-design the gussets]

Found some scraps of blue Polartec Powerdry of just the right size, and lined the gloves. James seems happy, but now, of course the weather has warmed up...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Boxers #2

Last year, before we went to the UK, I made 2 pairs of boxer shorts for James.

One pair were a remake of these also made from some leftover silk. I did take a picture but can't seem to find it now. Being "airy" they go very well with the man blouse for summer lounge-wear.

The second pair were more complex, being a copy of James' favourite but fallen apart boxer shorts. Since they had already fallen apart I just fully cut them up to copy the pattern. The pattern was more contoured than the very simple design of the Jalie 2326 used for the other pair. I made them up in leftover black Polartec Powerdry. The idea was to make some boxers that may be good for mountaineering. To me they look quite bulky, but James says they are very comfortable. No photo of these as yet. These seem to be a superior pattern to the Jalie for actual use as underwear, and are good for using up leftover fabric, but probably wont be used again for a while, as James seems to very well supplied with underwear...