Zipless running belt
I started running at Easter, using the C25K programme. I’m now in Week 7 (only 2 more to go to “graduation” – yippee!) and the weather has warmed up to the extent that, on some days, I don’t need to wear a jacket over my running top and light fleece. Occasionally, I don’t even need the fleece. Which is all very well and good for my Vitamin D levels, but it leaves me with a problem: where to put my phone, keys and so on. At the start of C25K I was using a small MP3 player, which was light enough to clip to my waistband, but it’s nearly 10 years old and the OLED screen is failing fast, I can only see it if I’m somewhere dark. Consequently I’ve given up on my MP3 for running and I’m downloading the C25K podcasts to my phone instead.
I did a bit of research and concluded that an armband-type phone holder would be more of an annoyance than an aid. But a wide, stretchy belt that sits around the waist or hips should fit the bill. I once made a swimsuit because I was sick of not being able to find ones that were long enough for my body. I knew I still had the remains of the Lycra fabric somewhere. I found it in the back of a cupboard, slightly grubby but nothing that a good wash wouldn’t fix. And I was pleased to see that, amongst the small scraps, there was a short piece across the full width of the fabric. Perfect.
A lot of the running belt tutorials I found on the internet involve a zip (aka zipper). That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, because a) it’s a pain to insert a zip neatly into super-stretchy Lycra, b) it may not be comfortable against the body, c) I don’t want to be using two hands to pull open a zip to get a tissue out when I’m running, and d) is it really necessary in a stretchy fabric that will grip the contents of the belt? Then I thought about it a little more and realised that if the openings in the belt have a flap over them, like a housewife pillowcase, gravity should prevent anything from falling out. And the belt could even be worn with the openings on the inside, towards the body, for greater security.
I designed and made a prototype belt, which I’ve used on several runs since. I put my phone in it, plus a few tissues, and I have to say that it works splendidly. It stays put during my 25 minutes of non-stop running (I still can’t believe I’m capable of such a feat – C25K is some kind of miracle process), even with the weight of a phone in it, and doesn’t bounce around at all. It feels a bit like having a crepe bandage wrapped around my middle, not uncomfortable, just reassuringly close-fitting. If I made another one, I’d make it a bit longer so I could wear it lower on my hips, but that’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re going to make your own, based on my zipless running belt tutorial, then cut a piece of fabric longer than you think and experiment with it to find the ideal length.
Stripes Gone Crazy
I’m calling my cotton cardigan Three Kinds of Crazy, because I’ll be using three colours instead of the two that the pattern calls for. It’s a top-down knit and I haven’t got very far with it yet, in part because I had to tinker with the pattern to lower the neckline, and in part because I had to rip back an inch or so to make the armhole deeper. I did have my doubts about the armhole depth, which is only supposed to be 7.5″ for my size, because that’s quite a bit less than most of my jumpers. But I thought it would be OK for a summer cardigan that is going to be worn over T-shirts and dresses, not bulky shirts. I was wrong.
When I got to the point where the sleeves are separated from the body and tried the cardigan on, it was apparent that it was going to be far too tight under the arms. Unfortunately, I couldn’t just work a few extra rows because I’d already put in the first red stripe and a bit of weighing and calculation soon proved that adding an extra stripe would leave me short of red yarn. So I pulled it back to before the stripe and added the extra rows in brown, so that the first red stripe will still be just above the armhole divide. While I was at it, I respaced the sleeve and body increases to spread them evenly across the additional rows.
Now I must get on and get this cardigan finished ready for the summer, when it eventually arrives.