The missing magnet


I’m making preparations for a cycle tour in a few weeks’ time. Last year when we cycled along the Riviera I didn’t take my bike computer to track the distances because I found at the last minute that it had a flat battery. That meant I’ve only just noticed, as a result of finally putting a new battery in it, that when I bought a new front wheel before last year’s trip I forgot to take the “sender” unit off the old wheel before I got rid of it. So I now have the computer itself, the “receiver” which is attached to a front fork, but nothing to attach to a spoke on the wheel to tell the receiver every time it makes a revolution.

I say “nothing to attach”, but fortunately I have plenty of neodymium magnets because they are useful for all sorts of things, like ferreting cables through voids and finding lost pins, screws and the like. I taped a variety of different sized magnets in turn to a spoke and soon discovered that a pretty small one would work. I was thinking that I’d have to make some kind of bracket to hold it that could be fixed onto the spoke, then I realised that the reflector that was already on the wheel would do nicely if I just moved it along the spoke a bit.

New sender magnetI cut down a wine cork at an angle until I had a slice that was the right length and shape to hold the magnet at the perfect position, nice and close to the receiver. After sticking the magnet onto one side of the cork slice (I dug a little hollow for it first) with 2-part epoxy glue, I was able to give it a final test by fixing the slice temporarily to the reflector with a rubber band. Then I stuck it on with more epoxy. I’m leaving the rubber band in place for now, it won’t do any harm and it should make it a little more secure.

The effect is somewhat “sealing wax and string”, but who cares, it works and has avoided the need to replace a perfectly good bike computer that only gets used when I’m touring.

Another reel of linen yarn

As well as the reel of fine linen yarn in a natural light brown that I’m knitting a jumper with, I’ve found a reel of white. I need some new traycloths to replace a couple of ragged crocheted ones – I didn’t make them, my crocheting is pretty rusty and I hate darning in ends, a necessity for crochet work unless it’s something very plain.

White linen yarnInstead of crochet, I thought I might knit the traycloths. I started with a swatch in a design similar to a scarf I once made, Camino Bubbles. But it has turned out too lacy.

I’m going to have to double this yarn to give me an end product that’s robust enough for everyday use on a tea tray. And choose a less open lace pattern.



About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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2 Responses to The missing magnet

  1. Aussie says:

    I love that tea tray swatch it looks so delicate and modern too. In case you don’t want to unwind heaps of yarn off the reel before you swatch it held doubled- you could try Navajo plying it. Navajo plying makes a 3ply from one ply. You prob already know it but I will explain it anyway in case anyone else wants to know.

    Navajo plying is kind of like creating a crochet chain with your hands. Start by making a slipknot in the yarn. Enlarge the slipknot until you can fit your hand inside the slipknot and grab the working yarn(yarn coming from the ball, not the tail end of yarn). Pull a length of working yarn through the loop. The working yarn you pull through will make a natural loop, this loop is two of the three plys. The third ply is created when you lay this loop down on top of the working yarn. Grab all three strands and knit with it. When you run out of 3ply yarn, insert your fingers back into the loop and pull through another loop.

    I like this method for smaller items because when I used it to make a crochet bowl I wasn’t careful enough with all three strands in the fabric and had 2 rogue loops sticking up at the end. At the time I thought “that will block out”, but it didn’t! I think the trick is to squeeze the 3 strands together properly, or give them a slight twist together, so that the loops you pull have no excess yarn to bulge out into the stitches.

    • I’ve heard of Navajo plying, but never tried it. I thought it was only of relevance to spinners, but what a good idea to use it when knitting! I always end up with lots of little leftover balls when I’ve knitted two or more ends together, and this technique should avoid that.

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