Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spur-of-the-Moment Cell Phone Case

This past fall I downgraded my cell phone from a smartphone to just a regular old cell phone. Partly because I was tired of paying the data fees when I didn't use enough data to make it worth it, and partly because I don't need the distraction of a smartphone. My new phone has a large touch screen, and I wanted to protect it, not to mention be able to find my phone quickly in the black hole that is my bag.

A few months later, I finally got around to making one. I briefly looked for a pattern but didn't find one, so I just played it by ear. My perfectionist tendencies almost got the better of me (when you wing it things don't usually work out perfectly), but I kept going and after about half an hour I called it good and threw it in my bag. And really, the more I see it, the more I love it. Sometimes I need to use things for a bit to realize how much I like them.

I have a bag of wool fabric scraps that I purchased at the NH Wool Arts Tour a few years ago (I've been making a braided rug with most of them). I found one wide enough to cover my phone and folded up the bottom edge, leaving enough fabric at the top for a flap, and sewed the sides together to form the base. Then I hemmed the edges and bottom of the flap.

My husband had told me that it was bad for wool to have direct contact with electronics, because of static electricity, so I knew I needed a lining. I had a packet of fabric squares from a 1930s fabric collection, so I sewed two together with the right sides facing, and hemmed the top edge. Then I carefully sewed the lining into the case by hand. It's slightly visible on the outside but not enough that it bothers me.

I picked out a button from my button jars, sewed it on, and snipped a slit large enough for the button. Even though it's wool and partially felted, I decided to blanket stitch around the opening to make it more secure. I couldn't find embroidery thread so I just used regular sewing thread. Lastly, I sewed on some felt flowers I bought a few years ago. It looks a little wonky but it does a great job, and I can always find my phone easily. Even though I got a little frustrated at times, sometimes just going for it and using what I have on hand is the best way to go.

Winter Wardrobe: Bandana Cowl

I love just about every pattern that The Purl Bee posts, but some of them just grab me and demand to be made immediately. The Bandana Cowl was one of those patterns.

The short rows are a little tricky, but not too bad.

Pattern: Bandana Cowl from The Purl Bee
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, 1 skein in Faded Quilt
Needles: Size 10 (the pattern calls for size 10.5, but they also used a bulky yarn; I'm happy with the gauge and drape I got with a size 10, but it did turn out very slightly smaller than The Purl Bee's version)
Modifications: Other than going down a little on the needle size, none

I considered this part of my winter wardrobe because I finished it in January, but I think it will work very well through spring and fall. We are still having cool mornings and evenings here in New Hampshire, and it's perfect for warding off the chill.

A close up of the short row shaping at the back:

This was a nice quick project that was easy but still kept my interest with the shaping. Though it looks slightly grey in these pictures, it's really a lovely light blue that goes with most of my wardrobe. I love Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter yarn. It is soft and lightweight, and the colors are full of subtle tweedy changes--so beautiful.