Thursday, November 20, 2014

Frigid projects

Back in August, I thought, "Sure, we'll go camping in Oct or Nov. The average nightly temp doesn't usually dip below 45F in the areas we're considering." True statistically, but NOT true of this year! How crazy that there have been 30-40F degree temp swings overnight for several nights in the past few weeks. I sewed these neck gaiters (the blogger is from Ottawa, Ontario with serious winter). They were in prep for fall evenings while camping... we have not actually gone camping since Aug!!

Prepping for the Third Child began in earnest in August, as soon as I felt better. One thing that had been just ok since Abigail was 8 months old was the stroller infant grab bar. It was covered in 1/2" thick black foam. Her emerging secondary incisors felt good vibrating on that grab bar during walks. I should have tightened her shoulder straps earlier because one day she took a bite out of the grab bar!

No big deal, just a cosmetic flaw. Until Evan turned 15 months and began picking at that spot. I rotated the foam so the spot was away from his line of vision, but the picking continued. And then the grabbing and twisting began, kinda like an "Indian rug burn" where you twist your hands in opposite directions. Gone, ripped off in a spiral was the foam.

The stroller came with a 5 year manufacturer warranty. Micralite is a British company and sold their products in the US via Scandinavian Child at the time our stroller was purchased. I looked up replacement parts... which turned out to only be available in the UK. That's when I began contacting both the UK and US companies since I was still within the 5 year warranty. Alas, turns out that foam is not part of a warranty, just metal or mechanical parts. So, I simply removed the grab bar (it loads with tension and then clicks in place).

No big deal, I'm caring for toddlers anyhow who want to climb in and out by themselves. Until we began expecting the Third Child. And the weather turned FRIGID. For our 2009 model, the cold weather muff needs the grab bar to attach.

Order the correct part from the UK for 30 Pounds, plus international shipping? Nope!

Visit my neighborhood cycling shop? Yup! Purchased basic Bontrager handle bar tape in black for $20 for 2 rolls plus tape. One roll fit nicely on the 1/2" diameter metal grab bar and once wrapped was the same approximate total width that the original foam had been. There's still one roll of handle bar tape should any other foam rip or crack. And electrical tape will seal the ends nicely. Essentially, the one roll of handlebar tape cost $10. Much better :-)

Pretty simple

We're planning to visit the Chicago area soon. Family time! And we'll spend some time taking the commuter Metra train to downtown Chicago for the Christkindlmarket. I remember shopping State Street the week before Christmas several times as a tween and teen and I could barely stand the funneling wind between skyscrapers. Hence a blanket insert and hand muff.

Although Abigail will wear her waterproof -15F rated snow mittens, a muff should help just a little more and be nice for just cool fall weather next season. And Evan gets to benefit from the fleece blanket wrap. I used Martha Stewart's braided edge to finish the edges (a little hard since fleece stretches one direction), and used heavy interfacing with a fleece facing for strap holes to keep that blanket from getting tossed out.

Thanks, Anna for the fleece!

Bring it on, winter!!

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