I have to admit to feeling particularly dorky posting this latest item, but it was inspired by true life circumstances. For the last few months, I have been making a concerted effort to commute to my studio by bike, a distance of three miles from home. There is a decent change of elevation between the two points, but with consistent effort, the ride has ceased to be a chore. My husband pointed out that I’m actually getting 20 minutes of free exercise. Driving the same distance would take 10 minutes, while my ride averages 30 minutes. The daily 40 minute difference is the only time I’m really exercising – the rest of it is just free time.
As the temperatures began to drop, I realized there had to be some tricks that made bike commuting manageable for the diehards who do it year round. My biggest problem was the chill from the wind whipping across my face. First solution: larger sunglasses, second solution: felt ear coverings. One of my knitting friends made a lovely pair for her helmet, but being a feltmaker, I knew I could put something together that was functional and I could finish it faster than if I tried to knit it.
After a couple of prototypes and several test rides, I can report that my ears are definitely warmer. The ride home yesterday was almost enjoyable. The next task is making a mitten design that lets me use my fingers when I need them, but still keeps my hands warm.
As I said, this isn’t the most flashy item I’ve made, but if it works for me, there might be someone else out there who will find it useful. Granted, this is a very small niche market and I do feel very fortunate to live in a part of the world where bike commuting is possible year round. There is one set listed in my Etsy shop, and more will be posted shortly.