Saturday, August 07, 2010

Using My Head

I started a new scarf project about a week ago.  Actually, I started it several times, but that is neither here nor there.  We don't need to focus on that part.  Let's just take up the tale after I managed to get into the groove of the k2togs and PSSOs.  I was moving along nicely.

Then things started to go awry.  Part of the problem was the horrific heat and humidity that settled in during the latter part of this week.  The yarn was sticking to my digits and my brain was too soggy to really process what I was doing.  Thankfully, I had the foresight to use a lifeline or two so ripping back and setting the project aside was not such a big deal.  Not like those first few (billion) attempts.

The other issue that may have distracted me was a looming dentist appointment involving two fillings.  Then there was the matter of finding out that it was actually three fillings, followed by a paralyzed face and the final discomfort once the painkillers eventually wore off.  It was really for the best that I put the scarf away.

I was still kind of itching to do something, though.  I needed a project that wasn't intended for holiday gifting and which would keep me entertained without giving off that "finish or feel like a miserable failure" vibe.

Not long ago, I stumbled across a good deal on a steam mop. (Shark Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop, S3501)  I really liked it in spite of its "reconditioned" status.  It does a nice job on the kitchen floors, something I appreciate more now that I have two sloppy boy kitties on canned food diets.  What I didn't like was the fact that the mop only came with one of each mop head cover.  I needed spares.  Did I mention that I have sloppy boy kitties who eat with great gusto and enthusiasm?  And over spray?

I decided to whip up a mop head.  How hard could it be, really?  I opted for crochet since that tends to go a little more quickly and would result in a thicker fabric.  I remembered how stretchy cotton can be, particularly when it gets wet, and accounted for that in the sizing.  I diligently examined the cover provided and worked out a way to stitch it up in one piece.  I crocheted like the wind.  I used everything I've ever learned about the art of looping yarn and making it fit things.  What I didn't know, I made up and pretended that this is how these sorts of things are done by those in the know.  I worked on it for a day.

And when I was done...

I had a perfectly fitted cover for my mop!

I was a little worried about how to fasten it in the back.  The original version uses hook and loop tape, but that was just going to be a sticky mess with the cotton.  I didn't want to use metal buttons because the steam gets really hot and that seemed like a burned finger or toe in the making.  And plastic might melt which would result in messy burns.  I finally decided to make my own buttons using the same yarn. That seemed sensible.  The problem was the need for "roundness."

I learned to crochet about fifteen years ago using a book.  At the time, the section on crocheting in the round sounded awfully complicated and I skipped it.  As a result, I sort of don't really know how to make things go 'round 'n 'round in crotchet.  But this is a mop head cover.  In the long run, does neatness count when something is going to be sloshing around the kitchen floor?

I submit that it does not.

I chained loops along the other side of the mop head cover to correspond with the lumpy buttons and they hold quite well.  I tested the whole thing out yesterday even though adding more steam to the air was probably an ill advised decision.  I couldn't wait, though.  Happily, it fit like a charm and held up well as the steam blasted through the fibers.  All in all, a very successful experiment.

Except for the part where I didn't write down a single thing I did during The Great Mop Head Experiment.  Nothing.  For some reason, I always seem to think that my mind will automatically recall the finer details of my genius even though that has never once proven to be the case.  Now I'm working on a second cover and diligently taking notes in the event that I am able to successfully recreate my most beloved of mop head covers.

We'll see if it all works out.  If it does, I'll have a pattern.  If it doesn't, I'll consider my mop head cover to be a one-of-a-kind art object and treasure it each time I cast mine eyes upon it.  I am rather good at working my mind around these kinds of incidents and finding a way to make it seem like that's what I meant to do all along.

Now I have to wonder if this is going to make mopping the kitchen floor clear of cat food crumbs any more pleasant...



scienceprincess said...

I understand the not writing things down. I find the first sock, and half the second, and have no idea how to finish the second because I modified the pattern in strange and mysterious ways.

As a sidenote, I have been a long time lurker of your blog, and just started a blog of my own. I was hoping you might enjoy reading it --

Happy mop-head construction.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work, Sheepie! I love it knitting/crocheting comes to an unexpected rescue -- like the time I stabilized a leaning plant with a 14" US#8 straight needle.

If you purchase an iTouch and carrying it in your pocket ALWAYS, you will always have a quick and fun-ish way to take notes. Much more fun than pencil and paper.

Mia said...

oh WOW I'm am so WAY impressed! I have a steam mop thingie and i bet that works GREAT!!

And oh heaven help me at least I'm thankful velcro kitty is able to eat dry food.. only one kind and an expensive one.. but still better than having to cater to the opening of cans ::laughing::

Donna Lee said...

I've seen patterns for those somewhere (probably on ravelry). I think your cotton buttons are brilliant. It's a testament to your brainpower that you can make something up and execute it in all this heat and humidity.

Knitting Linguist said...

I always think I'll remember things like that, too. It's OK when it's only one thing (like a sweater), then I can go with the "work of art" plan, but if it's something that comes in twos (like socks or sleeves) it can get a bit dicey...

April said...

Sheepie, you're a designer! Congratulations! I bet Lily Chin never designed anything near as beautiful.

Julia G said...

Very snazzy -- you have the best-dressed steam mop in town! Cool product, by the way-- who knew you could steam mop floors? Now I must have one....

Yarnhog said...

I have a Shark and thought about doing the same thing. (I decided I'd rather spring for the extra covers.) I love yours!