Thursday, 28 July 2011

Corduroy Fetish

It’s funny how proper preparation for climbing can make you taller.
I don’t mean doing a lot of stretching, although that might help too. But the other day I had a banana and some cold coffee before heading out for an evenings bouldering, and then did a full warm up, and suddenly I’d gained an inch.
I realised that either my legs or my arms had grown when trying a problem I’d almost given up on because I couldn’t make a reach. Suddenly it seemed within range.
I pulled up and really stretched out and my fingers tickled the edge. I couldn’t hang it but buoyed by my improved stature I made the jumped and held it comfortably.
I have now decided that I should provide my body with real stimulus and nourishment before going rock climbing rather than relying on superstition.
“Superstition?” I hear you ask (you’re always in my mind, dear reader). “Does he paint himself in wode and sacrifice a goat before trying to on-sight a 6c+ at the local wall?”
Well, no, you can’t get the livestock these days, but I did make my own chalksack the other day.
That’s not particularly superstitious in itself but I should say that I only made it as a way of resurrecting my favourite climbing trousers, so that they may continue to climb with me wherever I go.
And then I decided to take it with me on my trip to the Peak, and wouldn’t take my old one because I thought it would show a lack of confidence in my own abilities. And confidence, on grit, is everything.
Anyway, it turned out fine because the homemade chalksack, despite having no firm rim, worked well and didn’t fall apart even though it’s held together with a hairband.
In fact, it’s pretty dapper even if I say so myself, and of course it reminds me of my favourite cords, which had worn so thin as to be almost see-through in all the wrong places.
So, as you’re all wondering, I’ll tell you how it was made.

I took my old climbing troos and cut off a leg at around the knee, giving me a tube of corduroy. As it’s only cord on the outside and I thought it would be a nice material for the inner as well, I turned the trouser leg inside out, then bound it tightly in the middle and pulled one half over the other.
This gives you a sort of doubled skinned cup, with cord on the inside and out - the rudiments of a chalksack. I used an old hairband to tie off the middle.
Now make a hole in the outer layer where the drawstring will go, and sew the two layers together slightly below that - you don’t need to stitch all the way round, just at two or three points to keep the string in place. Drop your string in between the layers and pass both ends through the hole. Stitch it to the point furthest from the hole, ie the back, and tie a knot in the loose ends.
Now sew the two layers together along the top. Ideally, you could take a nice seam from somewhere on your beloved trousers and incorporate that to make for a firm rim that will hold the bag open nicely, but that means sewing it will be hard work.
That’s pretty much your chalksack, but I finished it off by cutting a couple of belt loops off the trousers and sewing them on to the back, so that it can be attached. I used another elastic hairband tied tightly around the drawstring to enable it to be fastened shut. Surprisingly, it worked.

I improvised this entire process one rainy evening as a way of doing something climbing related when I was feeling frustrated, so I’m sure countless improvements can be made. As to my climbing, I can't say it's really helped, but then it hasn't hindered me either.

No comments:

Post a Comment