Friday, April 2, 2010

Celtic spiral cell phone case

You may remember that I was having some ambivalence about the Palm Pre that I got in February. I'll admit that there are some features that I have started to enjoy about the Pre, but I still have my moments when I'd really like to chuck it out a window.

This week I decided that I would stitch up a hand-embroidered cell phone case in the hopes that if the Pre has a nice place to hang out, she will be less likely to act a fool when I'm using her. (Yes, I'm anthropomorphizing my cell phone. Just work with me here.)

First I needed to decide how to construct the case. When I raided my craft stash, I realized that the wool sweater that I had picked up at the thrift store and felted would be just the thing. It even had a pocket that was a perfect fit for my phone -- I just had to cut if off the sweater.

Next I started thinking about what to stitch on the case. I have always been really drawn to celtic motifs, so I decided to do a celtic spiral pattern of some kind. I consulted my copy of Courtney Davis' Knotwork and Spirals for inspiration.

The triple spiral, or triskele, has always been one of my favorite images. Some view the triple spiral as a representation of the three stages of a woman's life, referred to as "maiden, mother and crone." More generally, the triple spiral can stand for rebirth or transition, which is probably why I would think about this imagery during the spring.

I've been collecting spirals for awhile now. I think I picked up my ring first:

This necklace was next:

Then my bracelet:

I was really psyched when I found this spirally Swatch watch:

I got started yesterday morning on the train, and here's what I came up with:

And here's the Palm Pre with her new home:

I think she looks happier already!


  1. i love this! i love the spirals, and i really REALLY love the embroidery on the felt. what kind of thread do you use? just two strands of regular floss, or something thicker?

  2. Hey Meghan--thanks! I wanted a medium-thin line for the green backstitch, so I used three strands of normal DMC floss (color 3363) for that.

    For the chainstitch, I wanted a thicker line, so I used DMC pearl cotton thread, in size 5 (color 3371). I first encountered this stuff in an embroidery class I took in February. It has a thick, twisty texture (and unlike "normal" six-strand floss, it's non-divisible). It's great when you want a more dramatic line, but I had to struggle a bit each time to cram it through the eye of my needle!

  3. This is really cute Shelly! So creative...

  4. Oh My Gosh! That is so amazingly awesome! I LOVE it!!!

  5. Thanks, @Hettie! Would you believe I dropped this on the train the day you commented, and nearly disembarked without it! Thank goodness I saw it on the floor at the last second!