So a month or two ago I picked up this second-hand Misfit Flash at auction on eBay for a bargain. It’s pretty much one of the least fancy fitness trackers out there, and no longer sold new as it is from a previous generation of trackers, but it is from one of the respected brands in the fitness tracking world.
I’d been thinking of getting some sort of activity/sleep tracker for a couple of years – not because I’m at all into fitness (I have to admit I basically detest anything that increases my heart rate), but because I wanted to have a better understanding of my sleeping and activity patterns over weeks, months and years as part of generally monitoring my health. And if it happened to inspire me to actually do some exercise, that wouldn’t hurt either…..
Anyway, so I hadn’t got around to actually buying one new as, given the lack of exercise in my life, I wasn’t quite sure I could justify the expense. I tossed around the idea of picking up a cheap no-brand activity tracker from China online, but having read some reviews wasn’t convinced that even so cheap it’d be a worthwhile purchase in the end. A year or so later I looked into them again and realised that even the super expensive fancy ones would probably not work that well for me if they were wrist-band style, because I have teeny tiny wrists. Not to mention, I couldn’t even find one in any budget that had all of the three components I most wanted: sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and the ability to be worn while swimming.
Then this one popped up for auction on eBay. It had a really low starting bid price and with only a few hours to go no one had bid on it. So I got my husband to put in a bid at the starting price (because bidding is too scary for me to do alone!) then we went to bed and when we woke up in the morning it was mine!
It came without any packaging or accessories – just a small hot pink disc. I promptly ordered a wrist band, clip, and necklace for it (all up, about $6 worth of accessories) to give me a few options to wear it. All the accessories looked and worked totally fine at first, but both the wrist band and the clip are no longer…. They were made of a cheap rigid plastic which snapped within a week of use, both in the same place around the rim which held the Misfit in place.
Hubby and I are still debating whether they always sucked (and perhaps that’s part of the reason why this line was discontinued?) or whether they became brittle over time given they’d have had to be fairly old stock. On the other hand, the necklace was made of a more silicone-like material and held the Misfit beautifully. I swapped out the beaded chain it came with for a simple silver chain I was more likely to wear. Unfortunately, held around my neck it doesn’t track my activity nearly as well as it does on my wrist or in my pocket, and I really need it on my wrist to track swimming……
Naturally, after thinking “I really need to make this thing a better wrist band – you know, the sort that won’t snap”, I turned to crochet. I looked it up on Pinterest and Google and didn’t find anyone else who had tried to do the same thing so I just had to give it a go! But it turned out to be way more difficult than I anticipated – not to make a band which held it securely, but to make one that was actually relatively attractive and comfortable too. The biggest problem is that although the Misfit Flash looks like a tiny disc, it’s actually quite thick which causes it to look really bulky on my wrist.
Anyway, here’s the evolution of my DIY crocheted Misfit Flash wristband:
Attempt 1: I crocheted a decorative circle pocket to hold the disc, attempting to create holes in the pattern for the trackers 12 lights to shine through (the disc functions as a button which when pushed tells you your daily progress towards a step goal and then shows the time). I crocheted around a tiny rubber band on the bottom leaving a small hole which could be stretched to get the disc in and out. Then I crocheted a delicate wrist band to match and put a tiny rubber band in to enable to bracelet to be stretched on. Sounds good, right?
But the small rubber band didn’t really stretch enough, so how to attach the band so it can be put on over the hand while keeping it looking delicate and also absolutely secure when swimming?
Attempt 1.5: I scrapped the crochet band figuring that I probably needed an elasticised band of some sort, but I kept the disc-holding pocket from Attempt 1. I wracked my brains trying to work out what to use, and then suddenly I remembered the loom band kit hiding under my bed which had been intended as a gift for a young girl until a better suited gift had been found and the loom bands forgotten. Anyway, I dug under the bed and found the kit, chose some rubber bands in colours compatible with the crochet part, and quickly made a stretchy fishtail bracelet. I used jewellery jump rings to attach the band to the pocket because it seemed the easiest secure option.
Now functionally, this was very successful. I went swimming the next morning with the Misfit Flash in my fancy new crochet/loom band bracelet and it stayed securely on my wrist the whole time. But I wasn’t convinced I loved the look, I found the top disc kept flipping over as I swum, and the rubber band bracelet part really wasn’t overly comfortable after a day of wearing it.
Attempt 2: To improve the comfort level I chose to go back to all crochet and I decided a button closure would be sufficiently secure and potentially quite cute. I crocheted two discs and stitched one on top of the other, leaving a gap at one side for the Flash to squeeze in. Then I crocheted the band, attaching one end to the discs and creating a button hole at the other end. I finished with a cute pink flower wooden button on top.
Now this one was both very comfortable and secure, but once worn seemed like a ridiculous amount of bulk on top of my wrist. Not to mention, why on earth did I choose such a bright colour?! Beautiful colour absolutely, but not at all subtle and definitely not going to go with lots of different outfits.
Attempt 3: So my final attempt aimed to keep it more simple. I chose to use a white cotton yarn and crocheted a long rectangle the width of the Misfit Flash disc, with a pretty pattern I made up as I went and a button hole right at the end. I then folded over the non-button-hole end and stitched the sides together to create a little rectangular pocket for the Flash. I put the disc in the pocket, wrapped it around my wrist and added a simple coconut wood button at the right place for a comfortable fit.
I think I am happiest with this one due to the simplicity of the design, but I’m resigned to the fact that it is going to look bulky on my wrist no matter what. I’m also not yet convinced that swimming with a beautiful crochet cuff is optimal, so I’m not promising I won’t have another attempt when struck with a new idea (….oh, like maybe I should crochet using some of that colourful plastic elastic stuff we used to make bracelets with when we were kids for a pool-friendly version….), but I think I’ll leave it here for this week!
P.S. Since being able to wear the fitness tracker on my wrist I have discovered that an evening crocheting can achieve a whole day’s worth of fitness…….. but somehow I don’t think sitting in bed doing crochet is actually going to make me any fitter, so I have to remember to put the tracker in my pocket while crocheting to keep it accurate!