Wednesday, November 7, 2007

FO: Dana's iPod Cozy

Last month I made my pal Dana a cozy for her iPod nano for her birthday. It was somewhat of a hell project, so it got pushed to the back of my mind and never posted on the blog, but I just ran across the pictures, so here they are.

First of all, here is the hideous attempt #1 that I made with some self-striping Sugar 'n Creme. However, my project was apparently too small to stripe* - so it just ended up half & half and pretty gross looking. I knit it in the round and seamed up the bottom. Roxy hates it too.I wanted to make Dana something special, so I decided to try out the Fibonacci stripes technique - something I have never done before. (crap! why didn't I post it in the KAL?) Fibonacci is a number sequence where you start with 1 and keep adding the numbers together to get a number sequence; ex: 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 5+3=8... creating the sequence: 1,2,3,5,8 <-- the sequence I used. So I striped 1,2,3,5,8,5,3,2,1,1,2,3,5,8... and so on. You can put the numbers in any order you want - I just went with that one. I really liked the Fibonacci method because you end up with stripes that are much more visually interesting. It also looks "random" - the big stripe in the sequence isn't always the same color and it's hard to tell there is actually a pattern.

Some problems I encountered:

1. Knitting one row for a stripe and then switching colors was a total pain! If I do it again I will leave out the ones and have 2 or 3 as my smallest number.
2. The stripes don't all start on the same side - sometimes you are knitting even numbers, sometimes odd - so you can't really carry the yarn along the side. I ended up weaving in 14 ends! Misery!! (but coincidentally, Dana's birthday is on the 14th... I didn't plan that)
3. I desperately wish I had knit this in the round so I could have carried the yarn. I knitted it flat because when you knit stripes in the round they don't match up and I thought on such a small project that would be really noticeable. However...
4. The seam up the side was pretty bulky and also noticeable on the small project, so it's a trade off. Perhaps next time I will try that Russian join. (My edges are always too messy to seam up the very edge stitch with no seam.)
5. I would have liked to put a decorative button or something on the flap, but my button collection is back in SLC and I didn't round up anything else because this was sort of a last minute deal.

Clever things I did:
1. I constructed it so I had to sew a bottom seam and a side seam. I loosely based this cozy on the cozy pattern in Stitch 'n Bitch which has you knit a long strip, then fold it over and seam up both sides. That method would have doubled the number of stripes I had to knit and I would have had to match up stripes on my seams on two sides instead of one.
2. I used that fabulous new iron on velcro for the closure so there was nothing to sew and you get a strong bond better than any glue. This product works great on cotton knits. I also used it on my hair-washing headband, which I use every day and trust me - that velcro is never peeling off of that fabric.
3. I knit it in cotton yarn to ensure there won't be any static electricity issues. I have asked around to tech people and Craftsters about whether you have a static problem with wool or acrylic cozies and no one can answer definitively. People knit them out of these yarns and no one on Craftster, at least, has had a bad experience. But since I didn't want to be responsible for ruining Dana's iPod, I stayed on the safe side. The yarn is Knit Picks shine sport - the darker colors I bought for my army of Sheldons. (You hardly use any of the dark color when knitting Sheldon so I knew I would have plenty left to complete those projects.)
4. At the top where the flap folds down I knit an extra row, then I reversed where I was in the stripe sequence so the stripes match up when it is closed. This may seem obvious, but I'm still proud of myself for thinking to do it.

Without further ado, here is the unfinished piece after I steamed it:
Since I ended up having to knit this second cozy last minute and I spent so much time weaving in the ends, I had no time to take a picture of the finished project. I threw it in wrapping paper the second I finished seaming it up and ran out the door to get to the party. Some day I'll get Dana to take a picture of it "in action" and get it posted.

yarn details:
knit picks shine sport in orchid, river, and grass.
sport weight
60% pim
a cotton, 40% modal
50g/110 yd per ball @ $2.49 each

findings:

velcro: $5 at Jo-Ann

pattern details:
pattern: my own
gauge: didn't write it down... but I obviously got one to calculate the number of stitches I needed for "nano size"... but I actually measured Sheldon instead of a swatch! Is that cheating?
needles: 3's, straights (almost positive! ... if I didn't use 3's that would have defeated the purpose of gauging out Sheldon, right? But knowing me, I might have figured 4's were close enough... I've got to start writing up these FO memos sooner!)
cost: probably $2, give or take (sorry Dana!)
time:5 hours, not including the first botched cozy, which only took maybe an hour.

*Yes, I did swatch it out. I just misperceived a color change in the yarn when there wasn't any.

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