I Spy with my little i…

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…something beginning with C

I am currently in the throes of knitting myself an ipad case, hence the ‘C’. While in Australia, I watched and admired a friend working on a cabled one and have secretly coveted my own ever since.

I searched around on Ravelry (one of my favourite sites for inspiration and the first place I go after having visited Google images and a few revered blogs and knitting shops) and finally came across a faux-cabled pattern. Much quicker and simpler than the real thing, it struck me as a good idea.

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The ‘good idea’

Passenger Therapy – like retail therapy, only cheaper

I don’t permit myself personal projects very often, except for in the car. I make art and I make gifts, only bequeathing myself when something hasn’t worked out, when I don’t consider it good enough to share with a wider audience. As it is, my presents are hit and miss, often causing mixed emotions in their recipients. I guess there are only so many hats, scarves, blankets, bags, purses, toys, baubles and trinkets one needs before they start to feel like their home is a museum to somebody else. Not everyone likes to fill a space so tightly, personal artefacts pinned and hung from every spare inch. So this is a big deal, something for me, and I am eager to enjoy it as much as I can given that it is motivated by need and necessitated by fear.

Anxious by nature, both inside and outside of a vehicle, it, knitting, is my method of transport therapy. Put me on a road cluttered with hire cars fresh from the airport and crazy locals who talk, smoke, eat and change lanes all at the same time, and I am a nervous wreck. I need something to contain me and knitting seems to do just that. Besides, I hate to be idle. My hands are rarely still, even at dinner parties. It makes for quite a reputation. But I like my eccentricity and do my best to nurture it. I have wasted too many years caring too much and holding back as a result. Looking behind me at the long list of ‘never haves’, I consider this tragic and am determined to make up for it.

Below are pictures of my progress.

A hat, a sock and a sleeve

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More like a hat than a case

Several journeys in and my case looks more like a hat than a case and I am tempted to stop here and make it into one. It’s only the heat of summer that prevents me. I would have to wait for months to use it and I don’t have the patience for such things. Besides, patience or not, I like what I see and I am enjoying the process. The design is really rather clever; so much simpler than juggling cable needles and slipping stitches backwards and forwards.

Faux-Cable:
R1-4: *p1, k3*, repeat between *s to end.
R5: *p1, sl1, k1, yo, k1, psso*, repeat between *s to end.
And so on, repeating R1-5 until you reach your desired length.

Official Cable:
R1: *p2, k2*, repeat between *s to end.
R2: *p2, k2tog but do not slip finished stitch off left needle, knit into first stitch on left needle again, then slip off left needle*, repeat between *s to end.
R3: *p2, k2*, repeat between *s to end.
R4: *p2, k2*, repeat between *s to end.
And so on, repeating R1-4 until you reach your desired length.

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It reminds me of a sock

A day later and it reminds me of a sock, a thought that makes me wince. Can you imagine trying to turn a heel and fashion a toe this big? Plus the whole thing would take ages and is far too fiddly for the car. Wrestling four needles, reading a pattern and balancing a chihuahua on your lap, all while your partner is weaving in and out, dodging and breaking to avoid near misses and dangerous drivers, strikes me as a mite bit too challenging. This is meant to be therapy, after all.

Pulling it out: the case of the case that looks like a sleeve

My hat has become a sleeve

Motoring along (pardon the pun) and my hat has become a sleeve. If I close my eyes, I can picture the jumper it would make. It would be a nice one: cheerful, unusual, pretty. Maybe my next project should be something larger and longer? If I start now, I might just finish it in time for winter. I only get a short amount of car time each day, between 30-60 minutes. At that rate, a jumper could take months. Probably better to stick to smaller things, things that I can turn out in a matter of weeks.

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The damsel can wear it

If the shoe fits, the damsel can wear it; or in this case, the iPad. I’ve taken it for a test drive, so to speak, and hurray!, it works. I am pretty yarn happy. It’s good to know my instinct hasn’t failed me, given that I was knitting in the car, away from my ipad and all means of measuring up and testing against. Can you imagine how painful it would have been if it didn’t fit, if it wasn’t wide enough? I would have cried myself to sleep. Tragic but true. I’m devastated when things fail: when the best of intentions, the grandest of ideas, the greatest of cares, backfires, and I am left in possession of a tangled wooly mess. The waste of such beautiful yarn, my time – all criminal. So much so, I usually have to reinvent it, thinking way beyond the proverbial box.

And if it was too long: going backwards would have been boring and hard. I would have made mistakes – dropped stitches, created holes, etc. I am relieved it is still perfect, without blemish or sin.

... an iPad in a case

Et voila!

“Et voila; je suis finis,” as the French would say. I’ll leave the rest of the world where it is: too much of a good thing is boring and detracts from the novelty. Besides, I’m not sure how far I would get; I never was much good at implementing languages outside of my own: my tongue is a little clingy, besotted with mother, clutching on to her hem lest she fly away.

Anyway, back to the point. We have landed safe and sound – bottom stitched together, top folded over and sewn under again; case as a whole washed, pressed and blocked, not a crease or a crumple in sight. Now all that’s left is a button to ensure safe transport to all who travel inside.

The Missing Link

Having gazed at it long and hard, both on and off my iPad, I have decided there is something missing and that the missing element is an attachment of some kind, a garnish or a flourish. And I have the perfect little design in mind.

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The perfect little design

Two days later, I have competed a bow. It took a while, as these things are inclined to do, but was well worth the effort. It completes the picture. When I showed it to a friend several night’s ago expecting some serious gushing, I was confounded by her somewhat lacklustre reply; a measure hurt by it too. It made me think, though, and that’s what led to the bow. So I have her to thank in a round about ‘you hurt my feelings and I had to seek therapy in my yarn’ kind of way. See: all’s well that ends well; we have our happy ending.

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Our happy ending

Made to Measure

If you would like a case of your own, please don’t hesitate to email me or visit me on Ravelry; I would be more than happy to make a few for the right people and price. There are easily six weeks of summer left to survive before the madness abates and I shall be clicking without interruption throughout.

I’m also planning on making mini-iPad, iPhone and Kindle cases, so keep your eyes open for these links to light up as I manifest my offspring. As with here, I will be documenting my progress throughout. Interested parties can sneak a peak, arouse their inspiration and pick up a few tips – like where to get wool and what wool to get, whether to use circular or dpn needles, which size works best, how long it all takes and ideas on how to accessorise once you are done.

A new leaf

I’m useless at taking notes and forever mourning creations that would like to have siblings but that will remain one-off’s because, their details trapped inside, I couldn’t possibly duplicate them no matter how much I desired.

It’s the same with my yarn. In failing to note the brand, the line and the lot number: I fall in love only to be denied, my passions dismissed after a casual fling.

In a bid to turn over a new leaf and save myself later anguish when you email enquiring about the specific of this piece, in search of details I have forgotten to add: like where to get faux-fairisle yarn, procure Knit Pro needles, a pattern for your beloved item – I have taken photos of the important things. I hope this will be one healthy habit that stays.

Below are images of the yarn that I used and links to where I brought it. If you would like to make your own case or something similar (like a jumper or a scarf), you can easily order from here. I have to warn you, though: they have discontinued the line, or at least this colour run, so stocks are running out. The same stands for those of you wishing to commission a replica. While I am more than happy for you to pick a ball from the site; I cannot guarantee I will be able to order it for you. It might perhaps be safer to commit to the desired ball on sight and then to have it posted on to me at my residence. That way, we all remain happy; our hearts achieving what they most ardently desire.

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Sidar Snuggly Baby Crofter DK

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Lucie (171) – 50g

Up close and personal

Lucie (171) zoomed in

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4mm needles; 22 stitches x 26 rows, 10x10cm tension square

I bought this yarn from woolwarehouse.co.uk./a>. They are super-reliable, quick to act and prompt to dispatch and even post abroad at very little cost. That gives them five stars from me.

Yarn details from the website

A snapshot from the website

What colours will you choose?

So far, I have ordered one with my dog’s name (Bella) and one with my childhood cat’s (Fifi), for that reason alone. I also have a healthy collection of others and now possess over twenty different shades, although I have no idea which one is my favourite. I love them all, my preference shifting along with my intention and in line with my mood.

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Available Shades

If you would like to see them in action: my flamingo’s hair is made out of Bella, the grass in The Fairy Princess and The Frog Prince is Nessie, and the background for Angel Delight and The Chocolate Bunny is Elsie. And that’s just off the top of my head.

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