Monday, August 02, 2010

Making: Birthday Present...

So, I said that I was going to make a Kindle cover for my sister for her birthday.  It sounded simple enough to design: two rectangles, sewn together, with some sort of flap.  No problem.  But... then there were problems.  I was trying to use up some stash yarn that had been discontinued at the local yarn store: it was 50% merino wool and 50% acrylic.  Well, no problem.  I'd find something with a similar gauge and feel.  But here are the lessons I've learned:

1) Use the same material throughout a project, with the same fiber content.  I used a 100% merino yarn for the cover front (in white) and it just didn't have the same feel.  It was a bit floppier than the grey backing.

2) BLOCK gauge swatches!!!  Especially if you have to have both rectangle shapes line up exactly to be sewn!  I can't emphasize this enough.  I just wasn't thinking, knit my swatches, measured, calculated, and then went on to knit two fine rectangles.  Then I wet blocked them.  Lo and behold, the white merino grew waaay to much.  I had to force it a bit back down to size.

3) Learn a proper seaming technique rather than just fudging it with crochet.  Although, I think the crochet trim isn't too bad in this project, it could be better.  And it sort of exacerbated the fact that the two rectangles weren't perfectly aligned in size.

You can really tell the difference in size between the white and the grey sides by looking at the frills formed by the crochet stitches on the bottom edging.  I did manage to block that back down a bit - phew!  Still, it's not perfect and that irks me.

Still, I like my overall design - especially the stitches I contrived for the two sides: seed (or moss) stitch for the grey side, to form a kind of egg-carton cushioning, and contrasting white garter stitch, which is also very cushy.  And I like my colors and button.

Kindle Cover Pattern:
Kindle DX Dimensions: 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38"
Yarn: 1 skein Millefine, Lana Grossa, 50g, 100m, 50% Merino 50% Acrylic – back and flap; 1.5 skeins Siena Big, Wolle Rödel, 50g, 80m, 100% Merino – front, with button
Needle: 3.0mm / 3 US
Gauge (blocked!) : 4.5 stitches / inch in seed stitch (Millefine); 5.25 stitches / inch in garter stitch (Siena Big)

Back of Cover and Flap:
Cast on 34 stitches of back and flap color yarn. 
Work in seed stitch until 10.7 inches long.
Purl an entire row.
Knit the entire next row.  This will form a stockinette stitch ridge which will form the fold for the envelope flap.
Work in seed stitch for next 10 rows.
Begin decrease to form triangle of the envelope flap:
ssk first two stitches, seed stitch (knit every purl stitch, purl every knit sticht), k2tog last two stitches until only 12 stitches left.
Bind off in pattern loosely.

Work on Cover Front:
Cast on 40 stitches in cover front color and work in garter stitch until 10.7" long, bind off loosely.

Wash and block both pieces to size.
Crochet sides closed using single crochet stitch and an alternate color of yarn (if desired).  Crochet envelope flap edging also using single crotchet stitches.
Sew on button.
Crochet button loop on envelope flap.


Siga said...

Ooh, I preordered the new Kindle, so I will definitely need a cover. I can practice it for my old one first.
The contrasting colours is a great idea + the button is cute.

Marianevans said...

Thanks! And have fun with the Kindle - I was super jealous of my sister on our recent trip because all she had to pack was that and I had to carry 4 books to keep me occupied...