Here're instructions for making an eye-catching hoodie for your laptop to use in public spaces for warmth and privacy. These are more sculptures than they are practical devices, and as such they're a fun challenge for knitting because of the complex form. Beginners may consider taking my intro Knitting Class to learn the basics. You can read more about this project, which is part of a series of similar devices, at my website.
What you'll need:
-a laptop computer, pda, or other electronic device
-yarn (I used about 10 skeins for this)
-knitting needles (straight, double-pointed, and circular)
-a sense of humor
Step 1: Measure Your Laptop
Knit a test swatch of your yarn and determine the number of stitches and rows per inch (gauge). This may differ from any gauge listed on the yarn packaging, as everyone knits at a different tension. Measure your laptop's base, and figure out how many stitches and rows will be required to make the underbelly of the sock. Number of stitches per inch * number of inches = total number of stitches. I chose to knit my underbelly in a different color than the rest of the device.
Step 2: Start Knitting
I used a LOT of invisible cast-ons in this piece so it all fits together and appears (mostly) seamless. Once you've knitted the bottom rectangle (with invisible cast on, of course), you can choose how to proceed. There really is no BEST way to do this, so here's what I did:
Start knitting a few rows up to what will be the front edge of the laptop. Now it's time to add the sleeves (remember, your hands come off your laptop at a steep angle, not straight up). Determine how wide your sleeves will be and count out enough stitches to have them centered along the front edge of the laptop. Knit to this marker, then place the sleeve's number of stitches on a holder, place the divider stitches on another holder, then do the same yet again for the next sleeve's stitches, then knit to end. I knitted about ten rows up on the sides and the divider section before invisibly casting on the same number of stitches that are on the sleeve holders. By now you'll have two squarish holes in an otherwise rectangular piece. Pick up the holder stitches, pick up stitches along the side of the hole, pick up the invisibly cast on stitches, then pick up more stitches along the other side of the hole, using double pointed needles. Knit in K1, P1 rib for as long as you'd like your sleeve to be. Repeat for the other sleeve.
Step 3: Cover the Keyboard
Continue knitting the rectangle past the sleeves, and do a few increases now and again so your hands will have room to move around on the keyboard. I increased 5 stitches every other row for 8 rows. Keep knitting until, when fitted on the laptop, the rectangle wraps around the entire bottom half of the laptop. Using a mattress stitch, sew the rectangle in half along the edges to make the pocket for the keyboard half of the computer.
Step 4: Up the Back of the Screen
Pick up the stitches you first invisibly cast on. Here's where I put my opening to place the laptop inside, but I'm not sure it was the best choice. If you want to try that, knit 5 stitches, cast off all but the last 5, then knit 5. In the next row, knit 5, cast on just as many as you cast off earlier, then knit 5. Voila, a giant slit. If you don't put an opening here, figure out some other place to put it. Continue knitting up the rectangle that will cover the back of the laptop's display.
Step 5: Start the Hood
Once you've gotten to the top of the display, pick up stitches along the edges of the display and join them on circular needles with the ones from the top of the display and the top of the keyboard. Knit in the round for a few rows. Then start decreasing. I had 242 stitches, so I decreased every 22 stitches, making for 11 fewer stitches in the next row. Use whatever numbers work out for your total (even divisibility). Only decrease every other row, knitting a plain row in between. In the next row, decrease with one fewer stitch in between decreases, in my case 21. Knit a plain row, then repeat the last process, counting to 20, then 19, etc. Until you have the hood the size you want, it took me about 30 rows. Knit in the round until the hood is long enough to comfortably reach the face when sitting in a natural position.
Step 6: Knit the Headpiece
I made the headpiece or "hat" or "ski mask" section as if it were a giant sock. If you've ever turned a heel, this will be no problem for you.
Start by determining a section of stitches that will form the top of the head. Center them with the stitches that run along the top of the computer monitor. Place all other stitches on holders. Knit this section of stitches back and forth until it has roughly the same number of rows as stitches (a squarish shape). Now it's time to round down that rectangle. If you're confused by my instructions, try to knit some socks from a pattern, and this will become more clear. A great generic one can be found here.
On a right side row, knit to three stitches past the middle, knit two together, knit 1, then turn the work. Purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn the work. Knit to one stitch before the gap, k2together across the gap, k1, turn. Purl to one stitch before the gap, p2together over the gap, p1, turn. Continue this pattern until all the stitches are back together evenly.
Time for the gusset. Pick up stitches along the sides of the square flap and join in the round with the stitches from the rest of the unit, including what would normally be referred to as the "heel" stitches: the ones from the turned flap. Knit in the round. You can choose to taper your gussett by decreasing (k2tog on one side, sl2ktog on the other) one stitch on each side of the base of the square flap-side stitches every other row for a while. Again, look at a sock pattern for more clarification.
Knit in the round for several rows until you desire ribbing. Knit in the round in a K2, P2 rib for the desired length, then bind off.
Step 7: Enjoy
Recommended used include:
-Airports/airplanes (just be sure to keep your bag between your legs)
but mostly in an art gallery. Watch out for overheating!!!