strings and buttonholes

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that the first side of my Kindle case is finished at last.  I may have unravelled 3 hours of knitting to correct the seed stitch border (which I knew had gone wrong!), and felt a moment of doubt over whether the case would look good or was even worth doing, but I am now halfway through this blasted knitting project and see the end in sight!

the first side in progress

the first side complete

Through completing this side of the Kindle case, I can see the stitches could have been looser to prevent the border rippling along the bottom and to even out the Irish mesh.  While it bothers me a little that these minor flaws exist (I have half a mind to unravel the lot!), it still looks how I wanted it to look and should look even better once I join the two sides.

Only thing I’m puzzled about is how to close the Kindle case – should it be drawstring, buttons or zipper?  I’m not actually keen on drawstring as I want the case to be smart and ‘mature’ (drawstrings are for kids and really casual possessions!), and with zippers still a mystery to me, I had to go for the buttons.

homeless buttons

These shiny green buttons were salvaged from an old cardigan.  It’s not very clear in the photo, but they’re a dark green, feel very smooth and stylish, and measure 2cm across – perfect for the Kindle case!

I spent last night reading up on buttonholes and think the video by Knittinghelp.com was the easiest to understand.  It shows you the one-row buttonhole, which took me more than one try as I was constantly worried about the seed stitch border and how it would look if I kept on binding off stitches…  In the end, I just simply concentrated on making buttonholes that would match the buttons I had; instead of binding off 3 stitches then casting on 4 like they show you in the video, I settled with binding off 2 then casting on 3.  How the border looks when I do it will be worried about later, I think.

Further to buttonhole research, I also looked into making a flap by reducing the stitches on either side to resemble an envelope (the rectangular flap, not the triangular).  It was too hard reading the instructions at first as I’m more a visual learner and nearly gave up out of sheer irritation (I don’t have the link anymore but whoever wrote those instructions needs to include some pictures!)  But I wanted the flap and I persevered and I figured out how to do one with the seed stitch border.  (More on this later; I might not even do it.)

And someone at work has requested a Kindle case of their own!  I am really very flattered!  (Though I must have looked mortified at the time!)  When she asked me, I wasn’t too sure I could make her one as the prototype has yet to be finished and I want it to be functional before launching it as gifts.  She even offered to buy it from me, but it’s still early days and I don’t know where I stand when it comes to making a profit.

There are knitters out there who are especially protective of their patterns and insist that you don’t change a thing and don’t try to make any money, but where would you stand if you use a common pattern then customise it?  I’ve been writing my pattern for the Kindle case on Notepad and modify the pattern according to what works and what doesn’t, even dating modifications like you would when writing a computer program.  Does that mean this pattern would be mine now, subject to individual copyright, or is it considered a public pattern that you can’t sell to other people?

All of a sudden, knitting seems so complicated!

now i must learn crochet!

But there are three knitters at work now: me, another night-stalker, and the lady who asked me for a Kindle case!  Imagine that!  And the night-stalker gave me a 5.00mm crochet needle in metallic lilac from one of the magazines she buys.  I think it’s called Knit Day, available in Ireland for an upfront subscription of €65.00 a year and stocked by the bookstore Eason.

million dollar gift by ian somers

On the subject of Eason, I bought a debut novel by Ian Somers earlier in the week, Million Dollar Gift.  It follows the adventures of Ross Bentley, a teenage skater with a special ability and winner of a contest where his superhuman powers are displayed to the world.  Somers is new to the writing scene and supported by O’Brien Press, an Irish publishing company with an emphasis on promoting children’s literature written by Irish writers.  The concept of his novel reminds me of the challenge set forth by James Randi, who offered $1 million (USD) to those who could win “The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge” by showing they had genuine paranormal abilities.  I have only read the first chapter, so will write a more detailed review when I’ve completed the novel.

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