Question for the Knitters out There

Sitting beside my desk is a white package, opened and drooled-over, with 10 balls of DK wool and instructions for a laptop case. I already have an unpadded carry-case with straps. This case is just for padding and show. (Some people knit carry-cases, but I’m not one of them.)

Imagine that the laptop is 15″x10″x1″. It’s actually larger, but do you really want to read about 16.75″x12.4″x1.75″?

If memory serves, the pattern says to cast on 31″, join the ends, and knit around and around and around, till I have a short fat tube, 31″ around. Yes, 15+1+15+1=32, not 31. More on that later. The long edges of the laptop are the open ends of the tube.

Squish and steek (cut) so I have one long piece. Pick up stitches along one side of steek, knit. Repeat on other side of steek. Add zipper. New knitting and zipper = 1″ — so it’s now 32″ around. Sew the top and bottom long edge, so the zipper is along the 10″ edge.

Two 15″ seams, a steek, and two 10″ pickups, for a bag with only one opening?

I’m going to change it. I’ve always annoyed people with my abitility to think in three dimensions, inside-out, in variable scale, so the math doesn’t phase me. Yes, I’ll swatch carefully. It’s faire-isle. I need the practice to hold the tension.

The opening will be along the top edge, and rather than a zipper I’ll knit a flap. For those who have seen the original (I’m doing the blue one), replace the red edge with dark blue.

The plan is to do something fancy at the bottom, then knit the same tube as before. Make it a bit bigger, because I won’t be adding an extra inch at the steek. Skip the steeking. At the top, bind off half, then keep going on the other half to make the flap. I ordered extra yarn for the flap.

The decision is about the bottom.

Method 1: Provisional cast on 15″. Knit 1″ for the side with the laptop hinge. Pick up 1″ on the edge, the provisional stitches, and the other edge. Knit tube and flap as described earlier.

This way is probably the easiest. I need to swatch a bit to decide how many rows to make the strip, and how many rows to pick up.

Method 2: One of the fancy toe-up castons, like Judy’s Magic or double-knitting. This will be the edge with the laptop hinge. Knit around, increasing 2st at each end to make an inset triangle: >——-< When that side is to size, knit tube and flap.

The downside is extra swatching to test the increases for those triangles. Also, my increases usually have holes, which will be right at the pressure points. Yes, I’ve tried several increase methods, and some don’t have holes. Add more swatching to test m1left and m1right.

Method 3: Provisionally cast on 15+1+15+1=32, and knit the tube as described, and the flap, to finish the top. Turn upside down, pick up provisional edge, then knit around, decreasing 2st at each end, for same inset triangles as method 2.

The downside is the long Kitchener stitch seam at the bottom. (Kitchener is a time-consuming but otherwise fablous and invisible way to join two raw edges.)

Method 3a: Pick up 15″ at the bottom, knit 1″, joining to the sides as I go, then Kitchener the final seam.

Question: Any other ideas?

Second Question: Are laptop cases that open at the short edge easier to use than ones that open on the long edge? If so, I need to replan.


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