Friday, November 03, 2006

Design challenge!

I have a very exciting knitting project to start, but I need help! My wonderful, Mac-loving brother has presented me with quite the knitting design challenge. He has lots of wires coming out of his computer, and he wants socks (tubes, really) to keep them looking nice and neat. Before everyone just says "So just knit him some ribbed tubes and be done with it!" let me show you the amazing diagram he drew for me (most measurements aren't shown, but I have them written down):

You'll probably want to click on the image to make it larger--and legible.

As you can probably guess, he set forth some fairly specific parameters for how he'd like them to be:

  1. The fabric should be as thin as possible (definitely no thicker than DK weight) because "I don't want to feel like I'm typing next to a pillow."*

  2. The finished product should be stretchy enough to fit around the odd shapes of the wires, but firm enough to control them somewhat

  3. The ends of the tubes nearest the computer would ideally be flush with the edge of the computer, so that the edge touches the computer, and the fabric itself lies flat across the tops of the plugs, and it so it won't slip back along the wires too much.

  4. Ideally there wouldn't be too much fabric bunched up at the "ankle" where the wires turn and head toward the back of the desk.

  5. The opening at the small ends should be big enough to allow one plug-end to pass through it at a time, but not too large either.

  6. Yarn color should be compatible with brushed aluminum finish of the computer--maybe slate gray?
So far, I'm thinking DK weight yarn because it will knit up faster, and because I think the ribbing will come out stretchier in slightly thicker fabric. And I will clearly have to do some sort of "heel" at the turn, but I'm not sure if it should be short-row or flap or what. At first glance, flap seems like it would leave the most room for flexibility, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise. Maybe start at the "small" end, knit straight for a while, increase a bit, then heel flap, and just a few gusset decreases?

Here is where you come in, dear readers! I need help figuring out if anything about my above plan makes sense, or if I'm totally off on my approach. What weight yarn should I use? Do I used 2x2 ribbing, or something else? Heel flap, short-row, neither? And how do I handle the large end of the tube that needs to be flush against the computer? Maybe a hem with something firm (cardboard, plastic?) sewn inside it? And how do I get it to stay flush against the computer? Any and all suggestions welcome!

*I didn't include that quote to make my brother sound like a demanding, cranky guy. I just thought it was a funny visual. He's actually one of the sweetest people in the world, and has by no means given me any sort of deadline for this project, if I even decide to take it on.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Now you know.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I usually avoid mentioning my work, and I rarely discuss politics. However, there are certain things that people just need to know about, regardless of what their politics are. This is one of those things.

I've signed the pledge. Have you?


I have been a terrible blogger this month, and I'm sorry for being so neglectful. I think part of my problem is that I always feel I need to post something substantive, with lots of pictures. Maybe if I just gave myself permission to write one-paragraph posts, I'd magically find the time to post more often. Anyway, thanks for checking to see if I still exist, Sangeeta. On with the post!

Socktoberfest is over, and I hardly posted about it at all. That's because I barely had time to knit this past month, let alone blog about it. And I didn't even manage to knit one whole pair of socks from start to finish during Socktoberfest. I did, however finally finish the Jaywalkers:

I also started another pair for myself with the Cherry Tree Hill yarn, using the PGR toe-up technique, and a pattern stitch from Knitting Vintage Socks:

Sorry the photo is so dark. It looked fine on the camera!

And last, but most certainly not least, I am swatching for a pair for Taz. These are definitely going to be toe-up as well, because I've never knit socks for big feet before, and I don't know how long the cuff will get before I run out of yarn:

So, that's really the whole knitting update from me. As much as I need to finish the two cardigans, and as much as I want to work on Hanging Vines, it seems like 99% of my knitting time lately is 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, during my commute. So socks are it. Good thing I love knitting them so much!

Oh, and you wanted a life update too? Well, that will have to wait, alas. Partly because there's not a ton to tell, and mostly because I've got tons of work to do and really shouldn't spend any more time today blogging.