A Work in Progress: Custom Laptop Case
Well, hello again!
Welcome back to the second edition of A Work In Progress, or what you get when you cross a seemingly endless amount of time with a perennial procrastinator. Today I want to talk to you about one of my all time favorite parts of Fat Betty Knits:
I think every knitter probably has their favorite part of the craft, and for me I just really love special and specific commission orders. There's something about collaborating with a person and making sure that they are getting exactly what they want and need and being able to design and make that item with my own two hands. It makes sense that this is what I am drawn to as a knitter, because it's essentially what being a sound or mix engineer is. I like to think that when I am mixing a concert set, I am a translator. I am the person that takes an artists craft and interprets it for a larger audience, molding the signals and sending them through speakers and staying true to what the art is in its most essential form. Now that that part of my life is on an indefinite hold, it's been nice to have something (read: anything) to fill that cold empty space in my heart. Making a commissioned knit is just taking the idea a person has in their head about what they want or how they want it to look and translating those ideas into a physical object. It's a fun and collaborative process, and it feels really rewarding when it turns out to everyone's satisfaction.
I recently was contacted by a friend who wanted a colorful case for her laptop and charger. She sent me some pictures of what she had in mind both in style and color scheme, we discussed sizing, and I started to make a plan of execution in my mind. I generally consider a few different things when making a new design. Depending on what the item is, certain considerations might be more important than others, but no matter what, it almost always comes down to a conversation about every knitters favorite thing to talk about, ❤ YARN ❤.
And I've got news for you folks, it's not all just about color! (Although that is a big one) So where do we start?
Yarn weight is basically a measure of how thick or thin your yarn is, with a guide starting from Light Fingering (as thin as you can get) to Super Bulky (or Jumbo (think arm knit blankets). Based on the pictures my friend sent me as examples, it looked to be about Worsted Weight Yarn or somewhere around a light/medium weight yarn. So there we have it, worsted weight it is!
Once I know what yarn weight I want to use, I can fork off in two different directions - fiber and color. I knew that I would need several different hues, as my friend and I had discussed her wanting the finished object to be very colorful. Because yarn weight and fiber is so particular to brand (it's always going to vary at least a bit), it's ideal to use the same brand and line within the brand, so I knew that whatever yarn I went with, there needed to be lots of color options within the line. A lot of times, I make this particular decision by just going to a yarn store and seeing what I can find, but besides how the yarn looks, we also need to consider what the yarn is made of
And this is where we think about fiber. Basically with yarn fiber you have three types - Animal Fiber, Plant Fiber, and Synthetics. Talking about yarn fiber can quickly become a very nuanced conversation - it would be a blog post in and of itself just to discuss the various pros and cons. So in the spirit of brevity, I will just say I could have chosen a synthetic yarn brand for this laptop case - However! I will admit to you now that I had alterior motives. I had another project in mind in which I would need several colors of worsted weight yarn and I knew for that, that I would be wanting to use a Superwash Merino Wool - AKA the yarn I am currently having a love affair with. So I figured two birds, one stone, and there you have it. I went with Plymouth Worsted Weight Merino Yarn, we picked out the final color scheme and I went home to get my little fingers a-clicking!
There are a few aspects of this finished object that I am particularly proud of. Firstly is that cute little button holding it all together - do you know that I have never put a button (or futhermore a button hole) on one of my knits before? It was so fun! 10/10 will do that again.
Secondly - and I will preface this by saying that it was a success borne purely out of laziness - but we knew we wanted to add the pocket on the front to store the charger for the laptop. I could have just knit a separate swatch and stitched it on the front but that would have involved *seaming* it on, and if you can't hear the nasaly whine of my voice I'll say it a little louder for those of you in the back - *seaming* 😖. So what I did instead was I knit the bottom and sides into the main pocket and followed along in the pattern and then I cast off the top and left it open and wah-la! A no-seam pocket - what a joy, it brings a smile to my face just to recall.
So there you have it! A brief look into the inner workings of my brain and the wild world of making things more complicated than they probably need to be. If you feel inspired by this, or your brain is turning over with the possibilities of all the things you could have made out of yarn, I'm your girl! It's best to reach me either on the Etsy messenger or Instagram DMs - stop by to say hi and tell me what your heart desires and we will find a way to do it!