Saturday 25 September 2010

Headphones Covered

covered headphones

Finished project report! I'm quite pleased with my knitted headphone covers. It was a good experimental knitting project, figuring out how to make the covers and then doing it again and again to get it right. Because it was a trial and error process, at first I didn't think it would be worthwhile to blog the instructions. And besides, just how many people with old headphones would want to knit new covers for them? But then I realized that the knitted covers are a nice way to personalize a mass produced item, and plenty of knitters would like to do that. Even if the instructions for my covers don't work perfectly for someone else's headphones, it would be a place to start. So, here's the tutorial:

Covers for Sony Dynamic Studio Headhones MDR-V300 using 2 1/2 mm knitting needles and a bit of organic cotton yarn

Cast on 58 stitches. Knit a row, then purl a row for 13 rows. (Some people call this stocking stitch, but there seems to be different ways of counting rows of ss. Your headhone covers may need more or less rows to cover- it took me 3 tries to get a good fit.)

Start decreasing. Depending on if your last row was a knit or a purl, do the oposite and purl or knit 9 stitches, then two together, then another 9 stitches, then another two together, until you finish the row. My rows finished with 3 stitches after the last two together stitch. So on the next row, I started with 3 stitches, then 2 together then 8 stitches. This will all vary by size and tension, but here is what I ended up doing:
Row 14: knit 9, knit 2 together,knit 9, knit 2 together, knit 9, knit 2 together, knit 9, knit 2 together, knit 9, knit 2 together, knit 3
Row 15: purl 3, purl 2 together, purl 8, purl 2 together, purl 8, purl 2 together, purl 8, purl 2 together, purl 8, purl 2 together, purl 8
Row 16: knit 7, knit 2 together, repeat to end of row which will be just 3 knit stitches
Row 17: purl 3, purl 2 together, purl 6, repeat to end
Row 18: knit 5, knit 2 together, repeat to end which will be just 3 knit stitches
Row 19: purl 3, purl 2 together, purl 4, repeat to end
Row 20: knit 2 together for entire row
Cast off, leaving a thread long enough to sew up the edges and gather round the ear piece. Check it against the ear piece. It should fit over with just a bit of stretching. If it doesn't fit, note down what to try different and pull it out and start over.

If it does fit, start the sewing up with the thread left at the end, then put the cover on the ear piece to sew it over the wires, then continue the thread around the outer edge gathering it to fit. Tie it off to the thread at the start of the piece and trim or tuck in the ends. Put them on, plug them in and play some good tunes.

Now, that's the way I've done it, but I have a feeling there's loads of tweaks and improvements that could be made. I'm not that great at knitting, so adding patterns, ruffles, tassells, etc. is a bit beyond me, but the headphone covers as an idea could definitely be taken further. Or, the covers can be simple and functional, like mine.

So, for the analysis:

before, during and afterThe good: The covers have made the headphones usable again, which is nice. And I do like the way they are 'peronalized' now.

The bad: Because this project sat in my to-do pile so long (and by that I do mean years), P has new headphones and so doesn't need these now.

The ugly: I am a bit bothered by the way the casting off stitches stand up. This is probably due to my awkwardness in casting off rather than the pattern itself.


Sunday 19 September 2010

Review of Hat Works Decade Parade

Though I don't consider myself a hat person, I do like to go to the exhibits at the Hat Works. Yes, some of my enjoyment is just because I can go on there on my lunch break, taking a break from sitting at a desk all day. However, they do put on some inspiring stuff, and I always come away with ideas to try in my own crafting.

The current show (on until 28 November 2010) is a competition to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I have no idea how they came up with the idea of a miniature hat competition- it's not what would have sprung to my mind. But the show is full of interesting fabric sculpting ideas, so I'm very glad they put it on.

hatworks review scanI actually went to the show before going on vacation, but because I couldn't remember the makers' names, I went back last week and MADE NOTES! So, now I can blog without making constant apologies for missing people's names.

I'm just putting down what caught my eye, what I want to remember for my own crafting projects, but really, I want to thank everyone who participated in the show. It's packed with clever, quality work, and I feel like seeing such a variety of work helps me understand more about what I'm personally interested in. (Does that sound totally self-centered, or only moderately self-centered?)

  • Molly Bunce is the competition winner in the professional strand. Lots of what I would call fabric manipulation- making little bundles tied around what I assume are cut out shapes or bits of stuffing. Very interesting, organic shapes, reminds me of lichen. I'm wondering if it can be applied to quilting.

  • Judith Flack's Le Souk features wonderfully frayed rolls of hand dyed fabric.

  • Recycled Haberdashery by Ruth McGarry has what looks like a hessian base, a surprising choice for a feminine hat but I really liked it. Her fabric flowers with the blue yarn centers really caught my eye, and obviously I liked the recycled aspect or the piece.

  • I'm also thinking about using something like the little bouquets stuffed into fabric folds in Vernoica Hartley's Contrasts in a quilt. It reminds me of the encrusted crazy quilting Sharon B does, perhaps because of all the rich colour and texture.

  • Using the edge of braid/ribbon to build up a shape, Lorna Muir's Dansette looks so clever. I've wondered about something similar with folds of fabric, and her work made me realise how it would work.

  • I adore the flower on Striped Suprise by Laura Hankey. The petals are of two pieces of fabric, sewn, turned, stitched down. I've seen similar, simpler flowers as quilt embellishments (my google-fu is too weak to find it again), but the one on the hat had loads of petals, inner ones plain red and larger outer ones in a blue stripe fabric! I wouldn't have thought of striped fabric for petals, and it looks so good!

  • The woven ribbons on Maureen Brook's Buttons, bits and bobs makes me want to play with the ribbons I've collected over the years. My ribbon box is too full to close completely. Perhaps I should do a piece of weaving just to tidy things up.

Friday 17 September 2010

Legs! Brilliant!!!

I was knitting on the bus this morning, and I overheard a kid talking to a friend. "I don't know how you'd get there. Oh, you could walk! Because you have legs!"

I am so mature, that I concentrated on the knitting until they got off to go to school. Then I started giggling. Makes me glad to have legs.

On the way home, a bit of a faux pas. I didn't realize the older lady getting on the crowded bus really did need to sit. Luckily, a woman sitting behind me did realize and gave up her seat. Feel like I didn't read the situation as well as I should have.

Saturday 11 September 2010

Knitting report

It takes about a week to knit one earpiece cover on the bus. Since I've been knitting for two weeks, does that mean I've got a finished project to report on? Um, well, er...

The problem is, that I've twice made covers that are just too big. The first was too big all round, so I pulled it out and started again. The second was the right circumference, but too long and didn't taper enough. I did make notes along the way, so I know what to adjust for my third attempt. Hopefully it will be a Goldilocks just right, and I can finish the project completely in another two weeks.

I missed posting on my blogoversary last week. I had intended to do a big year in review and current projects run down, kind of a planning exercise. But I was feeling tired, like I was trying to do too much, and it just didn't feel like fun. So writing that post is on my to-do list, which seems a bit counterproductive, but that's ok.