Sunday, January 20, 2013

DYO Cover

Design Your Own Cover
I'd wager that most folks who've used Judy's Magic Cast On have done so for them toe-up socks.  But I'll let you in on a little trick - it's dead useful for designing your own cozies for bottles, mason jars, candle votives, vases, pencil cups, soda cans, etc.  
We're used to seeing it with increases at the beginning and half way points of every round, for that wedge-shaped toe.  But what if . . . (Shatneresque pause) . . . we spaced more increases evenly around?  You'd get a flat circle, that really wants to be the base to a nifty cozy.
Check it out:

Use Judy’s Magic Cast On and start with 8 stitches (4 up and 4 down). Then use the following to make it a flat circle (instead of a toe wedge):

1- knit this and all odd rounds
2- kfb every stitch
4- *k1, kfb* repeat
6- *k2, kfb* repeat
8- *k3, kfb* repeat
10- *k4, kfb* repeat
12- *k5, kfb* repeat
 . . . and so on
See the pattern/formula/rhythm?  For each even row, there's an additional stitch in between the increases.  Of course, that kfb could be changed to your favorite method of make-1. 

Keep doing that until your flat circle fits the bottom of the thing you want to cover, like the base of that beer bottle, or mason jar, or soda can, etc.  Once you hit the target size, start knitting without any increases, which builds the walls straight up instead of around and around.
That's where you can insert your stitch of choice.  Something ribby to really grip that bottle?  Something lacey, maybe with nupps, to show off when you light a candle in the jar?  A touch of intarsia to decorate the pencil can cover?

If your stitch choice needs a total of more stitches than what you ended up with, you can always sneak in one or two extra increases on that first plain knit round.  I won't tell.
If you're gonna make a cover for a drink, you really want it to have a bottom.  If it's just a sleeve, no bottom,  the drink will slip right out when you go to pick it up.  Ask me how I know.  The java sleeves we've all seen patterns for are different, because most paper coffee cups slope upwards, acting as a sort of brake against gravity.  Not so with straight edged bottles and cans.

If you're gonna make a cover for a votive, be sure the votive's opening is wide enough to really vent the candle's heat, 'cause that cover will insulate it a bit.  Ahem, ask me how I know.  Thank goodness wool is fire retardant, that's all I'm sayin'. 

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