The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

February 24, 2010

Knitted iPod Cover

Brought to you by String Caddies-R-Us & Procrastination Station

This post falls into the category of Things To Do To Procrastinate On Writing The Fake Plastic Fish Book. It also falls into the category of Too Much Time On My Hands. And also Why Sleep?

1) Clean out drawers (because book writing cannot possibly be done when drawers are messy) and find an old iPod Nano that I never use anymore because the cheap plastic cover came apart and I never replaced it.

2) Think about all the AudioBooks I could listen to with this iPod and wonder if anyone is making a plastic-free iPod cover.

3) Browse and Google for several hours searching for the right iPod cover. Find plenty of options online but none that meet all my criteria. Cover has to be plastic-free. Has to provide access to click wheel and screen without removing iPod from cover. Has to have openings for head phones and USB connection, also without removing from cover. Has to close to protect the iPod. And must have a pocket to hold ear buds. I can spend hours thinking of things I wish existed. And more hours trying to find them. (Anyone know of a completely plastic-free travel mug that also allows one to sip while walking and fits in a cup holder?)

DIY string caddy4) Browse blogs. Enter RobJ’s contest and win a plastic-free handmade string caddy.

A few days later…

5) Receive said string caddy. Sit and ponder how to use it.

6) Remember I still haven’t found a perfect iPod cover and wonder if I could make one myself.

7) Think about writing my book. Then think about the iPod cover. Then think about writing. Then iPod cover.

8) Grab a piece of paper and start writing. Well, actually drawing… an iPod cover design.

9) Look at watch. 11pm. Good time to start knitting an iPod cover instead of writing a book.

10) Put yarn in Rob’s string caddy to keep kitty from getting to it.

11) Take lots of cute kitty with yarn photos. Even some videos. Play with kitty for a while.

kitty likes yarn

kitty likes yarn

12) Knit the iPod cover. (Instructions are below.) Feel proud of myself for accomplishing something creative. Wake up Michael to show it to him.

kitty likes yarn

kitty likes yarn

13) Wonder if anyone would pay me to design/make iPod or cell phone covers for them. Plan my business. Wonder how much to charge. And then… remember I have a book to write!

Okay, lest you think my procrastination techniques are always this productive, I’ll also admit that one of my primary methods of avoiding writing these days is to watch old episodes of The X Files on DVD. Just saying.

Anyone have advice for how to master procrastination?

iPod cover instructions

Note: These instructions are rough estimates and based on what I did. Your mileage may vary depending on how tightly you knit and what kind of yarn you choose. I used a #4 needle and worsted weight yarn. Also, this case is made for a 2nd Generation iPod Nano. Unless you have that exact same device, you will need to adjust all of the measurements to fit your unit.

1) Cast on 12 stitches or the width of your device plus a couple more. You’ll have to fiddle with it to figure out how many stitches to cast on. I started with too many, ripped out my work, cast on too few, ripped it out again, and settled on 12 finally. You want it just slightly wider than your device. And honestly? It had been so long since I knitted anything that I almost forgot how to cast on.

2) Knit in stockinette stitch until your piece is a couple of rows longer than 2x the height of your device. (My iPod is 3-1/2 inches tall.) Or garter stitch. Or whatever stitch you want.

3) Whatever stitch you started out with, switch to garter stitch at this point for the flap because you want it to lie flat. Knit until the flap is about 1/2″ – 3/4″ shorter than your device. Start to decrease your rows and also add a button hole. Here’s what I did:

Row 1: Decrease one stitch at beginning of row, Bind off 2 stitches in middle of row (for buttonhole), and Knit 2 together at the end of the row. If you started with 12 stitches like me, you’ll end up with 8.
Row 2: Knit to middle and increase 2 stitches by knitting into the front and back of stitches 4 and 5. You’ll have 10 Stitches.
Row 3: Decrease one stitch at beginning of row and knit 2 together at end of row. You’ll have 8 stitches.
Row 4: Knit to end.
Bind off.

3) Fold the bottom of the stockinette section up to the beginning of the garter stitch flap and sew up the sides. I put the knit side on the inside and the purl side on the outside. But that’s just me. Now you have a pocket for ear buds.

4) Cast on 12 stitches (Or the same number as you cast on before) and knit for approximately 1 inch. Bind off. This piece is the bottom pocket. Join it to the bottom of the cover, sewing up the sides and sewing only one small section at the bottom between where your USB cable and ear phone jack are located. Don’t sew all the way across the bottom unless you don’t mind removing the iPod from the case to charge it or listen to it. And then, what’s the point?

5) Cast on 12 stitches (Or the same number as you cast on before). Knit for approximately 1/2 inch. Bind off. This piece fits between the screen and the click wheel. Join it to the sides of the cover.

6) Find a cool, plastic-free button and attach it to the bottom pocket.

If these instructions were not too funky, you should have something similar to the photos above. If not, I am very sorry. You probably know more about knitting than I do anyway, so why are you listening to me?

You might also enjoy...


Buy secondhand on eBay

I only post ads for products I use myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
cheap ipad
12 years ago

That’s amazing Beth,you have done a wonderful job.I wanna have one for my Ipod as i have already got one in plastic but i am bored of that ,just want something new like yours.Well,I am just hoping that you won’t charge me much (joke).But anyhow the article was superb .

13 years ago

I wonder if you could knit one out of plastic bags?

13 years ago

That is the cutest thing :) I agree with the above post in stating that this would be a good product to market towards children/teenagers. I think you would have success there.

iPod Lover
13 years ago

Was searching for iPod cover on Google and found your amusing post. Excellent – but I really gotta learn to knit?! Hope you finish The Fake Plastic Fish Book soon and get a publisher or sell it via Lulu…

The Raven
13 years ago

Terrific! Love the pattern. I made up something myself when I got my iPod, and I still love it:

I’ve been swamped lately, but I’m very glad to be back to reading blogs again!

Leslie @LaMamaNaturale
13 years ago

HA! Procrastion… my middle name ;)) Cool, I-Pod cover… I’d totally use it. WIsh I could knit . Maybe someday, I’ll take the time to learn. Hope you find the motivation to write your book- would definitely get a copy! Visualizing the end result always helps me stay motivated. Just sayin’ ;)

Raven Joy
13 years ago

I crochet out of old plastic shopping bags. Not a good use for them, but would work for this. Would rather have none, but find crocheting plastic in public lets me talk about marine debris and how plastic recycling is such a shuck to make us feel good about using plastic. Just love your blog. I’m a trash fashion designer, but would like to make more useful objects from trash. So glad you are doing this work.

13 years ago

I’ve heard of productive procrastination, where you make a list of things you don’t want to do, and every time you have a task you want a break from you do one of those things. So you just have to find something you want to do even less than writing…

I would really enjoy reading your book, as I’ve been enjoying your blog, so I hope you write it! I’ve found having a set time of day when I’m supposed to write helps me get around to it. If I can’t think what to write at that time I write about whatever’s on my mind, and eventually that helps me write about what I should.

13 years ago

This looks like a very cute project for a teenager. Not sure how practical this is for an active person that uses an ipod everyday but for a teenager or younger it would be great!

Isle Dance
13 years ago

I want to thank you for your comments about the Orca attack, over at BlogHer. I would have thanked you there, but I was talking too much already, without making sense (because it upsets me so). So thank you for making such great sense!

13 years ago

Here are my anti-procrastination techniques:

1. Like the Nike ad – just do it! Tell yourself it doesn’t have to be perfect and write whatever comes to mind. You can organize/edit later.

2. Set a timer – try to write as much as you can in an hour. Again it doesn’t have to be perfect. Think rough draft

3. Organize – create an outline. What do you want to talk about? What’s the objective of the book? What is the tone? Who’s the target audience? Etc.

4. Set mini goals and reward yourself for achieving them.

5. Perhaps try a coffee shop or other venue where there might not be so many other distractions.

Then once you get started create a routine.

Condo Blues
13 years ago

Looks like you’ve already mastered procrastination :)

My husband’s and my technique is to look at the snow outside and talk about how we should shovel the melting bits and then watch The Tudors on In Demand. All.Three. Seasons.

At least it was plastic free :)

13 years ago

Glad i could play some small part in your Ipod Cover. Looks like soots is enjoying the string caddy as muxh as you are!

13 years ago

lol Beth. us college kids play Farmville at the library instead of doing our homework (or keeping our real plants alive). and while I may wait until the very last minute to do the assigned reading, I never, ever, stay away from Farmville long enough to let my plants wither. just sayin’

13 years ago

there are several ipod cover patterns on, atlhough I think I like the looks of yours best. You could post your pattern there! Although that would just be another way of procrastinating your writing…

Carol Beebe
13 years ago

My house was never so clean as when I worked out of it. Now I go to work somewhere else and every time they offer to let me work from home, I tell them that it is not a good idea!!!

I knit a bunch of little bags for ipods or cell phones for my friends a few years ago. I used wool or other feltable yarn. I loved making them and ended up giving every one away – so now my own ipod is in a little bag I bought from brookstone. :-(

None of mine have the cool opening or the earphone pouch. Now I am going to have to start knitting again….. darn you!!!!

13 years ago

Ooh, Eleanor’s post gave me an idea: “I find that the more ‘public’ I take my plans to do the items I don’t want to, the more encouragement and less distraction I get.”

Do you know about You can make a public commitment to do whatever (say, write x pages this week) or else you’ll do whatever (something so awful you couldn’t stand it — I chose making a large cash donation to Tom DeLay’s legal defense fund — or something you’d maybe be okay with, depending on how hard you want to push yourself — say, spending eight hours picking up plastic trash from the gutters of your town). It’s free and worked for me.

Thanks for the reminder, Eleanor. I may have to give myself another public challenge!

axelle fortier
13 years ago

I should be packing in preparation for moving. I should be dealng with heaps of papers on my tabletop. I’ll bet I’d find everything I think I’ve lost for the last 3 months under those heaps. However, I prefer to read Fake Plastic Fish and gasp at the beauty of that pod holder, Beth, and make delicious croutons and eat them, knowing I shouldn’t eat wheat because it makes me procrastinate.

13 years ago

So awesome! You could totally sell these on Etsy, or at the farmer’s market. But, um, write the book first, okay?

13 years ago

I avoid procrastination very poorly unless I have help. I will not allow cable or even rabbit ears (or whatever the digital version is these days) for the television in the house. My boyfriend has rigged my computer so I can’t see or any tv network sites to watch the idiot box that way. I discovered last night that I also need him to disable youtube. I also tell him what I’m planning on doing, so that he can give me Stern Disapproving Looks when he finds me fiddling with my blog or mooning over seed catalogs instead. Unfortunately I’ve discovered that while that’s fantastic at inducing instant guilt, it’s not enough to get me to stop and do what I should be doing.

So I enlist the help of others. I invite friends over to dinner to get me to clean the kitchen and dining room. I find that the more “public” I take my plans to do the items I don’t want to, the more encouragement and less distraction I get. Kind of like borrowing my friends’ and family’s will powers.