My great-grandfather Larry, Louie, Lawrence, or (to me) Zaide worked in a button factory. To this day, everyone in our family will lean in close and pick at the buttons on someone else’s jacket – “nice buttons!” we’ll say, the way normal people might compliment the garment as a whole. We don’t have many of Zaide’s buttons left in the button jar, because it’s been a long time and most of them have been used in special projects over the years. But I’m pretty sure this is one of them: my mom particularly loves shell buttons, and he’d save them for her.

Zaide never had a laptop, and honestly I have no idea whether or not this bag would be his style (so I’m going to go with not). But the button on it reminds me of him.

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This pattern uses seed stitch, which alternates knit and purl stitches. Unlike in ribbing, the knits and purls also alternate between rows. So if you see a knit stitch in the previous row, purl, and if you see a purl stitch, knit.

Seed stitch worked flat (over an even number of stitches):
Row 1: k1 p1 to end
Row 2: k1 p1 to end

Seed stitch worked in the round:
Row 1: k1 p1 to end
Row 2: p1 k1 to end


How to knit a laptop bag

Size: to fit a 17″ laptop, but easily modified for other sizes.

Unfortunately this yarn was a gift which came in two lovely balls of unknown length, so I have no idea how much yarn I used. Two biggish balls.

Gauge is 14.5 stitches in 4″. You want a tight knit to make a sturdy bag: use a bulky yarn and go down a needle size or two.

To start the bottom of the bag, cast on 50 stitches (for other bag sizes/gauge, cast on [width of laptop]*[stitches per inch] stitches). Work in seed stitch (see instructions above) for 2″. Pick up stitches around the other three sides of the rectangle you’ve just sewn and begin knitting in the round. Work in stockingette for 9″ (or [height of laptop] – 1″). Work in seed stitch for 1 1/2″. At the start of the next row, work 50 stitches in seed stitch, then bind off until the end of the row. 50 stitches remain. The stitches still on your needles should line up with your original cast on. This will be the flap. Work flat in seed stitch for 3 1/2″. On next row, work 22 stitches, bind off 6, work 22. Coming back on the wrong side, work 22 stitches, cast on 6, work 22. This forms the button hole. Work another 1 1/2″ in seed stitch, then bind off all stitches. For the strap, cast on 8 stitches and work in seed stitch until it is 25″ long, or a bit shorter than you like your bag strap: it will stretch a bit when you put a heavy laptop in the bag. Sew the strap to the sides of the bag, sew on a 2″ button, and weave in the ends. You have a new laptop bag!

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