Friday, October 4, 2013

Earbud sleeve: a free pattern!

Some weeks ago I walked around New York City noticing how everyone was wearing earbuds, or, if their ears weren't plugged up, they had with artful insouciance slung earbuds and attachments around their necks or stuffed them into breast pockets as if they were spaghetti ascots. Instinctively I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to carry this off, because I am woefully maladroit in the tech-toys department, and deliberately uncool.

Perhaps this explains why it's impossible for me to keep my earbuds from tangling, no matter how carefully I roll them before stowing in a cute book-replica box that had once held a bar of soap. I pondered this a while. It then struck me that I could perhaps knit a cord cover, so that I wouldn't have to spend twenty minutes trying to straighten the buds before using them. (Proof of uncoolness: I use earbuds only to talk to H on my cellphone. This is because he claims to be unable to hear me during cellphone chats if I'm holding the phone near my face.)

I cast six stitches onto a #2 dpn, picked up another #2 dpn and began knitting an I-cord with leftover sock yarn. After an inch I decreased, over two rows, to four stitches, then stuffed the base (the plug) of the earbud wire into the knitted tube. The only thing one needs to keep in mind while knitting an I-cord tube around a wire, is always to bring the yarn around the back of the wire each time a new row begins. Work with a small ball of yarn, too, to keep the process manageable.

I continued to knit until the entire wire was swathed in I-cord up to the fork, where the wire divides to each earbud. At this point I consulted the Knitting Goddess, who advised me to increase to eight stitches, using the K1 M1 increase, then put four stitches onto a holder.

I continued knitting first up the left wire, then, picking up stitches at the fork, up the right wire.  I stopped when I got to the microphone, although you might want to stop earlier, and I cut the yarn, leaving a four-inch tail.  I removed the dpn.  The tail was threaded onto a yarn needle, and the needle drawn through the open loops, the yarn cinched, the tail cut, the end woven into the tube.  The same closure was effected for the left wire.  Et voila!

The next step was to figure out what to call this garment. I thought Earbud Sweater would do, but my pal, Pink Mohair, saw it yesterday and said, "It's not a sweater, it's a COSY." Then Neuroknitter saw it today and spontaneously announced, "It's a SLEEVE--an Earbud Sleeve." Amen to that!

So here it is--an Earbud Sleeve that keeps your wires from tangling! In a world where so little can be controlled, how thrilling is that?!

Photo credit:  R. Grahn

The next "IT" accessory?          Photo credit:  R. Grahn


  1. Love your idea..thinking about trying this myself!

  2. If you do knit an earbud sleeve, please send me a photo, and I'll post it on the blog. It would be wonderful to see another version. The knitting goes very fast--I think you could do one in under two hours!

  3. Wow, this is cool! It won’t only protect your earbuds from getting tangled, but it makes them stylish as well. I think your idea will serve as an inspiration for those who want to make something different with their wired earbuds.

    Freeman Dundas

    1. Thanks for your comment. I'm happy to post photos of earbud sleeves my readers have knitted!

  4. Oh it's really impressive. Good idea. I will said my wife make one. Thank for your sharing

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