Striped, Felted Laptop Sleeve Pattern

by Pam Henager

Including directions to fit a 15” Macbook Pro (2012 model with Retina Display) and instructions for making a sleeve to fit YOUR laptop or iPad

Color A:  One skein Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted, 100 gr/220 yards - any other basic worsted wool (like Cascade 220 or similar) that felts will do as well.  As shown, color Noir.

Color B:  I used two skeins and a bit of Noro Silk Garden 50 grams/100 meters, plus just a bit of another skein.  You might be able to get by with two skeins. As shown, colorway 252

One yard of one inch elastic. 

Needles:  US size 9 circular needle - a 24 inch needle works pretty well, or to get gauge.

Gauge:  My unfelted swatch of 25 stitches and 12 ridges of garter stitch was 6 inches wide, and 3 1/4 inches long.  (In the interest of full disclosure, my swatch had a dual purpose - I knit 16 more rows of straight stitch, to see what that would look like - for a total row measurement of 6 1/4).  If you want a square swatch, you might knit 24 ridges of garter stitch.  A garter stitch ridge consists of two knit rows of garter stitch.  Knit two rows in color a, then two rows in color b.  Carry the unused color up as you go.  Use a needle 2-3 sizes larger than you usually use with worsted weight yarn.  If you are making a different size sleeve, and/or are willing to calculate your own sizes, there is NO need to match my gauge, but you will need to knit a swatch to discover YOUR gauge. 

Felt thoroughly (I threw my swatch in two loads of family laundry), smooth flat and square to dry, and measure.  My felted swatch was 4 5/8 inches wide.  The twelve ridges of garter stitch measured 2 3/8”. 

Felted gauge:  about 5.13 st/in, and 5 garter ridges/inch. 


Based on this gauge, for a laptop that is 9 3/4” wide and 3/4 inches thick at the widest point,  I cast on 102 stitches in black yarn.

For your laptop, measure the circumference of your laptop around the short side.  Multiply the number of inches by  the number of stitches per inch in your felted swatch.  This is the number of stitches you cast on.

For my sleeve, I purled the first stitch and the 51st stitch, every row.  This made a nice edge stitch when the piece was felted.  You should purl the first stitch and another stitch half way round.  Otherwise, remember that garter stitch in the round means you knit one row, purl one row. 

After casting on, carefully join, purl to the half-way point, place marker, purl to end of round.  You may wish to have a marker at the beginning of the round as well.  Now add color B.  Knit one round (except purling the 1st and the halfway stitch), purl one round .  Knit one round in color A, purl one round (continuing to purl the first and half-way stitches EVERY round).

Follow this pattern, alternating colors.  I knit 73 garter ridges.  You should measure your laptop and multiply the long side length (not circumference) by the number of ridges per inch in your felted swatch.  That’s the number of ridges you should knit. 

BEFORE your last purl round (of your last ridge) place half your stitches on a second double point needle - OR distribute your stitches on your circular needle so that you can use a second needle to do a three needle bind-off.  When you bind off (knitting together one stitch from the front needle, and one stitch from the back needle, then again knit together one stitch from each needle, then pass the first stitch over the second stitch) the first pair of stitches you bind off should be the FIRST and LAST stitches in your round.  In this way, close the bottom of your laptop sleeve and bind off at the same time.  Pull yarn through the last stitch.

Now, weave in any loose ends.  Wash the sleeve in hot water in your washing machine.  I like to felt things inside a zippered pillow cover, so the lint doesn’t gum up my washer, and so lint from my laundry doesn’t end up on my knitting.   I find things felt best if there are other items in the load (a load of towels works well, if the knitting is inside a pillow cover so it doesn’t get lint from the towels).  Check every five minutes or so to see how the felting is progressing.  When the wool is tightly felted OR when it is the right size for your laptop, rinse, if necessary, and roll to damp dry in a towel.  Pull into shape and allow to dry. 

Now for the elastic.  Cut the elastic about 3 inches shorter that the long circumference around your computer.

Get out your sewing machine and sew it in a loop.  Then, sew it to your laptop sleeve.  I sewed it in two places.  Sew through only one thickness of the elastic and one thickness of your sleeve.  You can do this by machine, if you’re careful, though it’s awfully thick to sew through that garter stitch fabric.   The elastic should be attached about 1 to 1.5 inches from each end of one side, about 1/3 of the way down the body.

When you finish, it should look like this:

And when you put your laptop in the sleeve, you can loop the elastic around the whole sleeve, and the computer will be held in fairly securely. 


1/4/13 - After some hard use by the owner, I've done some alterations to the original sleeve.   I think that it will be more durable if you bind-off in the all wool yarn, rather than the silk blend yarn.  For extra durability, you may consider lining the sleeve - I used a cotton lycra sateen blend, and machine stitched the lining to the top edge of the sleeve. 

Copyright 2012 Pam Henager

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