Sidebar: Big thank yous to everyone who offered suggestions about what to pack for lunch in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal, and wherever else that post propagated. So far (day two, heh) so good.
The challenges of packing for a full day of feeding a hollow-legged preteen are numerous. Not just what sorts of food, but but the right way to transport and store it, as well as how to keep it fresh and edible in a non-climate-controlled environment. We bought an insulated lunch container, and then set about tackling the problem of keeping the contents of said container cool.
Rather than purchase those freezer gel thingies (because they kind of freak me out), I thought: Why not just refill a drinking water bottle, and freeze it?
The only reason I could think up was condensation - as the ice in the bottle melts (Tim pointed out that the gel thingamabobs would do the same thing, anyway, so why bother buying them?) , the condensation on the outside would get the food items wet. Ew.
Not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, I know, but why endure a tiny problem that could be solved via knitting?! :D
First, we're going to knit the base of the sleeve, starting from the center and increasing out until the area is large enough to cover the bottom of a 16oz water bottle.
R1: Cast on 7 stitches, divide across two needles
R2: Join, place marker between stitches 1 and 2 to help keep track, knit one round.
R3: Increase every stitch (14 stitches)
R5: Distribute 4 increase stitches (18 stitches) across round (approx. every 3rd stitch)
R7: Distribute 6 increase stitches (24 stitches) across round (approx. every 3rd stitch)
R9: Distribute 8 increase stitches (32 stitches) across round (approx. every 3rd stitch)
R11: Distribute 10 increase stitches (42 stitches) across round (approx. every 3rd stitch)
Here's what the base looks like at this point:
Any photo can be clicked to embiggen
Now we'll start working on the body of the sleeve with Round 13:
R13: K3, P3
At this point, repeat Round 13 until the sleeve is long enough to accommodate your bottle of ice. Bind off, and don't bother blocking!
Here's the finished product:
Here's the happy camper with his new mohawk, showing Condensation Sleeve enthusiasm: