Tuesday, 30 March 2010

How to: make a knitting needle roll

Now, I'm not the most tidy of people - particularly when I'm in the middle of a project, but all the knitting I've been doing lately has reminded me how useful it is to have all my needles and other bits and pieces easily accessible and neatly ordered instead of in a Jenga-style jumble at the bottom of a bag. One of the most useful things I have crafted for myself is a knitting needle roll - it helped to make me feel the part when I first started knitting and it's great to be in control and organised of at least a tiny bit of life! I've been meaning to write a how-to for ages. So, here goes - I hope it's easy to follow and helps make you feel like a knitting expert too!

What you need:
  • Plain fabric for outside and lining (I used a linen canvas): 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Fleece interfacing: 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Large patterned fabric (I used vintage barkcloth) for small inner pocket, needle guard and contrast strip on outside: 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Contrasting small patterned fabric for large inner pocket: 10"/25cm should be plenty
  • Double fold bias binding: 65"/165cm
  • Ribbon: 51"/130cm
  • Thread to match
Step 1: Cut out the following:

Plain fabric:
  • Cut two pieces 16" tall x 15" wide (40.5cm x 38cm) for outside and inside.
Fleece interfacing:
  • Cut one piece 16 inches/40.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide
Large patterned fabric:
  • Cut one piece 4 1/2 inches/11.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for small inner pocket
  • Cut one piece 4 inches/10cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for outside contrast strip
  • Cut one piece 3 inches/7.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for upper needle guard
Contrasting small patterned fabric:
  • Cut one piece 8 1/2 inches/21.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for large inner pocket

Now all the pieces are ready, we can get on with the construction. (If you are anything like me, you will have them all laid out in front of you in neat little piles and will be talking to yourself in a Blue Peter fashion... no? Just me then!)

Step 2: Pin the bias binding to the top long edge of the small and large inner pocket pieces and to the bottom edge of the upper needle guard.

Then top stitch the binding in place, using a matching thread.

Step 3: Pin the fleece interlining to the wrong side of the inside piece.

Step 4: Place the large inner pocket on the right side of the inside, making sure the bottom edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep pocket in place.

Measure and mark out the lines for stitching the needle pockets using the following intervals:

in inches: | 2 1/2" | 1" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 2 1/2" |
in cm: | 64mm | 25mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 64mm |

You could use pins to mark out the dividing lines or draw directly onto the fleece on the wrong side.

Carefully stitch along the lines you have marked out, using a contrasting or matching thread. Make sure you reinforce the stitching at the top end of the pocket a couple of times for added strength.

Step 5: Place the small inner pocket on top of the large inner pocket making sure the bottom edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep pocket in place.

Measure and mark out the lines for stitching the needle pockets using the following intervals:

in inches: | 3" | 1" | 3" | 1 1/2" | 3" | 1 1/2" | 2 1/2" |
in cm: |76mm | 25mm | 76mm | 38mm | 76mm | 38mm | 64mm |

Carefully stitch along the lines you have marked out, using a contrasting or matching thread, as before.

Step 6:
Place the upper needle guard at the top of the inside piece making sure the top edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep in place.

Step 7: Turn under and press 1/4" / 6mm along both long edges of the outside contrast strip.

Pin the outside contrast strip to the centre of the right side of the outside piece. Carefully top stitch along the long edges of the outside contrast strip in a contrasting or matching thread to secure in place. To add further decoration, position a strip of ribbon along the centre of the outside contrast strip and top stitch in place using a contrasting thread.

Step 8: Fold the remaining strip of ribbon in half. Position the folded edge of the ribbon against one edge of the outside piece, making sure it lines up with the ribbon on the outside contrast strip, and pin in place.

Step 9: Place the outside and inside pieces on top of each other with right sides facing, and pin together. If you would prefer the corners of your needle roll to be slightly curved, as mine is, I suggest you draw the curve you want on each of the 4 corners as a stitching guide . I used a cotton reel as my template.

Sew along all edges using a 1/2" / 13mm seam allowance, but make sure you leave a sufficient gap in the stitching along one edge for turning.

Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners then turn through the gap in the stitching. Press flat for a nice finish, slip stitch the gap in the edge and voila! - you should now have a gorgeous new needle holder!

Now, place your needles inside and marvel at the wonder of your organised new life!!

Monday, 29 March 2010

New style available - Patricia Overnighter

Finally, I've managed to complete my latest style and am really pleased to be able to reveal... Patricia the Overnight Bag. I'm pretty proud of how she turned out! Featuring a simple patchwork design, I've focused on using a combination of vintage and vintage-style modern fabrics with bold and unusual prints and a variety of textures.

To check out the Patricias and other styles, visit www.madebyloulabelle.folksy.com (prices in UK£) or www.madebyloulabelle.etsy.com (prices in US$).

Friday, 12 March 2010

Knitting latest - the highs and lows!

Last night was the 4th installment of knitting night - aka Knit and Natter (we decided "stitch and bitch" was far too bad-girl for us nice young ladies!). Anyway, I realised I've been making pretty good progress over all and thought I'd share my latest knitting projects.

The matinee jacket is all done and dusted - I'm still not sure why they are called matinee jackets - it's not yet been sported at any matinees but has been worn by Freya with a certain amount of style. I've also finished this cute little short-sleeved lacy cardigan which I'm really pleased with. It looks great on Freya with her turqoise and brown polka-dot leggings - although she was described by someone as looking very "mint choc chip"! Mmmm ice-cream flavoured baby - sounds delicious!!! Here they are displayed in all their glory against the background of one of 4 fabulous vintage pillowcases that my splendid other half found for me on a charity shop hunt.

My current project is now the giant bolero from my earlier post. It's a really simple pattern, but either something to do with the extraordinarily large needles (look at them - it's like knitting with small trees!) or the inordinately expensive wool has meant I've had a few false starts and last night ended in disaster - the natter got in the way of the knitting and I ended up having to undo the whole evening's work. At least with wool this chunky and needles this big it won't take too long to catch up again!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Where did February go?? I wish I could say it disappeared in a blur of romantic Valentine related activities but unfortunately the aroma of baby sick tends to get in the way of romance!

Anyway, I've got a couple of tutorials and a few other posts high up on my to do list, so will be back with a vengeance soon - in the meantime, I wanted to share the good news that my Vintage floral Grace handbag was included in this blog post from Sunday Seamstress.

I'm so flattered as I think her Etsy shop - SewnSunday - is fab too - I particularly love these two purses:


Related Posts with Thumbnails