Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sewing a knitting needle holder

My double pointed knitting needles have been driving me crazy lately. I absolutely love knitting with them but until now I had no good way of organizing them. Instead they were all thrown in a bin together, which meant a lot of digging and using my needle gauge any time I wanted to use a set. So I started thinking about a way to organize them.

Another one of my goals was to get better at using my sewing machine. So for this year's resolution list I decided to join my ideas/goals and sew a knitting needle holder. I figured it would be a fairly easy project as it is pretty much all straight lines.

How did it go? Well...I sort of winged it. I think it looks pretty good for one of my first projects. There are some flaws but I can live with them. Here's how I got there.

First I had to figure out what size I needed to cut the fabric. I wanted a spot for all of my current needles plus a few spots for the sizes that I'm still missing (and will hopefully acquire some day). I figured 2" for each space would work - big enough for one set of the larger sizes and multiple of the smaller sizes. I also wanted to give myself a seam allowance so I went with 32" wide - 15 holders plus my allowance. I decided to cut the main piece 16" tall. My tallest needles are 8" and I wanted to be able to fold the top down so the needles wouldn't fall out the top. I'm pretty sure I cut more than I needed to but I'm still working on my precision. My smaller piece - the pocket piece a was going to be the same width but only about 5" tall (my shortest needles are only 6" tall so I didn't want it to come up too high)

I raided my fabric stash to find some fabric to use and ended up with a gorgeous turquoise blue for the big piece and a purple, blue and pink striped fabric for the smaller piece. To make my life easier (so I thought) I cut each piece twice as tall so I could just fold it over and hem. This was mistake number one - by doing it this way the stitching on my pockets was going to be noticeable on the outside of the holder.

So anyway I pinned the right sides of the fabric together on the smaller piece and sewed around the three unattached sides, leaving a small opening to turn it right side out.

Then I did the same for the bigger piece. (Mistake number two - I sewed all the way around the three sides. I had to get out a seam ripper to cut the opening so I could turn it the right way.)

Next I pinned the two pieces together and top stitched around. This step went rather smoothly until the very end. About two inches from the edge, my bobbin ran out of thread. No big deal, I'll just wind some more. Except the bobbin winder on my machine chose that moment to break. I know it worked earlier because I wound thread onto the bobbin before I started the project. I was so frustrated! Mere inches from the edge and I was stuck. So I did something I wouldn't have done if I were giving this away - I switched to a thread that matched a bobbin that I already had wound. In my defense I was using a really light gray and switched to white so it's not super noticeable.

My next step was to mark out every two inches on the striped fabric to mark out where to sew for pockets. Then I sewed them down. Here's where I would have been smart to only be sewing through one on the big pieces of fabric and then sewing the other down.

I'm really not too bummed though because even with all the trial and error here's what I ended up with - a very functional and rather pretty needle holder.

My flap idea even worked!

Then I grabbed a pretty ribbon and tied it together.

Ta da! Another resolution ticked off the list and a functional project to come out of it!


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