Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knitting Needle Roll tutorial

Hello, it's Wendy from The Crafter's Apprentice here with a little tutorial for you.  One of the lovely ladies in this club wanted to make a knitting needle roll and as I was making one for my mum, I offered to take photos.  Unfortunately, I can't find the post so I can't remember who it was.  I've blogged about this on my own blog so apologies to anyone that follows both (sorry Sandra!), you're about to get a sense of deja vu!

You should know that I'm no sewing expert - or expert in anything actually (Oh, maybe plastics.  And the USSR and Poland during communist times.  And maybe English grammar, none of which help me sew a straight line), however I do know how to make a knitting needle roll as it was one of the first things I made and I've since thought about how I can improve that design.  I made a couple of mistakes and they will help you to make a perfect roll!

I'm using the leftover Amy Butler home-dec weight fabric I used to make knitting/crochet baskets for both me and my mum eons ago. 

You will need:
Outer fabric 23 x 21 inches
Inner fabric 23 x 21 inches
Fusible fleece 22.5 x 20.5 inches
Pocket fabric 9.5 x 23.5 inches
Pocket lining fabric (I chose a plain white as it wont be seen) 9.5 x 23.5 inches
Approx 30 inches of ribbon
Matching sewing thread
Contrasting sewing thread

As I was using offcuts from a different project, the inner fabric wasn't quite big enough.  Instead, I cut what I had (to 23 x 19 inches), then added a strip 23 x 3 inches to the bottom, ironing the seams open.  You could of course make the whole roll, or just the outer piece, from patchwork.

Fuse your fusible fleece to the back of your inner fabric panel.  I cut it 1/2 inch smaller all round so the seams wont be so bulky and so that you can line it up easier than if it were the same size as the fabric panel.  Make sure you fuse well - it does take a bit of time, but trust me, it's annoying when it doesn't stick properly and unpeels later.

Now to create the pocket.  Pin the pocket and pocket lining fabric right sides together and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave a big gap for turning along the bottom as it'll get sewn shut later.  You do not need to slip stitch it shut.

Turn the right way out, poke out your corners (I use my trusty paintbrush that's never seen paint in its life) and press.  I then top stitches 2 parallel lines in my contrast thread along the top edge, roughly 1/8 inch from the top and then 1/8 inch from that line.

You can either wing the next part, use a seam guide, or draw on your lines.  I didn't think about using the seam guide (which would have been a good idea) until I'd finished so I drew on lines using my fade-away pen.  The first was 2 inches from the edge, the next 1 3/4 inches etc down to 7/8 inch.  I then alternated between 1 inch gaps and 7/8 inch gaps - remember that knitting needles come in different widths.  Now pin the pocket panel to the bottom of the inner piece - I should probably mention at this point that the 23 inches is the width.  You may also notice my pocket panel is too small, that's because I cut it too short, I adjusted the measurements for you!

Sew down these lines with your contrast thread.  I made a mistake on the first few I did.  I started at the bottom and so the fabric puckered at the top.  Make sure you sew top down each line, then any puckers at the bottom will be hidden in the seam later.

Sorry about that poor photo.  Even though I took this in the sunniest room in the house during the day and turned the light on my sewing machine off, you have to remember that I live in England and it is October!  The following photo shows you what it looks like after you've sewn your lines, you can see on the ones to the left the puckers caused by sewing bottom up.  Snip off your threads from the front of the piece, don't worry about the back.

Cut your ribbon in half, place the two pieces together and pin about half way down on the right edge.  Make sure you place your pin at least 1 inch away from the edge of the fabric or your sewing machine needle may have a nasty accident.

It's a good idea to also pin the other end of the ribbon to the centre of the pockets to make sure you don't accidentally sew it into a seam later.

Place the outer and inner panels together, right sides in and pin all around, leaving a gap for turning.  I would strongly advise you do this on the left side (away from the ribbon) and above the pocket.  I stupidly left my gap on the pocket and had a right palaver hand sewing it up later.

Sew all the way round, turn, poke out those corners and press.  Now slip stitch or ladder stitch your opening closed.  I originally left the gap on the pocket as I was planning to top stitch all the way round, but after turning I realised it would be messy as there is a lot of bulk in the bottom edge and the bottom half of the side edges.

Fill with knitting needles - these are mine, I have ordered mum a set to go in this, but they haven't arrived yet.  Probably because I only ordered them after I'd made it!

To roll it up, fold down the flap onto the needles and roll from the left, then wrap the ribbon around the roll and tie in a bow.

Ta da!  One knitting needle roll and one very washed out photo.

That's a better photo.  I hope this was useful to at least one of you!

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