Sunday, 1 January 2012

Roll on 2012 - The first tutorial of 2012

Well, Happy New Year everyone!  Just wanted to welcome all the new readers and to thank my old readers for coming back, what kept you all... we have loads to make this year, so let's get started.

Right, ladies and gentlemen, here is the first tutorial of 2012 and this is a purely selfish one with a practical purpose.  You may have noticed that last year I discovered that I had been lied to, sock knitting is not difficult, you do not need lots of little markers and actually although I say so myself, I make a jolly good fist of it but it has created a problem, where do I store all the DPNs (double pointed needles... the ones I like to use on the train to get a double seat as they look quite scary) and my circular needles?  Now if the thought of making a needle storage roll is making you yawn, then remember that it can also be used to store make up/paint brushes, crochet hooks and coloured pencils for children and yes, Marion - we are starting on the contents of your Summer fete stall right here.
You will need:
Two lots of fabric, I am using ticking and cotton - 13" x 11" for the main and 7" x 11" for the contrast
Wadding (if you are making a pencil roll you can leave this out but I want to protect my needles)
Tape measure or rule
Contrasting tape
Sewing machine
Iron and Ironing Board (well we are using fabric, so you knew it was coming)
Chopstick (pointy variety)
Firstly iron your fabric, as I am using a cotton ticking I will be cutting it out with pinking shears as you will remember that ticking is in training for the Olympic 100m and will start to run even before the starter fires his gun, you need two pieces 13" height  x 11" width and a piece of wadding cut to the same dimensions.  If you are working with longer needles or shorter pencils adjust the height accordingly.

Now take your contrasting well behaved cotton and cut out a piece 7" height x 11" width.
Fold over the top of your fabric using your 5/8" seam allowance, iron it firmly... now you can either do a simple running stitch or you can use an embroidery stitch to lift the fabric, if like me you are using a plain contrast.  Obviously it would not work with a floral pattern as the stitches would get lost. 

Now place your ticking face up (right side up) and place the contrast fabric on top, right side up and pin the contrasting fabric in place along the lower edge.

Taking out your tape measure or rule, mark an inch away from your 5/8" seam allowance with a pin or a fabric marking pen at the top and the bottom, repeat this every inch until you come to the right hand edge.  Now if you are confident, go ahead and sew a straight line down as this will make the casement for your items to sit in.
If you are still taming your sewing machine then we will baste or tack the fabrics together.  Using a contrasting cotton, double it and tie a large knot in the end and sew a line of running stitches from the top to the bottom, do not sew the end in when you finish but leave a tail of a couple of inches - these stitches do not have to be small or elegant; tacking/basting usually uses a longer running stitch they are used to hold fabrics together until you machine them in place.  When you have sewn everything in place, go to the knot end of your tacking and pull gently and this will remove the tacking, sometimes it does get caught up with your stitching so just tug gently until it comes out.
For my circular needles I am going to add a little more security - circular needles would have been put in Colditz Castle in WWII as they are great escapologists - so taking the tape, place it 2" above the top seam and catch it every inch, running in line with the seams you have just created, as we are going to use these loops to wrap our circs around whilst they are resting.

Now pin the wadding to the back of this piece and sew it in place with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Now with right sides facing each other, pin the fabric together.  Starting at the top six inches from the right hand side sew a 5/8" seam all the way around but stop four inches short of where you started.  
Cut across each corner and trim the excess seam, now turn your roll inside out and poke the corners with your chopstick and tease the corners out to make a good point.

Iron the roll flat and tuck in the open seam and pin it shut.  Finally, cut about of tape and fold it in half lengthwise, with the outside of your roll in front of you, on either the left or right hand side pin the tape half way down.  Now using your sewing machine foot, so that the thin side of your foot sits on the edge, sew around the roll again... use either a running stitch or show off again with an embroidery stitch.

Now fill it with your needles, brushes or pencils... and wonder why on earth you stored your needles in an old chocolate box, large glass vase or tool box?
And now it is confession time, remember how I tell you when measuring, to measure twice and cut once... well here is the proof that it is good to take your own advice.
Yes, I managed to cut it a good inch short and did not notice until I went to piece it together... I do hope that this is not a portent of things to come...


Jam Dalory said...

Great tutorial and Happy New Year to you, hope its a good one. x

Stocki said...

Happy New Year Ros... This is a lovely tutorial... thanks! :)x

Annie and Lyn said...

That's what my husband says when he's woodworking, 'Measure twice, cut once'. But every so often I hear this cry from him, "I don't believe it!" and I know he didn't take his own advice.

The needle holder is a good idea and it prevents the needles from getting bent.
Knitting with a bent needle is like riding a bike with a square wheel.

Happy New Year Ros - you've made an impressive start on your blog.

CarolC1 said...

What a good idea. It can be adapted too. I mention this because No.2 swon has been asking me to get him a bag to keep his drum sticks in. That looks a def. possibility, just make it a little larger I think. Thankyou.

Stef said...

Great tutorial Ros. As I am still taming my machine I shall take on boards all advice. Thanks.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I found your tutorial via Craft Gossip. I learned to knit in November and I have been wanting to make a roll to keep my three pairs of needles :) organized neatly until I add to my collection. I love your version. Happy New Year.

Little Harriet said...

Great tutorial and very useful too (my knitting needles are all mixed together in/poking out of, a plastic bag :S )

Have a great 2012.


Michelle said...

Very Cute! It looks like your year is off to a very organized start!

Meg Wesley said...

Great tutorial! I might be back to follow it one day. I hope to get some more sock needles this year and I will need a place to get them organized.

mcrafts said...

Great tutorial Ros - I can see my crochet needles in one of these (saving the usual search when I am looking for a specific one) Mich x

Jaz said...

Lovely tutorial :)

Marieta said...

Thank you¡¡¡
Happy new year

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing (and for sharing your goof - I do that occasionally and it's so frustrating!).

Nadia said...

Looks like I could do this. I have all of my needles in 3 separate storage units. One being in an old box.

KT said...

Perfect timing! How did you know that I have been looking for storage for my dpns and a project to attempt on my new-to-me sewing machine?

The instructions are clear so hopefully I'll succeed. Also, thanks for showing the mini-mishap, It is always reassuring to know that others have "human moments" too.

Wendy said...

Excellent tutorial - superbly clear and useful as usual. Happ new year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial, I am going to follow it to make my gift for my craft swap I'm doing :-) x

Nicki Rocky said...

Fantastic tutorial and so simple to follow. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, and so practical, too. And as a bonus, easy to follow! Thanks so much for sharing.

Katie said...

Great idea, I am new to this site and find your tutorial very easy to understand and I will give it a try.

Ann Hutt said...

I wish I understood these instructions! I can see how to join the 2 pieces of fabric and make the needle pockets. I am mystified about how to add the wadding. Are there 3 pieces of fabric? Surely the wadding should be added first before making the pockets?

Ann Hutt said...

Finished this needle roll today adapting it as I thought fit. Very pleased with it. Thanks!