February 20, 2007

Needle Rolls: An Epic Adventure

This is the first needle roll I ever made (in high school!); its wool felt, not the acrylic stuff mostly available these days. It used to cost 10 cents a "square" at Newberry's, and I went through a lot of it.

Several decades later, I made this needle roll for my nephew-the-knitter for Christmas this year. The denim is from a skirt, and the three black & white fabrics are quilt scraps.

Inside the roll, you can see the three-layer pockets with a couple pair of needles barely visible. The width of the slots gradually increase from left to right.

Here's the other needle roll/Christmas gift I made this year, also made from reused denim.

Here's the inside. I wanted the pockets to be able to hold multiple pairs of needles, so they're not flat, but puffed up. I sewed the vertical lines first, then across the bottom, pleating the excess fabric as needed. I like it much better than the flat pockets. The buttons mark the size on alternating pockets.

The color here is poor, but you can see the needle size written in permanent marker on the button. You can also see the pocket easily holds two pair of needles.

The giftee of this needle roll also has some circular needles, and after consulting with her and looking all over the web for ideas, a really odd idea occurred to me, resulting in this:

That's the bodice of the dress the denim came from. Really bizarre, but highly functional! The fabric panel sewn to the back has five slots for holding circular needles. The waist is sewn together to form a bag, and hook & loop tape is in the sholders to keep the bodice on the hanger. The needle roll, books, yarn, or whatever can be stored in the bag, and the whole thing can hang in the closet. Both Louise and I liked the idea of the slotted needle hanger for reducing kinks in the cables, but there wasn't much of the skirt left. One of the needle hangers I saw in a blog had straps attached to a slotted fabric panel for suspending on a hanger, and they provided the inspiration of using the bodice. After all, it was already the right shape for a hanger.

Now it's a few days later and I ran across a piece of lavender ultrasuede and a coordinating cotton stripe in my stash. This resulted:

Since Ultrasuede doesn't ravel, I only needed to cover the edges of the cotton fabric. By semi-sheer coincidence, the stripe fabric was about a half inch narrower than the ultrasuede, which itself was almost exactly the size you see. I trimmed the bottom edge to take the rounded corners off. The resulting 1-inch wide scrap provided the patches to secure the ends of the cotton fabric to the ultrasuede thusly:

You may be aware of my inclinations toward tightwaddery and wonder at the expensive ultrasuede. There's a thrift store in town that sells stuff by the pound, and I ran across the ultrasuede there, snapping it up and hiding it in the bottom of my basket to protect it from other shoppers. That piece cost me less than a quarter. Not that I'm bragging or anything.

I want to label the slots, but this time with rubber-stamped iron-on fabric. Maybe real Bondex iron-on patches, or maybe fabric with iron-on goo added to the back. Any thoughts? Besides reminding me I should have done it before loading the roll with needles? VBG

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