Knitting and sewing are my favourite crafts, largely because they seem to me to be the most practical skills – you can make almost any item by knitting or sewing it. My most recent project (a needle roll) brought together a love of both these crafts, and also satisfied my obsessive need to be organised!
It all started in January.
After a break of many years, my gran has started knitting again, encouraged in no small part by some of my knitted makes! It’s been wonderful to have a shared interest with her and to talk to her about the technical issues of casting on, working rib and decreasing for armholes.
She will only knit cardigans though, and all her patterns are really old – we’re talking 50s, 60s and 70s, but unfortunately, there’s none of the timeless vintage patterns that could make their way into the V&A. Nevertheless, she likes the patterns and she’s the one who’s got to wear them so that’s all that matters.
Like most yarn addicts, I’ve collected a lot of balls over the years, so I offered to give her some to make a summery cardigan. In the hopes of brightening up her summer wardrobe, I gave her some super-bright orange yarn (King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK), which she seems to like!
So she’s been merrily knitting away on the back ribbing, but two weeks ago she got stuck because she couldn’t find any 4mm needles in her knitting bag. Confident that she must surely have this commonly used size somewhere and perhaps she was getting confused between mm sizes and old UK sizes, I tipped out her bag and went on the hunt for a pair of UK size 8 needles. It took quite some time to sort out all the random pairs, but eventually we found a pair in the size she needed and she was back on track again.
Being an obsessively organised kinda gal, I couldn’t get the unruly chaos of my gran’s knitting bag out of my head. So last week, I gave in to my tidy urge and decided to make a needle roll for my knitting needles. They were already pretty well organised with elastic bands, but that’s not good for them and there are so many, I had loads to wade through to find the size I needed. Also, most of my needles were inherited from my nan when she died a few years ago, so I thought it would be nice to make them something to feel at home with me.
Finished on Saturday, here’s the needle roll, which is now home to just over half of my needle collection:
I didn’t want to use a pattern, I just thought about what I needed and how to do it, and then made it! Although there are a few adjustments I’d want to do if I made it again (like stitching the ribbon into the seam, and stitching the needle lines before attaching the back fabric), but overall I’m really happy with it.
I took it to show my gran on Saturday afternoon and she seemed really impressed. I’m going to try to make one for her, to organise her needles, as a surprise! Her birthday is in August so I think that gives me enough time…