I love old fabric, all time softened and a bit sun faded, it always conjures up memories and stories when it’s hand me downed or even found in a dusty box in a charity shop or car boot when I then get to wondering who did this belong to, what did they do…..some of the most treasured fabric I own is pieces of a pink and white sheet that belonged to our Nanny C, and some fantastic red and white fabric that originally was a chair cover belonging to my dear Joyce’s mum……I’ve bought familiar looking curtains not quite being able to place them, to be told later by my mum they are the same as the ones that hung in my bedroom when I was little…..everytime I look at these fabrics I can’t but help remember moments and times spent with people I’ve loved…
Other special fabric has been gifted by friends old and new, and while I could keep this all stored away and kept for best or fancy, I much prefer to use it, to be able to see and handle it day to day when I’m sewing or knitting….looking up from a sewing a tricksy hem or sighing when I’m having to un-knit a row (or two or three) when I’ve not followed a pattern properly, my eyes can rest on these familar fabrics and a little wave of reassurance and comfort helps to make me feel calm again.
A few years ago I made some knitting needle rolls for some beautiful wooden Brittany needles from my boyfriend’s mum and dad, the needles are really special and every time I use them I think of Kathy and Phil, and wanted the fabric in the roll to be equally dear to my heart.
Now I’m knitting with different styles of needle, double pointed ones which look like you could have someone’s eye out with if you’re not careful and ones where you can change the tip size to the length of cable, I thought it was about time I made some rolls and wraps to keep all these new types of needle safe and in one place.
While I was making the rolls and wraps for myself I was thinking about some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to this year, namely the Shiny bees one…often when Jo aks the people that she interviews who it was taught them to knit they reply it was a granny, nanny, elderly relative or their mum and I began thinking how I love seeing the fabric that is special to me when I’m working….. while Nanny C could knit (she’d knit brightly coloured little squares that a neighbour would sew together into blankets for the local old people’s home….Nanny C was still doing this in her early eighties) I don’t remember her ever showing me how to, or if she did I was pretty bad at it….a great aunt did try to teach me but my hands were always hot and sticky, and the stitches would get tighter and tighter, painfully squeeking as they pulled over the needles and dear Joyce was always out in her garden to bother about knitting or sewing …..so while when I knit and am quiet I’m not quite remembering them teaching me to knit and purl and pass one over, the fabric wraps are familar prints and textures and helps recall the laughter and chat, cups of tea and tins of biscuuits I associate with them.
As well as making wraps for my own ever increasing collection of needles, I’ve also made a few for my Folksy shop….at the moment there are two styles….the first one is designed for those pointy and pokey double tipped needles….they have two rows of pockets inside and are long enough so they’ll fit needles up to 20 cm. They also have a wide space in front where you can tuck in a needle gauge and the pockets at the other end are sewn shallower so you can store your cable needles in them and they won’t slip all the way down. These will also fit skinny types of crochet hook such as the Brittany ones.
When you want to store your needle roll away, it rolls up like a jam roly poly and is kept secure with either a length of velvet ribbon or a piece of vintage leather thonging.
The other design is a longer needle wrap and these are made with a front pocket that has been divided into lots of sections where there is room to store your different needle tips as well as a needle gauge. The three far right spaces are a bit shallower and are designed to store your cable needles. The wrap is deep enough that there is also room for short needles (for lace shawl edgings) or the odd crochet hook.
The two pocket lengths behind are divided into three so there is plenty of room to store loose cables.
The wraps fold over on themselves and keep all tucked up and secure with either a length of velvet ribbon or a piece of vintage leather thonging.
Both designs of wrap have long flaps inside that cover all the needles so stop anything from flying out or getting lost in your bag.
I’ve really enjoyed making the needle wraps as sewing is very much my first love and it’s been nice to incorporate my interest in knitting with fabric and thread.
As well as the ones listed in my Folksy shop I’m more than happy to work on bespoke wraps and rolls to fit your own particular needle requirements and with your own fabric if you have some that holds a special place in your heart.
In the past I’ve made memory quilts which were pretty special to sew and I guess these are a bit like that…..
I’m currently working on a few more styles which I hope will be ready to appear in the shop over the next week or so along with a couple of designs for project/workshop bags and pockets.