The mittens for my mom’s friend from church are complete. I found myself trying to stray from the project…and since I’ve been holding Mom’s cowl and hat so I could ship them all together…and since said cowl and hat were supposed to be Christmas presents… I finally made myself put everything else away and focus until the mittens were done. I like them–they’re nice, simple, serviceable…and quite purple.
The mittens went out in the mail yesterday, along with the hat/cowl sets for both Mom and Meghan. I just got the new purple yarn to knit Oneida’s set, but that one is on hold for now.
In fact, I’ve put most knitting on hold for now. The only thing currently OTN (on the needles) that I’m giving any love to is Jeffrey’s sweater…more on that tomorrow.
My projects of interest right now are cases for yarn/tapestry needles and scissors.
I’m a tool junky. I just love me some pretty tools (as I’ve previously admitted). I’ve got 2 pairs of gold plated swan scissors that are my go-to small scissors. One set came with a very nice little leather sheath that fits snugly over the points of the scissors…or at least, it used to. I’ve been shoving yarn and tapestry needles in the same sheath, which has stretched it out some. And my other scissors don’t have anything to protect the points.
The reason I’ve been putting needles in with my scissors is because I had no handy way of storing and carrying them. I’ve been using my spare KnitPicks interchangeable needle case (I have 2 cases because I have 2 sets of needles, but I only need one to store my needle tips) for tools, but that means a lot of little tools rattling around in the bottom…including loose needles. None of them came in any kind of carrier; all I had were pieces of plastic that the needles had been pushed through, and those holes were stretching out. So I’m constantly having to dig for needles (and with my luck, poking myself with the smaller tapestry needles), and I’m getting fed up with it.
I got the idea of making matching needle and scissor cases from Knotty Girl; one of the traveling trunk shows had pre-printed needlepoint canvases meant to be turned into cases for needles and scissors. I’ve never worked with pre-printed canvases before, and I don’t do what most people class as needlepoint–I prefer counted cross-stitch. I never know how to react to someone who hears that and says, “Oh, I can’t do that–it’s too hard!” Really? It’s just counting. Sure, there’s some concentration involved, especially for large or intricate patterns…but it’s not what I’d call hard.
At any rate, the pre-printed canvases were a bit pricey, especially since I could grab some of my many counted cross-stitch pattern booklets and design my own pattern. I also wanted something now, and embroidering an entire canvas before I had something useable wasn’t enticing.
This is where my quilting came in handy. I’ve got a lot of denim fabric, from recycled jeans, that I’ve set aside to make a frayed edges quilt someday (probably for Jeffrey). But since I’ve got more than enough fabric, I certainly had enough to spare. I’ve also saved every part of the jeans–the pockets, the waist band, the belt loops, etc.–with thoughts that I could probably use them somewhere.
As you can see on the scissors case, the belt loops certainly did come in handy. I used one on the needle case as well; you just can’t see it under the waste canvas. I considered using the pockets for a few moments, but they were much bigger than what I needed. So I cut some pieces from the legs instead (although in retrospect, pieces cut from the pockets would have been stiffer and more durable–so I’ll probably add some fusible interfacing to each). The piece for the needle case was fun, because it looks like it was cut from 2 different pairs of pants–the difference in color between front and back is so strong. Actually, I just cut right in the area where the back pocket had been removed, so the fabric under the pocket was much darker.
The belt loops are sewn down on the back of each case and attach in front with snaps. Inside the scissors case is another layer of craft felt that was sewn to be a snugger fit on the scissors; the denim isn’t sewn together yet so I can add the cross-stitch. There’s also 3 sheets of craft felt inside the needle case, which is where I can stick the needles when not in use.
I’ve started the cross-stitch on the needle case–I’ll be doing pansies (my favorite flowers) on the front of each case and my initials on the back. I’m quite pleased with how they’re turning out. In fact, both are in use already, even though the designs aren’t done. And it’s actually a nice break from my knitting–just enough that I’m enjoying it for itself but it’s making me eager to get back to that yarn (aka “mummum“).