Needle Cases, A Design Process

Making the Prototype

It’s great when you can use “organizing” as an opportunity to make something new.  If you can have fun doing it, so much the better.  Since I’ve been doing a lot of knitting this year, I’ve collected a lot of needles.  I have a lot of double pointed needles (DPNs in knitter-speak), and the case that I have only holds a small portion of the DPN collection. So…. into the sewing room I went, with my tentative list of requirements:

  • One case for all bamboo DPN sets
  • Separate pockets for each size needles
  • Rolls up and stays closed, for storage
  • Flap to keep needles from falling out of their pockets

This project also provides opportunity for:

  • Quilting practice
  • Cuteness factor in fabric choice

Here is the prototype needle case.

Rolls up for storage

Stays closed for storage

I used Velcro on this one, and sized the strips so that it would close at a smaller circumference if the case didn’t have all of the needle set pockets filled.  A good thought, but not necessarily a clean and elegant execution.

Quilting on the back to echo the snakes on the inside

Here’s where I was playing with cute fabric, with snakes on the inside, and grass on the outside.  Note that the Velcro only goes partway down, since I had sewed the needle pockets  before the Velcro.  Sewing a strip of Velcro on the pocket end afterward wasn’t possible by machine. Oops.  I didn’t think far enough ahead on the fastening.

"Bolt-on" to fix another goof

Other side of "bolt on" to fix flap shape

I knew I wanted to have a flap on the top to keep the needles in place when the case is rolled up.  I had thought that tapering the flap edges on the ends would reduce bulk during the rolling process, so I tapered the edges when I made the flap.  Once I had sewed it on, however, I realized that the size 1 DPNs (very tiny) in the first pocket wouldn’t be held in, due to the taper of the flap.  I needed to add on a side flap with some more Velcro to make sure that the little needles would stay in the roll snugly.  Effective, but the elegance factor of the case took a major hit.  I finished the case up anyway, since it would allow me to test out holding the needles as a set, and see how it worked in practice, before making another.

The finished prototype case, unrolled

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