Tuesday, 30 March 2010

How to: make a knitting needle roll

Now, I'm not the most tidy of people - particularly when I'm in the middle of a project, but all the knitting I've been doing lately has reminded me how useful it is to have all my needles and other bits and pieces easily accessible and neatly ordered instead of in a Jenga-style jumble at the bottom of a bag. One of the most useful things I have crafted for myself is a knitting needle roll - it helped to make me feel the part when I first started knitting and it's great to be in control and organised of at least a tiny bit of life! I've been meaning to write a how-to for ages. So, here goes - I hope it's easy to follow and helps make you feel like a knitting expert too!

What you need:
  • Plain fabric for outside and lining (I used a linen canvas): 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Fleece interfacing: 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Large patterned fabric (I used vintage barkcloth) for small inner pocket, needle guard and contrast strip on outside: 1/2 yard /46cm
  • Contrasting small patterned fabric for large inner pocket: 10"/25cm should be plenty
  • Double fold bias binding: 65"/165cm
  • Ribbon: 51"/130cm
  • Thread to match
Step 1: Cut out the following:

Plain fabric:
  • Cut two pieces 16" tall x 15" wide (40.5cm x 38cm) for outside and inside.
Fleece interfacing:
  • Cut one piece 16 inches/40.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide
Large patterned fabric:
  • Cut one piece 4 1/2 inches/11.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for small inner pocket
  • Cut one piece 4 inches/10cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for outside contrast strip
  • Cut one piece 3 inches/7.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for upper needle guard
Contrasting small patterned fabric:
  • Cut one piece 8 1/2 inches/21.5cm tall and 15 inches/38cm wide for large inner pocket

Now all the pieces are ready, we can get on with the construction. (If you are anything like me, you will have them all laid out in front of you in neat little piles and will be talking to yourself in a Blue Peter fashion... no? Just me then!)

Step 2: Pin the bias binding to the top long edge of the small and large inner pocket pieces and to the bottom edge of the upper needle guard.

Then top stitch the binding in place, using a matching thread.

Step 3: Pin the fleece interlining to the wrong side of the inside piece.

Step 4: Place the large inner pocket on the right side of the inside, making sure the bottom edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep pocket in place.

Measure and mark out the lines for stitching the needle pockets using the following intervals:

in inches: | 2 1/2" | 1" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 1 1/2" | 2 1/2" |
in cm: | 64mm | 25mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 38mm | 64mm |

You could use pins to mark out the dividing lines or draw directly onto the fleece on the wrong side.

Carefully stitch along the lines you have marked out, using a contrasting or matching thread. Make sure you reinforce the stitching at the top end of the pocket a couple of times for added strength.

Step 5: Place the small inner pocket on top of the large inner pocket making sure the bottom edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep pocket in place.

Measure and mark out the lines for stitching the needle pockets using the following intervals:

in inches: | 3" | 1" | 3" | 1 1/2" | 3" | 1 1/2" | 2 1/2" |
in cm: |76mm | 25mm | 76mm | 38mm | 76mm | 38mm | 64mm |

Carefully stitch along the lines you have marked out, using a contrasting or matching thread, as before.

Step 6:
Place the upper needle guard at the top of the inside piece making sure the top edges line up neatly. Pin around the outside edges to keep in place.

Step 7: Turn under and press 1/4" / 6mm along both long edges of the outside contrast strip.

Pin the outside contrast strip to the centre of the right side of the outside piece. Carefully top stitch along the long edges of the outside contrast strip in a contrasting or matching thread to secure in place. To add further decoration, position a strip of ribbon along the centre of the outside contrast strip and top stitch in place using a contrasting thread.

Step 8: Fold the remaining strip of ribbon in half. Position the folded edge of the ribbon against one edge of the outside piece, making sure it lines up with the ribbon on the outside contrast strip, and pin in place.

Step 9: Place the outside and inside pieces on top of each other with right sides facing, and pin together. If you would prefer the corners of your needle roll to be slightly curved, as mine is, I suggest you draw the curve you want on each of the 4 corners as a stitching guide . I used a cotton reel as my template.

Sew along all edges using a 1/2" / 13mm seam allowance, but make sure you leave a sufficient gap in the stitching along one edge for turning.

Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners then turn through the gap in the stitching. Press flat for a nice finish, slip stitch the gap in the edge and voila! - you should now have a gorgeous new needle holder!

Now, place your needles inside and marvel at the wonder of your organised new life!!


  1. I'd been LOOKING and LOOKING for a tutorial like this! My daughters are knitters, and for Christmas I will make this caddy and fill it with some unique/practical needles and tools. Thanks, Verity! Good job!

  2. You've done a really nice job here. Great pictures and I love your fabric choices. Very inspiring. Thanks for this.

  3. My mom loves to knit, and she has had the same roll for as long as I can remember, needless to say it is a bit ratty looking now. Thank you so much for this, I can't wait to make it for her!

  4. this is so pretty and well made! thanks for the tutorial! :)

  5. I have a friend who just started knitting....this will make a perfect gift!!!!thanks for sharing this. I hope mine will look as pretty as yours

  6. Thank you so much for the tutorial! You have spurned me on to make one - just blogged it.

  7. This is a great tutorial - my first attempt at machine sewing and your easy to follow words have left me with a really pretty (and cheap!) roll for my knitting - thank you!

  8. Wonderful tutorial! I am not very good at knitting, but I do like to be organized, so I will definitely make this. Hopefully it will inspire me to move beyond knitting rectangles!

  9. Have you tried doing a case for circular needles?

  10. This is Beautiful I love It!!! =) Looking forward to trying it out =) Thanks for all of the tips.

  11. Great tutorial, thanks Loulabelle :) I followed your instructions (it was a pleasure!) and came up with this little case for a gift: http://headfullofribbons.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/a-needle-case-for-m/

    Oh, the circular needles fit very well in this case. I will be sure to make one for myself and a few more for presents :)

  12. Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial, just made one last night as a gift and can definitely see me making more for the other scrafty ladies in my family. P.s I'm from Witney, Oxfordshire now living in Canada :)

  13. I love it and have been looking for something like this for a while, but apparently I am missing something. Is it just me, or do the sections on the large pocket equal 15 inches but the sections on the smaller pocket equal 15 1/2 inches? And does stitching the smaller pocket on top of the larger pocket mess up the slots in the large pocket since the stitches would go all the way through.
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am a better knitter/crocheter than seamstress.
    Heartfullofribbons.....yours turned out very nice. Ü

  14. This is an awesome tutorial, I've been through so many looking for clear instructions and good photos. Thank you so much!

  15. @Trisha- I found that when I was reviewing the pattern that I noticed this as well. I will be making this, but fixing the measurements to be 15 on the smaller pocket.

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  16. Loulabelle, thank you so much for the absolutely amazing tutorial!
    With your instructions I made a lovely birthday present for my best friend, who is a knitter!)) http://www.imnotinventive.com/lji6/knc.jpg

  17. Thanks for a grate tutorial :) I've made my own roll

  18. THANK YOU Loulabelle! Awesome tutorial! I just finished mine and posted it to my blog. Check it out. http://thepaintedpony.wordpress.com. Your tutorial was awesome and so greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  19. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I just started sewing (got a machine for Christmas!), and found your instructions helpful and clear. I'm happy with the knitting needle roll I made and will probably make a few more!

  20. Fantastic tutorial. So easy tofollow that even a total novice like myself was able to make a beautiful knitting needle roll. My boyfriend and friends were shocked at how nice it came out, they thought it looked professional! :) Can't wait to make a few as gifts. Thank you so much.


  21. Thank you for posting this fantastic tutorial! Made one last weekend and love it! Thanks again! Found you on Tip Nut..

  22. Thank You Lulabelle for this great pattern! I made mine with two fabrics and with greater spacing bewteen needle segments to hold my circular and jumbo sized needles. I loved the diversity of this project and the instructions were impeccable! I'm hoping to make a smaller one for my crocet hooks in the future. :) Thanks again, because I couldn't have done it without you. <3

  23. Thank so much for the tutorial! It turned out great! I loved the pictures! They helped me out a lot!

    I have pictures of my finished project on my blog!

  24. Great tutorial - so well written! So many tutorials/patterns seem to miss out stages, but yours was spot on. The pictures were useful and helped understand the clear instructions. I've just finished making the case for a friend. Really happy with how it turned out. Pictures on my blog: http://skullsandponies.blogspot.com/2011/07/knitting-needle-case.html

  25. Great tutorial, exactly what I was looking for. My mother started knitting, and I just made her an organizing tote, then she said she'd like to organize her kneedles...and I've found a few tutorial for a knitting needle roll, but I really like your version. Also the instructions were very clear, easy to follow, and the pictures were useful. Also your version had interfacing. Thanks!

  26. Brilliant and easy to follow instructions, I've needed one of these for ages. Thank you for a great post.

  27. I've really needed a great carrier that I can customize to the size I need it. I bought one like this on amazon but it was only six inches tall. Definitely didn't work. I went out to find fabric to make this today, hoping it would be done in a few days. However, your directions and pictures are so easy to follow, I ended up completing this in two hours. It is adorable. Thank you so much for posting this!

  28. Great instructions and easy to make. I made 5 yesterday for Christmas gifts! Thank you!

  29. When you sew that last strip and ribbon on the outside, doesn't it interfere with the slots on the other side? Thanks. Love it though.

  30. This is a good, easy to follow tutorial, thanks, I have included it on my blog http://handmadebyclairebear.com/2011/12/07/wips-on-wednesday-3/

  31. Just made 2.....one for my sister and the other for my daughter, so easy to follow your instructions and absolutely loved making them, thanks for sharing

  32. great. and e perfect gift for knitting friends.

    I linked to your tutorial on my blog - thanks for sharing!

    doro K.

  33. Thanks for this!
    It's fantastic, very easy with your tutorial.

  34. Hi- I just made one. I really like it, even though I screwed up the ribbon. Thanks for the tutorial!


  35. thank you thank you thank you...such an easy tutorial to follow. i wanted something to keep me organized, but not some boring store bought holder ;) shared on my Stitchtalk.com profile


  36. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I absolutely LOVE how mine turned out. It is by far the best knitting roll pattern I have found. Thank you!!!

  37. Great tutorial! Just made one and love it. http://karlamcurry.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/knitting-needle-roll/

  38. I made this needle holder last week and it took only part of a day. It turned out BEAUTIFUL and really usable. My needles are finally organized. I reinforced the top flap with the fleece lining because I have some very long and large needles. Thank you for the terrific directions and pattern!

  39. Made one for my mum and it turned out beautifully! Thank you for your careful and foolproof instructions.

    Yours wasn't the first tutorial I found but definitely the one with the nicest results!


    Thanks x

  40. I like the design. I used plain (cerise linen) and one contrast funky fabric. I edged the upper needle case with an inch of the contrast, did the whole of the lower case in the contrast and of course the needle guard. I didn't use bias binding at all but preferred to face the turnings on the inside. I found the finished piece it a bit too paddy when I turned it so have now unpicked it all and just used vilene interfacing. Used some wonderful funky fabric by Svenskt Tenn, a Swedish fabric designer I found in Liberty. Yummy fabric! Thanks for your ideas.

  41. I found this great tutorial and made one for my daughter for her birthday. Thanks for sharing this!

  42. I've had this post bookmarked for months until i finished my uni semester as my reward- first week on holidays and i finally got to do it!!! thanks so much-great post. i love my knit roll!!!!!!

  43. I'm so new to sewing.. How do you do the first step?

  44. Thank you for this wonderfully easy to follow tutorial, I have just made one for my daughter today and it turned out fabulous. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  45. Thank you great pattern, have just made one and will post on my blog and link back to yours. Great instructions, thanks Karen

  46. Just followed Paulaexuk's link to find this - wonderful - will post and link back when I get around to making one - just what I need, yippee!!!!

  47. I just made this for myself, and even made my own bias tape. No more unruly needles! Thank you for the awesome tutorial! http://imgur.com/a/le7o0

  48. Thank you for the fantastic tutorial. I was thinking I could figure out how to make this on my own but your post answered all my questions and then some!

  49. Hi Loulabelle,
    I was following your tutorial and doing two knitting needle rolls. You can see the photos in my spanish blog:
    Thank you very much for sharing.

  50. Really cool way to make a needle roll! Thanks for the tutorial. haberdashery

  51. Thanks so much for the great tutorial. Just finished making one. Your instructions where so easy to follow, it came together in no time. Now just need to put my knitting needles in.

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