|Knitting Needle Tote from above.|
If I need to transport all of them, I pack them into a knitting needle tote I made a long time ago for a textiles assignment (I believe this was in 2005).
To make this tote, I cut out the back panel of an old sweater, and I chopped up a pair of my uncle's old jeans.
I cut the bottom portion off one of the jean legs, to use as a pocket. The rest of the legs I cut into flat panels.
The bottom of the pant leg was cut off as an intact tube and stitched directly onto the bag (ankle-end-up) to create the main outer pocket, with the industrial hem of the ankle creating a nice, clean opening. I added pocket flaps made of the sweater material to the open end of the knitting needle pouch and along the top the outer pocket.
Then I sewed the handles just below the top of the bag on each side.
|Front. The pocket flap is a strip of sweater edged with button stitch.|
The button and handles are made of twine, which was tightly wrapped in green yarn.
|I use this side pocket for sewing notions and other small tools.|
It is made out of the already-hemmed bottom of the pant leg.
|Back. The bottom stocking stitch of the sweater adds a decorative element to the top of this side.|
|I keep my slim knitting needles in the top needle tube.|
The big needles go in the main compartment.
|This pencil case my aunt gave me perfectly holds all of my crochet needles,|
as well as my small, double-ended knitting needles.
|The crochet needle case fits into the main compartment with the bigger needles.|
There is an extra inner pocket at each end of the tote, for thread spools or measuring tape.
TO MAKE YOUR OWN TOTE:
If you want to try this for yourself, all you need is:
*Sturdy base material.
*Optional sweater/decorative material, or yarns for contrast or accents.
*Needle and Thread or Sewing Machine. You can of course make your tote much stronger than I did by sewing it with a sewing machine, but I did enjoy the spontaneous decisions that came out of hand-sewing this piece. If you want your tote to be able to carry heavier items, you should probably use the sewing machine.
*An idea of what size items you want your tote to hold, as well as how many compartments or pockets you might need.
*Some way to fasten your bag, whether you prefer buttons or zippers. I like the zipper for the main compartment, because it keeps everything from falling out accidentally.
If you want to be very basic, all you need to begin with is a rectangle of cloth. Stitch down the front and back edges, to create a clean, sturdy top seam, and then fold your panel in half and stitch each side closed. You'll end up with the narrow tote that I made. If you want more of a tote, start with a longer main panel, and include a proper side panel (such as a half-circle or square), to create a roomier interior.
For inner or outer pockets, sew on a decorative panel or tube of fabric. It's really that simple. If you're feeling more ambitious, you can plan ahead and sew some pocket panels into your seams. Here is a link I've posted before, with a lovely selection of beautiful pocket tutorials, for if you want to do something more ambitious or decorative.
You can of course stitch multiple panels together, to create multiple inner compartments. Or try pleating, or adding elastic. Let your imagination run wild! Your tote has endless possibilities.
My only complaint with my own tote after years of use is that the handles feel uneven, and sometimes bend oddly. It was fun to make them on my own, by wrapping folded twine with yarn in the basket-making technique, but for better comfort and appearance for your own totes, I would recommend using actual store-bought handles, or a pretty tube strap made out of your fabric. Or leave out the handles, and make a notions clutch!