No More Bouncing Balls

Finished Yarn Ball Holder

Finished Yarn Ball Holders

The Lolo shawlette is an easy, quick knit and I’m loving the project. What I’m not loving is how the yarn balls keep bouncing and twisting, especially when I was sitting in the airport and in the plane. It’s much easier to knit with two balls when you have the luxury of a couch. Although it’s too late for Lolo, I’ve used some of my new knitting-themed fabric to make yarn ball holders. Aren’t they cute? They are ready for my next two-yarn project. If I ever try a three yarn project, I’ll just sew another holder.

These are easy to make.

Materials:
Pattern drafting paper – I have a huge roll of tracing paper purchased at Michael’s
Ruler – I use my long quilting ruler
Main fabric – I used 20 1/2 inches by 12 1/2 inches
Lining fabric – I used 20 1/2 inches by 12 1/2 inches
Iron on interfacing – I cut two 4 inch squares
1/2 wide Velcro – Cut 4  – 1 inch pieces

Pattern on fabric

Pattern on fabric

1. To make the pattern, figure out how wide you want each square, I measured a few of my yarn balls and they were about 4″ in diameter so that’s the figure I used. When teaching earth science, I had the students make models of the different crystal formations, so I adapted that template and adjusted the size for my needs. On pattern paper, you will be making a cross-shape which is 5 squares long by 3 squares wide. Since I based mine on 4″ squares that’s 20″ long by 12″ wide. After drawing that size on the paper I added 1/4″ all around for the seams. That made my pattern 20 1/2 inches long by 12 1/2 inches wide. The quilting ruler is so perfect for this pattern drafting.

2. Lay pattern on fabric and cut out 2 pieces; one main fabric and one lining fabric. Also cut out two squares of iron-on interfacing. It will be used to stabilize the square where the buttonhole will be sewn.

Cut out fabric. Note where interfacing is ironed.

Cut out fabric. Note where interfacing is ironed.

Two 4" Squares of iron-on interfacing

Two 4″ Squares of iron-on interfacing

3. Iron on the interfacing. I forgot to take a picture of this step. Look at the layout picture and see that I’ve noted where the interfacing is to be ironed. It is ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric.

4. Sew up the four side seams on both the main fabric and the lining. Use 1/4 inch seams.

Sew up the four side seams

Sew up the four side seams

Look closely at the top of the box and you can see a bit of the ironed on interfacing.

Pin boxes right sides together

Pin boxes right sides together

5. Pin your boxes right sides together. Sew around using a 1/4 inch seam. Make sure to leave an opening of about 2 inches so you can pull the boxes right sides out. I clipped the seam where the top meets the box, the l-shaped junction. After the box is pulled right side out, sew closed the opening. I ironed the seams the best I could. I am a seam ironer, if you’re not that’s ok.

Pinch sides on the outside and sew a 1/8 inch edging

Pinch sides on the outside and sew a 1/8 inch edging

6. I decided I did not like how “floppy” the square looked so I pinched the sides together, including the main fabric and the lining, and sewed a 1/8 seam. Now the box stands nicely on its own.

Sew a buttonhole

Sew a buttonhole

7. This is the part which took up a lot of my time. I really wanted to try an eyelet or grommet, but after testing quite a few on a waste strip, I decided the “round” buttonhole would work the best. The metal items had bits to snag the yarn. I went around the buttonhole 3 times to make sure it was nice and strong. Cut the buttonhole open.

Attach Velcro closer

Attach Velcro closer

8. Attach the Velcro closer. I have magnetic closers, but since we travel so much I did not want to worry about the magnets attaching to other items or erasing magnetic strip information on cards. (When teaching I threw some neodymium magnets into my purse to bring to school and wiped out the info on my credit cards.) You can see the marks where I measure the middle of the flap and the middle of the bottom square where the flap attaches.

Attach Velcro to the sides of the boxes.

Attach Velcro to the sides of the boxes.

9. Attach Velcro to the sides of each box, the hook on one box and the loop on the other. I folded the side in half both lengthwise and widthwise and made a mark for the middle of the square. Now I can attach both squares together.

Add yarn

Add yarn

10. Add yarn. See how nice and “snuggly” my yarn ball is? Now my yarn holder is all ready for my next two-yarn project.

Cover that Cake with Colorful Berries

~Eureka!  Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden an amazing idea comes to you?  Barb and I subscribe to different magazines so we can swap.  At “The Office” last Monday, we traded magazines.  While I was reading the Spring 2012 issue of “knitter’s magazine” I was quite taken with the three Cake Covers on page 78.  What a clever idea!  We use cut-up nylons around our yarn cakes.  While reading the pattern three things jumped out at me:  1. Size 2 needles, 2. Lace weight yarn, and 3. CO 6 stitches and work up to 120 stitches.  The problem is that I wanted to make one quickly.  I’m mulling the patterns over in the way-back-of-my-mind when I got to the article “Resourceful Ribs: Beyond Edgings and Cuffs” in the May 2012 “Creative Knitting” magazine.  Turning back to the previous page showing a wonderfully textured sweater title Relaxed Ribs, that was it.  Now it all came together, I decided to design my own cake cover pattern using:  1. A rib pattern, 2. A heavier weight yarn, 3. Size 8 needles, and 4. Knit top down.  I’m lucky enough to own Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Edition 2 where I found the Crossed Braid rib.

Picking out the yarn.  I wanted to use up something in my stash that had been sitting for quite awhile.  I keep my stash in my great-grandmother Martha’s (Mathea) hump-back trunk.  Imagine a 16 year old fitting all of her belongings into a trunk and immigrating to America, leaving her Norway homeland behind.  I’ve put lavender sachets in the trunk so I love opening it, being greeted by a heavenly smell while taking in a wonderful view of glorious colors and textures. Found the perfect yarn that looks as if someone had squished various berries all over it:  blueberries, gooseberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Heavenly!  It’s Lion Brand Wool’s Autumn Sunset. Someone missed-named there, it is definitely Colorful Berries!

Now to design the pattern.  It took quite a bit of frogging until I was happy with the “lip” at the beginning, spacing of the holes, etc.  I also didn’t know if I wanted to use icord or use the lucet to weave cord.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  The top picture shows the end product.

Here is a picture with the top open:

And, I think it would be great to knit with the top folded down.

Cover that Cake with Colorful Berries pattern.  This is such a versatile pattern, I think I’ll use different ribs each time I knit it.  Excitement bubbles within me since this is my very first pattern produced to share.  Shh, I’m planning on  giving this cake cover to sister Barb so don’t tell her.  If you use the pattern, please give me credit and SHARE pictures. Information is also posted at Ravelry.