Keep Your Knitting Needles Organized
A roll-up knitting needle case is an easy sewing project and a great way to store a bunch of needles in one compact place. It also makes a great gift for a friend who knits, especially if you include a few pretty needles!
You can make this case with 24 pockets for needles of different lengths, or customize it with more or fewer pockets to suit your needs. Once filled, it easily rolls up and ties shut with a length of coordinating ribbon.
This is an easy project, even if your sewing skills are at a beginner level. And if you don't have a sewing machine you can hand sew the case in a few hours.
Materials and Cutting Guide
- Fabric for the outside: 3/4 yard
- Fabric for the pockets: 3/4 yard (or 1/3 yard each of two fabrics)
- Ribbon: 1 yard
- Rotary cutter and cutting mat (optional, but helpful)
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
Note: Quilting cotton works well for this project, as does linen, or a mix of the two. However, linen is a little trickier to work with, so if you are a beginner, stick with all quilting cotton.
- Press the fabric if needed.
- Cut two pieces of fabric for the outside, each 25" x 17".
- Cut two pieces of fabric for the pockets. Cut one to 25" x 7" and the other to 25" x 10".
- These sizes produce a case that holds needles from 7" to 14". If you only use needles up to 10", you may want to shorten each of the pieces.
- Cut the ribbon into two 18" long pieces.
Press and Hem the Pockets
On one long edge of each of the pocket pieces, press the fabric to the wrong side 1/4". Fold it another 1/4" and press it again.
Sew the fold down, sewing about 1/8" from the fold. Take care so the seam stays double-folded and the raw edge is on the inside.
Layer the Pieces Together
Stack the fabric pieces as follows, lining up the sides and the bottom edge:
- Outside piece right side up
- Large pocket
- Small pocket
- Outside piece right side facing the others
Pin the two pieces of ribbon on one side, with the ends matching up with the edge of the fabric.
Before you place the second outside piece, it's a good idea to pin the pockets and ribbon in the middle a few times. This holds things in place so nothing shifts while you're working.
With the second outside piece in place, pin around the edges.
Sew the Knitting Needle Case
Starting on the top, sew around the rectangle with a 3/8" seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the sewing, leaving a 4" opening for turning it right side out.
Trim the corners to reduce fabric bulk, but be careful not to cut the stitches. Turn the case right side out and poke the corners into shape with a medium knitting needle. Remove the pins from the center area.
Open the seams by rolling them between your fingers, then press them with an iron. Press the open seam allowance so the edge is even. Pin the edges to hold everything in place.
Topstitch around the entire rectangle 1/8" from the edge.
Measure and Mark the Pockets
Use a ruler to lightly mark a vertical line on the pockets at the center of the case. Working from the center out to the edges, mark a vertical line every 2".
You can use a sharpened standard pencil for this, as long as the marks are very light. Otherwise, use a disappearing ink marking pen designed for quilting or embroidery.
Sew the Pockets
Sew along each marked line, stitching carefully to ensure that you end up with straight lines.
For more stability, stitch the middle line all the way up to the top edge. Stitch the rest of the lines just to the edge of the top pocket, and be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each line to keep the pockets secure.
Your case is ready to load up with all your knitting needles. This case holds up to 24 pairs of varying sized knitting needles.
The shorter pockets are perfect for short, 10-inch needles and even 7-inch DPNs, while the larger pockets are great for 14-inch needles.
If you have a bunch of double-pointed knitting needles, you can make the shorter pocket a little shorter for easier access to short needles, or, if your sewing machine can take it, you could even add a third pocket.
Rolling up the Case
Now that your case is full of knitting needles, just roll it up so that the end with the ribbon is on the outside. Wrap the ribbon around the bundle once or twice depending on length, then tie it closed.
Ideas to Enhance Your Knitting Needle Case
- Mark the pockets to make it easy to spot what size needle each pocket holds. Use rubber stamps and fabric ink, or stitch the numbers with embroidery before you sew the pocket lines.
- Embroider your monogram or initials on the second outside piece before assembling the case. (This is the piece that is placed on top of the other pieces last.)
- If your sewing machine has decorative stitches, use one to make the pocket stitching for a fancier look.