I chose to make quite a few of my gifts this Christmas; well I made for anyone who I could think of a handmade gift for which they would really want or need. I like the idea of handmade gifts but I still want to give people something really suited to them and which they will find useful so for my brother, my dad and well pretty much all the males I gave to I decided to still buy gifts as I couldn't think of anything just right to make. Crafting gifts did make for a pretty stressful run up to the Christmas period and I'm not sure I enjoyed those couple of weeks beforehand as much as I usually do so I may try to reign myself in with the crafty gift ideas next year but we'll see how it goes! Perhaps hand made gifts are a better idea for birthdays, so spread throughout the year rather than trying to make a whole bunch at once!
Anyway, my first handmade gift was this liberty print needle roll I made for my Nan. I am SO happy with the way it turned out and she seemed absolutely delighted with it (especially once she realised I'd made it!). I used this tutorial which I pinned on Pinterest a while back and really recommend it. Lovely clear instructions and I love that you can use two contrasting fabrics to create something a little different. I was really happy with my fabric choices once it came together; although I was a little unsure about the polkadot/liberty print combination to begin with. (Bargain alert for all you London based readers, Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road have liberty print cottons for £7.50 a metre)
The tutorial includes some great little details in the design of the roll which I think help to give it a really professional finish. One of these is the way it fastens with a strip of ribbon to thread through D-rings on a tab at the edge. I got the D-rings at Morleys department store in Brixton who have quite a good selection of these kind of haberdashery bits and I'm pleased I went to the effort to hunt them down as I think they step it up a level in quality.
There's also a very useful little pocket with a velcro flap on the lower left corner of the roll. I bought my nan a couple of bits to put in it so I put a row counter in there for her! This was actually what made me pick this tutorial over the others I looked through, the little pocket just gives it a little something extra don't you think?!
The beauty of it being hand made is you can choose how wide each of the little slots for the needles are. I made mine quite a variety of widths, leaving some of the longer slots on the top row wider than the shorter bottom ones to accommodate the wide range of needle sizes I'm sure my nan has collected!
When the needles are in the there's a large top flap to keep them nice and secure, then you simply roll it up, wind your ribbon round and thread it through the D-rings to keep everything nice and tidy. Look how lovely and neat it is done up! I don't as yet knit, but if anything's going to tempt me (with the exception of Lladybird's ever growing collection of gorgeous cardis and sweaters of course) making myself one of these is!