Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crochet hook case

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It’s been all Christmas here for a couple weeks, and I am so happy to do it. I love to craft gifts for my friends and family, and I hope they like to get the things I make, just as much as I like to make things. I always choose a project with love and with the recipient in mind, and I hope they will find their handcrafted thing both useful and cozy.

Sometimes, though, I want to make something for myself, and even then sometimes I just want to make something because it’s beautiful.

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I was inspired, this time by a photo spotted at emma lamb, to make a lacy little envelope for my crochet hooks, which up until now have lived boringly in a glass jar on the shelf.

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I have a pretty big stash of old buttons, which takes up seven or eight quart canning jars, bought over a period of many years for a few bucks a jar, whenever I see them. Happily, these are not just jars full of shirt buttons and those plastic buttons that look like woven leather, though there are plenty of those, to be sure. Lots and lots of them are beautiful glass or shell or bakelite, and it is such a thrill to find just the right one, and let it make a good project really good. This one is plastic and is far from perfect, but it looks smashing against this fabric, on the outside of the envelope.

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I cut two 18 1/2” by 12 1/2” rectangles, one each of the lining and exterior fabrics, and one 12 1/2” by 8 1/2” of the pocket fabric. I also cut a 18 1/2” by 12 1/2” piece of batting. I folded the pocket fabric lengthwise, with wrong sides together, and top-stitched a 12 1/2” chunk of vintage crocheted lace to the folded edge. Then I laid all the pieces together like this: lining fabric, right side up. Pocket fabric at bottom with raw edges together, lace side up. Outer fabric, wrong side up. Batting. Then, I stitched all the way around, using a 1/4” seam and leaving a 4” opening at the flap edge so I could turn it. I trimmed the corners and seams, and turned it, then topstitched all the way around the whole perimeter, closing the opening and catching a loop of leather lacing at the middle of the flap edge.

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Pinning the loose edge of the lace down carefully, I top-stitched from the bottom edge to the top of the pocket, back tacking at both ends of each seam, about 1” apart, all the way across the pocket.

Then sew on the button, and that’s it! Filling the slots with (most of) my crochet hooks made the bottom edge of the piece pull in a little. If I made this again, I’d compensate for that by cutting a trapezoid, with it about 1” wider at the bottom. (Gosh, when did crafting get so mathy?)

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See how it pulls in there? It doesn’t do that if I fill it only half full, but then what’s the point of the thing, if my hooks are all in two different places? I can live with it. When you make one, cut trapezoids, or make fewer slots.

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Happy hooking!

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