Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting Ready for School

We are in a countdown around our house.  Mims has just a little less than 3 weeks before she heads off to Kindergarten.  I've been gathering school supplies over the last couple of months as I find things on sale, so we're pretty set as far as that goes.  My gut instinct is to hoard school supplies, since crayons are so cheap this time of year (and so expensive all the rest of the year!).  Aaaand, it the best time of year to pick up pencil cases.

What?!  You don't have an absurd number of pencil cases at your house?  I'm the only one?!  I use them for everything.  I love them!  I use pencil cases for carrying small projects.  I use them instead of a tool case for carrying my crochet supplies.  I have one that holds all my watercolor brushes.  I use one to carry my art pens. I keep my beads in a hard plastic pencil case.  In fact, I keep my current bead projects in individual pencil cases, so that I can have the tools, and beads all in one place (I usually put a washcloth in first, so the beads don't roll around as much).  I flippin' adore pencil cases!

My love of pencil cases started when I was in college.  I was a tutor for a college success class, and I insisted that my students all had to have their pencil cases in order.  There was a whole checklist that they followed:  Erasable pens, a multi-color 'clicker' pen, Post-It notes and flags, index cards, $3 (two $1 bills and four quarters).  I owe all of my own college success to a well organized pencil case, and excellent note-taking skills.

So it will come as no surprise that recently I have fallen in love with a new shape of pencil pouch.  I picked one up for $5 (on sale) and just adore it.  I've been using it to keep all my embroidery floss  together for my miniature crochet.  It's a perfect size for a small pair of scissors, my hooks and 'little extras' to go with whatever project I'm working on.  I couldn't rationalize spending another $30 to get a boatload of them to use as a crochet organizational system, but I had a bunch of worsted weight cotton yarn, and some fabric just laying around (see, I need an organizational system!) and decided to make some of my own!

Today I'm going to share the pattern for the crocheted outer shell of the pencil case!

Pencil Case
100% cotton worsted weight yarn (I used Bernat Handicrafter in Robin's Egg and White)
Size G hook
Yarn needle

Using Robin's Egg yarn, ch 14
R1: hdc in the back of the 2nd ch from hook, hdc in the back of each ch across (12 st)
R2: ch 2, hdc in each st across (12 st)
R3: ch 2, hdc in each st across (12 st)
R4: ch 2, hdc in the back loop of each st across, 4 hdc across the short side, 12 hdc in the back loops of the foundation chain, 4 hdc across the other short side, sl st to first hdc to close round (32 st)
R5-10: ch 2, hdc in each st around, sl st to first hdc to close round (32 st)
R11: ch 2, hdc in each st around, change to White, sl st to first hdc to close round (32 st)
R12-15: ch 2, hdc in each st around, sl st to first hdc to close round (32 st)
Fasten off.

Start first bag flap:
Using Robin's Egg yarn, attach yarn 5 stitches back from where you fastened off.  **Because of the way that the rounds were worked, the starting point traveled a little.  Plus, it didn't even start out centered on the short ends anyway, so this is completely necessary.  I've provided pictures below to help you visualize this part.**
R1: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), 15 hdc (16 st)
R2-7: Ch 2 (does NOT count as first hdc), hdc across all st (16 st)
Fasten off.

Make second flap the same way you made the first one, only use the second set of 16 stitches.  ;D
Weave in all the ends.

Come back on Sunday and we'll put the lining and zipper in using the Knit-Picker!
If you'd like an advance list of supplies for the lining/zipper post, I applaud your dedication!
You'll need:
A fat quarter of a coordinating fabric (or material to make two 19" x 5.5" fabric strips)
Sewing thread
I used a sewing machine.  It would be possible to do the sewing by hand, but it would be laborious.
A zipper that can be cut down to 12.5"
A knit picker!

ed. 8/19/12: The two-parter has become a trilogy!  You can find Part Two HERE. And Part Three HERE.


  1. Yay! more knit picker projects!
    I ♥LOVE♥ the fabric for the lining!

    (am I going a little overboard on the ♥'s already?)

    1. Ooh, I know, right?! The lining fabric is awesome. I want to make Mims a dress out of it.

    2. I love the idea I'm only 12 so I mite chane it a little, I dont really understand crochet pattern talk yet but will figure it out eventually:)
      P.s. I LOVE x10000000000 ur lining fabric its SOOOOOO cute

  2. I am excited to see the knit picker in action also.

    1. Hi Piper!! Workin' on the tute right now!
      xo Jaime

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Aly! So happy you stopped by!
      xo Jaime

  4. I'm new here---what is a knit picker???

    playamom57 at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Pam! We love new friends around here!

      A Knit Picker is a little latch-hook tool that is made by Dritz. You can find them in the notions section of most sewing stores. It was designed to pull snags from knit items to the inside of the fabric.

      Inspired by one of my friends, I have been using it in a way they hadn't intended: Crocheting onto fabric. If you want to check out the first project I put up that used a Knit Picker you can follow this link:

      That post has a bunch of pictures so you can see the Knit Picker in action.

      Great question! I hope we'll see you around a lot more!
      xo Jaime


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