Tag Archive | pen cases

Making it up as I go along

Many months ago, in the before-time when we were able to go places and look at things and buy them in person, I bought the neatest handmade oak cabinet for my pen accessories. Perhaps it was originally a jewelry case, as the top drawer is sectioned off and lined with red felt. The other drawers are unlined though, and recently I thought it would be fun to knit drawer liners with leftover sock yarn. There weren’t any patterns in Ravelry that were similar to what I had in mind, but there was a table runner in fingering weight with a width close to what I wanted. That gave me a starting point for how many stitches to cast on and what needle to start with.

After a couple of tries, I landed on a cast-on of 92 stitches with size 2 needles. I did a garter border but then as I started thinking about the body, I decided I wanted some kind of ridge to create valleys for pens to rest in. I did a few rows of k6, p2 / p6, k2 but that wasn’t creating a ridge on the stockinette side, so I switched to a garter ridge instead of a purl ridge. Nope, that didn’t work either, so I went back to the purl ridge. Though it created a dip on the smooth “right” side, it made a nice ridge on the purled “wrong” side, and I decided I just needed to adjust my thinking and switch right and wrong.

I kept knitting until I ran out of yarn and after blocking I ended up with a rectangle about 13″ by 4″. It’s a good length for the drawers but I want it deeper to fill the whole drawer, so I need about 40 grams to get a piece 13″ x 9″.

However, what I discovered is that 4″ is the perfect length for my Kaweco pens, and I happened to have exactly enough spots for all of them!

193A40E8-D799-4768-8C23-937BEF779B2FThis was a fun little weekend distraction, and I’m looking forward to making a full-size version soon!

Purple Leather Pen Case

A while back, I read a blog post on the Well-Appointed Desk that featured a beautiful wooden letter box sold by Galen Leather. A few clicks later, I was drooling over all the gorgeous leather goods on their site. (You too can drool: find their site here!) Aside from the stellar letter box, they had leather pen cases in a wide variety of colors and sizes. When I saw the purple one, my admiration kicked into desperation, and since it was still before Christmas, I immediately sent the link to the husband as a gift demand suggestion. He soon replied that they’re based in Turkey, and there was a long lead-time for the case, so having it by Christmas wasn’t an option. Oh well, another occasion would present itself. I couldn’t be bereft, given all the lovely gifts that I received.

But then! HaHA! Husband confessed that he had fibbed slightly, and the case was available, and was supposed to have arrived before Christmas, but had been delayed. Yes, I had another present on the way, and after several long days of waiting, it finally arrived this week. And it was truly well worth the wait, friends. Just look.

fullsizeoutput_ed8First out of the bubble wrap was the sturdy cardboard box with the beautiful logo. I love that they included a ruler/bookmark.

fullsizeoutput_ed9I lifted the lid and immediately fell in love, the color was so gorgeous. Just look at that purple!! Again, I was impressed by the packaging: a heavy paper label circled the case.

fullsizeoutput_edaBefore sliding that off, though, I explored the other items in the box: an informational card with care and cleaning instructions, and my own little handmade Evil Eye charm! I haven’t decided if it’s going to become a stitch marker or a pendant. I love it.

fullsizeoutput_edbFinally I slid off the label, sniffed the yummy leather, and unzipped the smooth zipper. The interior is also a stunning purple, with purple elastic loops and a slot to slide in a notebook. My favorite purple pens immediately went inside.

Even though I had to wait a little while, I would definitely order from them again. Everything is extremely well-made, with incredible attention to detail. They created a wonderful experience from the very beginning, wowing me before I even got to the product. The case is gorgeous but also sturdy, and I know it will protect my pens well. I’m in love with this case, and it’ll be going everywhere with me.

Felting for Father’s Day

Before Mother’s Day, I told my husband I didn’t want him or the kids to go out and buy me presents. Instead I wanted gifts of their time: something handmade and thoughtful. He went above and beyond, gifting me with gorgeous knitting needles and a yarn swift. In return, he mentioned that for Father’s Day, he’d like a new pencil case to replace the crocheted one eaten by the dog. Since I’ve been on a felting kick lately, I decided he needed a felted case.

The design itself would be simple, but I wasn’t brave enough to try to wing it without a pattern, mostly because I don’t have a good sense of how much things shrink when felted. There weren’t a lot of free options on Ravelry but I did find one I liked the look of: the Felted Acorn Pencil Case. Shortly after that, I was at Joann and found some variegated gray Patons wool that looked nicely masculine. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough, and sitting there waiting to cast on, I was too lazy to drive out to Joann. Instead I drove the two minutes to my LYS and bought a solid black Galway to mix with the Patons.

The knitting went quickly, as did my realization that this case would be much bigger than I expected. I finished it, though, and felted it. The Patons didn’t seem to want to felt, and I did have to do some handfelting after two rounds in the washer. But it finally felted enough and I added a nice button and called it done. It was about 5″x8″.

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So I had a case that was too big, and plenty of yarn left over. I went back to Ravelry and did more pattern hunting until I found this Felted Pen Case. I decided to just do one strand of the Patons variegated, cast on 30 and knit until I thought it looked long enough, which was tricky since I didn’t know how much it would shrink. And, well, it didn’t shrink as much as I anticipated. It’s a good width but a bit longer than I wanted. It will work well for newer (i.e. longer) pencils but it’s too long for his pens. Plus the Patons really didn’t want to felt this time; I had to fight with it in the kitchen sink for quite a while. I do like the pattern, and I’m pleased with how it came out.

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Here’s a better shot of the button. Buttons are one of my favorite things to add to my knits.

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Overall, I think he was pleased with his gifts. I enjoyed making them, but I won’t choose Patons for felting in the future. I think I’ll use the rest of the black Galway to knit up another pen case, in a pen-appropriate length this time.