Monday, 17 September 2012

Handmade Monday's "Barton" Pencil Case Knitting Pattern - I Want One!

I mentioned my latest knitting venture in an earlier post: knitting a pencil case for my Nephew for the new term. Here's the pattern - just right for Handmade Monday. It looks quite wordy, but there are pictures too, and I have tried to give really clear instructions - so don't be put off by the amount of text!

“Barton” Knitted Pencil Case Pattern


Final measurements: width = 24.5 cm (hence 23 cm zip) and height = 17 cm.

You will need:  less than 100g of DK in two colours, pair of 3.25 mm knitting needles; sewing needle, tacking and sewing thread, pins, zip of about 23 cm - BUT, if possible, buy the zip once you have knitted the case. This will make it much easier to fit the zip if your tension differs from mine. A piece of material for lining, measuring at least 27 cm wide and 34 cm long.

To make:

First, you will knit a long, stripy oblong.

Take one of your colours (Colour A) and cast on 48 stitches. Work in stocking stitch for 6 rows, beginning with a K row. Don’t cut Colour A! Just leave it hanging by work.

Row 7: Join in Colour B by simply using it to knit the first stitch. Use Colour B to do this Knit row, and the following 5 rows.

Leaving Colour B attached to work, work six rows in Colour A. Twist the two colours together once or twice at the side of the work to keep them neat.

Work in this way until the piece measures 36 cm. In the last band of colour, work 5 rows in stocking stitch and then, for row 6, cast off.

(I had, at 36 cm, 8 grey stripes and 8 blue stripes.)

Now, you will work on the seams and the lining:

Putting right sides of the knitted panel together, tack the pencil case into shape. As in the picture below, make an envelope shape by folding over about 1”, or one stripe, at the top, then bringing the bottom edge up to meet it. Tack into place.

Then, measure your pencil case. Cut the lining fabric to size by measuring the width of your pencil case. That is how wide your fabric will need to be, with a small seam allowance. Then, measure the height of the pencil case and times it by two (to allow for front and back). Then add 2 cm for seam allowance. So, for mine: width of knitted panel = 25 cm + 2 for seams = 27; height of case when tacked into shape = 16 cm. 16 cm x 2 = 32, plus 2 cm seam allowance = 34 cm.

Now fold the lining into the same shape and tack it into shape along the two ends.  I ironed mine, too, to keep it in shape. Turn the tacked knitted panel the right way out and tuck the lining into the case, making sure that the wrong side is against the knitting.

Now: measure the gap where the zip will go  - & get your zip. NB: It is far easier to sew a little of the gap together if your zip is a little short, that it is to fit a zip that is too long.

Open your zip and pin it between the edge of the knitted panel and the lining: the zip should be in a fabric sandwich. Tack it in place. This is your last chance to make adjustments...

Sew it all into place. I sewed the knitted panel into shape using wool, and the lining & zip using sewing thread. Use a little scrap of each colour wool to make a tassel in the zip fastener.



Ta-Dah! Cram with your pens and go back to school with pride.


  1. Oh, I really, really like it! Unfortunately my knitting isn't my greatest skill so I shall leave it to others! Welcome to Handmade Monday x

  2. Looks like a clear, detailed tutorial. I shall have to keep this in mind for the future :)

  3. What a great pencil case. I guess you could create all sorts of patterns too. I'm going to bookmark this page.

  4. Thank you! Would love to see variations on the pattern. People have had very industrious Mondays! I hope I can keep this up ;)

  5. Now why haven't I thought of this before? I was sent to a shop today by my son to find the perfect pencil case although I do not think such a thing actually exists! Will show him this and see what he thinks! Thanks.