In case you didn’t know, every new homeowner should be gifted a set of coordinating napkins and napkin holders. The only question – do the napkins match and the napkins holders differ, so everyone recognises their napkin by the holder, or vice versa? Each to their own, but when I saw this pack of fat quarters my mind was made up.

It was an easy decision to use navy blue for the the napkin ring to enhance the contrast of those lovely sunflowers (plus any stains won’t shout and the walls of the kitchen are blue). Next, choose the knitting pattern to make the napkin rings. There’s plenty of choice out there and I picked three which had either a pattern or were reversible, all good attributes, but having made one of each pattern as a trial, this cabled version was the most attractive and kept its form when performing its role of containing the napkin (believe me, some of them were out of shape after two lunches and a dinner).

And so the project was go. First the rings. This cabled pattern of 8 rows was easy to follow and by the time I was on the second repeat, I could knit it with my eyes closed (or while watching the telly box). The cable did tend to twist over itself but fixed itself as I progressed, and I chose not to block the finished items, preferring the bulk of the ring as the finished product. (I also opted for no button and button hole, but that’s easily done in the last couple of rows of the final repeat should you choose to.)

Pattern Ella O’Neill 2021

Although I’d made a set of napkins once before, I hadn’t mitred the corners nor been so particular about the width of the hems. This time I was following instructions from Learn to Sew: all the techniques you need for sewing basic projects therefore the napkins were far more time consuming.

Also, given that the fat quarters were not all the same size nor exactly square. I spent a lot of time measuring a current serviette alongside the fat quarters, then folding, pressing, pinning and tacking the napkins before machining them: far more time than they warranted probably but (a) it was a project of love and needed to be right, regardless of (b) the importance of owning such items is probably more in my head than will be demonstrated on this particular table 😉

Still, a project to mark the purchase of a new home that involves both knitting and sewing and comes from the heart is always a source of satisfaction for me, and sits higher than a celebration bottle of bubbly (though perhaps not so high as a gas BBQ 😉

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