Sparkling Tutorial #3: Sylvia’s Fairy Poke

Continuing with the companion project series to the Sparkle Stories audio book, Martin & Sylvia’s Knitting from the Beginning, which you can find on the Sparkle Single Stories page, this time we’ll make a wee satchel out of a small rectangle of knitting. This is a sweet project to make with a first piece of knitwork.


In the 3rd story, “The Fairy Poke,” Sylvia overcomes her nervousness around knitting.  She thinks that it might be too hard to learn to knit, until Miss Melinda chooses the perfect project for her – a fairy poke.  These little satchels are the best way to carry something close to Sylvia’s heart – fairy gifts!

Again, I am not going to attempt to build a better mousetrap by providing basic knit instructions. There are amazingly wonderful visual tutorials on the web to go along with the verbal instructions in the Knitting from the Beginning stories!

For this project, I used size US11 needles and a chunky yarn. Use a bulky weight commercial yarn or handspun. Both the examples in the photos are made from scraps of handspun yarn. You won’t need very much yardage to make this little bag!

Cast on 9 stitches (that’s right, just 9 stitches!) and knit until you have about 10 inches of length. As you can see below, I ended up with about a 4-inch width and 10-inch length. Since this isn’t a garment, don’t worry about getting exact measurements.


Btw, it’s not good practice to let kittens into your lightbox. Dirty feets. Beezer can’t resist yarn, though. Typical.

So, the fun part. Once you have your rectangle, it’s time to sew! Here is another eyeballing effort. Fold over your rectangle until it looks the way you want it. Then, sew up the side seams with a mattress stitch or whip stitch (these are also techniques you can easily find great tutorials on). Young ones will find the whip stitch easiest for seaming. If you leave yourself a nice, long tail after binding off, you can use that tail to sew up the seams. I just bring it through the bottom of the bag so I don’t have to attach a new piece of yarn to seam the other side.


Once you’re all seamed up, simply attach a button to the front of the “pocket.” Because the stitches are large on size US11 needles, you should be able to shove buttons up to 3/4″ wide through the knitted fabric of the front flap. No buttonhole required!

The last step is to finger-crochet or crochet a chain to use as a strap for your Fairy Poke. Again, this measurement is up to you. In the story, the Poke is worn around the neck, as are my examples. You could make the strap longer to wear as a tiny purse, or satchel to wear against the body down near the hip. My son prefers the latter.


Enjoy, and don’t be shy about sharing your projects!

Next up: Martin’s Acorn Hat. This will be a comprehensive knitting pattern for purchase. Stay tuned for the preview and pattern link tomorrow!


Sparkling Tutorial #2: Sylvia’s Sunflower Garden

Here is another companion project to the Sparkle Stories audio book, Martin & Sylvia’s Knitting from the Beginning, which you can find on the Sparkle Single Stories page. This is another tutorial that will help use up all those odd lengths of practice finger knitting.

In Part One, “The Spunderful Shop,”  Sylvia walks into Miss Melinda’s fiber shop and is dazzled by an array of sunflowers made from yarn. Now you can make your own vase full of flowers in any colors you like!


What you need:

– A length of finger knitting of any size (a one-foot length is a good place to start), preferably with a long tail left at the end; the longer the length, the bigger your flower will be.

– Small felt scraps, which can be craft felt or recycled sweaters

– Embroidery thread

– Yarn needle

– Embroidery needle

– Floral wire; can be thick or thin, green or brown

Are you ready? Basically, we’re just going to make the tiniest of rag rugs with a length of finger knitting instead of braided rag. Simply take the long tail at the end of your finger knitting, thread it onto your yarn needle, and start forming a spiral with the knitting. Tack it in place every couple of centimeters with a stitch through the adjoining edges. Keep going until you have completed the spiral and have a tiny little “rug.”

As you can see in the bottom left corner of the photo collage, I like to tie a knot with the end from the opposite side of the knitting. If you have a lot of the tail left over, trim it a bit, but you can pile the ends up in the center of the flower, where you will be placing your felt circle. You can cut this out from your felt now that you know the size of your flower and how you would like it to look. If you’re making sunflowers, you want large circles!


Attach your circle with the embroidery thread and blanket-stitch it to the front. For this, I bring the needle from front to back, leaving a small loop, and then from back to front, bringing the needle through the loop and pulling it tight.

When you have just a small bit of stitching left to perform, cut a length of floral wire to a little more than twice the length you would like for the stem of your flower. Bend it in half and push the bent end up into the bottom of your flower, where you have an opening in your stitching. Finish stitching your flower center to the flower, making sure to bring the needle through under the loop of wire a couple of times. This way, your wire will stay put.


Finish by twisting the wire into a nice, tight stem. Repeat all the steps until you have a bountiful bouquet!


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment: Sylvia’s Fairy Poke!