For the fourth and final required project for the swap, I chose to use the pattern Apple or Orange Tape Measure by Amalia Samios. Jill said that she loves tape measures, so what's better than an apple one? Since the finger puppet was red and the hat was red, I made the tape measure green.
At first, I had a hard time deciding if it was going to work. Each half (circle) is knit separately and then seamed together. After the first half was finished, I wasn't convinced it was big enough. I tried casting on more stitches following the rhythm of the pattern and making a larger circle but this failed miserably. It was ruffly and wavy. So I knit a third half the same as the first.
To seam together, I laid the wrong sides together and seamed, without the tape measure inside. I tried it initially with the tape measure, but it was awkward. When I was far enough that I almost couldn't fit the tape measure in, I inserted it into the pocket and closed up the remaining stitches. This worked really well. Actually, I was surprised it worked at all. I was prepared to be frustrated.
I love that the tape measure pulls out by the stem & leaf. So clever! I think more people should design patterns to cover tape measures.
Another item to note: When you knit the halves, you are actually knitting a half circle that has a natural inclination to curl itself into a circle. You have to seam the edge together to officially make it a circle. When doing this, the pattern says to stop something like 1/2" from the edge of the circle. You then line up this point on both halves. If you don't stop seaming at this point, your tape measure won't retract when you ask it to. Trust me, I'm talking from personal experience. I had to rip back my seaming job so it would work.
My only wish is that the stitches didn't stretch out so much. You can see through them if you're really looking. Not huge, but I can't help but obsess about things like that.
These would be really fun grab bag gifts - the tape measures themselves are about 99 cents to maybe $1.50 (USD). It takes a very minimal amount of yarn so any stash yarn would do. What a fun present for a knitter (or crocheter or sewer or crafter of any kind) in your life! Easily finished in a couple hours. :) And another item I had a hard time letting go of.... Enjoy any future measuring, Jill!