I recently found a yoga mat strap in an Athleta catalog that was made from a single piece of webbing and two rectangular rings – that’s it. I’ve always loved the idea of a strap for carrying a rolled up picnic blanket or what have you. But until I studied that catalog strap, I wouldn’t have believed I could make one in such an elegantly simple way. That’s where the wonder comes in.
You can spool knit a tube to create your webbing as I did for my bountiful beach blanket strap or simply purchase webbing from a fabric store like I did to create my make your own sleeping bag strap. You’ll also need one pair of rectangular rings per strap. You’ll find these where they sell notions for making handbags.
To determine your length of purchased webbing or knitted tube, use something around the house like seam binding (a tape measure probably won’t be long enough) to make a dummy strap around your rolled up item to give you an idea of how much you’ll need. My knitted tube was just over 66″ long; the pink webbing was somewhat longer. If you’re out and about and you see some webbing that you like, two yards should be more than enough to serve most purposes. From here on out I’ll use the term webbing to refer to both my knitted tube and my purchased webbing. Please see the bottom of the post for notes on spool knitting a tube to use for webbing.
To begin, lay your webbing in a long U shape. Make sure not to twist it. Slip your rings on either side of the strap as shown.
Now you’ve got a choice to make: do you want your straps to run through both rings from the same direction as shown above …
or do you want them to come from opposing directions as shown below?
In the end, I made both straps so that the webbing came through the rings from the opposite direction. Is there a right way or a wrong way? I don’t think so. I suggest you try both ways using safety pins. The opposing directions felt better for the sleeping bag strap, but the same direction felt better for the beach blanket. The next step will look different depending on which way you decide to go.
Either way, turn your webbing on its side (either side, just don’t twist it). If you want your straps to run through your rings from the same direction, make loops as shown below in opposing directions.
If you want your straps to run through the rings from opposing directions, make your loops in the same direction as shown below.
All you need to do now is secure your rings by hand or machine stitching. Remember to use safety pins before you stitch if you want to try out the direction your straps run through their rings to determine which way works best.
Pretty wonderful, don’t you think?
Spool Knitting Notes
I knit the green webbing with an entire ball of cotton yarn, probably a DK weight; just something I’d purchased for a project that I never got around to. I used a 14-stick (narrow craft) toilet paper roll knitter. Though it seemed like it might be too wide of a tube as I was knitting, I remembered that all knit tubes really want to do is stretch lengthwise. This means the tube gets narrower as weight pulls it down. Once I had the length I needed (which happily coincided with the amount of yarn I had), I bound off my tube using the directions found in this post. Next I hand washed my tube, pressed out the excess water with a towel, and pressed the tube with a hot iron to flatten it. Then I let it air dry before turning it into a strap.
For additional spool knitting posts and projects, please click here.