The one thing I've discovered that while doing fair isle is that I actually need paper charts in order to see where I am in the pattern. My iPad isn't necessarily the best thing for me to read charts, because they haven't made the PDF readers able to handle charts very well. So, paper it is.
When I was down at my LYS, I checked out their chart holders, but they were BORING black holders. They were decent and a fair enough price (under $11 for the most basic holder), but they were BORING. I didn't want black. Then I discovered they had these:
It was $4.95 and very simple. It's a board with magnets. So..hmm..I thought I could just make one for myself. I mean, yes, it'd be cheaper in time just to spend the $11.00 for the basic one or $15.00 for the folding one, but then I'd have to settle for boring, and who wants to just settle?
I took some fabric that I had lying about that I thought to use as a trial run for it (cost $0.00). A friend of mine had given me a whole bunch of cat print fabrics, and I had plenty of this lying around. Besides, what's not to like about cats eating sushi?
I measured out the magnetic board. The board was about 10" wide, so I cut a 11" x 15" rectangular piece and played around with it. Unfortunately, after serging and french seaming this piece, I discovered that I had made the rectangular piece a bit too narrow (or used too big of a seam allowance with french seams and the ilk), so I recut another piece of fabric out to 12" x 15", which gave me plenty of extra seam allowance.
I took the top half of the holder (sans board) and used a very stiff iron-on interfacing so that I could stand it up when folded. I also used a piece of quilted fabric to pad the top half of the chart holder.
(Cost: Negligible. These were scrap fabrics from other projects that just happened to be the right size. You can get very stiff iron-on interfacing for $3-$4 / yard. As this is only about 6" x 10", this piece is less than $1.00)
I made a pocket that fit the board very snuggly, then it was a matter of making the rest of it, including an extra pocket for a pencil. The whole process is reminiscent of making those text book covers out of a paper bag, like when I was in high school / college.
And here's the resulting chart holder with pockets, and with it folded and standing
There are things I need to do to make it better, like making the pocket a wee bit bigger, and adding a closure, but it's done, and very serviceable. If I find a different fabric that I like better, I can make another.
I looked on Etsy to see how much these pattern holders cost. From my perusal, it's about $40 USD to purchase. This took me an hour to create (including the first miscut fabric).
So, overall, this cost about $6.00 and about an hour's worth of time.
Next, I'll post about how to make the magnetic bookmarks that hold the charts in place.