There’s a new series on the Hands Occupied YouTube channel called Design Diaries. In these videos, I walk you through the process of making original craft project designs from scratch. The first episode features something professional wrestling fans will recognize this as a punch needle take on the WWE’s Universal Championship title belt.
Since there was definitely a lot of media that didn’t make the final edit, this post features some additional process photos for interested folks. There’s also a few shots of the finished belt so you can see it sitting still. Don’t forget to watch the video – it’s at the bottom of this post – and if you can, it always helps more people see my content if you like, comment with feedback or questions, & subscribe if you’re a regular YouTube viewer. Thank you! 🧶
fabric and non-fabric scissors
fabric marking pens
4 hook and eye closures
tapestry (yarn) needle
bulletin board push pin (to use as an awl)
computer with a printer
Oxford punch needle tools in sizes 8 & 10
wool felt (wool is sturdier than acrylic, but felt made with recycled water bottles may work in a pinch, sturdiness-wise)
Yarn: A small amount of handspun wool/camel yarn from my stash, & Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Bulky in Cranberry, Honey, Navy & Ciel
Why this series? Why start Design Diaries now?
I’ve wanted to find some way to incorporate a vlog-meets-documentary style to a series of YouTube videos since the Hands Occupied YouTube channel began, and the stars finally aligned for the first episode to come together this week. I relaunched the channel back in July, featuring mostly knitting stitch tutorials at first until I found my production footing (I make all of these 100% alone from start to finish – I don’t have a production team or editor like some YouTubers.).
Close followers will know that I lost both of my dogs of 11+ years in the last four months, so between them getting sick right after launch and coping with their subsequent passing meant that I had to save this series until I had the bandwidth for it. As I punched away at my Yarniversal Championship Belt I started to remember how excited I was by the idea of vlogging in some way on the Hands Occupied YouTube channel, so I started shooting progress photos and videos as I worked. While reflecting on why I made different choices, how to make the design “work” or “read as” what I wanted it to read, that there might be other folks who would find the design drafting process interesting to watch.
I was also looking for a way to share some of my crazier craft ideas that isn’t a blog post or finished pattern intended to be replicated. There isn’t always a lot of room in our world for un-kit-able or un-pattern-able craft designs. Hopefully this series is a way to carve out more space for that because it’s my favorite kind of making. :)
This video is just the first step in making longer narrative videos in addition to tutorials – I’d love to hear what you think of the video, what else you’d like to see covered in a future design diary, and what you might like to see included in future videos.
Watch: Yarniversal Championship Belt Design Diary
In this first installment of Design Diaries, let’s take a look at how my recent obsession with professional wrestling resulted in an almost 100% wool reimagining of the WWE’s Universal Championship title belt, just in time for Wrestlemania. I share how I took this project from a grief-induced grain of inspiration and crafted a fully functional belt combining basic embroidery and punch needle rug hooking.