theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 30, 2008

From Susan — Something Worked!

Filed under: Back Story,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 1:04 pm

When something works, it is an amazing thing, so I thought I would share such an experience.  I don’t know about you, but over the years I have struggled with how to organize my myriad of knitting needles.  Because I like to knit upstairs with other humanoids, a lot of my knitting paraphernalia has migrated to the family room.  This has created aggravation for everyone!

I used to store all my knitting needles, etc. in one large box.  Each size needle had its own labelled zip-lock bag.  This meant that every time I finished using a needle, I would have to hunt for its bag, and place it into the bag.  Do you think this ever happened?  No.  SO, every so often, I would spread the mess out on the floor and “organize” my needles — trying to sort them and place them into their respective bags.  This task was so daunting that it happened very rarely.  It always looked like a knitting bomb went off in our family room.

I knew something had to change — and it did, and it works!  I went to JoAnn Fabrics in search of some kind of drawer system.  My plan was to have a drawer for every 2-3 needles sizes.  I ended up with 4 sizes per drawer:

This drawer system is made for scrapbooking.  The drawers slide out and have an attached, snap on lid.  I thought I would be completely annoyed by the lid, but I love it.  I also wasn’t sure at first how I would like to mix the needles together, but the way I did it works out wonderfully — as I start a new project, I grab the drawer with the likely suspects.  All the needle lengths are there and the next size up or down for swatching.  When I am done using a needle, I just need to put it into the right drawer, which takes a second, vs trying to find one particular baggie.  Because it is so easy, I actually do it!!  Yay!

Every drawer has a needle sizer, so I never have to look for one.  I have one drawer for dpns, and one for all of my random accessories:

The Altoid tins hold pins

The cart rolls out of sight into a closet.   I’m sure many of you developed your own great system far sooner than I, but I am a little slow on the uptake.  All I know is that my system is working, my family room is in control, and I no longer have to listen to people complain about the knitting mess.  Woo Hoo!

I can also share another very small FO.  I made a pair of Fetching Glovelets for my niece for Christmas using less than one skein of Cascade Dolce yarn, Color 959.   These knit up very quickly of course, and make a cute gift:

I’m making another pair in dark blue Dolce and trimmed in silver gray silk for my youngest daughter — last year I made her a pair in butter-soft cashmere, but now she wants her school colors.  Okay, anything you say, Princess! 😉


  1. I love it! What a great idea, and I love the lids too. It seems great that you can just pull out the drawer you need and all related sizes are there. Nice idea, you’re a smart one 😉

    Comment by Aim — November 30, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

  2. That is an excellent idea! I am working on fingerless mittens for my daughter that has a flap that she can cover her fingers with. I like yours maybe if I ever stop knitting for my kids I will make some for me. Wink!

    Comment by Jennifer — November 30, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  3. Pure genius!!! I love your system. Especially the idea of having a needle sizer in each drawer. Just might have to copy this. 😉

    And I love the your fetchings! The color is beautiful.

    Comment by Kerry — November 30, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

  4. I am the queen of trying to organize my stuff. (Key word is trying) I have thought of putting all my needles in one place but I have never done it. Mine are all over the house. I will have to steal your idea.

    Comment by Michele with one L — November 30, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  5. Great system! The key to organizing is to make it easy and usable, which you did. (And someday I will figure that out, too.)

    Comment by kmkat — November 30, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  6. Oh, gosh. I can see those little six-drawer rolling organizers flying out of Jo-Ann’s store. Great idea!

    And the mitts are very pretty.

    Comment by kay-from the back yard — November 30, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  7. I recently tried to organize my needles and kntting tools again.It took a whole day! I am not good at putting things back in their place except with Knit Picks ( and now the new Addi Click on order) with their storage system , but still have all loose ones in big baggies. I do have one of the storage systems on wheels but drawers are jammed full with other knitting stuff ( beads, buttons, etc) Your idea has inspired me to buy another one just for the needles..and to get more needle sizers . Thank you…I have only been knitting for less than 3 years and my computer/kntting room is filled to brim with knitting books, yarn, mags and tools.I am forgetting what I have and where it is with my present system.
    Where do you put all your other knitting stuff???
    How do you organize your patterns?

    Comment by kathleen — November 30, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  8. Wow! I will be lifting that idea for sure! 🙂

    Comment by Michelle — November 30, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  9. So how do you store your yarn? By project or type,etc.

    Comment by Francis Berryhill — November 30, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  10. Very nice! And I giggled because I also use Altoids tins for the little notions. (All the cool kids are doing it.) 😉

    Comment by twinsetellen — November 30, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

  11. AND you get to feel tidy and virtuous every time you put your needles back in the right place! Where do you find highlighter tape?

    Comment by becky c. — November 30, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  12. I love it! Here is a different idea that takes up less space. About a year ago, i started storing my needles in page protectors in a loose leaf notebook, organized by size, of course. This works quite well, too, and I can easily take it with me when I travel. It is almost but not quite as easy as yours for putting the needles away, which I agree is the real problem. I used to put the needles in zipper bags within the page protectors, but now I just slip the needle back into the top of the clear plastic protector.

    Comment by Astrid — December 1, 2008 @ 7:55 am

  13. I have a set of rolling drawers for my sewing supplies, but never thought of getting one for knitting things. Doh! I do have a closet in the family room the kids once used for games & art supplies, but those have all been moved to their playroom in the basement and I’ve put all my knitting stuff in there. Doesn’t mean I can find what I want when I need it though!!

    There’s not enough room below the bottom shelf in the closet to hold a cart, but perhaps the cases that become your drawers might work stacked on a shelf. Hmmm. Must see what Michael’s has. Too bad I didn’t know about your new system before heading to JoAnn’s last Saturday! 🙂

    Nice glovelets!

    Comment by Nancy — December 1, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  14. They complain about your knitting mess? How DARE they?

    Comment by Lorraine — December 1, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  15. Yes you clever thing why didn’t I look for something like that. I love the gloves a lovely gift. Julie.C

    Comment by Julie.C — December 2, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  16. I have a similar system – I used “pencil bags” from Wal-Mart – they were $1.00 each… and they’re clear in the front with a zipper… I put each size in its own zippered bag and they all stay numerical in a file folder… it seems to work pretty well – putting the bags in your drawers would be the ultimate!! 🙂
    oh and I LOVE your felted waves bag… so pretty! 🙂

    Comment by Kyle Kunnecke — December 2, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  17. If you don’t want to buy needle sizers for every drawer, you could put dissimilar needle sizes in the same drawer. For example, put the 1s, 5s, and 10s together so it’s easy to eyeball which is which.

    Comment by atexasgirl — December 2, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  18. I love, love, love it!!!! I just relocated to OHIO and must go find the JoAnns and Michaels!! I am ALWAYS looking to increase my knitting “stuffs” and of course looking for ways to keep it organized! There is never enough space!! I am now living with my daughter and her family and have all my “stuffs” in my room…. All ideas for organization is gratefully accepted!!

    Comment by Mary — December 3, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  19. What a great idea! I hate having to hunt needles down and measure. Or better yet buy a set thinking I don’t have them and then realize I have three pair in my box. Awesome. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Both fetchings look great too!

    Comment by jennygirl — December 4, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

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