How do you organize and store your yarn and needles/hooks? And what would you recommend others do to get organized before the busy fall knitting/crochet season? (Yes, it’s totally a season.)
All right. Because I asked, I’ll go first. A while ago I decided our unused dining room was going to be MY room. Specifically, my craft room. I took an old cabinet inherited from my grandmother, which used to store her fine china, and have since stuffed it SO much with yarn that I can no longer close it. (I’m working on that.) There is a sort of organization to it: Top three shelves are “good” yarn. Bottom shelf is, ahem, that other stuff that’s still kicking around for some reason. And the shelves are mostly sorted by weight. And, yes, some are bagged in zip-top bags because I just can’t chance it when it comes to moths for some skeins.
The crowning achievement of my reclaimed room, though, is my needles. Previously circs, straights, DPNs & hooks all lived huddled together in a normal size drinking glass — the lone survivor of a mostly broken set from my first apartment in D.C. But quickly that stash of needles/hooks outgrew the cup. So I’d never know where I’d find what I was looking for. And when I moved my yarn from its plastic bins I decided it was high time I helped myself out. I got a wall organizer, similar to a shoe organizer, (it was from Thirty One Bags but they no longer appear to carry this item) meant to hang right on the wall. Which I did. And it was glorious. The end.
So, I use the storage bin method. I have my yarn separated by purpose (sweater quantities, small projects, scraps and blanket yarn and I have my needles and notions in their own small container. However, I find that I’m still digging for needles and having a terrible time finding everything. I’ve been eyeing the della Q needle rolls at the shop, thinking they might be a better long term solution for needle storage.
My method is that it’s all in my apartment… Kidding, sort of. Yarn purchased with projects in mind is stored together (so, I keep color pairings together and I don’t break up a sweater quantity), but I’d be lying if I said I was particularly well organized. Call it a side effect of living alone in a small space for a while. All the yarn is in one spot, but it’s not sorted by weight or season.
My sock sized double points have their own small needle roll, also from della Q.
I also have a basket under my work table for items that need to be washed and blocked, and I try to keep the hand knit washing going at least once or twice a week since I have the space to block on the work room floor or table. (when it isn’t covered in fabric). Oh yeah, did I mention that I started sorta sewing?
All of my yarn is stored in plastic bins in my closet. I use (for the most part) the 30 quart plastic bins rather than the larger 50+ quart bins since they are smaller, easier to access and dig through and are lighter. All of my yarn is organized by weight so that there’s no more than one yarn weight per bin (though there are multiple bins of each yarn weight … I’m looking at you fingering weight). Within each bin the yarn is organized by color so that a particular skein is easy to find. I’m also a huge user of the stash feature on Ravelry, so I can see all my yarn without having to dig it all out.
My needles aren’t quite as organized. My interchangeable set lives in the case it came in, which keeps it totally organized. But all my double points are in cardboard tubes that otherwise have no rhyme or reason. I don’t really use my straights anymore, and those are scattered about.
I’d say that being organized is a total must before the busy fall knitting season and the best tip is to just find a system that works for you and your lifestyle. That being said, I’d highly recommend laying out ALL your yarn so you can really see it and organize it properly. And I’d say that Ravelry is an indispensable resource and it’s definitely worth the time it takes to put your stash on there with pictures.