Project Organization

Do you ever find a pattern and buy the yarn and set is aside for the time being, and then … you forget about it because something else comes along in the meantime that sidetracks you? After I did Monday’s blog post, I went over to pick out a color combo of Swan’s Island for my Sothia. (That yarn would be beautiful in a Sothia). While I was contemplating the choices and color combos, it dawned on me that I had already picked out two colors of Hand Maiden Casbah for a Sothia, back in October. (FPS). I need to be more organized with my planned patterns and yarn.

This is my new system. I got these baskets from Ballard Designs. (Also comes in a single basket, instead of these doubles.) I like them because they’re tall enough to fit patterns in there without the pattern bending in half and they’re deep enough to fit multiple skeins of yarn in each basket without scrunching or snagging them. I also wanted them it to hang on a wall (although clear baskets on a shelf could work, if you have the shelf space.) What I didn’t like is the price, but after months of searching for a cheaper alternative, I saved up and gave in. They’re on the wall in my office and I like the visual of seeing what I have in my queue. It also keeps me knitting more frequently, because I really want to get to these projects! What do I have in there?

Bottom row, left to right:

Dream in Color’s Worsted Cashmere for a Tea Leaves Cardigan.
Lorna’s Laces Pearl for a Mizzle (First Quarter Challenge)
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted for And So Are You
Fiberphile MCN Luxe for a Batik

Top row, left to right:

Wollmeise in a multi and semi-solid, pattern undecided
Kleio Shawl, yarn undecided
Alisha Goes Around Panoply of Peacocks for Red Velvet Cupcakes
Sothia Shawl, awaiting the Hand Maiden Casbah yarn I have at home for it.

So – how do you keep track of what projects you’re making in the near future and the yarn you have set aside for them? Do you track it only on paper? Do you keep it in cubbies somewhere close by? Or is it all in your stash area, jumbled together?

Sheri toobusytoknittoday,butstillenjoyingthevisual

Edited to add: We heard you! We now have the pattern holders available here for you.


  1. Holy cow, this might be the BEST idea I have ever seen. I am always losing / forgetting about projects that I “mean to do” because they’re in the pile and I get distracted. Love this.

  2. Ziploc bags and post it with the pattern information stored in my craft room in a fabric cube. I try and go through things every 6-9 months which adjusts the queue. I really should just do a project of the month from my queue and get it moving along.

  3. This is a great idea. I have been organizing my yarn stash — yes, again…sigh — and have a 4 drawer wicker stand in which I placed UFOs that must be finished — one a month this year. I blogged about that. However, I love this idea for those yarns and patterns that are combined and 6 months later I have forgotten. Must. Check. This. Out.

  4. Mine are all in a pile, though if I buy yarn for something specific I’m sometimes good enough to note that in Ravelry. Of course, my Ravelry queue is way more like a wish list than the future projects of Seanna Lea.

  5. In November I went through my stash and pulled out yarn for 12 projects. I then assigned a project to each group of yarn and printed it out or made a note for vanilla patterns. I then put the pattern and yarn into a brown paper lunch sack and taped it shut. Then I wrote out a label for each month and randomly put one on each sack. The sacks all went into a laundry basket and the first of each month this year I will pull out the corresponding sack and knit up the project that month. I have January’s project about 25% finished.

  6. I LOVE this system!!! I have several skeins that I purchased for certain things, popped away and then found other things… Now I have lost interest in the first things which is a shame but I can see that this system would get you knitting everything!

  7. Love the baskets, but I’m curious to know what is holding the pattern?

    I’ve been going through the SABLE and making notes in Ravelry que for which yarn goes with which pattern. I’ve been trying to stayed focused on actually utilizing the que for what it is worth.

    Thanks for sharing the idea.

  8. Oh, I love your new system! Having the visual staring at me every day would be very motivating! The system I use is Ravelry. I put everything I love in my Favorites but only keep the next few projects in my Queue. When I add them to my Queue, I add the yarn that I’m going to use. This system works pretty well, except for when I get a new yarn that grabs my attention and won’t let go. When that happens, I find a project for that yarn and it jumps right into the Cast On stage, skipping the queue altogether.

  9. My patterns are in a notebook and the yarn is in the yarn cabinet. I have note cards with the yarn name and pattern I plan to use with the yarn in the cabinet. Not the most efficient system but so far it works for me!

  10. I put each perspective project in a knitting bag. The only problem is that I mostly cannot see them through the bag. I love the Oh Snap bags and the Loopy Bags because I can see what is in there. It is just the bigger projects that I can’t see by glancing. I hang them on a coat rack in my craft room. I love your cubes!

  11. I have cubbies 12X12X12 that I’ve purchased at KMart–they come in diferent colors but mine are white and some are 2 rows by 3 rows, some are 3 rows by 3 rows… My living room wall space is entirely covered with cubbies, and I’ve purchassed different kinds of 12X12X12 baskets that fit into the cubbies. (I like your idea better though because you can see into the wire baskets!) Well, for the longest time this system worked great–until we got two new kittens that long for nothing more than yarn–now, I have fight for my yarn!! So, I’ve had to put all of my yarn/fiber into plastic ziplock gallon/two gallon bags that go into the baskets that go into the cubbies…. whew!!

  12. Ooooh, you make me blush about the mess that is my WIPs. I keep each one in a project bag along with pattern and notes, all jumbled on top of each other. It works for me, but it is a pretty big mess.

    Generally, I have enough WIPs that I don’t plan projects I’m going to start next – I keep trying to force myself to finish things I already have on the needles. Right now that amounts to four pair of socks, the beginning of an evenstar, and a hibernating wrap.

    I need to go finish some socks now.

  13. Ravelry all the way. When I add yarn, I list in the notes if it’s for something specific. When I put a pattern in my queue, I put the potential yarn(s) for it. I can also add notes if I favorite a pattern. All of my yarn (well MOST of it) is in a huge dresser and I choose not to group things by project, just to save on space and clutter. Believe me, I have enough of that already! I do like your system though, since it’s right there in front of you for inspiration.

  14. This idea is brilliant! I am trying to make my yarn and fiber stash more visible so I look through the stash instead of buying more (thank you IKEA cabinets), but this takes it to the next level. As I dream of new projects while finishing others, pairing the yarn and pattern in an “on deck” space would help me remember my plans.

  15. I put yarn and pattern in zipper or drawstring bag. Lately I’ve been writing pattern name on bag because I use laptop or Kindle for patterns rather than hard copy.I update Ravelry queue and alphabetize kits. I have way too many to use your basket system. I’m SABLE with kits as well as fiber and sock yarn (yes I know it doesn’t count as stash) and still buying more and finding patterns I like. At least now I stashdive before buying yarn. I do occasionally repurpose yarns when I decide that I really don’t like a pattern or find a pattern I like better.

  16. I have mine in clear shallow rectangular storage crates. Large enough to hold the wool but not bulky. All stacked on top on shelving in my study, willing me to get cracking. Nice and colourful.

  17. I have a shelf in my office closet that is devoted to projects I must knit soon. I keep the yarn and a photo copy of the pattern in a Red-Neck Knitting Bag (aka Ziploc)

  18. It kinda sorta looks like your future projects are in Project Prison waiting to be paroled.
    This thought made me giggle and I had to share.

  19. I’m sorry to say that my project list/organization is by the seat of my pants . Most of them are by whim. I did, however reorganize a bit and have my yarn stash in bins by weight.

  20. I use several of the Loopy Project Keepers that zips. I put my pattern, yarn and needles in each project keeper and then I line my projects in order. When I finish a project I just grap and go with the next. But…..I do get a little side tracked and start others projects I just can’t wait to finish. Love your idea Sheri. Great topic to get new ideas.

  21. I love this!! I have a wall system that has pegs on it and I hang bags with my projects in them. But… I think I could hang baskets on there!! I am going to have to look into this!

  22. I keep a large portion of my yarn stash in an antique 1930s Princess Anne style china hutch that I bought when I was a teenager. I have it at the top of the stairs leading to my bedroom. I like looking at the yarn and think it makes a nice, decorative statement.

  23. Ravelry is the best thing since sliced bread (or so they say). I can always look at my stash photos & queue and the “in the near future” yarn resides in one of two places: Elfa rolling carts with mesh basket drawers lined up along the wall by the staircase, or the bookcase shelves next to my knitting chair where they can talk to me while I knit. Those shelves also have about a dozen books plus my loose leaf notebooks with patterns in page protectors.

  24. What? Organized? Keep track of projects on queue? Wow. That’s a novel idea. šŸ™‚ I tend to put things in ziplocs, and arrange them by my knitting chair. Mostly, they’re in my stash.

  25. i have two wooden bins that hold the yarn bought fro specific projects and in the bin a folder holds the pattern, so i know where to go to find a new project, and the closet holds the extra stash yarn not specified to anything specific! šŸ™‚

  26. Who has projects waiting to be knit? Most of my stash is sock yarn of which I usually have only one skein of the colorway. It is not often that I buy yarn for a specific project. I usually see yarn, think pretty, must have, and buy one skein. I do have a few sweater amounts, but just can’t seem to get into the mood to knit a sweater! Maybe someday! However, your method of putting patterns and yarn together is really neat.

  27. I save those clear bags that yarn clubs send their kits in. Each new project goes into a bag along with the pattern. My DH bought me a huge yarn cabinet for my yarn room where I keep each project. I have one shelf for one skein projects and a couple for multi-skein projects. It’s nice to open the door & see all the beautiful yarns; and to remind myself to KEEP KNITTING!

  28. Lets just say, that if all the projects and yarn were on display I would probably be heading to divorce court. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt, so they all stay stored in out of the way closet.

  29. I love the way you have the yarn together with the pattern. I often buy yarn for a project, then don’t remember what I bought the yarn for, or vice versa. Wish I had a dedicated yarn space, other than just underneath the beds, shoved in closets etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  30. I use the queue on Ravelry. Everything goes in there, often with yarn choices from my stash, but for the projects that I’m trying to queue up to get done, I have a tag that sends them to my “Yes, I’m serious” tab. That’s the list I check the most often.

  31. That’s an interesting idea; although, that’s not in my budget at all. It’s hard enough for me to set aside enough to be able to buy yarn and patterns, etc. For storage, I use Ziploc bags, in either the 2-gallon or 3-gallon sizes. I’ve used the 2-gallon sizes for decades, whether for food storage, income tax papers, yarn projects, or you name it. I was happy to see the newer 3-gallon sizes come out, that will hold both more yarn and more papers, etc. If I don’t have a project in mind, I put yarn in Rubbermaid clear storage boxes. I put patterns that I don’t have yarn for in plastic sleeves, and put the sleeves in a 2-1/2 inch 3-ring binder. I have one full, so I need to find another one when the office supplies go on sale, hopefully soon!

  32. Lori’s comment about “project prison” made me giggle!

    Personally I have a mishmash of clear Loopy bags (for serious projects-to-be matched up with their patterns), SABLE yarn (in various shelved baskets for which I have intentions in my head &/or on Rav), and lots of WIPS in various & sundry project bags (some of which I am ashamed to admit are holed up in a couple of big plastic storage bins).

    Right now I am working on the WIPS… specifically the baby sweater that I don’t want my friend’s daughter to outgrow before she gets it!

  33. My wool is all jumbled together that is how I forgot I had Handmaiden Honor that I started my 2012 challange with instead of waiting for the swisssilk! I need more organization!

  34. I’m another Ravelry user. I found a Kindle Fire under the Christmas tree this year so I’ve been exploring knitting apps and Evernote. I love the basket idea, once I have a little more space.


  35. Over the past few months, my system collided with reality. I had all my patterns filed, I had all my yarns in neat rows in a triple dresser. And then visitors came, and the yarn was temporarily removed, and then project ideas took the place of my neat files, and then WIPs competed for tote bag space, not to mention the new yarn acquisitions along the way.

    With the New Year comes new ideas for better organizing. I plan to lock myself in the spare bedroom and redo the whole mess. Promise šŸ™‚

  36. Besides notes on Rav — I take a printout/copy of the pattern and put it in the zip lock with the yarn. Even if I think of two patterns — so that all yarn has a “mate.” It works.

  37. I like your baskets but I don’t have the wall space for a system like that. Every square inch of wall in this house is either holding up a bookcase or has one of my brother’s paintings on it. Except for the last foot before the ceiling. Only that doesn’t seem very practical. So I keep mine in project bags hanging on the back of the tv room door on a purse “rack” (like this one: only I don’t think mine came from Amazon) if they are something I intend to start right away or I also have an Ikea paperboard box that fits into a storage unit that is labeled “On Deck” for things that don’t fit into a project bag or are something I am admitting isn’t going to get started right away.

  38. I’m a fan of the zip-lock bags. The gallon size is big enough to hold a pattern and the yarn for it unless it’s a large sweatetr. My usual projects are socks, shawls and scarves though – so it’s not much of an issue. I have a rather smallish antique trunk and the zip-lock bags go into it until they are pulled out to be worked and the pattern and yarn are moved into a project bag. I like the ziplocks for the simple reason of keeping the yarn clean and dust free in my not-always-so-tidy-house and the fact that they are see through. I also have several project bags and on the occasions that i have a sweater in the que, a couple of them are larger and able to hold more yarn.

  39. All my yarn is separated by type (i.e. worsted, fingering, bulky etc.) and stored in very large clear plastic totes under the counters and work table in my studio. I have about 20 totes. Projects are kept in clear plastic smaller totes in one of the closets in the studio on shelves. Nothing can be kept out because of kittie, Pearl who has a yarn fetish. I cannot feed her addiction. Actually I guess you could say I have a yarn fetish too….those plastic totes are really big!!

  40. I buy kitty litter in the bucket and use them and soap buckets. I put my projects with project and yarn and other needs in ziploc bags and then put a picture onthe outside of the bucket and store them on shelves in my basement. If I bought baskets or other storage compartments for all my projects well let’s just say I have not won the lottery.

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