Organization Tips and a CONTEST!

Today I’m sharing some knitting and sewing organization tips that I use around my house, in the hopes that YOU will then share some tips that you use around your house! (Thus the contest. To get you to share!) Here are a few of mine:

I like old things, so I am always looking for jars and vases to keep things in. Like my knitting needles and my buttons.

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I also like interesting glass jars, which make the perfect storage for leftover balls of yarn. You’ll also see I have a few of my favorite pattern books out. And my very favorite ones get spiral bound at the office supply store for easier use.

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Old cubbies are a nice way to store thread
, and I use the old heart-shaped cake pan as a magnetic board when I am working on a project that I need to keep notes for.

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I got tired of re-printing patterns that I wanted to knit again, and finally organized all of my printouts in 3 ring notebooks so they are easy to fine. (The bonus is that if I have used the pattern before, I’ve probably made notes on the pages which are helpful the next time.)

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I also got tired of always having to look up the directions for the Kitchener stitch, Judy’s Magic Cast On, and Wendy’s Toe Up Gusset instructions. And apparently I don’t use them enough to memorize them. (We’ll go with that. We won’t say I just have a bad memory.) So I printed them out, laminated them, and spiral bound them into a little book that I keep in my project bag.

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We carry three items that I use all of the time. Pattern Holders, Needle Tubes, and Piece Keepers for quilt parts waiting to be sewn.

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I gave up on the pretty needle organizers and got these hanging ones. Now I am very good about putting them away when I am done, instead of leaving them in project bags. (You can see that I left them in bags too many times and just kept buying new ones. I am a little overstocked ….) I did tuck them in a corner next to a big bookcase. They are not the prettiest thing to put on the wall, but they sure to help me to stay needle-organized. Let us know if you want to order any of these. We don’t regularly carry them, but I need to change that I think.

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So tell us your tips and tricks! We will draw a winner and will award that person a $50 Loopy Gift Certificate in a week or two.

Spring Fling Goody Bag Contest: We do have not one, but TWO winners of the Spring Fling goody bags from our last contest, because I ended up having an extra bag. These are shipping out to Enid in Michigan and Cindy in Louisiana. Congratulations to both of you and thanks to all who participated!

Sheri alwayslookingfornewtipssothanksforsharing

P.S. Due to the Memorial Day holiday we won’t have yarn or fabric updates this coming week. But we already have beautiful things in for the week after that!

142 comments

  1. I put all the yarn for a project in a plastic bag. I put a note in it with the name of the pattern I wish to use, and where the pattern is located (in Ravelry library, or a purchased printed pattern, etc….). If I have selected buttons, they go in the bag as well. Sometimes I forget what I bought yarn for, so this is a very helpful way to organize.

  2. I keep printed patterns in page protectors in 3-ring binders, sorted by category. I tuck leftover yarn (and its original tag) in plastic sandwich bags, to be used if I need to make repairs. I try to only buy what I plan to use within the year, so I don’t have as much stuff to organize as some folks.

  3. When I start a new project, the yarn, buttons, plus the pattern go into a plastic sleeve then into a large zip lock bag. I bought a needle case from Grace’s Cases that is the delux size and it holds any needle I will ever use. I have a Rubbermaid closet that I store all my yarn in and. “Current/upcoming/working on” projects go into a basket I have in the living room.

  4. I am a quilter and am in college so I am not getting in as much sewing time as I would like to. I store many of my supplies and stash in a trunk that belonged to my great great grandmother. I also favor see through containers to easily identify projects.

  5. Like you I use jars and also plastic zip lock bags for lots of things. But I also use press on hooks in my craft room for hanging up things I use often but don’t want laying on my table. Rings of stitch markers, ball winder, sewing rulers. Oh, and those rings, I bought a pack dirt cheap at the hardware store. They keep all my stitch markers organized and easy to grab for a project.

  6. I have an iPad bookmark for things like Kitchener and M1R and M1K.
    I keep a list of all the yarn I have in my stash.

  7. I’m not very organized, but have plans similar to yours for organization. I do have the ‘not so pretty’ hanging needle storage, but mine is not as pretty as yours (original off-white canvas)!

  8. I keep needles in a binder on my shelf, alongside my knitting books. I have each size in a clear page protector and then use the plastic tabs (you buy at office supply stores) to mark the needle size and length.

    For needles and stitch markers, I gave up on the cute holders. I use a Altoids tin that is lined with adhesive magnets on the inside. I never loose darning needles or stitch markers now!

  9. I keep my yarn in clear plastic totes, separated by weight, so that I can see what is inside. I also keep any yarns bought for a specific project with the pattern in a jumbo ziplock bag in a tote specifically used for complete projects, so that I don’t forget why I got the yarn. I seem to have a bag fetish, so I have lots of them to keep WIPS in and several cosmetic sized bags to keep notion in for each of them. My stash has gotten a bit out of control, so I really need to reorganize it all.

  10. Organization? You mean there’s an alternative to stuffing everything into every closet, crawl space, and nook & cranny, LOL. Someone needs to start a bug and moth proof self storage business for yarn and fabric’oholics

  11. I use Ravelry’s stash feature to keep an inventory of my yarns. I sort my yarns by color family and keep them in large plastic bins. I keep a list of the patterns that I wish to knit with each yarn. I have many knitting books and a bookcase just for knitting books. I organize Individual pdf patterns into knitting/crochet files in my computer. I too use 3 ring binders organized by type of patterns for paper patterns. I wish I could say that I have lovely notebooks filled with notes about each pattern I knit. I keep notes on yellow pads and tear off the sheets and keep them with patterns in the 3 ring binders. Needle cases just don’t work for me. I use zip top clear plastic bags – labeled by needle size for circular and double pointed needles. Larger bags for straight needles. Then I organize these plastic bags into color coded grab bags. I use canvas knitting bags or zippered carry-all bags for projects in progress. Notions and buttons are in jars or tins.
    My husband is resigned to “yarn” taking over our house. I think I will always be looking for better ways to organize my knitting/crochet.

  12. I try to keep everything as consolidated as possible. I keep all of my knitting things in a dresser in the living room and when I finish a project I unpack all of my notions and things from my project bag and put them back where they belong, return the needles to their proper place, etc. I used to be so eager to start the next thing that I would just stash the project bag in a drawer without unloading it and then I could never find my notions or needles.

  13. My stash lives in my yarn closet. I have some of my nicest skeins displayed in a clear over the door shoe organizer. Each of the pockets are about the size of a shoe box so three cakes can sit side by side and beautiful skein for a project can be layed with each other. At a glance I can see some of my project options without having to dig through boxes or bins.

  14. I keep my circular needles in Ziploc bags (by size) inside a lovely fabric covered box. They all fit inside nicely and are out of site (other than the box). These are not to be confused with the set(s) of interchangeables that I have.

    I have no other storage solutions. I need to come up with one for those incredibly darling scissors that you sell. I must have purchased 10 pair by now, but do you think I have a clue where any of them are? Most definitely not.

  15. Tip: Buy a student ‘organizer box’ A one=piece, snap close in plastic. I use mine to carry my notions(scissors, stitch markers, tape measure, sewing needle case, a copy of directions) and my current sock on their double point needles. The Stitches stay on the needles and everything is in one place. The yarn ball rides ‘outside’ but no problem closing the lid on sock yarn. It fits easily into a bag with the yarn.
    Excuse any typos, I’m one-handed at the moment.

  16. I use zip lock bags to store my extra yarn, jars for needles and buttons. For my patterns I keep them in a binder in plastic sleeves.

  17. I am trying to get my studio more organized, so love reading all of this! I do organize my cotton fabric by color, so it is easier to see what might work in a quilt. (Garment fabric is stored in plastic tubs.) I am working on getting my yarn all sorted by brand and weight to make it easier to find for projects. I do keep the next projects or two to be started in decorative containers. I am planning to hang peg boards to store thread, scissors, quilting rulers, that kind of thing. Some day I will be done. 😉

  18. I’ve recently started using the stash feature on Ravelry to keep track of all my yarn. It’s been a huge help to see everything in one place and be able to look up patterns based on what I have on hand.

  19. I have my yarn in assorted Rubbermaid drawers, bins, etc that I have compiled over the years. I have the storage location marked in Ravelry, but I also have a card attached to the front of each item with brand/yarn/skein count so when i wander through my yarn closet, I can find which drawer has what without opening a computer/phone. I also have multiple notions bags – I use those ‘free gift’ bags from makeup counters (i.e., Clinique) and put assorted items in them – scissors, crochet hook, markers, lifelines – and have those at hand to throw into project bags as needed.

  20. Sheri, these are such fun and practical organizing tips. So true re printing out patterns again and again, I did the same as you in 3 ring binders. And I have placed some smallish projects in zip lock bags that I then put on skirt hangers (b/c seriously I have not worn a skirt in how long?) and store in the linen closet.

  21. Everything (yarn, fiber, knitting needles, fabric and remnants) MUST fit into the plastic shoe boxes inside the trunk that sits behind my desk in my studio formerly known as the dining room.

  22. I use a silverware caddy inside my buffet to store all my tiny sewing notions. It is perfect for all those tiny pieces!

  23. I like your tip of having books and instructions spiral bound! I may do that in the future. For my extra needles- both double points and circs, I have them labeled in sheet protectors in a 3 ring binder. I always keep my interchangeable needles, cords and main set of double points in my travel knit bag. When I start a new project, I just go to that bag and pick out what I need unless I need a special needle from the binder. I keep patterns and knit magazines in magazine binders on the same shelf as the needle binder. For all extra knit tools, I bought a craft tool box to hold everything. I got tired of looking for something in twenty places!

  24. I really have been wanting the wall needle organizer! I have some Fintorp rails and hooks from Ikea to hang my quilting rulers on the wall. I added the utensil holder to hold my scissors and rotary cutter.

  25. Part of my stash is in a cubbie I bought at IKEA. My stash room looks like a mini yarn shop. My GD calls it the yarn room.

  26. My organization really revolves around the holiday knitting. NOW is the time I set up my holiday spreadsheet.

    List all my gift recipients – what I want to spend, what I’ll get them, total it up and then a list for actual gifts and cost.

    Then I have a tab where I track the knitting project, estimated hours to complete, yarn needed or stash dedicated. Then an hours per week needed to complete. It helps keep things on track.

  27. I sewed up a bunch of easy fat quarter bags, and I use them to divide up my leftover yarn–one bag is for blanket leftovers, and another for bracelet leftovers. I also use a pegboard above my desk to keep scissors, needles, stitch markers, and loads of extra tools handy!

  28. I have a 3 ring binder and plastic sleeves for all my patterns, separated in sections by item type. I keep all of my skein sleeves and tags in a baggie and all of my yarn leftovers in gallon bags organized by yard type. Lastly, I have two drawers and two bins where all of my knitting supplies are kept so when I’m looking for something I know it will always be in one of four places.

  29. I use Ravelry organization to the max! I keep all of my yarn photographed and in the stash tab. I also keep all of my needles logged into the needle tab. If I loan a needle, I edit the note for that needle to include the name of the person who has it and the date. Helps make sure my needles come home. ALSO, when I am using, or loaning out, a needle, I keep the original packaging in my needle file so I know which needle is missing at a glance.

  30. I thought I was somewhat organized but guess not after reading some of the posts!! I do have patterns that I plan to use this year in one 3-ring binder in plastic sleeves. My yarn is in bins not currently labelled and in large space bags. My needles and some notions are in a spare dresser. I do so want to redo my craft room. Just need a bit more time off from work!!

  31. This tip will indicate that I am a slave to castonitis. I was keeping my WIPS in a large bag but kept forgetting the ones that were buried. So I got a kid’s coatrack from IKEA and hang all my WIPS from it. That way I get to enjoy seeing my pretty project bags too. I haven’t needed to yet but I’ve decided when I can’t fit another project on the rack I must either finish or frog an older project!

  32. I vote yes for you carrying hanging needle organizers for us to buy! I just bought a very pricey one and would appreciate some reasonable choices. Thanks.

  33. My stash was collecting. As a way to better keep track of it and dust free, I have an itemized list of each purchase with the date and details tucked away in flexible clear plastic zippered storage bags.
    I keep my downloaded patterns in 3-ring binders; one labeled “socks”. I need to get one for shawls. Organization really helps make knitting more enjoyable. : )

  34. I’m a huge fan of storage bins. Clear ones with vacuum/space bags for yarn and fiber. Yarn is sorted by weight and possibly dyer. Everything in the fiber studio, books, yarn and possibly fiber gets logged into Ravelry before it goes into the studio.

    Opaque ones with lockable lids for construction/maintenance tools and supplies, sorted by trade ie painting, electrical, plumbing, landscape.

  35. When I order yarn, I put a note in the bag with the pattern name, needle size needed and a printout if I have it. Then I can just grab the bag when I am ready to start the project. I also keep my yarn sorted by weight in tubs for easier sorting of the stash.

  36. I keep my yarn in baskets and underbed bags, I make liberal use of project bags. My patterns are kept in binders in page protectors. My straight needles in a repurposed plastic cookie jar container, my circs and dpns in a needle carrying case. And I display my drop spindles in a large coffee cup. My books/booklets are on my bookshelf all in alphabetical order and grouped together by hobby (ie, crochet, knitting).

  37. I have all my stash listed with a location number on Ravelry. Each number corresponds to a Rubbermaid bin with that number on it. If it wasn’t for the Ravelry stash feature I’d be lost!

    Also, I use old jars for minis and vases for needles. Not too original but it looks great!

  38. I use the rectangular hanging shells to put my yarn in. I have two of them and organize by color. I also have quite a few totes that I keep yarn in, especially my sock yarns, which h take up three totes.

  39. I quilt and use new pizza boxes that I have gotten (for FREE) at local pizza places. I only ask for 2 or 3 at a time, and they are reusable too. I just put a piece of masking tape on the front edge to write my project name on and place my cut pieces and pattern inside. Really handy to carry and they stack nicely on one of my tables or on a deeper shelf. Thanks for having the giveaway, that’s a great prize to win. Blessed be, hugs!!!

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