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. Such great ideas from everyone! I use large plastic totes for my way too large stash, separated by weigh and numbered. I keep an inventory using Microsoft Excel that includes various descriptors, including the bin number, to more easily be able to find specific yarn. I keep patterns in 3-ring binders in sheet protectors. When starting a new project, I make a color copy of the pattern that I make notes on and don’t have to worry about if it gets folded or wrinkled and keep in the project bag (I like string backpacks to corral everything associated with the project) and a small zippered pouch with all the notions I’ll need. Love the idea of yarn scraps in glass jars.

  2. At each visit, my dentist gives me a plastic zipper pouch with a new toothbrush, floss and other goodies. I use these pouches as notions cases for each of my project bags. My stitch markers, scissors, crochet hook, and pen are easy to find. When the inexpensive plastic zipper breaks, I usually have a new case to replace the old one.

  3. Ooh, good ideas! I also keep a at 3 ring binder for printed patterns and all my notions live in a tin Hello Kitty Lunch box. xo.

  4. I sewed myself a needle organizer a couple years ago and it’s been super useful. I have two large wicker baskets to hold my notions and ‘knitting ephemera’ that I have on the top shelf of a bookcase so that my 2 year old is less tempted to raid it constantly. My yarny leftovers are in little plastic baggies with the weight written on them, but I’ve been wanting to re-organize the way you have when I saw how you’ve organized everything in the periscope video you did awhile back. It was beautiful.

  5. I love using vintage train cases to sort my needles and knitting accessories. Not only are they sturdy but also look great when stacked together.

  6. I store my yarn in old fashioned gallon jars that used to belong to my grandma. My needles are stored inside my other grandma’s old project bag, and kept inside my mom’s childhood toy box with some extra yarn and some special children’s books. My patterns are mostly digital, but I have all my fiber your patterns stored in special binders in a drawer next to the yarn. I live to think of all the shared history while I’m planning projects and playing with yarn!

  7. I keep my stash in large plastic bins organized by weight. And I keep my needles in the needle keepers by Erin Lane Bags, which I love.

  8. I’m a big believer in re-using empty plastic ice cream containers for sock and lace wips – they are just about the right side (litre) and hold the ball and needles nicely. No rolling around and easy to label and stack.

  9. I store my circulars and DPN’s in zippered pencil bags put into ring binders. It’s easy to have the binders on a shelf, and I can just grab the binder and flip through to the size I want. I also wrote cable lengths on the circular bags.

  10. My biggest challenge has been having the right needle size in the right cable length and material (wood or metal) for the project I just had to cast on. I found that by (1) having a designated needle corral in every floor of my home (just a place where needles can go if I don’t have the time to return them to their home) and (2) creating a spreadsheet with size, material, type (straight, DPN, or circular), length of cable, and number, I spend much less time searching and more time knitting. :O)

  11. I’m a quilter, and have found that the 12x12x4 Iris scrapbooking organizers are perfect for blocks in progress. I also made a Sew Together bag by Ft. Collins designer SewDemented, and it’s great for tools, needles, and clips.

  12. I store my pattern and needles with my new yarn as soon as purchase it so it is already kitted when I am ready to start ( and don’t forget why I purchased a particular yarn in the first place).

  13. I am the most unorganized person ever! But I do have hand sewn needle cases for my circs and dpns. I keep tiny bags in all of my current project bags with a measuring tape, snips, and a tapestry needle so I always have what I need on the go. And I have a basket I keep next to the couch with current projects, because otherwise I tend to store them ON the couch or table or elsewhere that takes up room.

  14. I have a few altoid tins that I have filled with the essentials and place them in each project bag. Who can only have one project. Each tin contains a darning needle, puppy snips, stitch markers, removable markers, waste yarn, tiny crochet hook and measuring tape.

  15. Great ideas Sheri and commenters!!!

    I have several of those little makeup bags one gets when buying cosmetics sometimes that I fill with a tape measure, some sort of cutting device, a darning needle, stitch markers, etc – all ready to slip into my project bags. I try to be a monogamous project knitter, but the reality is that I don’t always make it.

    Happy Memorial Weekend!

  16. I have a new sewing room so I’m trying all kinds of things. One is to wrap my fabric on comic book boards and put them in a bookcase. Looks like a mini fabric store! LOL

  17. I have my patterns in sheet protectors and put the yarn labels in the sleeve when I finish the project. Try to write the dates that the project was started and finished but don’t always succeed. Try to do the same for my sewing projects with bits of the fabric I used.
    My husband bought me lots of storage drawers at the Container Store several years ago for our anniversary. Love those!
    I also have bins for my fabric. Try to label everything but have purchased “stuff” I already own! Par for the course!!

  18. I have plastic boxes with tight fitting lids that fit into a wire mesh cube set up as a floor to ceiling shelf along one wall of our spare bedroom. My yarn is sorted by gauge and the boxes are clear so I can see the colors. My husband objected to this set up until I explained that wool has wonderful insulation properties and that I have in essence insulated an entire wall of the room. Stash diving is now easy!

  19. I have boxes for my stash and I like to keep my notions not in used in see through zippered totes. I have begun putting my my patterns in a notebook. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I hope to put them to use soon.

  20. I bought a pair of handbag organizers from QVC and stocked one as my Master bag. The second organizer is stocked as a duplicate backup for occasions when I have multiple projects…and that would be always. Side pockets hold tins of stitch markers, a knit tool kit, a longgg tape measure, Chibi needles, reading glasses in their case, etc. The zippered pocket keeps things like cable holders, a couple different cutting scissors, and my Loopy needle gauge and measuring tool. Two good size yarn cakes will fit inside on their sides. Changing my knitting bag is easy; I grab the handles of the organizer and lift everything from one bag to the other without losing anything in the process. My project usually sits on top of the organizer; a one skein project tucks neatly into the center along with the yarn cake. Two organizers will stack on top of each other in a large knitting bag.

  21. I keep patterns of completed projects with notes in a 3 ring binder. I use sticky notes/stickies on my desktop background to keep track of what I want to knit “next” – with the name of the pattern, needle size, and yarn requirements. Last week I finished a Belmondo shawl (from Ravelry) and used a paper clip on an index card to keep track of the rows. I wrote the 4 rows in a list and moved the clip to the correct row every time I finished a right-side row.

  22. I have a needle organizer that is similar to the two shown. It is very easy to find the 4, 5 or 6 size needle that I need with out measuring 10 separate needles every time! It is the most useful thing I have purchased in a long while.

    I keep my small leftover balls of yarn in a ziplock bag that can be opened and shut as I finish socks or shawls and then make mitered squares for my someday sock yarn blanket, the finished squares go in a jar awaiting their relatives to join them.

    I keep pretty yarn in glass jars with lids from the thrift stores so as to have more money to buy pretty yarn!

  23. I love the pattern holders. I have several and keep thinking of more things to store in them. The colors make them easy to locate.

  24. I also use 3 ring binders for my patterns. And I’m a huge fan of baskets and wooden bowls and cups for helping to organize knitting “stuff” and to decorate with some of the stash.

  25. I use zipper pencil pouches. The clear kind that go into 3 ring binders. You can get them super cheap at the beginning of school years.

    Then I sort my needles into them. I have one folder for my dpns, another for my fixed circulars, & one for my interchangeable circulars. It really helps, a lot.

    Especially when we are traveling. Then I put patterns I am taking into sleeves, the pouch with needles I will be using comes along, too. I use a smaller binder & they are all together in that binder. Each pattern alongside the needles

  26. I use large tubs and make sure that everything is in Ravelry for the majority of my yarn. I have a used-up Yankee Candle jar that yarn scraps go in the ones that could be used as stitch markers but are far too small for anything, except I just can’t toss ’em. I use empty prescription bottles for notions, stitch markers, and beads. Small fold-up scissors fit, and the Loopy’s Red Sock pattern makes a sock that perfectly hides the bottle!

  27. So many great ideas! I guess I’m not very organized. I just have my yarn in big plastic tubs and I have no idea which is where. Needles are in smaller plastic bins in my huge coffee table.

  28. Thanks for all the great ideas!!!! I bought a shelf with glass doors so I can put my yarn stash in. I like it because I can see all the beautiful colors and get inspired !

  29. Some one (I too have a somewhat holely memory) posted on IG about using a beautiful “coat rack” to store and see all their project bags! I loved the idea and totally stole it for my knit knook. The “coat rack” is more like those you would display longeberger baskets on an sit just makes me so delighted to see all my beautiful project bags out on display, empty or full:)

  30. I have learned that I DO NOT keep paper well. I’ve gotten myself into the habit of putting all mods into Ravelry and keeping pattern files electronically with a back up drive. WAY easier for me to find things than shuffling through miles of paper!

  31. Being both a quilter and a knitter storage is a challenge. Especially when I keep adding to the stashes! I use cartoon boards to wrap fabric around and store in open IKEA bookshelves. I use the same type storage shelves for yarn. Buttons go in used cleaned candle jars. Straight knitting needles are stored in PVC pipe containers that my husband made for me. I use plastic dollar store shoe boxes for storing knitting projects – pattern and yarn go in the box. Printed patterns are stored in 3-ring binders.

  32. I have a small notebook that stays in my knitting bag. Details of each project such as date, for whom, yarn, needle size and most importantly, results. Comes in really handy with socks so that my second sock matches the pattern changes I made on the first for that specific person/project. Also a sense of pride when I look back and see how many projects I’ve completed in a year!!

  33. I also print out patterns and put them in plastic sleeves in 3 ring binders. I have some binders for project type – say toys or hats, and some organized by favorite designers. It really makes life much easier.

  34. I use the tool boxes that are for screws and put my buttons, by color, in the little drawers. I have one for my beads too, but you can’t use them for seed beads because of the tiny holes in the back of the drawers. They have clear fronts do you can see the colors.

  35. I use this ideal all the time when I use more than one circular needle. I store mine in a CD carrying case. I also use cosmetic bags you get free from department stores to store my notions attached a colorful ribbon to hold my scissors.

  36. I keep a small box with all the items I need for hand sewing bindings. Since I hand sew all over the house, but seldom in the sewing room, I have everything I need at hand. I can also pack it up and leave it with the quilt without worrying about losing needles, thimbles,etc, in the couch cushions.

  37. I have my patterns stored in 3 ring binders that are labeled with the type of pattern that I’m storing in each one. I also use the cosmetic bags that are given free with a purchase at the department stores for various notions. I have notions in a couple of the bags, and I have one that’s just for stitch markers.

  38. I love all of these ideas! I also have 3 ring binders, but they are getting full & I need to add one. I store my yarn (sorted by weight) in a glass fronted bookcase. I store my circular needles in a small drawstring bag & my smaller sized DPNs in a pencil case. The large sized DPNs are in a jar. My knitting books are in the bookcase with the yarn. Unfortunately my notions seem to get scattered often, but they are supposed to all stay in a shelf basket in the yarn bookcase.

  39. There are so many great organizing ideas.
    I seem to have an attraction to beads and knitting lately, so I bought mini storage blocks from the dollar store to hold the mini bead bags and tubes, sorted by colour. When I use them for a project, I pulled out Tupperware snack cups. Just big enough to hold beads and the superfloss for stringing them.

  40. I use a lot of the same things! Binders for different types of pattern and jars and vases especially. I’m also a big fan of the good ol’ Rubbermaid tote. I have them on shelves in my basement, and the yarn is sorted in my own wierd yarn “filing system.” The great thing about them is you can see what’s inside from every side without opening it!

  41. I put printed patterns in binders. My needles are in plastic boxes- 1 for circulars, 1 for dpns, 1 for straights. Biggest helper is a Loopy project notebook. I have been good about using that to record project info- swatch data, yarn, needle, start date, etc. I replaced some of my magazines with CDs- less space.

  42. My desktop is supported by tool chests. One is where I stash (and organize) all of my sock yarn. Another stores all of my knitting tools, needles, etc. I can easily retrieve anything I need.

  43. These are such great ideas! I have my patterns in binders. I separate notions in colorful bins on a bookcase. My thread is separated by color on a peg board. And I put my favorite smaller scrap fabric in glass jars, for decoration.

  44. I love your old jars! What a great way to keep buttons and other smaller things! I keep my patterns in 3 ring binders also and my straight and larger sized double pointed knitting needles are in an old enamel pitcher I got at a yard sale a while back. My smaller dpns are in cardboard tubes made just for dpns and my small circulars are in a tiny cardboard expandable file. Now, if I could only figure out a good way to organize my stash……

  45. I have stacking bins to organize each sewing project. I have wood cube storage shelves that have cubed bins that fit I each one. My yarn is organized here. These shelves also are great for attaching a winder and swift to for winding purposes. Plus they can stay there.

  46. I like to use cord locks (found in the camping section at Walmart usually 4 for .82) to hold my needles together. They hold the drawstrings tight on nylon camping bags. These keep the stitches from falling off.

  47. I bought a bed with 4 drawers underneath. Stores all of my stash! I use herbs to keep away the moths and air the yarn now and then. Some are in big zip lock bags.

  48. I keep my circular needles in a bait bag. It is supposed to be for fishermen. It has heavy duty plastic bag inserts which can hold the needles. I plan on labelling the bags but haven’t it yet. I bought my bait bag at Bass Pro .

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