How to Effectively Organize Knitting and Crocheting Supplies
There are many ways to organize your yarn. You can do it by type, color, and/or shape. You can organize the yarn in bins, baskets, or boxes. (Personally, I like the baskets with bows on them, but you should wash the inner lining often). Then, you might be able to label the containers for easy access. You could keep a large basket or container full of your current projects. Always keep in mind that you do not want to overwhelm yourself with too many unfinished projects. Other examples of yarn containers are a travel hang-up bag with zip-locked containers, an over the door shoe holder, or a canvas square, as seen below.You can even color code the containers to the fabric or yarn so you know which to grab. The canvas squares and most baskets hide perfectly under my coffee table!
Craft stores sell tons of plastic containers and fabric organizers for needles. If you have taller needles or a lot of needles, you can go to craft stores, and they often sell little things like sturdy plastic bags with dividers for the needles. I found a very cute pink one for less than $10.00. You can also place all of your needles in a vase so you can see the needle sizes easily.
However you decide to organize the needles, just make sure they are organized in a fashion that you can easily find what you are looking for in a timely manner. If this is a real problem for you, you might try attaching 2 matching needles together when you finish with them and before you put them away, so that you don't have a stray. Craft stores have cloth organized specialized for needles and plastic dividers for needles. These may be most useful when sorting by size.
Craft stores also sell organizers for circular needles. You can use a zip-locked canvas or mesh bag (pictured below), but you will have to measure each needle before you use it. Another idea is to use plastic see-thru pages that go in a binder. These pages are found in the office section of most stores and are inexpensive. This allows you to sort your circular needles very well. My mesh bag (pictured below) just happen to have a pocket that was perfect for me to list its contents. This way I could tell if I had the needle or not before measuring ALL of those!
One option for storing craft documentation is printing patterns you love and organizing them in notebooks by category or alphabetically. However, you may wish to write patterns down in small notebooks (7 ½” X 5”). Having them in small notebooks is great, because they fit well in most craft organizers. You can also use them for recording your favorite knitting sites, for designing patterns and recording ideas, for counting where you are in a pattern, or as a directory of all your knitting patterns. It can be motivating to start in one pattern book, go in order, and try to finish them all before moving to the next book. When copying patterns on paper, be sure to put the website address where you found the pattern since you don’t have a picture. This way you can go refer to it when you are ready to do it. One tip: Record the date you completed a pattern in your notebook next to the pattern itself.
Of course, this can also be done on a spreadsheet, which is very handy, because you can sort, filter, manipulate, and add to the data as needed. This spreadsheet is just an example of how you could list out your patterns. You can choose the criterion that is most important to you. It may mean you want to know what kind of yarn, what color of yarn, what size of needle, ease of the project, and/or number of cast on stitches. This gives you the opportunity to filter, sort alphabetically, or choose what project or book you want to work on at a glance.
Cast On #
Don’t overdo it when printing patterns. Otherwise, you will never have the time to complete them all. It is a lot easier just to print patterns and pictures of the ones you like than to write them out, but the ink can be expensive, so the notebooks may be your best bet on a budget. Binders that are labeled and organized are very useful. It is nice to have pictures and know what you are making, especially with dishcloths.
Here is an example of one of my little notebooks (where I record patterns). I have found them at grocery stores, pharmacies, and office supply stores, but be sure to pick designs and colors you like, because once you start filling them up, you are stuck with them!
Organizers or Totes
Craft stores sell the cutest organizers for your crafts. Many are under $30.00, but you want to ensure you find one the right one. Pick your favorite color, one you fall in love with, one that meets your needs, one that fits in the spot it will go, and one that your particular supplies will fit perfectly in. You may also want to invest in a larger, canvas-type bag for any books or graph paper you use on a regular basis, any expanding files you may use, or notebooks you write in as you knit. I actually bought another cute little organizer for less than $15.00 that is lighter and smaller than my $40.00 main one. I use the little one, because it is portable for me. I put some basic supplies in there and can move it to the bedroom or car if I want to.
You may want to use your craft tote for other purposes too, such as: office supplies, beauty supplies, medicine, lotion, your planner or calendar, your tiny phone book, tissue paper, or even a small book you are reading.
Other organizers for crafts include bookshelves, bins, expandable file folders, folders, binders, baskets, wire boxes, decorative craft boxes/baskets, sturdy bags, plastic drawers, sacks, shelves, knitting or crocheting bags, clear plastic containers, small furniture, cabinets, and labeled boxes.
Here is a picture of my main tote: (As you can see, I use it for office supplies as well, and it's stuffed!).
It is very good to keep track of your supplies. This will help you when you are shopping at a craft store, and it will keep you organized. Many applications on smart phones and other phones give you the opportunity to download applications that let you enter your current yarn, projects, needles, patterns, and they give you information, such as tutorials, calculators, and conversion charts. There are also applications that allow you to design patterns on graph paper on your cellular phone. Most applications are free and have a lot of useful information. Be sure you find the application useful or else it will just be taking up memory on your phone. If you don’t find them to be, uninstall them. Make sure you have enough memory to download the application.You will find this very handy if you utilize it when you shop or when you are just bored in your car waiting on something. Waiting in line may give you just the inspiration you need to design a pattern on your smart phone!
Way to Organize
Bins, Baskets, and Boxes
Organizers, Containers, Bags, Vases, Dividers, and Pages
Notebooks, Printed Pages, Binders, and Spreadsheets
Organizers, Totes, and Technology
- Free Knitting or Crocheting Computer Worksheets: Get Organized
Being unorganized can be frustrating. Things can be easier. These worksheets will give you an idea on how to keep track your patterns, your yarn, your needles, your upcoming needs, and much more.
Summary of Needlework Supplies
- Summary of Crocheting and Knitting Supplies and Tools
This link offers a list of the most common supplies used in needlework and a description of each. It will help you stock up your craft tote with the right supplies for your projects!
Michele's Personal Knitting Site
- Free Knitting Site for Beginners
This site mostly contains knitting patterns for beginners.