Monday, March 12, 2012
Spring Cleaning For Knitters and Crocheters!
Ahhh, spring! Can you feel it coming? After the whirlwind of cold weather stitching, my yarny area always looks like it exploded. Here are some helpful tips to bring order and stitchy harmony back to your space.
You may want to do everything or just a few things, but I promise, even just a few will make you feel like an organization superstar!
First, you'll want to get your yarn into some kind of container...depending on the size of your stash (is it safe to assume here that your stash is massive?) you'll want to get get everything in bins, baskets, etc. I like to divide mine by yarn weight-sock yarn in one, chunky in another, worsted in another and so on. Of course you could always organize by color, project, etc too.
Label your bins.... I have a handy labeler to help me but you could make some on your computer, hand stamp with alphabet stamps, etc...
Always save your yarn bands/tags. I like to snip a bit of yarn and attach...think of this as the “reference” area of your library.
As warmer weather is upon us, it's good to be aware of all of the tiny critters that can invade your yarn stash and ruin it...particularly moths. They like to chomp through it and lay their eggs in it like nobody's business. So, it is always a good idea to keep your wool sealed. I like using gallon sized freezer bags because they are cheap and reusable.
Work In Progress Bin--I use this bin to stick finished projects in (charity, gift giving, etc) I put completely finished things in here as well as things that need finish work too (ends to be woven in, buttons to be added, etc) Of course if you have lots of space in your area, you could have a bin for each ("finished" and "needs finish work")
Every crocheter and knitter needs a great tool box. I found this one at a craft store, but you could always use a fishing tackle box, a series of shoe boxes, a sewing basket or anything else that has lots of storage and compartments. Another thing I've seen that is especially good for knitting and crocheting on the go is a bunch of small, medium, and large zipped pouches placed in a large tote bag...very functional for travel, knitting and crochet groups, etc.
Here are a few of the compartments...
To store your hooks and needles, you could use a roll (lots of neat patterns are out there if you want to make one yourself), I like to keep mine in a vase, so they are within reach.
How about all of the millions of patterns you've printed out over time? I made this binder a few years ago to keep everything handy...I was tired of loose paper all over the place. I have one for both crocheting and knitting, but you could incorporate both into one binder.
I made tabs for it with inexpensive manila folders with holes punched in each one and labeled them by hand. You could be fancier than this, but I like how the divider is also a folder.
Which brings me to patterns, when I am working on a pattern, I slip it into one of these plastic sleeves to protect it.
Buttons! I like to keep buttons in one of these divided plastic boxes...they can be found at the craft store, I believe they are for organizing embroidery floss, but they are awesome for button storage. I like all my buttons where I can see them and within easy reach. Great for beads too! Buttons also look great in a jar, but I like mine laid out like this.
As for projects I am currently working on, I like to keep everything in a basket, I love the homey-ness of it and the large handle for toting around the house. As a side note, I usually have each project in its own freezer bag to keep it clean, together, and tangle free, but this looked prettier it all its yarny glory instead of a pile of plastic bags!
Call me a pack rat, but I never throw away yarn...not even the tiniest scrap. Instead I keep every scrap in a bag to be used for stuffing things. When it gets too full, just start another bag, or start a project that requires you to stuff something.
If you have yarn scraps that are longer, try using them for charity...I keep another bin just for charity yarn. This includes larger yarn scraps (even if just for a stripe or two in a hat), if I've overbought yarn for a project, or yarn I've found on sale. All of goes in here. Sometimes I just see yarn that would be perfect for a charity project, and that goes in here too!
So there you have it...hopefully your yarn stash and crochet/knitting area will benefit from some springtime sprucing up. Mine sure did! How do you organize your yarn, projects and tools? Please share any tips in the comments area, I'd love to hear them!