Monday, June 4, 2012

61 Ways to Store Your Knitting Needles

By: Caitlin Eaton, Editor of AllFreeKnitting

Trust me, because I know your story: you've been knitting for years and have more knitting needles than you know what to do with! (It's okay to give this article a little, "Amen!" if you want to.) We understand: knitting needle storage is difficult! Having a large assortment of needles - circular, double pointed and straight - is great for being able to work on a multitude of projects, but storage can be a little tricky. After all, where exactly is a good place for keeping pointy little sticks? Thankfully, we turned to you: our knowledgeable readers! Below you will find 61 reader-submitted tips for knitting needle storage. We know that organizing a craft room can be a daunting task, so we hope that these tips will give you a little direction. From old paint cans to empty pretzel containers, you'd be surprised how many inexpensive (and practical) ways there are to organize your knitting needles, whether they're straight, circular or double-pointed needles.

1.I have an old paint can full of my knitting needles. - Joanna W.

2.I use mostly circular needles. I have three sets: Boye interchangeables, Denise interchangeables and bamboo needles. Two I keep in their original cases and the third set I keep in a case made especially made for circular needles where each size needle has its own pocket. I also put spare circs in this case. It just rolls up and ties for easy transport, like a jewelry travel case. - Kay H.

3.I keep my straight needles in fabric needle rolls. I have complete sets of Harmony needles, bamboo needles and metal needles, all in their own “homes”. DPN’s (double-pointed needles) are kept in their original packages. My four sets of interchangeable needles are kept in their original packages as well. I guess I’m a needle collector! - Suzanne N.

4.I have a quilted duffel bag where I keep some of my yarn. On each end is a huge pocket, so I keep the 16?, 24? & 29? circular needles in one and my 32? & 40? circular needles in the other. All my straight bamboo needles I keep in a quilted roll up holder. - Pamela R.

5.I store my DPNs in empty Crystal Light containers. They’re the perfect size! - Diana K.

6.I have two hanging organizers for circular needles with sewn pockets along the backing. I also have 2 needle rolls for straight needles and one for doublepoints. - Pat

7.Sadly they are not very organized. I do have a canvas tote bag that hangs on side of my headboard with most of my needles in it! - DeAnna C.

8.I keep my crochet needles and other necessary items ready to go by sewing an envelope from scrap sewing projects. I sewed in several pockets to fit needles, measuring tape, scissors, stitch markers etc. The envelope simply rolls up and is tied with a crochet ribbon I made from scrap yarn. I often take my current projects with me when traveling, so having my needle envelope ready to go, I always have what I need at home or on the road. - Bonnie

9.I keep my knitting needles, as well as crochet needles, in a duffle bag with handles. - Jacqueline Q.

10.I keep cookie tins (the ones that Sam’s Club sells with cookies in packs of four containing shortbread cookies!) and pringle cans. The tins are different colors, have pretty designs on them, and most needles fit nicely inside. They're easy to keep track of and fit nicely under a dresser. - Jolan D.

11.I keep my crochet needles in a crystal lite container. It holds about 20 needles. - Anna G.

12.I use two-gallon Ziplock storage bags. All needles of one size fit in one bag, circular, straight and Double points. I just mark the bag with the size, stack them on a shelf and there they are. If you're working on a project, the yarn and pattern usually fit inside this bag too. - Mary S.

13.I use the decorated cardboard wine bottle tubes from craft stores. I also use plastic page protectors marked with the needle size and cord length (for circular needles) and put all pages in a notebook. - Judy W.

14.I have a large vase and a painted terra cotta pot on my shelf. The knitting needles are in my vase and the crochet hooks in the smaller flower pot. - BearyAnn

15.I store knitting needles in cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls on a shelf with knitting supplies. I can easily see numbers on the ends of the needles. I store crochet hooks in a sewing box given to me for high school graduation in 1964! - Marilyn M.

16.I have a large spool rack that I hang on the wall and I’ve labeled the pegs with the size and length of my circular needles. - Judi

17.Most of my crochet hooks/knitting needles can be found a box that a pipe that my husband received as a gift. - Nancy

18.I use mainly circular needles, so I have them in zipper style plastic bags. I have one size in each bag, and the bag labeled with the size.

19.I have wine gift boxes (the rectangular ones work best) without the lids, stacked inside a cabinet. The open ends face out. I can see the needle sizes quickly. I store them by category: small sizes, medium sizes, large sizes, special types ( hairpin lace loom, etc.) This way, I’m not searching through all of my needles every time. - Maxine J.

20.I have one of those crochet hook cases with individual space for each hook. Now since I just started knitting I haven’t gotten them straighten out. - Cindy

21.My best friend made me a cloth crochet hook holder; love it! Now I can find the size I need at a glance. - Nancy B.

22.I own a lot of needles! My crochet hooks are organized in zippered leather organizers that I purchased at Jo-Ann’s. One set carries all the finer steel hooks for delicate crochet work such as doilies. The other has the larger hooks for crocheting with yarn. My knitting needles are stored also by categories; the delicate sizes 0000 to 6 are stored in a firm organizer so there is less threat of breakage or damage, the sizes 7 through 17 are also separated by length-the 14 inches in a rolled storage pouch I created from prequilted fabric, the shorter versions of those sizes I keep in a pouch I received as a free gift from purchasing Simply Knitting magazine. I keep all my vintage steel pin double points in a cardboard tube I got in the mail from a needle order. - Marybeth P.

23.I keep my interchangeable needles in their original cases. I keep my bamboo straight knitting needles in a fabric tri-fold needle case. I keep my aluminum straight needles in a tapestry tri-fold needle case. I keep my fixed circulars on a hanging needle case inside a closet door. I only have a couple of crochet hooks and I keep them in my knitting bag pouch will all my other small accessories. - Knittingdancer

24.For my double points I use the cloth roll up holders that artists use for their paint brushes. Each needle set has its own slot. For rest I use a tool boy with a handle. It makes it really easy to take everything when we travel. - Maryswen

25.I just keep them in the package they came in (that helps me know what size) and then put them in a knit little container I made from playing cards. - Sharon

26.I bought a modular plastic drawer that can be hooked in a unit that I keep my straight needles in. For my circular ones I keep them on the plastic sleeve with the size tag so I know which ones I have quickly.

27.I have clear plastic tackle box style storage boxes that I need mine in. all neatly stacked in the closet. But of course the ones I’m using are all over the place, need to get my WIPs organized next. - Naomi H.

28.I use a cd-case (meant for cars)it holds all my tips and cables in each pocket and zips and snaps close, very handy. For my accessories I use a little makeup bag that nail polish was sold in. It is black and clear vinyl and zips closed. - Brenda

29.Most of my knitting needles are in a cloth rollup holder with pockets for each set of needles. - Diana

30.In pretty vases, they come in different shape and sizes. Great for knitting needles, crochet hooks, and other sewing supplies. - Judy T.

31.I have a zippered crochet hook case with individual pockets that keep them organized and protected. I use one of the pockets to store a yarn needle to weave in the ends. I also store my stitch counter, a pair of folding scissors, and a six inch ruler inside. I attach several different sized safety pins to the zipper pull tab to use as stitch markers. Whenever I want to grab a project to take with me, I just grab yarn and the case. Everything I need to finish the project is inside. - Saundra C.

32.You know those pretty cardboard containers for putting wine bottles in when you’re giving a gift? They make an awesome home for straight needles. I can sort by types (bamboo, wood, etc.) or by size. You can also put the needles in the fabric rolls and put them inside the container. Since my knitting tends to be all over the house, having something decorative to stash the needles in is a triumph of form over function! - Deb B.
33.I keep my needles in a mason jar my daughter decorated with tissue paper and glue. - Jennifer

34.I bought a small tool box that I keep my supplies in-my dpn’s are kept together with a rubber band, the finer ones I keep in a sock holding tube. The longer needles are in a cardboard container. - Karen
35.An old cigarette case is the perfect container for crochet needles. The little pouch on the outside for lighter, holds my scissors for easy access. Making lemonade out of lemons….smoke free but still useful. - Marsha

36.I keep my straights, rubber banded by size, in a small plastic trash can with a lid. It keeps the dust off of them if I don’t use them often (like the pair of 000's I have!). My custom made needles (made by my woodworking brother) are in a very tall pewter water pitcher I got at a yard sale. It is heavy enough to handle the large wooden needles. - Michelle

37.I keep mine in a Longaberger ice bucket in the packages. - Debbie

38.I keep all of my crochet hooks and knitting needles in a clear plastic zipper bag. - Carolyn M.

39.and for my knitting needles, the long ones I put in a wine bottle holder and the dpn ones I keep in a crystal light container! - Patricia M.

40.My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful quilted bag that has several pockets on the inside. I keep my needles, crochet hooks, measuring tape, and scissors in separate pockets. I use circular needles the most and only have one set of straight needles. Those rest nicely on the bottom of the bag. It is a really wonderful gift that has served me perfectly well! - Kerri A.

41.A friend gave me a cloth folder with ribbon handles. In the center are many stitched plastic bags, varying sizes, openings out. You can write sizes on the plastic bags. I sort by size, straight & curved. The folder closes with a couple of 1? velcro tabs. - Anne W.

42.I keep my straight needles in a pretty vase on top of my bookcase and the circulars in a small decorative bin next to the vase. It’s functional and decorative at the same time! - Michelle

43.I use several old eyeglass cases–both “closed” and open varieties to keep my hooks together. The long afghan hooks are kept separately in a drawer in my yarn cabinet. - Marge

44.I keep my straight needles (the ones that are not involved in an unfinished project) in an 8? bud vase. My circular needles are threaded through a door handle on a cupboard in my craft room and my dps are kept in the pocket of my knitting bag. I will have to improve on this situation if I get any more needles though. - B.J.M.

45.I keep my straight needles in a tall plastic jar. My Denise interchangeable stay in their case, and my double points stay in a tin can with my crochet hooks. The can had cookies in it and it has a screw on lid. For now this works, but I know it is not ideal! - Fran

46.I store my knitting needles is small decorative gift bags. One for circular needles and one for DPNs. Long paired needles are stored in a wine gift box and crochet hooks is a smaller round box. - Linda

47.Crochet hooks in a veggie can – loom picks in a coin purse, and my yarn needles (tapestry size) in a clear baby’s drink cup with styrofoam in the bottom! Sewing needles in the packaging they came in – or a pin cushion. I need them all at hand so they sit on the coffee table. - Jennifer T.

48.I use a recycled travel toiletry organizer with clear pouches. Great for organizing my crochet and knitting needles and my scrap yarn. - Rosa R.

49.I keep my gold plated needles in a felt lined case, my whale bone in quilted roll up cases, Tunisian hooks in quilted roll up cases, and my regular Boye hooks in their original zippered cases. My steel hooks are also in a protective case. All my needle cases stay in a large bin along with my crochet cotton until I need them. - Dorothy V.

50.I keep my needles in a notebook with elastic loops to hold each size. I got the idea to use it when I was doing ceramics, as I had bought a for of these same notebooks to hold my brushes and tools. - Sandy

51.For my knitting needles, I keep them in a floral silverware organizer designed to hold knives, forks and spoons. It holds them all upright and I can see at a glance what size they are. For my crochet hooks, I either keep them in a zippered crochet hook organizer or my project bag that I am working on, because you never know what size you might want to try next. - Cindy V.

52.I keep all my hooks in a metal candy tin. I keep some of my needles in a zippered pencil pouched the long ones in a plastic storage box. - Dove H.

53.My sister gave me cards in a decorated pail – I converted the pail to hold my needles. Makes for a quick grab. - Teresa

54.My hooks/needles are kept in a recycled pickle jar on the bottom shelf of the table by my chair. - Sarah

55.I keep all my knitting needles in a coffee can in my yarn closet. My circular needles are kept on a hanger in the closet! Not too organized but I know where they are at. - Wendy

56.I have my circular needles in a round tin. My knitting needles in a tin pail. My crochet hooks are in an antique pitcher. My smaller hooks are in a milk glass vase. I love the way they look. - Bethany J.

57.My knitting needles are in a two part sectioned cloth case with slots for each size that folds over and rolls up when not in use. My crochet hooks fit quite nicely in and transport very well in a large size mini M&M container (after the little m’s are gone, of course) I can fit quite a few in there, all but the largest sizes. - Carol

58.I use two Bass worm binders for my knitting needles. My circs are sorted according to needle size and separated into plastic bags. My DPNs are in a smaller second worm binder, separated and labeled. Each binder has extra zippered pockets for scissors, stitch markers, cable needles etc. I just tote along whatever bag I need. very handy and inexpensive. - L.M.O.

59.I use my husband’s emptied barrel from his pretzels and put all my knitting needles in there. I have been collecting them for years and years. All of my crochet hooks are in a plastic pencil box. It closes with a snap, I have about 75 hooks, row markers, scissors, and current pattern in it. These are the easiest to just pick up and go with! -Donna
60.Hooks and needles are stored in a sewing box my husband found for me at a garage sale. Opens to four shallow drawers perfect for hooks and short needles and notions with a deep long storage space underneath for longer needles. When taking projects on the go, a pretty pencil case holds everything I need in my favorite quilted bag! - Cathy K.
61.I keep my needles and hooks in a wooden box that a bottle of wine came in. - Lynne

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Measure Twice - Knit Once

Taken from Knitting Daily Blog, October 10, 2011

Measuring yourself is never super fun (unless you've recently lost weight!), but knowing your measurements is essential to knitting sweaters that fit.

My knitting group got together a couple of years ago and had a measuring party—we buddied up and took each others' measurements and wrote them all down. We need to do that again since it's been awhile. Here's hoping my measurements have stayed the same or even gotten a tiny bit smaller!

After seeing episode 703 of Knitting Daily TV, I'm armed with lots of great information and tips to make the measurements more exact. Designers and authors Laura Bryant
and Barry Klein join host Shay Pendray to share their tricks for taking accurate measurements, along with lots of info about that mysterious element: ease.

Laura measures and tries on several sweaters and demonstrates how positive ease (a garment that measures a little larger than a person's measurements) and negative ease (a garment that measures a little smaller than a person's measurements) affect how the garment looks.

It might be counter-intuitive, but the garment with negative ease is much more flattering. I love this visual evidence—so many of us make our sweaters too big! Once when my knitting group was trying on sweaters for one of the the Interweave Knits galleries, almost everyone thought a certain sweater wasn't going to fit them. When it did I could see the light bulbs go on—"I think I've been making my sweaters too big" was the quote of the evening.

Laura and Barry have made a handy chart available for download, too. It's from their book The New Knitter's Template, and it provides blank spaces for every measurement you'll ever need. Here's the clip from episode 703:

Kathleen Cubley is the editor of Knitting Daily.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Caps For Good

Twenty-four infant caps were mailed off in February to be distributed to third world countries. Thanks to all who contributed their time and talent.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Queen - a Celebrity Among Us!

Mayor Ernie Eldridge of Willimantic honors Steve & Faith Kenton at Windam Town Hall during a Cupid Crowning Ceremony. The 29-year tradition, which recognizes residents who have contributed to the community during the year, was conferred upon the Kentons for their year-round volunteer work for programs like the Willimantic Wildlife Initiative and the Victorian House Tour.

Congratulations Faith & Steve

Photo Caption taken from the Courant - February 14, 2011 page B6 (Unfortunately I could not find the photo online.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

10 Sock Knitting Tips

10 Tips for Longer-Lasting Socks

Owning Simply Socks Yarn Company, a store that specializes in sock yarn, is a very particular niche. Over the past six years, the most common questions I get from my customers involve making hand knit socks last a long time. So I've compiled "10 Tips for Longer Lasting Socks."

1. Don't wind your yarn into a cake until you're ready to knit. Winding a skein into a cake pulls fibers taught and over months the yarn could lose its ability to spring back into shape.

2. Choose the right yarn for the project; 100% cotton yarn isn't necessarily appropriate for socks because they will quickly bag and lose their shape when worn. Wool and wool/nylon blends are popular for socks because of their innate elasticity.

3. Choose high-quality sock yarn—inexpensive sock yarn tends have short fibers, which pill and wear out more quickly than longer fibers. If your budget is tight, you can find great deals in sale sections.

4. Go down one needle size (or more) when knitting the feet. If a label calls for a US 2 needle, knit the foot of the sock on a US 1, or even a US 0 so you get a dense fabric that holds up to wear.

5. Knit the right size socks. Too-big socks slip around more on the foot and cause more wear as they move around in your shoes.

6. Rinse socks separately before washing with other items. While dye shouldn't run, super-saturated colors might and you don't want your other socks to be affected.

7. Turn socks inside-out when washing. That way the inside of the sock gets a fuzzy halo over time, and not the outside.

8. Consider washing your finished socks in a small mesh bag in the machine so they don't catch on zippers.

9. Don't wash socks in hot water. Even socks labeled "superwash" could felt or shrink a bit.

10. Lay socks flat to dry. Over time, machine drying will lessen stitch definition and make socks look worn. The intense heat of drying might also break down fibers.

—Allison Van Zandt, Simply Socks Yarn Company

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Knit for Charity

Got extra yarn? Consider making needed items for global and local charities.

Warm Up America is accepting knitted infant hats for third world countries. If interested, click here for cap directions. Nancy A. will be collecting these caps at the December & January meetings and will mail the caps to NYC for shipment abroad.

The Interfaith Sewing & Knitting Service Group of Willimantic is looking for knitted children's hat & mittens for needed families as well as adult caps for the homeless. Yarn and patterns can be provided. Ask Sue Schmerl for details.