This afternoon, I was going to start a ghost hat for my niece’s Halloween costume. I went upstairs and found my all time favorite hat pattern, Kim’s Hat’s from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (amazon link). This is a versatile pattern that has instructions for sizes from babies to adults. It is my go-to pattern for hats.
So, I read the pattern and it calls for size 9 needles. Not a problem, I have interchangeable needles, so I just need to dig out my size 9 tips. I store my tips and spare cables, and other knitting supplies in the ottoman in the living room, which I open up only to discover I could lose a cat or a small child in the mess that is inside. And I simply cannot leave it like that.
The simple hat has just added a more complicated facet. I don’t have a before picture, and I apologize for that. It was an impressive mess.
|Can you even picture this all stuffed in the ottoman?|
First thing first, I took everything out of the ottoman. And there was a lot of stuff. Bags of yarn, knitting patterns, knitting books, magazines, various tools, fabric scraps, plastic bags, partially completed projects, and all kinds of other things.
Then the organization started. The first step was easy enough, I took all the yarn upstairs into what can only be called the “Yarn Room” (at some point I’m going to have to organize in there, but not today). Then the magazines and books went upstairs to the bookshelf.
This step was quickly followed by my assigning each of my works in progress (WIP) into its own project bag. Most of the WIPs fit nicely into my small project bags, a couple purchased through Ravelry, a couple from Interweave Knits, and a couple came with other purchases. I needed a bigger bag for a couple of the projects, my scrap sock yarn blanket and my Tree of Life afghan. The scrap sock blanket fit nicely into a bag that came with a set of sheets and the Tree of Life went into a red cloth bag I had lying around. I decided to keep the Scrap Yarn Blanket in the knitting basket by my couch and the Tree of Life blanket would go back into the Ottoman (I need to sit down and figure out where I left off, and the whole project requires concentration, its not something I can just pick up and knit a couple of rows).
Next, I tackled the tangled mess of needles and cables. For sock knitting, I have fixed circulars in the main sizes for socks (US 0, 1, 2, and 3, in case you were wondering) in a variety of materials and from a variety of brands (it has been a long search to find my favorites, but that’s another post entirely). For each size, I used a Waste Not Sack, designed to replace plastic baggies, and then used my trusty label maker to label the outside of each bag.
|I’m not going to lie, I love my label maker!|
Each of the four cloth bags then went into a larger bag. I used one that came with a Clinque bonus, I have so many of those Clinque bags, I could never put them all to use. Then I added my storage case of needle tips into the bag along with the package of spare cables (these were already pretty well organized, but were just floating around in the abyss that was the ottoman). I had discovered three needle sizers while cleaning out the mess, so added one of those to the bag (I only find the stupid things when I don’t need them).
The result? All my needles in one place! Which should make it much easier to find the size that I’m looking for (including the elusive size 9’s).
|Namaste Buddy Case|
Next, I tackled the problem of all my knitting tools. In addition to needles, I’ve acquired a lot of other tools in my knitting career. Some of these, scissors, stitch markers, tape measure, darning needles, etc, are used for almost every project. Others, cable needles, stitch holders, pom pom makers, crochet hooks, are only used for some projects. Also, I had some spares, including extra tape measures, scissors, darning needles to replace the ones I will (inevitably) lose. I decided to store some of the essentials that are used in every project into my Namaste Buddy Case. The Buddy Case has the added advantage of being magnetized, which helps to keep track of some of the smaller items. The other tools, along with the spares, went into my Knit Happy Fold ‘n Go Notions Box. Both of these containers now sit on top of the knitting basket next to my spot on the couch, so I can easily grab the tool I need.
Finally, it was time to put stuff back into the storage ottoman. There was a lot less to put back in! The storage ottoman now contains my needle bag, my yarn swift, my ball winder, yarn scale (to determine how much yarn was used/is leftover) a couple balls of leftover yarn (the stuff I use as big stitch holders and for provisional cast ons), and added my craft box and bead container to the ottoman. There is still room in there, so I probably will eventually put all of my craft supplies in there (in an organized fashion, of course).
Ah, the satisfied feeling of actually accomplishing something!