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October 28, 2007

Needle Organization

When you become a Knitter you also inadvertently commit yourself to a life-long quest for the perfect needle organizational system.  To take a quick poll, raise your hand if you have more than 4 pairs of the same size needle.  Now, raise your hand -- and don't be shy -- if you have more than 50 pairs of needles.  Just as I suspected, most of us have a plethora of needles.  But -- and here's the $64,000 question -- can you find the needle you need, when you need it, without a lot of rummaging and muttering?  No? Well, neither can could I.

Yesterday during my bout of arse-sitting interspersed with house cleaning I totally revamped my needle organizational system and I think this one might just work.  (Note to the new reader: nona's an optimist of the highest order who tends to be over confident).  Regardless of my mental disposition, here's my system:


Oh yeah, my needles are organized!

  • I'm using plastic pocket do-das to hold my favorite, everyday  needles -- one for my circular needles (16" and 24" sizes 0 -> 10) and another for my double pointed needles.  Both do-das roll up, tie, and are surprisingly compact. 
  • For all my other needles I'm using a plastic bin.  Inside this bin are resealable plastic bags, one per needle size.  This bin organizes the needles that are either not my favorites or that I don't use on a regular basis.

Being organized feels good!

Added 10/29/2007 -- The plastic pocket do-das are officially called "Stick Sacks" and are made by Ashland Sky.  For a list of online Ashland Sky retailers, click here.  There are lots of other great needle organization ideas in the comments!

October 28, 2007 in Dealing With UFOs | Permalink

Comments

Welcome back Nona, I've missed you.

Long time lurker.

Posted by: Barbara | Oct 28, 2007 5:59:59 PM

That is such a neat system. I have been contemplating needle organization. I have a definite need, but have not found upon a system that works well, yet.

Posted by: Sarah | Oct 28, 2007 6:00:37 PM

I have mine in the original package in a plastic bin, organized by size and length Bad me!

Posted by: Laritza | Oct 28, 2007 6:19:58 PM

Doggone it I am so jealous. I am always looking for my needles. I try to have them together in one spot, but I know I am missing some. Now to figure out where they are.....

Posted by: Lisa | Oct 28, 2007 7:17:24 PM

yay! you're back! i just finished your i-cord gloves and the pattern was fabulous.

Posted by: anna | Oct 28, 2007 7:17:57 PM

I keep mine in the original plastic envelopes, lined up by size in a basket in my closet. I've got a small sticker (return-address size) at the top corner of each one, specifying the needle size in U.S. #, metric, and the length of the cord, also. That way, the information is in the same place on each one and easy to spot, since different brands write this information in different locations and in different ways.

Of course, I'm very, very careful not to lose those original envelopes!!

Posted by: --Deb | Oct 28, 2007 7:23:12 PM

I'm a fan of the Circular Solutions organizing system: I have all of their storage systems: circulars, straights, dpns, crochet hooks. I really like that they are labeled clearly.

Posted by: Katie | Oct 28, 2007 7:59:07 PM

I keep mine in a small bin and the circs are all in their original envelopes by size. I recently went through it and got rid of some of the larger sizes that I don't use anymore and gave those away and some needles that I don't like to use and got rid of those too.

Posted by: Wanda | Oct 28, 2007 9:15:55 PM

My circs are stored by size in gallon Ziploc bags, but my straights (which ironically, I don't use very much anymore)are arranged in nice vases (mostly clear) on my sofa side table. Talls in one vase, shorters in another, metal, wood and plastic dpns in their own, and a small collection of bone needles in a crystal champagne flute. I usually have some nice yarn on the table too. Makes a nice tablescape. (I won't talk about the library table being full of artfully arranged yarns instead of books;-)

Posted by: cotton | Oct 28, 2007 11:29:47 PM

It's wonderful to see you back, nona!

I like your organization system... No more wondering if you have the right size needles available for a project... or where on earth they might be!

It's a lot better than my system - a few white milkglass vases, and a few clear plastic storage tubes I purchased from The Container Store. I spend a lot of time rummaging, though they do look pretty in the vases!

Posted by: Bernadette | Oct 29, 2007 3:43:22 AM

Good job. I should get something organized. Maybe I'll start with my knitting stuff. hehe, yeah, right. I mean, yes someday soon!

Posted by: Arleta | Oct 29, 2007 7:26:44 AM

i love organizational mumbo jumbo. excellent job.

Posted by: dana | Oct 29, 2007 7:51:09 AM

i love organizational mumbo jumbo. excellent job.

Posted by: dana | Oct 29, 2007 7:51:32 AM

I have several systems ... I have a 5X8 file box for index cards and the A-Z tabs that I got from an office supply store. I use those for the majority of my circulars. I just flipped the A-Z tabs around and labeled them - 0000, 00, 1, ... - and have my circs in the original bags in there. When I take out the needle, I leave the bag, so I don't lose it. For my dpns, I have one of the Circular solutions bags/holders, and for my straights, I have 2 of those rolly-folios. I can generally *find* my needles, it's just that I am using all 4 pairs of my size sevens for my current WIPs and need to get a new pair 'cause heaven forbid I finish one!

Posted by: Jessi | Oct 29, 2007 8:57:56 AM

One of the reasons I have so many needles is because when I can't find the one I want, I buy a new one. I suspect I'm not the only person to do this.

On the weekend, I found steel 2mm DPNs for 99cents. I bought two packs.

Posted by: LaurieM | Oct 29, 2007 9:37:05 AM

Where can I get some of those "plastic pocket do-das?" I think they might work for my needs, too. Thanks.

Posted by: Lori | Oct 29, 2007 10:13:50 AM

Hi, delurking to say I love the set up you have there. Where did you find those "plastic pocket do-das"?

Posted by: Liz | Oct 29, 2007 10:38:56 AM

So glad that you're back to blogging - I was almost at the point of de-bookmarking you.

As I'm a relatively new knitter I don't have an excess of needles. Mine are mostly metal, some hand-me-downs and some I have bought myself. Once I get a bit better at this knitting thing I'll treat myself to some bamboo ones.

Posted by: Linda | Oct 29, 2007 2:15:34 PM

I use the zip-slide plastic pencil holders used in notebooks. I put each size in its own case and mark the outside with a Sharpie. (I wasn't good at keeping up the individual package thing.) I think I've caught myself in time--so far I only have two of every size.

Posted by: Linda | Oct 29, 2007 8:50:50 PM

Very nice organization! I was given a canvas cloth organizer for dpns, but it doesn't work very well as even when rolled up, the dpns can slide out. Plus there aren't enough pockets for the smaller sock-size needles. I like your method and Linda's pencil holder strategy.

Posted by: Brenda | Oct 30, 2007 11:46:45 AM

These are great - I've ordered some from www.knitncaboodle.co.uk and got great service (and 'special' needle cases with the ribbon edging dyed by the twisted sisters!)

Thanks, Nona!

Posted by: Emily | Nov 1, 2007 7:33:00 AM

I hang my circs between CDs in my CD rack with the tips hanging down on either side. Pieknits also has a great tute on making a circ holder from wooden spools.

Posted by: Sarah | Nov 4, 2007 4:19:13 PM

Hi all,
This is Mary at Ashland Sky...I am not here to sell but to help out with any questions about our products.
It is nice for us to see our cases happily used in a blog!!! Nora, you have the right idea and for those of you who like to keep the case that the circs come in, especially the addi turbos, they fit in our cases. We actually checked with Addi to make sure, especially since their needles are returnable if defective as long as you have the original case. As for the name....well, I like do das, but they are officially called "knit stick sacks"....stop by our website to see what we have for you!! For those of you who like to have your pockets sized, you can write on the vinyl with a pen....it will be permanent though so be sure you want them marked. If you have any questions, check back with us....Michael and I will also check on the blog here now and then. THanks....Nora, you are awesome.....oh, you can fold or roll these cases!! I like the roll though I am a "folder". I love to hear all the ways that knitters store their needles....where do you put all the yarn!!!
Mary

Posted by: Mary | Nov 5, 2007 4:27:21 PM

Hi all,
This is Mary at Ashland Sky...I am not here to sell but to help out with any questions about our products.
It is nice for us to see our cases happily used in a blog!!! Nora, you have the right idea and for those of you who like to keep the case that the circs come in, especially the addi turbos, they fit in our cases. We actually checked with Addi to make sure, especially since their needles are returnable if defective as long as you have the original case. As for the name....well, I like do das, but they are officially called "knit stick sacks"....stop by our website to see what we have for you!! For those of you who like to have your pockets sized, you can write on the vinyl with a pen....it will be permanent though so be sure you want them marked. If you have any questions, check back with us....Michael and I will also check on the blog here now and then. THanks....Nora, you are awesome.....oh, you can fold or roll these cases!! I like the roll though I am a "folder". I love to hear all the ways that knitters store their needles....where do you put all the yarn!!!
Mary

Posted by: Mary | Nov 5, 2007 4:29:11 PM

WOW! Now those are some organized needles! Impressive! I love when everything is clean and in its place!

Posted by: Diana | Nov 7, 2007 3:36:13 PM

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