October 28, 2007
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:
- 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!
August 31, 2007
Time to Finish Up
For the last 8 days I've successfully fought off the ubiquitous end-of-August urge to buy my fall knitting projects. This is no small feat, as I've already seen several -- read many -- projects I want to knit and new yarns I want to use. Why put myself through 8 days of such torture? The answer is clear, UFOs. Three to be precise. Three that are almost finished -- a sleeve here, a vest front there, another sleeve yonder -- three projects that I'm enjoying and want to finish, albeit now !
My strategy is one of divide and conquer. Work for a while on one, then turn to the other, then put in a few rounds on the third -- repeat until complete. Once I've finished my Mermaid Jacket, Maude Vest, and Top Down Cardigan I'm dashing out to my LYS for a new fall project!
August 28, 2006
nona snuck off for a second vacation -- did you notice -- and am home well rested and raring to go. This annual August vacation featured a bit of college touring for nona-son-the-younger, a week at Bethany Beach in Delaware, and a week at Capon Springs and Farms in West Virginia. Returning home always feels like the start of a new year and is our family's time for "New Year's Resolutions". One of my resolutions is to get and keep my knit items, stash, books, etc organized and well cared for.
Several years ago I claimed squatter's rights to the nook off of our master bedroom, turning it into a crafter's hideaway. Unfortunately my nook tends to follow Murphy's Law and its infinite states of disorder. No longer baby! This weekend found nona on an organizing rampage resulting in an organized -- well almost -- nook. Here's a sampling... Before: I clumped most of my handknits in a big, hunky plastic bin. After: My handknits are neatly folded, piled, and organized in cloth closet boxes. Thanks Target!
As a by-product of my rampage I have several bags of stash yarn I'm ridding myself of. I'm going to sell these stash bags very cheaply -- free, with a few strings attached -- over the next few days. Now if I could only unpack my suitcase...
April 20, 2005
Inherited UFO Turned FO
I'm the first to admit it -- but only because nona's an honest gal -- I've been slacking a bit with my UFOs. Earlier this year, once I became aware of my UFO delusions, I made good progress ridding my household of those pesky unfinished projects. However, as the year progressed and the allure of the New Year's resolutions waned, my UFO completion rate slowed to a snail's pace. But today, nona woke to a beautiful, sunny day and decided -- darn it all -- to finished the UFO she inherited two months ago.
March 19, 2005
Tank Top to Vest
Spring is in the air, which means nona is feeling the Spring Fever, which means nona is cleaning her bedroom. Something about the winter months does not lend itself to tidy bedrooms -- at least not in nona's house. But today, the Christmas wrapping paper was put away, the old clothes where sent to Goodwill, and the whole room was given a good scrubbing. As I stooped to pick up my Gyrid sweater from the blocking towel -- I think a month of blocking is enough, don't you -- a light bulb went off. Why not wear this summer tank top as a cool weather vest? Voila! Do you, fashionable reader, have a tank top you can wear as a vest?
February 27, 2005
Anna recently posed the question, "What is your oldest UFO?" Since nona has been weeding through her yarn stash and UFOs over the last few months -- and yes she's making good progress thank you -- I found this question particularly intriguing. What is my oldest UFO? After a bit of detective work and archaeological excavations, nona uncovered a sweater dating back to the mid to late 1990s. A sweater inspired by a Brandon Mably workshop in which we learn improvisation knitting using many different yarns.
Now what is one to do with a UFO like this? Part of nona wants to finish it and part of her has no idea where she was or what she was thinking because there are no notes or clues found with the UFO. Perhaps I should just pack it up and leave it for the nona-sons to deal with when I'm dead and gone. nona poses 2 questions to you, chatty reader, what should nona do with this UFO and what is your oldest? You never know, the most interesting answer may win a cutesy sheep with a tape measure coming out of its...
February 15, 2005
nona thought she was doing fairly well dealing with her UFOs -- until she inherited a UFO from a nona-knitter. Ah, yes -- UFOs can be inherited. Some are inherited as joyous little bundles and others are inherited as penance for past mistakes. This particular UFO is a little of both, leaning more toward the penance end of the spectrum. Shall I tell you the story? I think I shall...
nona loves to teach others to knit. One of my long term nona-knitters has been working on a tank top for her daughter. She's almost done, having just the front neck shaping and edging to finish. At the same time, she was knitting a hat for an upcoming ski trip -- a hat in which nona totally misread the patten and misled the poor gal terribly. Luckily we all had a good laugh over the resulting "hat". After offering nona-knitter new yarn and/or a beer in exchange for my misdirection, she suggested my finishing the tank top. That is why, my friends, I've inherited a UFO and am happily finishing the thing!
nona's inherited UFO - please note the lovely basket the UFO came in.
nona trains her nona-knitters well when it comes to respecting their knitting.
February 10, 2005
Tomorrow at Stitches West there will be free yarn. Now nona cannot speak for others, but at least she will be giving away free yarn. Part of my UFO excavations uncovered quite a bit of really nice yarn - yarn I know I'll never use. nona thinks this yarn is getting a bit lonely hanging out all day in plastic bins -- this yarn wants to be knit.
As with all free things, there are strings attached. Here are nona's strings:
- Only one bag of yarn per person
- Only take the yarn if you plan to knit with it - this yarn does not want to sit in any more stashes
- Optional -Let nona know what you plan to knit with your chosen bag of free yarn.
January 28, 2005
Fingerless Gloves UFO
nona found a Lantern Moon basket full of experimental fingerless gloves in her UFO pit-- nona does love a good experiment. Last winter, with all good intentions, I set off to knit a variety of fingerless gloves and to write a companion pattern for my LYS. I ended up with one completed pair, five right hand gloves, and no pattern. The gloves were fun and easy to knit, but my interest waned after awhile leaving the Lantern Moon basket -- and its contents -- forgotten in the corner. Does this ever happen to you?
nona asks herself, how should I deal with this UFO? Since my favorite glove in the bunch is the red one, I'm going to complete the pair. As for the others, I'll give the finished blue pair away -- anyone want them? -- add the leftover yarn to my stash, and dispose of the other 4 right hand gloves. I'll leave it to your imagination, sympathetic reader, what nona means by "dispose".
January 24, 2005
Finishing Frame of Mind
Do you, inquiring reader, ever ponder the age old knitting question -- why is it so easy to knit an entire sweater, yet so difficult to finish the darn thing? nona's put some thought into this very question and has come to the conclusion that finishing is really a different process and a different set of skills -- more akin to sewing. Most knitters are drawn to the rhythm of knitting and not to the precision of sewing. We can calmly knit for hours, but have to force ourselves to sit still long enough to sew side seams or to pickup neckline stitches.
On the topic of sewing, nona once tried her hand at sewing a maternity dress. My nesting instinct must have been in overdrive. Upon completion I modeled the thing -- I mean dress -- for nona-hubby. nona-hubby -- who is always very encouraging -- encouraged nona to wear the dress only in the privacy of our own home. But I digress...
Today, I psyched myself up to finish my Gyrid sweater, which is now lying on the floor of my bedroom under a wet towel. And although finishing can be a bit boring, there is something magical about that mattress stitch. So at the end of the day, nona had a nice little MCS and another empty UFO knitting bag.
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