Getting Organized

Filed in Skill Building by on January 27, 2014 5 Comments

Organizing your knitting supplies (whether yarn, needles, books, patterns, etc.) is almost always a challenge for any obsessive passionate knitter.

Getting Organized - Yarn Storage Solutions

Several weeks ago I invited our readers to ask us questions that we could respond to in the form of blog  posts. So far, only one person has asked us any questions (but she was great…she asked us 3 of them). Leave a comment here if you have one you want to ask.

I decided to answer this one first, because it gets asked of me quite often in other venues: “How do you store yarn and tools so that the palette is handy but not in your way?”

Ultimately the answer to this will depend a great deal on your personality, the space you have available and the size of the “stash” that relates to your palette. Personally I live in a big old farmhouse with barns on the property, so space is not technically an issue.  However, unwanted creatures of various shapes and sizes are a constant problem, regardless of the location.

My personal stash is rather small given the number of years I have been knitting (over 25 years). Much of my knitting is deadline based. Yarn arrives, it gets turned into a project and then leaves again, all within a short period of time. Yarn that I purchase because I love it, want to play with it, or have some project in mind for is rare. That said, I do have LOTS of single balls of yarn given to me by yarn manufacturers to swatch with or leftover bits from other projects.


Tools, however, are a different story all together. Early in my knitting life I stopped using single points and only used circulars or double points. So over the years I have accrued quite a collect of circular needles that used to be a bit overwhelming to manage. I had tried and used a number of storage alternatives, never to complete satisfaction. Then years ago I saw a project somewhere online (sorry I don’t remember where it was) for a circular needle management system. I had seen similar fabric versions, but I worried about having enough space for some sizes where I have lots of needles. This version was made with cardboard tubes, strung together through holes on the end. It was super simple to create, makes it easy to access the needles I require and most importantly makes it easy to put them away!

My double point needle sets are not nearly as well organized. Each set is in a plastic sleeve of sorts, but then they are all thrown together in a basket. It works, but it is not optimal by any means. So I am still working on finding the right organization solution for my DPNs.


For yarn, I have always been a proponent of organizing yarn in two ways: if it is a project, keep it together; if it is bits and pieces, leftovers or odd balls, store according to color. Generally I would recommend the clear plastic boxes with the snap-tight lids. However, because I had purchased these shipping crates earlier in my business, I just use them with labels on the outside telling me of the color(s) contained within. Mine are stored in a closet, so sunlight is not an issue. But remember if you are storing in lighted areas, clear boxes or shelves may result in faded yarn.

As a teacher, one of the most difficult things to organize has been my class materials for the 40+ classes that I offer. However, when I moved into my new office space (a remodeled room in our house) I came up with a plan. Stacking boxes would allow for me to store samples (I tend to use swatches in class) as well as the associated handouts for the class. Enter IKEA to the rescue! Bookshelves with boxes for both class handouts and projects in progress as well as storage for books was the perfect solution.


For the most part, everything is kept in a single room (albeit a rather large room). Everything has a home out of the way of my daily working space. Yet everything is fairly easy to access when it is needed.

What are some of your yarn storage and organization tips?

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