2KCBWDAY3 — Tidy mind, tidy stitches

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about my craft room and the beginnings of re-organizing and decluttering. (You can read it here.) Since that entry, I haven’t made much progress, but I did buy a rug, a chair, some shelves, and some shadow boxes. The rug is on the floor; the chair is by the sewing machine; the shelves and shadow boxes are on the tables, telling me I should be doing something with them instead of allowing them to gather dust. Oh well. At least my little stuff is more or less in proper order.

I was lucky enough to already have plastic bins for yarn storage when I returned to yarncraft in late 2006. What I didn’t have was somewhere to put the rest of the stuff. Last year, I finally found the perfect tool to organize my tools.

I love these totes.

They hide a multitude of sins…

I originally bought the smaller “tackle box” intending to use it as a tote for stage makeup and other theatre supplies. Once I brought it home, though, I realized I needed a sewing box more than I needed a makeup box. And so, inside this tidy exterior, you’ll find mostly sewing notions: spools of thread, skeins of embroidery floss, zippers, buttons, T-pins, seam binding, Velcro, needles for hand sewing, needles for machine sewing, bobbins…all manner of bibs and bobs related to the fine art of sewing. These items were once in a flat cardboard box, like a shirt box, and lacked any sort of organization whatsoever. The thread came unspooled and tangled, the needles and pins spilled from their respective containers, and heaven forbid trying to find that one particular replacement button for my husband’s dress shirts. I also could never find black or white thread when I needed it; consequently, I was constantly running down to the fabric store to buy another spool.

With all of those tiny things contained and corralled in slots and compartments, I can easily find the right needle, the right button, and can see right away if I have black or white thread. (Currently, I have three spools of black and two of white. I think we’re well-stocked for the foreseeable future.)

The larger box has four separate compartments: one immediately below the lid, and three slideout trays behind the clear plastic front.

Knitting and crochet tools and accessories live here. The tray beneath the lid holds things that won’t fit into the other trays: 14-inch straight needles and hairpin lace looms, mostly. Because the lid is usually up, though, lots of other things find their way in here, like leftover balls of yarn, the circular needles I used three or four projects ago, stitch gauge, row counter, Fray-check…it’s sort of a catch all. Better cluttered here in this box than scattered to the winds throughout the house.

Tray number one holds tiny things like stitch markers, yarn needles, pompom makers, cable needles, row counters.

Tray two is for 10 inch straight needles, DPNs, and circular needles.

Tray three holds the crochet hooks and the French knitters.

Before I acquired these cases, all my knitting tools were piled here and stuffed there, in the living room, in the dining room, in the bedroom. Made my husband nuts and drove me to distraction because I couldn’t find what I wanted when I wanted it. These boxes have saved both my marriage and my sanity. Gratuitous merchandising plug: You can find these marvelous totes at Joann’s. The big one. The small one. Not all that expensive, relatively speaking, and worth every penny.

See other blog entries on this topic here.

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