Monday, November 24, 2008

Organizing my stash

There is an art to organizing all that I've collected not just the yarn but the tools needed for knitting. There are a lot of tools needed for this art, as the saying goes "you are as good as your tools". I learned this early and am a firm believer a good tool can make a job breeze along or not the right tool can make the job a struggle. Then there is the other part of this which is "be good to your tools and they will be good to you" I treat my tools with respect and try and keep them in good shape and organized.

Trying to organize my knitting needles and tools, especially my circular needles has been like a Pandora's box I did not realize just how many I have. The countless of duplicates are because my organization lacked and I simply could not find just the size or length of knitting needle I needed so I just went out and bought another. And circular needles have an unruly character to them they spring out at you or jump out of their confinement and just when you've uncurled them they jump back to their original curly shape.

The holder that seemed to be working for a long time, the hanging kind is suddenly not good enough. It's excellent for the longer circular needles but the little short ones get lost in the pockets. Since I've been knitting socks on 9" circulars I have collected several sizes and how to organize those? Then there are my 12" circular collection they too get lost in the hanging thingie.

Because of my knitting style I often change needle sizes for shaping and sizing so I need several needles and lengths ready and organized by size, it frustrates me to have to drag out the needle sizer to figure out what size the needle is.

I have the options needle sets from KnitPicks and they are nice even though the first case that I got was just lame in my opinion I threw that away. But the second case that came with the "Harmony" set was much better and it accommodates both sets. Although I would have liked to have the actual numbers printed on each needle pocket so I don't have to test my visual sizer each time I want a needle. Is this a size six or seven? I finally got tired of pulling out the needle sizer and labeled the pockets myself.

The Knit Picks set is great but I'm glad I did not throw away all my other needles even though when I first got the set I thought well this just solves all the circular needle problems and I can get rid of my "gypsy" collection of old circulars. But the Options only go down to size 4 and not suitable for all jobs. So the collection grows. BTW one of the reasons I love these interchangeable needles is that I can knit with two different size needles. Say a size 5 on the left needle and a size 10 on the right needle. I knit very tight and often have a struggle pushing the stitches on the left needle, this way the smaller needle lets the stitches slide easier.

At last I have found a case I like for the shorter circulars, it's almost perfect, yes almost. It looks like I may have to drag the sewing machine out and start sewing the perfect needle case I would be happy with. The Della Q "Lily" I'm sort of happy with and I love the way it has numbers but it's not quite just perfect. I guess it will have to do until I design and sew my own.

Now that I'm into organizing I realize that my double pointed needles need sorting too. The sewing machine is out I'm searching for material and here is my first attempt my sock needles. I see this may take some engineering and design. I now realize that this may be an ongoing project and will take some time.

Do you have a favorite needle case? Leave a comment tell me about it.

Happy Knitting,

1 comment:

jessie said...

None of those tools would help me because while I love to organize them once, I don't like putting them back when I'm done. So every few months I have to sort through the pile of needles I've used.

I wonder why needles couldn't be color coded, either solid colors all the way through or with a colored band around them. Then you'd have a color key to match them against.

Someone will invent this and make a lot of money and it won't be me.