Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a few stitches and a little roller

thank you again for your comments on last weeks yarn along post, i know my friend was touched by all
the sweet words for her little girl, red riding hood. and it touched me too, to feel so much love.

and now, the progression of a very enjoyable knit, this sweater. hopefully by next week i'll have more interesting photos to show. ( i do prefer the finished object pictures to this).  rav notes here.  :)

i thought it might be of interest to share some helpful ideas i use here, all in regards to knitting of course. above is a double point needle holder. for many years i've tried different ways to organized these small, useful needles, until finally i made this...

it took less than a yard of fabric. i didn't have a pattern to go by, but used the needles for reference (length wise). unfinished ends are bound in bias tape and individual pockets are sewn to keep sizes of needles separate.

then each pocket was numbered with a sharpie. i wish i would have known this was going to be used
forever, i would have put a bit more thought and care into the making ,and sewn straighter too. :)
it is super handy though, rolls up easily and ties to close with a piece of wool.

the next method of organizing needles is with this notebook. i knit with circulars and dpn's. only ever. i love them so much, and only like the look of  (but not to use) straights.

this notebook (found for a quarter at a second hand shop) is the best way i've found to organize circular needles. using these see through pages, each one holds one needle. again, with the sharpie,
each sleeve gets labeled with the size and length. if you go one step further and keep the pages in numerical order, easily finding the needle you want is a breeze. (except if your like me and don't own the one needle that your project calls for). i've also attached one of those needle sizers to the notebook. sometimes it's hard to see the markings on the smaller needles, and this helps when you go to return your needles to the correct sleeve.

 remember to return after using...  :)

in another notebook are printed out patterns i've saved. and in the pocket on the left, bands from wool. being pre ravelry, i still like to keep these things, you never know when you might need just the one.

and here is my favorite way to keep track of where you are, even when you put one project down in favor for another. after years of small hands playing with counters, those little pegs falling out of the keep track board, magnets getting bumped (or moved, small hands again), this works. it takes a bit of time at the start, to write everything out, but it is a good way to ensure you've read through your pattern and understand whats in store.

on index cards with a hole punched in the corner, first number the cards (oops, i did not do that on these examples, look below or just imagine i have. then on each card, you will want to write out the directions of one row. you can even do this with charts, i've tried it, it works.  :)

make sure to leave a card for any directions you won't want to forget, as well as a photo, to check your progress. this way of keeping directions is super portable for travel. the best part is that you won't lose your place again (be sure to keep cards securely tied).

again, through trial and error, this see through plastic box is my favorite way to carry the essentials.
i like this so much because i can see what i'm looking for in an instant, things don't get squished,
the counter (i do use sometimes) doesn't get accidentally clicked. and best of all,
it holds everything i need for every project. and it's easy to move from basket to bag if i want.

always with me:  needle protectors, needle gauge, pom pom makers, blunt nose needles, burt's bees (for soft hands, calculator, markers, counter, thimbles, measuring tape, needle case, diaper pins (my babies old ones, good for holding stitches and for reminiscing), scissors, swiss army knife, seam ripper, crochet hooks and cable needles (small stitch holders are in use at the moment).

i hope you enjoyed reading these tips, i have more (and i like to share). have any of these been helpful
to you? and do you have any tips you'd like to share too? i would love to hear. joining today with ginny
at small things and the weekly yarn along.

p.s. astonished about this


  1. You are so organised! I've never seen so many needles. Hard core knitting ;) the painting is gorgeous. How lovely xxx

  2. You are amazingly organised! I love this post - as I've probably mentioned before - I'm fascinated by the way people arrange their crafty life (odd bod!).

    I'm the exact opposite of you re needles - I only use circulars and dpns when I ABSOLUTELY have to - otherwise I avoid them like the plague wherever possible. My straights live in a washi-covered Japanese scroll tube, and my stitch holders, circulars and dpns in a tea tin (which I bought purely because it is also covered in washi - and which I particularly like because it clashes with the first!)

    I hope lots of other yarn alongers show how they store their stuff, because I'm so peculiarly fascinated by it!

  3. you knitting wizard you! wow. i LOVE that painting of you...gorgeous...with the lilac breasted roller on yer shoulder...sweet. sending love x janelle

  4. Oh you are so organized Lori!! Love the DPN holder. I could definitely use one of those as I have them all over and not in one place when I need them *grin*. I actually had a near tearful moment tonight as I snapped one of my little size zeros. Here I just finished blogging about how I was doing great with them and then *snap*.. I lost one :( Oh well I guess I'll have to try again and be more careful LOL. Your sweater is looking great to!

  5. Cool post, I love seeing how people organise things :) Love your DPN holder, I keep meaning to make one but never seem to get round to it.

  6. Oh...I'm feeling chastened by the chaos that is my knitting. I've tried, oh, how I've tried. Case in point, I received my lovely DPN pouch from you yesterday - thanks! - and had to go searching!!!! SEARCHING!!! for some DPNs to put in it. None of them were in my knitting needle box where I'm sure I left them. There were, however, many scattered about in various bags with various half-finished projects. Sigh. You are again an inspiration x

    PS We have the same scissors

  7. Are you neat or what?? I don't have many dpns as I knit almost everything on circs - with magic loop when it comes to dealing with small diameters. But I adore your little needle bag =) I try to keep my circs organized and put them back in their original packaging, because the markings on my wooden needles fade almost instantly and sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's a 2,25 mm needle or a 2,5 mm one... But your idea with keeping them in a notebook is very interesting, I might do that!

    Your sweater is so lovely, I'm glad you stuck to your choice =) Can't wait to see the finished thing, it will look so great, no doubt about that.

    Needless to say I adore your little toadstool (is it a house??) and the chipmunk picture =)

  8. Thank you Lori. I just learned so much from reading your post and can't wait to reorganize my knitting items.
    Right now all of my circulars are hanging on a little hook, so when I need one I have to look through all of them to get the right size and they usually fall off...it's a mess. The same goes with dpn that are in a jar. Sewing is not my strong suit, but I can do a somewhat straight line and if I don't have to read a pattern I think I can do it! I already have a notebook so I'm good to go.
    I do write my pattern on index cards and carry it with me when I am out so I feel so accomplished since you do it too!:)

  9. My goodness Lori, you are so organized! my own jumble of supplies is such an embarassment. But I just love everything you've done here. Awesome! I'm going to try to get my own needles under control like that. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Oh, and that painting is wonderful! ♥

  10. Beautiful Lori, thank you for sharing all that love with us. I guess with time comes wisdom and you have a whole lot of that going on. Your portrait is astonishing! Thank you for all the inspiration. Katie x

  11. I love how your organize :) The sweater is beautiful and you are so close to be done!!

  12. Would you marry me? No? Already married, huh? Ok, then. How about just letting me sit at your feet and bask in your creativity, resourcefulness, organization and beauty? ;-) First - the mushroom birdhouse! I LOVE little red mushrooms more than anything. I bet you got it at some clever thrift shop or market, eh? And thank you for the fabulous tour of your knitting cleverness. I really must put myself together in a similar way if I'm to get beyond all of my "issues" ;-). What a gorgeous portrait. Yes, I see I'm not the only one in love with you ;-).

  13. Yeah for almost being finished on that sweater - such a warm color. I really think I need to sew one of those roll-up dpn holders too. And I need to get other needles and knitting stuffs organized. Unfortunately, I have a pile of knitted patterns and knitting paraphernalia scattered all about the house. The circular needles are the worst.

  14. i have a nifty needle holder that was gifted to me by a knitting friend. it was bought off of etsy. i should find out from where. it's similar to your dpn wrap. i have almost exactly the same items with me always in my little knitting accessory bag too! : ) and i have a binder full of printed out patterns and paper bought ones too. i have never written out a pattern though on index cards but usually photocopy and highlight if ever. but, rarely. i like the way you're organized. : ) your sweater is going to be so lovely on you - and that painting is gorgeous! she definitely captured your essence.

  15. You are so organized!! I love all the tips you had for us, thanks for sharing them.

  16. Your Leah is coming along so beautifully! Almost ta-dah!! time! (I'm hoping your finger is doing much better and this hasn't been a painful knit.)

    I always love to see how people organize--we do many things the same (my clear notebook organizer for circs is much smaller and I lump everything larger than a 9 together since I use those sooooo rarely); I use a clear zipper project bag, and just about the only thing I have in mine that I didn't see in yours are the little sticky notepad arrows--I use those things ALOT! and highlighter tape--and graphed index cards. (I have designed a really wierd way to keep track of patterns with repeats and cables, circling numbers, etc. I might try sometime to describe that in a blog post!)
    I've also divided my dps into the short ones and the long ones and they are in two separate rolled pouches. Probably not as convenient as yours, but I've accumulated so many!
    My patterns---let's not go there!

  17. Lori, you are so smart! I will save these tips for when I learn to knit some time in my life :-).
    The painting is beautiful as you are. Fitting for one with such a pure heart. xoxo

  18. I absolutely love that painting and that beautiful lilac breasted roller!

    Your seven day post was gorgeous, as well - as ever!

  19. Ok, this was the single most helpful knitting post for organization I have ever read!! Just yesterday I was looking online for roll ups to organize my straight & circular needles ( the ball jar just isn't cutting it anymore). I can't thank you enough!!

    I'm loving the color of your sweater and that painting and post about you was absolutely beautiful. You are so well loved Lori. I haven't even "known" you that long and can see your lovely and special quality:).

  20. Love your tips, I have also share tips like that in my blog (I love the knitting journal from stich and bitch), and have been trying to make on of my basic pouch with very similar contents to the ones you showed.
    And love the color of the sweater.

  21. Thank you for all your great tips! I love seeing how other people keep things organized :)

    That is a wonderful way to store circular needles. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I love how well you are organized. I actually make and sell my project workbooks on Etsy. I love making them for knitting groups. I made one for each member of my knitting club and I love to see that they use them. I have 5 binders from my projects this year. I love to keep my patterns, yarn samples and notes all in one handy place.
    I love my clear plastic binder pouches so I have a place for my straight, circular and double pointed needles all in one place all the same size. I have one pouch for each size. They have saved me tons of time searching around my house.


  23. Gorgeous looking sweater Lori! Love the color.
    And so many great tips for organizing -- my circs are thrown into an awful old ziploc bag (the shame ;).

  24. Knitting looks like a very technical task with all the tools and gadgets. It is a good thing you are so organized and make it look so pretty. Julie's painting of you is lovely and well deserved.

  25. What great tips and hints! I may have to take some of them for my own! Thanks for sharing!

  26. We have the same birdy scissors!

  27. I desperately need something to organize my needles and I think the binder is going to be the way to go. I also wanted to say that at our town Halloween parade this weekend there were several Little Red Riding Hoods. And while they were all absolutely adorable, every one would have benefited from your cape!

  28. Thank you for sharing your tips. What a good idea to store circulars that way, I was thinking about something like a CD pouch, but your idea is good :)

  29. Oh my goodness, the painting! Absolutely stunning and so lovely. There's a lo of love in there.

    I must bow down to you and your incredible organizational skills. (I am remembering your books with the circle tags too.) Wow, I'm so impressed! This makes me want to go buy knitting supplies just to organize them like you.

  30. Your organization is very inspiring! Such great ideas. And, your portrait is absolutely amazing. What a gift.

  31. Wow I love all your tips on keeping organised! I keep all my printed patterns in a notebook already, but I'll definitely be adopting some of your other ideas.

    Thanks for a great post!


  32. Lori, I love *all* of your ideas. Your needle roll is lovely and practical, and the notebook for holding circular needles is such a clever solution to a maddening problem. I really like the index-note card idea for keeping track of the steps in a pattern (and where you are in it)--I can see how portable it is, too, which is a great bonus (I'll definitely be trying this tip!).

    I keep all of my knitting notions in a clear/transparent zippered pencil pouch that I picked up at a dollar store. I love that I can easily see what I need. It's also very portable and slips into my project bag when I need it to go with me. I am surprised at how much it holds (I have almost everything you keep in your plastic box in it).

    The painting is *marvelous*. I'm so glad that you shared it here, because I hadn't heard of Julie Whitmore before, and now I am in love with her pottery :-)

  33. i have all my gazillion of circulars in a file folder but I like this way better. since I have all the fixin's I'm gonna redo them all.

    As for my DP's...I can't find ANY of them. They were all together and I think they all ganged up on me and ran away. it's all very odd....but when they do get home they're getting this treatment also. Love it all

  34. Lori, LOVE the portrait of you by Julie. Wonderful, wonderful.


  35. A pumpkin pie sweater.
    Does it get any better?

    Needles snuggly tucked away
    for another knitting day.

    And a portrait, a gift, so very sweet!
    Amazing isn't it, who on these blogs we meet?


  36. The knitting needle roll is a brilliant idea. My dpns are currently kept together with an elastic band. I have to dig out the needle gauge to find a set. I love the idea of using a folder for the circular needles. (Mine are in a metal whisky tin). Also very impressed by your note taking. Really ought to organize myself!

  37. oh! if lo is to rhyme
    then me too this one time
    she rhymed sweater and better
    as fine as a letter.
    myself, i would say
    this is a class in the way
    to keep track of all things
    needles and rings
    cabbage and kings
    (oh no, wrong poem)
    your portrait's so sweet
    what a gift, what a treat
    but i must say of all
    i;m amazed at how tall
    you love and you live
    you give and you give
    those needles create
    a clear lori trait:


    i know i am a copy cat.

  38. Your things are well organized and even nice to look at.
    I hope one day I have enough space to do the same. I hope to get my own studio next year.....
    And that portrait is amazing! What a wonderful surprise!!!

    Have a wonderful day dear ♥

  39. Your organization warms my heart! I use a notebook for circulars (and right now my DPN's) too, in additional to a wall hanging organizer I made a year or two ago. I've been meaning to make a roll for my DPN's for some time, you motivate me to get on with it! I love using tupperware to store things in too, right now I think I've outgrown my current size and need to go up one.

    Your portrait is lovely!!

  40. you are so impressively organised and these are all great ideas. I try, you know, I try but.....

  41. Oh how I love this post! I'm going to be referring back to it often. How funny too that I was just thinking this morning, as I was sorting through a tangled mess of circular needles, about how I needed to come up with some better means of organizing all of my knitting needles and notions. Thank you!!!

    Love the sweater! One of my favorite colors.

    What a beautiful painting too, and some great things the artist said about you on her blog. You are amazing Lori!

  42. Nice portrait...will she give it to you? Tell us more about the roller...why is that your favorite bird? Did you live in Africa?
    Your tablecloth is so pretty...did you embroider it?

  43. Thanks for the tips! I love organizing, too and am always curious how others do it! Love that sweater and just 'favorited' it on Ravelry. I also added you as a 'friend'. Have a great day!

  44. hi marfa, thank you for your questions, i'll do my best to answer them.
    julie whitmore is a professional artist, she has not given me the painting, but has generously offered me first chance to buy and at a much better price than it would be in a gallery. :)
    before my first trip to africa (i've been three times) my husband would describe to me this bird, the lilac breasted roller. i'd seen photos and even made my own drawings of it. when i finally saw it, it was true love. now each time i go back i hope to see one, it makes me feel i'm really there.
    and the tablecloth was a lucky find at a flea market, i wish i could say i made it.
    xoxo lori

  45. What great organizing ideas--thanks for sharing. I especially like the notebook one for circular needles--very handy. Great yarn color for the sweater--looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  46. What beautiful photographs Lori ann it makes visiting your blog an absolute feast for your eyes. I look forward to seeing this finished cardigan - this is one of many patterns I have been eyeing off and trying to summon courage to try from the Last Minute books. Thank you for visiting my blog mim-pickle.blogspot.com via Yarn Along the last couple of weeks. As a new blogger I appreciate your patronage and support. Hope to catch your eye again some time and I'm sure I will be visiting you often for more stunning images.

  47. Wow!!! You are so organized! And thank you for posting the DPN case. I really need one. I'm going to show it too my husband as he is the one who knows how to make the sewing machine work!

  48. Oh wow! I am so impressed Lori. Thanks for linking up to my Blogfest http://knitpurlsofwisdom.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-do-you-use.html
    I think you get the prize for being the most organised and tidy.
    'Spic and Span'.


xoxo lori