This week we are going to focus on our tools. As a knitter or crocheter you have accumulated a ton of tools. Keeping your tools organized won't only help you quickly accomplish a successful project, but it will keep you from buying multiples of what you already have. With the tips below you will be sure to always find the stitch holder or cabling needle you are looking for. You will also know while at the yarn store with the perfect new pattern and yarn if you already have the right size hook, cable or needles.
- Assess your needle & hook situation. Pull out ALL of your needles, hooks & notions (don't forget the one's you have in any current project). Divide your needles and hooks up by type: Straight needles, DPN's, Fixed Cable Needles, Interchangeable Needles, Regular Hooks, Tunisian, Afghan Hook, etc.
- Whittle down your inventory. Do you have duplicates of any of these items? If so do you need them all? Having extra can come in handy if you work on multiple projects or you may have a project that requires multiple needles. If there are any needles or hooks you no longer like or use now is the time to get rid of them. You may feel that they are too slippery or have too much grip for the types of yarn you use, you may not like the shape of the hook or the way your circulars join; for whatever reason these no longer serve their purpose.
- Keep track of your needles & hooks. There are several options on how to accomplish this. If you are a technical person you can use Ravelry to track your needles. They have made it so you can enter multiples of each needle/hook, you can also put in notes such as: what brand you have or if they are being used in a particular project. You can access your Raverly Notebook on any computer, tablet or smartphone device, or if you would rather, you can print out a pocket card to keep in your purse or wallet. They have made it quite convenient to keep track of your supplies. Here is a great tutorial for setting up your needle/hook chart. There are all types of phone/tablet Apps. out now to help track your tools, just look through your App Store. If you're not so tech savvy then you can always track your needles & hooks in a notebook or on a note card. Use whatever makes it easiest for you to keep track of what you have so you can know what you need.
- Gather your notions. Pull out all of your notions, remember to check project bags or the couch/chair that seems to eat your tools! Lay them all out in front of you grouping like items together. Figure out your duplicates, the items you use most as well as the items you no longer use.
- Store your tools. We have several options at the shop to help you store your hooks, needles & notions. There are also a ton of ideas out there for storing all of these items, check out our Pinterest Board to see a few. Think about which notions you use most often and which rarely get used. Possibly create an "on the go" notions bag and one that has everything. Your on the go bag should contain: stitch markers, a crochet hook, mini scissors, a tape measure, darning needles and floss or waist thread.
- What to do with those unwanted items??? Consider selling them, hold on to them to trade at our yarn swap, donate them to a local nursing home, Girl Scout Troop or an after school program.
Hooty the Owl Buddy
Wall Hanging Needle Holder
In the comments below, let us know how you are going to store your needles/hooks and notions. Are you going to use Ravelry or have you found a great App you'd like to use? What seems to work best for you?