Another idea that you could add to the list: worm binders.
A good friend got me one, and it is perfect for holding dpns, cable needles, crochet hooks, and other small items.
Yup. Worm binder. As in, for a fisherman to sort worms. It's basically a binder with a bunch of ziploc bags. Brilliant
Here is what I mean: http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Sports-Large-Tackle-Binder/dp/B0002SRSP0
I feel obligated to point out that once upon a long-ago Christmas, my sainted mother gave me all her knitting needles. And all my grandmother's knitting needles and all her neighbor's knitting needles and a few others' needle collections to boot. She also wrote a note saying something to the effect of here, enjoy these, have fun knitting, but I warn you, even with all these needles, you'll never have the size you need.
She was right, of course.
Since maybe I am first, I will make my suggestion for an organizing gift. Ghiradelli makes a lovely blue tin in which they sell 5 ounces of delicious chocolate drops. These is a 2 for 1 gift because the chocolates are great and then the tin is the absolute perfect size for all the little necessities that tend to fall to the bottom of the knitting bag. I keep in it my tape measure, scissors, row markers, a couple of needles and a small crochet hook to fix mistakes. Merry Christmas!
I love this circular knitting needle case:
Containment is a great idea!!
A really inexpensive "d-i-y" type circular holder would be a three-ring binder with top-loading sheet protector pages. You can label the pages as quickly as with a sharpie marker, or more elaborately with hand-made labels (metric or non-metric sizes).
And, I bet a really super neat gift of time would be, if giving your knitter a needle organizer, to actually organize their needles for them!
When will the pattern for those GORGEOUS mittens be available? I'm dreaming about them.
Uh oh. What happened (again) to the sweater? And should you think about that being the recipient's birthday present rather than Christmas present? :) Good luck!
I have yet to organize my circs or my dpns, but all my straights are in a "fancy" wine bottle gift box thingy. I bought mine at Jo-Ann's on clearance after the holidays several years back. It's tall, round, green, and holds ALL my straights.
I am a huge fan of my current needle storage solution. It's a basket of just the right size with pencil holder bags in it. The kind that you get for kids to put in their three ring binders for school? The ones I have are from "No Boundaries", cloth, and come in several colors. They're great for holding both circulars (of any length) and DPNs. The fronts are clear so I can see whats in there and I made little tags to put in so I know what size needles & crochet hooks are in each. I can always add more if I need to, and my Boye interchangeable set fits perfectly at the back. Love it! :)
I use a zippered toiletries bag for all my tiny notions that I my conceivably need at any given time. You know, the kind that you can buy at the grocery store with small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, and a comb for a few bucks. It's mesh, so I can see what's in it and snag what I need with a minimum of rummaging. I can throw it into a larger knitting bag or my luggage for traveling.
One of these days I'll pop over to Gallifrey and see what they can do about a bigger-on-the-inside knitting bag.
My first thought was that the sleeve of the new sweater is coming along nicely. Then I remembered you said yesterday it was being knit bottom up. Bummer.
I love containers and have many different kinds. But I have to say that in the end, the containment system I always fall back on is one of your last suggestions - a box of ziplock bags. :-)
I use a three ring binder with top loading sheet protectors for my circs. And a pencil case that also has holes in it to fit in the binder for my dpns. I have to try the wine bottle gift box for my straights. I just found an entire collection housed in the bottom of my stash.
It may not be going well but it makes a pretty picture with the Christmas lights in the background. :)
Oh dear. I must be hungry. I thought knitting needle roll was a new kind of sushi! I tend to store all my needles with UFOs or WIPs on them. They're easier to find that way.
I love the Namaste circular needle box (http://namasteinc.com/products/accessories/acc_knittinggear.php). I wouldn't quite consider it appropriate for travel, but it lets me keep most of my circular needles organized (especially after I clean up after a project or two).
Isn't tanning a vegan's hide illegal?
I love the Namaste circular needle box too! My only complaint is that I need more than one. But it is the best one I've had so far. Plus for storage in a cabinet, the squareness of it just works.
Hey, Donna's idea of wine bottle carrier for needles reminded me - I use wine bottle carriers for safekeeping drop spindles. Wonder why I never took the next step and thought about needles? (Probably because I use almost exclusively circulars. But I do have an inherited collection of straights to deal with...)
I'm with Donna. The wine bottle boxes make wonderful holders for straight needles. I got mine after the holidays at Tuesday Morning for a very low price. It is amazing how many needles one of these boxes can hold.
I use the little plastic zippered pouches pillowcases come in for my DPNs. And since my circulars aren't too many, the larger zippered pouch works for those.
I keep trying different containment solutions. Nothing seems to work terribly well, maybe because I never put anything away. Why is it that there are perpetually three DPN's of a set in the box? I'd love to try again somehow. Love the descriptions--so true!
Being unable to find the Rolls Royce of circular needle holders I have resorted to using a zippered CD holder. It has lots of little pockets which are just irresistable....need more needles :)
... I got an old silverware storage box from a thrift store.
It has these two soft fabric sleeves that were for silverware, but fit my needles brilliantly (it's tall enough to fold down over the tops and fully enclose all of the needles, so you don't get stuck by any overzealous dpns).
It's also got these little slots that are supposed to hold your flatware in place, but that hold my circulars in place.
It sounds crazy, but it works really well. (It works so well I thought it was a needle storage box until my grandmother informed me otherwise. I didn't care).
My dpns are in travel tootbrush holders labelled by size. When not in use they live in a basket on the bookcase along with my straights and circulars. Now that I'm using circulars more I will occasionally browse for organizers online but have so far been unwilling to buy anything as that would leave me less money for yarn. I'm sure there is a level of disorganization that is so uncomfortable that I would be moved to buy organizers, I just know that I am not there yet.
Someone once gave my kids collapsible lightsabers in a pair of round cardboard gift tube/boxes (perhaps meant for wine). I keep all my straights in the round gift boxes. They're lovely and decorative. I also got a package of really teeny rubber bands from the drugstore (intended for holding teeny braids or some such) and I use them to hold pairs of needles together within the round boxes.
LOVE the color of that sweater. What yarn is it?
And if you want to personalize a fishing tackle binder and make it really unique, here's what I did:
(Great gift!! : )
Must you rip? The brown is so warm, especially with a background of twinkling lights. ::sigh::
(now off to click all the links)
Best present my FIL ever got me was a bright orange tackle box that would hold my buttons, stitch markers, needles, blah blah blah, etc. etc. I LOVE that tackle box. Not only was it the best present he's ever gotten me, it was the best present I received that Christmas.
The power of the tackle box.
Is that a Christmas tree in the background? I call that progress.
I have a free needle wrap tutorial as well, just takes two fat quarters and a bit of ribbon....
Ok, being married to a farmer I hear a lot of crazy things from the organic/vegetarian/vegan world, but vegan leather??? Wouldn't that be pleather which is synthetic and probably petroleum based??
I'm loving this series of posts on gifts for knitters. Now if only I can get my hubby to read them.
It's like a visit from you every day. I love these great ideas. Thank you!
I have the larger of the two boxes from the Container Store link. This box is perfect for all my stitch markers, cable needles, crochet hook, tape measure, pen, band-aids, teeny sticky pad, needle caps, etc. The lid fits tight enough so even if I store it in my knitting bag on its side, everything stays in its place, and I don't have a disorangized mess the next time I need something. I especally like that it's two sided: one side for items I use all the time (only have to open it once), and the other for stuff I don't. It fits nicely in my knitting bag. If I ever get a second knitting bag (what am I nutz?! Of course I'll get a second bag one of these days!), I can easily grab my box and not worry about what I forgot to pack.
Darn you and your awesome gift ideas. I want them all!
Here's a question/suggestion: have you ever seen anything that will hold a sock-in-progress on Magic Loop like the sock-in-progress DPN cases you posted a few days ago (I think)? I want something to protect my needles and keep them from breaking when I bring a ML sock on travel, and I can squish them into the DPN holder, but it bends the cables in a bad way. Does anything exist to protect ML needles? If anyone knows, it's you!
Aaaah, that tool case is just beautiful. I think I'd want one even if I wasn't a knitter!!
I've got a needle case from Lena Brown that I bought a few years ago, it's held up well and I really love it!
I know it's not a "storage" thing, but you mentioned that some of your circulars have had the markings rubbed off. These have been handy for me:
You put them on the cord when the needle is not in use, and when you are using them, you tie a slip knot in the tail of your cast on, and attach it to the yarn tail so you know what needles you're using. A little putzy, but sometimes waaaay easier than finding a needle gauge (especially if it's a long-term UFO or if you've had to rob needles from another project and just stuck a smaller size in there to use as a stitch holder).
I love my worm binder. I have been using it for years as storage at home and as a project bag on the go. I got the large one and it holds all mu circs and dpn's, and all my tools and accessories. I can even fit most on-the-go projects in it. But it won't hold my 14 inch straights. And it's an ugly color of blue and says "worm binder" on the side. Maybe some enterprising bag designer could make one in pretty colors with knitting logos on the side that would hold my 14 inch straights? I'd pay a lot. xo
Cute hat you got going there....oh. No?
And those little net zipper bags you can find all over the place--from Barnes and Nobel to the grocery store--make nice containers for crochet hooks, stick markers (mine take wing on a regular basis. I find them in weird places, but I think that 3 cats help with that process, and they have yet to manage to undo a zipper), stitch holders, and all the other little odd things that are not either needles or yarn. I also have been know to put darning needles in those metal boxes that chocolates or mints come it. One could be creative with the stocking stuffers and have the candy items also be two-fers and function as knitter helpers.
Dear Stephanie and others,
Knitting needles will poke through leather - I have a scar from an incident with scissors in a leather purse. These particular scissors are not nearly as pointy as knitting needles, either. I'm a strong advocate of point protectors and folding scissors!
I agree with your suggestion of Lena Brown. She walked into my shoppe several months ago and I immediately snapped up her needle rolls. Love them!
"Carry your entire collection of needles." I'm laughing so hard at that, I just about snorted iced tea out my nose. Not only can't I fit my entire needle collection in one container, if I could, it would be too big to carry. When I was just beginning to knit, maybe I could have carried them all, but that was 25 years ago. Love the suggestions.
I bought one of these ...
last summer to take on vacation and it is great.
The bottom section unzips and has a plastic storage box big enough for full set of crochet hooks or DPNs, plus the full set of knit picks interchangeable needles, scissors, yarn cutter, gauge gadget, a small pouch for stitch markers and darning needle, cable needles, row counter, tape measure, pen and a small notebook.
The front has a curved pocket that is perfect for circulars or interchange cables. And the top section holds 6 balls of knit picks comfy cotton (snugly) and has a zipper. It is recycled material and very lightweight. The whole thing fully loaded fit in a backpack for the plane.
But the extra bonus for many non-knitters-who-love-a-knitter is that you can buy it discretely at Sears if you are too embarrassed to enter a girly knitting store or don't have one nearby. What guy doesn’t shop at Sears?
Sears Item# SPM4235422401 | Model# 762152077971
$47.99 for a set of two
I second the worm binder idea. I ordered mine from Bass Pro online and told a male knitting friend of mine about it. He told me there was a Bass Pro shop about 20 min. away, which I hadn't known, and went off to get one for himself. Tackle boxes are also good for sewing supplies.
The width of the front (or back) of an average sweater generally corresponds to the width you need for that person's hat. Rather than rip you could put a seam in it and you're a-head of the game.
Long time reader, first time commenting, I just fell in love with those gorgeous mittens from a few days ago. How are they coming along and please tell me you are going to sell patterns. Make lots of mittens for Christmas and would love to add these to my list. Pat
I just picked up several toothbrush holders from the Target dollar bin. They are transparent green plastic, and hold DPNs perfectly. I can see what I want, and I can store them by category (too little for socks, socks, probably ok for hats, hats, bigger than hats). For straights, I have a JoAnn's roll. For circulars, sadly, I have a drawer. For notions, I've got a cylindrical red faux alligator pencil case. It's adorable. I guess you could call it vegan alligator...
The Frogging Monster is loose this week - I am now on revision 3 of a *sock*. A sock, of all things. First, I couldn't count to three, only to two. Then I had a guage issue that I tried not to notice for a really long time ... like once I was past the heel turn. Eventually it was obvious I had mucked up again, and I started over. However I forgot to account for the change in the length of the toe (toe-up sock) given the change in guage and ended up with one that was too short instead of too long.
As my high school physics teacher used to say (as he explained something for the fourth time) ... "once more, with feeling this time!"
i was wondering how you get leather from tofu? i found out by accident how awesome a mason jar on the coffee table is and if its full the cat cant knock it over i use hair ties to contain double pointeds also retrieved from multiple cats
i've found that the plastic holders for filled hypodermic needles are just terrific for short dpns. they come in several sizes - some long enough for mid-sized dpns. if you know a nurse....
Erin Lane Bags' Ultimate Knitting Needle case:
I want one so much, and I love her bags!
See also, bucket bags embroidered, "I knit because I'm smarter than you."
A solution to the scissors dilemma - Thread snips. Like the kind from fabric stores (Fabricland if you're in Canada, Michael's or Jo Ann if you're in the US - sorry UK, don't know any). Many come with little caps over the pointy bits. Not much bigger than a fat crayon, and easy to keep in pocket or purse. I keep mine, along with my other notions, in a small sectioned box sold to hold fly fishing lures. It has little dividers to customize the size of the little compartments. I can take all my notions with me when I travel, and the box is about the size of a small paperback book.
I bought toothbrush cases at the grocery store for $0.59. One for each size dpn I have. Then I labeled each one with a Sharpie marker. It is the cheapest way I've found to organize my dpns. My circulars I took a pair of pants that were too ugly for public appearances. Cut the legs out. sewed them in 1" horizontal segments and used the same sharpie marker to label the sections with the circular needle size. I have the whole lot hung on the wall where they are easily accessed and sorted.
This won't help for travel, but works for me for storing circulars at home: get one of those inexpensive pull-out (or motorized, if you want fancy) tie racks that fit over a closet rod. You can often find them in the stores now and again around Fathers' Day.
I repurposed one by installing it in a guest room closet. Then I cut wine bottle corks in half crosswise, used an awl (or ice pick) to start a hole, and pushed them over the ends of the metal bars that were meant to hold ties. This helps to keep the circulars from falling off the end. I used a permanent marker to label each cork with a needle size, then hung the circulars over the appropriate bars.
If the cords really tend to slip off the bars on the tie rack, try coating the bars with either rubber cement or a liquid rubber product you can get at your DIY store for coating, cushioning, and electrically-insulating tool handles. Let the cement or rubber dry completely before putting your circulars on the rack.
For needles, I use a hanging shoe storage thingy like the one shown at http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/organizing/clear-hanging-shoe-organizer-in-the-bathroom-041581 . One pocket per needle size. It holds straights, DPNs, and circulars, and a lot of them, too. (The 4mm pocket in particular takes a beating.) I keep a needle gauge in one of the pockets so I can check sizes as I'm putting needles in the pockets. It's a fabulous system that is hampered only by my habit of not putting needles back in it when I'm done with them.
I store my straights in a Pringles can. For the longer straights, I just poked the needles through the plastic lid.
I stumbled here by accident, and I've gotta tell you, I've been roaring with laughter. I spent a "long and hard" day, at our local ski hill with a herd of teenaged boys, and this site was exactly what I needed. It was opening day so the place was wild. I surrendered myself to a corner of the lounge beside the fireplace, with my knitting, and the nice girl behind the bar kept my cup full of tea. I had a conversation with a very cute young man complete with waist-long dreads (be still my heart, but I am a child of the sixties) who hadn't brought his knitting because he hasn't yet come out of the closet! I finally had to move though, as I had to get up every half hour to head to the bathroom, and either the fire was too hot or I was having non-stop hot flashes, but I had no more clothes to peel off. Love this site!!
Thanks a lot for the links to sewing tutorials! I know what I'll be doing after the christmas knitting is done. :-)
Lots of love from the other side of the world,
Katrin from Germany
Large plastic pencil case box (Staples) holds the dpn's, smaller version holds crochet hooks (Oh admit it, some of you crochet too). I used a can opener, took the top off a large olive oil tin, it gets the straight needles (OK there's a plastic cylindrical vase stuck in the can too as a sub organizing unit) Cookie tin (Cadburys lady fingers) has circular needles (they're outgrowing that home) Important bit they all live in the same area and there's a needle gauge hanging off one of the straight needles and it never leaves that location (you gotta own several)
Small bits-clear plastic makeup bags as the larger container, small tins and metal cigar cases (for stitch holders) or any other small containers you find to hold the small bits together. I have some lego shaped boxes that held candy, an ancient cylinder that has a screw on cap [originally something from avon) it holds darning needles and tins that originally held lozenges are good. If you run across them little clear plastic boxes are good as you can see into them (may have to put an elastic around them to keep them shut)
My Dad made me my straight needle holder. He took a large diameter cardboard tube (study gift wrapping type tube ~4" diameter) that nicely fit the cover from a pint size plastic container one gets from the deli dept at the grocery store. But so not to have all needles lose inside, he rolled up some heavy CORRUGATED cardboard leaving an opening in the middle. Tube is slightly longer than 14" needles. Spiral the corrugated cardboard up and put into the tube, make a covering for the bottom of the tube too. Now you insert the needles into the little holes in the corrugated shafts. I started with smaller needles to the outside- side by side in pairs- then moved inward. Since the corrugated holes are small for larger sizes ( 13 and up) I stick those down the open middle. He covered the outside with contact paper to make it look pretty and put on one of those deli container tops with contact paper in the center- but it was almost costless otherwise and has stood up for many decades. Can use the corrugated idea in wine bottle tubes also.
"Gift of containment". Love that.
I love all the great ideas posted in the comments!
I also am thrilled to read a blog post almost every day. Keep it up Yarn Harlot, and a big salute to all knitters also facing the holiday deadlines!
Why do man walk around with so many ballpoints attached to their clothes, they only come in one size, just saying. Artist paintbrushes cases come in many lengths and protect against pricking through too. Oldfashioned see trhough film containers are ideal for small items and small purses, sizeways and coinways. I love my Chibi, I crocheted a long cord and attached a threadsnipping scissors at one end and the chibi with darning needles and some small row and stitch counters in it to the other end. With the long bright cord I have no difficulty finding them at one glance, I always had to retrieve the Chibi from between the sides of the sofa.
I was reading your questions to determine whether one's knitter needs a needle-containment device to my husband, and he responded with this question you omitted: "Has there been a blood sacrifice in searching for an item in that needle drawer?"
Hooray for sweater knitting! Have I missed the name of the pattern you're making, or is it a secret?
One of my most used tools is a clear shoe bag on the door to my sewing/knitting room. It holds all my most used needles, stitch markers, and is labeled so anyone can fetch an item if I'm in another room.
I have some needle rolls from Madbird on Etsy and they are very well done. She has rolls for crochet hooks, dpns and circulars...my favorite is the interchangable needle roll.
I use the zip locks in a notebook for my circs- there is a needle gauge in a pocket at the front. All the zips are labeled with the numbers. Straights go in a pretty vase of my MIL. My needle gauge I can always find is attached to my car keys, Then I can find my car keys in my bag of doom.
I love and swear by my Knitpicks interchangealble needles and case! Though I have to admit that Lantern Moon might seduce me in to buying another needle holder. Its a sick sad addiction.
For my straights (which I seldom use) I have a crockery pitcher/vase that holds them nicely. And I use a worm binder for my circs, which would be super if I could manage to put them back in their pouches, and haven't found the right solution for the dpns yet so they are also in the binder <which I'm still not completely satisfied with.
Thank you so much for blogging about your knitting mistakes and woes. I make some really dumb mistakes sometimes (like missing a whole section on the front panel of the Dude Sweater and having to reknit it all) and feel like a total failure because after all these years of knitting, surely I shouldn't be making silly mistakes like that. But if the Yarn Harlot also makes mistakes it makes me think that these mistakes are part of the hobby and it just wouldn't be the same if everything turned out perfect everytime. It also makes me feel much more normal. Thank you.
Nice photos with the Christmas lights blurred in the background.
I never would have believed it, but I found the perfect bag for my (many) DPNs and circulars at a gun shop! My husband likes target shooting and today while he was purchasing something for his hobby (I don't ask), I spotted a Bulldog Mini Range Bag. It opens flat and has four slotted pockets and one large flat pocket on each side, plus a large zippered pocket on the outside (for the weapon, I guess). It is even pink for Breast Cancer Awareness! The inside is perfect for all of my DPNs up to 7" long, and the circs fit in the outside pocket beautifully. Thanks for posting this and all the comments, it helped me imagine a different use for something I would normally never look at!
I seem to be the only one who uses a (largish size) shoe box for the straights, and I keep the circs and dpns in separate ziplocs, in the same shoe box.
I use the bass pro shop finesse binder bag. They hold cirs and dpns, stitch markers, tape measure etc. It has a handle so its easy to transport. They are clear and you can write size of needles on the tab.
Your post from the 8th (where the neck opening that looked big enough but not when viewed as hip circumference) had me laughing so hard...as that was me this time last year! "mom, are you not going to swatch and check the math?" my little 13 yr old asked...really? Am I not smarter than a 13yr old? I am 35!!! I wasn't and had to rip things out...still managed to get it done in time...hope you have the same good fortune!
Best Xmas present ever was a bento box from my husband to use for all the small knitting tools I need to have near me when knitting - which is most of the time. He even measured one of my sock needle dpns to make sure he was getting a box that was long enough to hold them. Mine is about 8 in long by about 3 in wide and 3 in tall. Its available on Amazon and is called Kotobuki Red Ryu (Dragon) Two Tiered Bento Box. It has two compartments plus a tiny little cup and is perfect for several sets of sock needles, small scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needles, etc etc. It is compact enough to slip into my knitting bag and I take it everywhere. I absolutely love it and use it all the time.
I have a couple of bags and rolls from Crippenworks, I love them!
Stephanie - I think you're wonderful, really, just the bees knees, and I can't thank you enough for all your work, from your books to your blog to your humor and the beautiful pictures you share. Happy Christmas!!
Screw making a x-mas wish list. I'm just sending DH right over to this blog post. Brilliant!
Most of my needles are contained by:
1. A chef's knife roll I bought in New Orleans decades ago. It is well-worn and I love it. It holds my metal straights and my metal long-size DPNs.
2. An artist's brush roll, with pockets of differing lengths, which holds my plastic and wooden straights and DPNs, as well as crochet hooks
3. A Circular Solution for my circular needles. I adore this thing.
It also has the bonus comic effect of startling guests who open the closet door it hangs inside of. They think they are being attacked by an alien millipede.
4. A handmade quilted needle roll set, one for circs and one for DPNs, that was a gift, which I use for my circulars size US 3 and under, and for my espcially nice handmade wooden needles, like Darn Pretty needles and gifts from friends.
5. A largish flat plastic fishing lure box with different-sized compartments for scissors, needle gauges, measuring tapes, darning needles, stitch markers, etc.
6. Several zippered pencil bags form the dollar store into which go the notions etc. I need for each project I am working on.
Dear non-knitter, if wondering what tools your knitter might love, think strongly about a drain unclogging tool or any other long pokey tools needed around the house or garage, and put your own name on it. Then KEEP THE KNITTING NEEDLES AWAY FROM THE SINK! It will contribute to the chances of "peace on earth" actually happening, at least in your corner of the world. Thank you.
I actually have the larger box from the container store for my knitting tools and I love it. It fits in my Swift and I'm never trying to find a cable needle or darning needle since I started using it. Fabulous choice.
I FINALLY broke down and bought myself a Jordana Paige bag. I've been lusting after them for ages and since the shop I'm working for is hosting a trunk show, i was able to use my birthday discount and 2 gift cards and got a sweet deal on a LJ Kaelms bag, in sweet pea green! I love it! Thanks for inspiring me to finally take the plunge.
I got what you wish, thanks for putting up. Woh I am glad to undergo this website finished google. Thanks For Share Yarn Harlot: Expletive Deleted.