I feel like I’m constantly in a state of trying to get my act together. I’d call myself “sorted” on a macro level, but if you dig down to the details, there’s a lot of room for improvement, organizationally speaking.
Case in point: my knitting needles.
I received a great basket from my mom, because she thought it might be a cute way to hold my current knitting project. I’ve thrown all my double-pointed needles (DPNs) in it so I know where they are.
However, looking at that mess in the picture above, I think it’s pretty easy to see that, although it’s a step towards organization (in that at least I know where to look for my DPNs), it’s by no means truly sorted out in terms of being handy or useful.
When I was casting on a lot of projects during the Super Bowl, I had to keep switching up needle sizes to get gauge. It was a ginormous pain. I’d pull out a set of needles and they’d be the wrong size. Invariably, I’d have to root around all of them before I fished out the right ones. It was annoying and momentum-killing all at the same time.
1. Lay out all your knitting needles that you want to include in the roll-up. Make some decisions about how you will use them. For example, I knew that I’d use the shorter and smaller-sized DPNs for gloves and socks almost exclusively, so I wanted to put them into their own roll. The longer 8″ size and larger needles that I use for everything else (sleeves, hats, etc.) would be contained in a different roll. Measure how much material you will need to hold all these needles. (This will vary — my little roll-up measured 16″x18″ while the larger one measure 18″x22″.)
2. Pull out some material. I used these remnants from projects long past. The colorful plaid fabric is a heavier-weight home decor-type material that I used for the outer cover. I also found some light-weight canvas in a taupe color for the inside lining and pocket, along with a square of flannel to provide a layer of cushion.
3. Cut fabric and layer as follows: place flannel liner down first followed by outer cover fabric (pretty-side up) followed by inner lining (pretty-side down). Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a space to turn right side out.
4. Clip corners and then turn right side out. Make sure your corners are square (you can use a knitting needle to poke out extra material that always gets stuck in the corners).
5. Press the dickens out of it. Also make sure to fold in opening to 1/2″ seam allowance and press that too.
6. Cut pocket to size you want. Hem the top part of the pocket.
7. Pin your pocket in place. Add a folded length of ribbon or yarn in the middle of the opening where you turned the material right-side out. Pin. Topstitch all the way around.
8. Now’s the fun part. Take out your knitting needles/crochet hooks and determine how large each space needs to be in the pocket. Mark across the roll. Stitch from top of the pocket through all thicknesses to the bottom of the pocket. Clip all dangling threads.
9. Fill individual sections of the pocket with your knitting needles. (You can mark them with their size number if you prefer). Fold over the top part of your roll and press down. This flap prevents the needles from falling out the top of the roll.
10. Roll up, secure with ties. Realize that the cost of this project was $0 and then plot to spend the project money you saved on yarn.
These little roll-up bundles could also be used for storing make-up brushes, pencils, markers, crayons, or art supplies. I think these will be so much more handy, not to mention pretty, in my knitting basket and far more portable to take along with my project on the go.
If nothing else, it made me feel more organized. Now if only I could do the same with the rest of my house….