Organizing Your Knitting “Stuff”

The more time I spend as a Knitter, the more … stuff … I collect. Stuff = Yarn, patterns, needles, project bags, knitting books, etc. I’m always looking for ways to maximize my knitting storage space, while keeping it organized enough to find things. I had all of my knitting things in this room in our basement (note – this is also the little corner where The Loopy Ewe started out in the beginning!). I have since moved everything upstairs to the main floor. My current knitting/spinning room was intended to be a living room when our house was built, but instead we’ve used it as a home office up until now. Now – it’s a fiber room and that’s my favorite use for this room so far. I’m still working on the perfect “look” and organization of it, but here are a few storage ideas that I use:

dsc02715This closet is full of shelves. This closet holds some of my books and loose patterns (in 3 ring notebooks), most of my project bags (you know I love bags), my current projects on the needles, and all of my needle inventory. There are some skeins of yarn in there, and all of the yarn for the pairs to all of the single socks that I own. :-) Note, I did not take the time to straighten this all up for the photo, so you get to see it as it usually looks.

dsc02716Also in my fiber room, I have this cabinet that I bought just for holding yarn. I love the pretty colors of the yarn showing through the glass. I do go through this and switch the yarn around a few times a year, just to prevent fading. I also have pieces of cedar on each shelf (from here) so that the inside of the cabinet is cedar-scented to deter moths, since it’s not airtight. (I’ve never seen a moth in there, but I never want to, either.) And lest you worry about me, no, that is not all the yarn in my stash. Not by a long shot. I gave up on keeping my stash photoed and organized on my Ravelry account, but I have a new plan for keeping track of it all. I’ll show you that eventually, too.

dsc02714Next to my knitting chair, I have this bin. Since I like switching up the projects I work on, you can see 4 different project bags. I really like these bags. (Note: we have new 3 AM Bags going up on the website sometime today. See the Lemons and the Owls? I snagged both of those out of this new batch. The Elephants bag was a gift from my friend Michelle in MO, and the Sheep bag was a gift from my friend Michele in Maine, who also has her cute bags on Etsy.) Currently in those bags: Wollmeise Socks, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Socks, Numma Numma Challenge Socks, and a Shibui Wrap that will have to be transferred to a larger bag as it grows. The red and blue things hold the patterns that I’m currently working on. I use these all over the place, not just for knitting patterns (for important phone lists, for reference lists here at Loopy, etc.) They’re like a super heavyweight page protector – 9 x 12 -  and I get them from Uline.

dsc02720Back to the Fiber Room – I have pottery like this holding misc. needles. Since I also do that with needles here at Loopy (old needles that I have collected), I just took a photo of the ones here. (Red flower pot – bought cheap somewhere. Sheep Vase from Jennie the Potter.  The needle vase I use at home came from from my favorite Etsy pottery people.)

As I said, it’s all a work in progress. I don’t re-arrange it often (it takes away from knitting time) but it helps me to have things organized because I’m less likely to duplicate things that way. To see some other photos of knitting corners and storage ideas, check out our photo gallery. (If you have some photos of your area that you’d like to add to that gallery, we’d love to see them!)

Do you a separate area for your knitting things? Do you have any fun storage ideas you’d like to share with us?

Sheri todaythefloorofmyfiberroomiscoveredwithablockingGirasole-Yay!


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39 comments on “Organizing Your Knitting “Stuff”

  1. Sheri, I’m impressed with your fiber room! I have my yarn scattered all over the den where I knit. My projects are in bags, but the skeins tend to have a life of their own and escape their enclosures. Most of my yarn stash is housed in my office/yarn room. I try to keep everything in ziploc baggies and in plastic bins. I sort all of my loose patterns in notebooks (shawls/sweaters in one, socks in one, other knitted things in a 3rd). When a designer outgrows a notebook, they end up with a notebook of their own. I’m much more organized with the patterns than with the yarn.

    Ultimately I want a better storage system – broken down by color, lace/sock/worsted, etc. But that’s going to be awhile. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to buy yarn, plan projects and knit.

    Thank you so much for sharing what you do.

    Kat

  2. According to some in this household my knitting “stuff” has taken over the house. I do try to keep it contained though. Most of my yarn is in air tight containers. I really need a better storage system for my knitting supplies though. Esp my books and loose patterns

  3. I’m with Monica and the knitting “stuff” has taken over my house. I have a lot of my yarn in a nice cabinet (which I just uploaded) and the rest of it is in those huge XL ZipLoc bags and air tight containers. I really need to get to IKEA to get a better solution.

  4. My storage system is non-existent! I have 2 plastic bins, 2 cardboard boxes and 2 shopping bags with yarn. I have another plastic tote full of patterns.with 2 piles of more patterns and books on top of that. Then there are the in process projects – 5 of them right now. It would be nice to be better organized, but then I’d have to admit I have an addiction (or two).

  5. What a timely post since I spent Saturday reorganizing my “craft room” (mostly quilting & knitting supplies). I keep my yarn and fiber in plastic bins and ziplock bags. After running around trying to consolidate things I have a LOT of needles that still need to be sorted out and put back in their proper places :-) I keep patterns in looseleaf binders but probably need to weed those out too – way more patterns than time, that’s for sure! Thanks for the link to Jenny’s pottery – I love that big cup/needle holder!

  6. I have a stash room which has overflowed slightly so that some stash is in my trunk (mostly acrylic yarn that was donated for Linus blankets/prayer shawls.) Books and patterns in notebooks are on bookshelf in the stash room. Yarn is in tote bins by weight/end use. (I reorganize about once a year.) I have some projects that are queued and “kitted” with yarn and pattern in bags ready to knit in separate totes. At my knitting chair I also have 3 or 4 bags with separate projects (3 right now). I have a drawstring bag with a sock in my car. Needles are either in a quilted hanging organized or in Options books–2 of these, fixed and interchangeable. I may not be able to find anything else at my house but I can find my knitting/spinning/weaving stuff, my books and my DVDs.

  7. Now that we’re empty nesters, I took over the hall linen closet for my fiber books and patterns. Well, two shelves of it anyway… My stash is still lurking in the great room, which I need to correct, and there’s a rat’s nest in the window behind the sofa where I knit that needs to be prettied up…

  8. Ooh, Girasole! I can’t wait to see it :) As for me, I have a space in our den that’s my fiber space. It has a bookshelf for bins of yarn and knitting books, my two wheels, my two other baskets of fiber, and assorted bowls of fiber here and there. Someday I’ll have a whole room, but for now this’ll do. :)

  9. love your space. When we lived in hawaii i had a storefront and webstore for scrapbooking (specialty was military and tropical goods) So of course i accumulated stuff. Recently hubby gave me the guest room and helped move my area of the man-room to this space, and i love it! It has all my craft goods (aside from the spinning wheel) and , lol, it’s all mine!!!

  10. My husband made me my own craft room, with a wall of 12″ square cubbies. It’s a 7′x5′ wall, so that’s 35 cubic feet of storage! I have enough room to separate my fiber by content, keep the top two rows for roving and STILL have room to grow!

    I am horribly spoiled.

    Did I mention that the room also has plenty of shelving for my books, patterns, and accessories and that is has south and east facing windows so I get tons of natural light all day long?

    Yeah. Spoiled.

  11. I love organizing and I keep changing the ‘system’ around. At the moment my yarn is stored in ziplocks and then contained in fabric cubes I got from targee, which are in turn stacked in a tall bookcase (so I can look at them). The bags/cubes are organized by yarn maker, and by weight (more or less…) WIP’s are in their own individual project bags, stashed in baskets around the living room. Knitting books and patterns are in an adjacent bookcase near a comfy chair for browsing.

    Now with the bags I have a growing fabric stash, so I am considering moving the entire operation to the study (from the dining room table and clear totes where it currently resides!). Thanks for sharing your system! (and thanks for the link!)

  12. I only wish my yarn closet/room looked as nice as yours. :-) I have a smaller walk in closet that was perfect in the beginning…..lol Then I decided to move a bookshelf into the middle back of the closet so I’d free up some floor space in that bedroom. Well that created ‘pockets’ on either side of the bookshelf that yarn bins would fit into. That’s all well and good until you fill up the floor space in front of the bookshelf then you have to turn upside down on your head to reach the bins on the bottom and ….well you get the picture. :-) Great idea on that page protector. I may have to order some of those.

  13. I am working on organizing my needles. I re-organized my yarn earlier this year, but since i keep buying more, I need to re-do that, too!

  14. I have a relatively small stash. Most of mine is in a 3-drawer plastic bin on casters. I also have 3 more plastic bins that are almost full. My stash used to be in my stepdaughter’s closet. Now it resides in the basement. I’ve never seen any moths in my stuff….and keeping fingers crossed that I never do.

    I love your yarn in the glass-fronted cabinet. If it wasn’t for Ravelry, I would forget what’s even in my stash.

  15. I started making myself a little knitting corner. I rearranged the furniture in my living room one weekend. The next weekend, I moved my hutch over to an open corner. Then, my Loopy mug with my straight needles moved onto the hutch. Then Loopy found a comfy spot on a shelf. It was when my husband found me searching for a comfy chair on the Pottery Barn website that it all clicked, “You’re setting up a knitting corner, aren’t you?!?!? That’s what you’ve been doing all this time! How much is this going to cost me?” He vetoed the expensive chair and the OTT lamp. So, for now, it’s an empty shelf with my Loopy mug and Little Loopy, just waiting for him to stop noticing that the corner is turning into a knitting corner so I can buy that chair! lol

  16. I LOVE your space, Sheri! It looks great!

    Me, I’m in the process of reorganizing my stuff. I got new bedroom furniture (HAPPY DANCE), and post-sewer disaster, I now have some space in the basement, so I’ll be moving it down there. I have an antique gentleman’s dresser (BIG dresser) that will be taking on the bulk of my stash (cedar lined drawers, baby!), and anything that doesn’t fit will remain in their plastic boxes (flood proof). I just got a file box for my loose patterns, and can easily add more if I need the space. There’s also space for shelves on the wall, which I need to get put back up. (The existing ones were destroyed in the aforementioned sewer disaster, and I haven’t finished the replacements yet.) Once they’re up, there will be plenty of room for my books and my magazines. I’ve also got a whole wall of cabinets in this section of the basement, which I’m going through and clearing out, so I should have plenty of room for EVERYTHING: knitting and crocheting stuff, sewing stuff, embroidery/cross stitch stuff, AND all the cooking equipment that’s currently stored there.

    And since I am not on Ravelry, I’ll be setting up something computer-based to keep track of patterns and stash and such. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

    Nah, I’m not at ALL excited! :-D

  17. Thanks for the heads up on the sneak up (did I let the yarn out of the bag)? I love, love, love the “elephants on parade” bag! It is so cute! I had to have it.

  18. You have a better organized area then I do. I had closets made for my yarn in the basement. They are 6 feet tall 14 feet long 32 inches wide and are lined in cedar. There are also 6 doors in the unit. Not enough room for all my yarn.

  19. I keep my knitting organized on a microwave cart. It has hooks on the side for all my project bags, and I keep my ball winder attached to the top. The current project also lives on the top shelf.
    On the middle shelf is my binder of knitting needles, a makeup bag of notions, and the other ‘current’ projects. Usually I have about three on the needles at a time.
    The bottom shelf holds my nifty swift when I’m not using it, and a tub of yarn. I also keep a binder of patterns on that shelf. Most of my knitting books are on our normal bookshelves, except the ones I’m currently using which go on the cart with their respective projects. The yarn that doesn’t fit on the cart goes in to tubs in the closet.

    The best part about this is that the cart is on wheels so I can move it so it’s next to whatever chair I’m using, or I can put it away in the closet if I need to clean up for company. However most of the time it’s out.

  20. OMG! That is wonderful!!! You and I must suffer from the same “organization disorder”! :) Though, I must say – your stuff is much more organized than mine – I’m so jealous!

  21. Organizing knitting is definitely not for the faint of heart. I recently organized mine again! (On going process) I have all my sweater yarn in bins along with specified pattern. All cotton in another bin. Socks yarn in bins with patterns. One or two skein yarns in another bin. All in a closet with shelves.In my knitting room I also have a book case with a hundred or so books. Al l patterns are in loose leaf folders, stored in cabinet under bookcase along with ball winder ,swift and scale. Bags are stored in closet when not laying around. Needles are stored in closet ,circular. Other needles and knitting gadgets etc are in a tall chest. Do not ask me how long this took I would be embarrassed to tell you. Hugs

  22. Where is your Maruca bag? I couldn’t resist the Worker Bee Gloriosa bag–you have such good taste in knitting bags! Can’t wait for the mail.

    Your unashamed stash photos are fabulous. Yarn storage containers have taken over this home, too. Most of the yarn is stored in Rubbermaid 51.6 qt. Hi-Top tubs (not the 64 qt. tubs!). When filled with yarn, the tubs stack nicely and are easy to shift around. They are also clear enough to show some of the yarn inside. Wouldn’t you know, Rubbermaid seems to have discontinued this one perfect size of tub. :-(

  23. I’m blessed with a massive walk in closet that’s all mine. My stash is in there with my clothes, jewelry, etc. I have a guest room/sewing room that used to also be my fiber room – but I like to knit in bed and hated going down the hall to find stuff. Now it’s right in my bedroom. Thankfully, dh has his own closet.
    I keep current projects in bags, and I have a couple baskets around the house that hold them. I keep my books/mags/pattern binders/needles on a shelf in my closet. I have a lovely plant stand I turned into the sock yarn rack. Basic yarns – mainly cascade 220 – are housed in a large rubber mate bin, and entire sweaters worths are housed in various boxes, bins, etc… to be kept together. My winder is often in the kitchen, as we clip it to our dining table. WHen I knit downstairs, I have a great corner chair/ottoman that I sit in and the side table next to it is the “knitting” table. The kids know to keep out of its drawer and I have a beautiful antique basket under it with my current WIPs. So, mainly my fiber is contained to the two areas – though projects are kinda strewn about in various TLE tote bags and project bags.
    Thanks for showing us your space!

  24. Loved the stash pics. Now I can show them to hubby and point and say, “See, I don’t have that much!”

  25. I have an unused corner of my living toom that has become the stash location. It’s a small alcove above the steps and between the window. It’s a perfect spot because otherwise it is wasted space. I keep my yarn in plastic bins…although the bins seem to be multiplying…of course it’s not because I’m buying more yarn…not guilty…not guiilty…not guilty:)

  26. My house doesn’t have enough closet space for a Yarn Closet. However, we have a cedar trunk at the end of our bed that is crammed full of yarn and there are several shoebox sized bins in the linen closet. And two storage drawer things in my closet. And some bags of various yarns under various beds. And probably other yarn stored in other spots around the house. The bad part of this arrangement is that you can’t ever look at all your stash in one place. The good part about this arrangement is that no one else can figure out exactly how much stash you have!

  27. I love the way you’ve got your stash organized, Sheri! (At least what you’re letting us see of it!) I’d love to have some closet space to work with—what you’ve done with yours is inspiring—but they don’t have built-in closets over here. They rely on big wardrobes which, let me tell you, don’t really hold much of anything. So I also have my stash tucked away all over the house, in plastic tubs or ziploc bags. (As Liz said above, the good part is that no one else knows exactly how much stash you have…) Patterns are in notebooks and I can lay my hands on most of the book, but I really need to update the needle storage system since I can never find the right sized needles when I’m looking for them.

  28. I use a closet sweater organizer to store my yarn. The kind that hang off the closet rod and has 5 cubbies that are closed on all but one side. It’s the perfect depth each, skein can lay down flat and I can see it. And if I stack it just right I can fill each of the 5 cubbies to the top, that’s a lot of yarn. You can get one for about 15-20 bucks too.

  29. I like your setup – especially your cabinet! I use cube racks from Target with a few bin inserts plus a closet to keep my yarn – okay and a bunch of baskets and bowls throughout the house. ;o) As for keeping my projects with me, I like to use my own bags. ;o)

  30. I bought a bunch of inexpensive, pressed board (looks like fake wood) wine racks at Target. I arranged all sock yarns in this chromatically. I covered the fronts with a piece of fabric (that matches other stuff in the room) to prevent fading but mostly to keep Cali, our lab from eating any more skeins of yarn (for her good and mine). Then I purchased two four shelf bookcases to match the wine racks and baskets. Yarn for other projects (sweaters, shawls, blankets) go in baskets, on the shelves with pattern books and pattern binders. I cover the baskets with blue tissue paper to keep out sun and dust. Cedar balls, vlocks, etc go into everything. I keep straight needles in a gigantic vase with a sheep on it. Al large bag with all other stuff (zipped up to prevent lab invasion). We have a family room on our third floor and it all resides there. Just need to keep everything covered because of skylights, too.

  31. I just moved and I’m trying to organize my crafting space. Sometimes I reflect on how much easier it would be to organize if I were more of a mono-focused crafter, but I have way too many interests for that to pass muster.

    Currently, my knitting area is a deep closet with a white end table/cabinet for yarn and my filing cabinet, which is mostly for cross-stitch patterns. My books are on a bookshelf behind the door to the room (the closet is in the eventual guest room), and aren’t organized yet.

  32. I love your organization. I am working on something similar. My College Guy who has just graduated (I guess that makes him Graduate Guy)has temporarily returned home, until he gets established a bit. He is moving into Older Son’s room, Older Son having moved to Northern Michigan from Maryland. Graduate Guy’s room will become my fiber room, and I can’t wait!

  33. How *timely* indeed. There’s something about this time of year that makes me instinctively start cleaning out closets, and my knitting “stuff” had gotten totally out of control in recent months. So this past week (never one to do anything by halves), I up & (a) joined Ravelry, (b) started a knitting blog, (c) sorted through my milk-crate of loose patterns and magazines, *AND* (d) put my stash of yarn and sewing fabric into order. For the stash, like many of the posters here, I love using extra-large ziploc bags and plastic bins. Oddly enough, I only just now figured out that I should switch the stash from completely opaque bins to the type with translucent bottoms. You’d think a lady with a PhD could have seen out the benefit of *THAT* a long time ago, but never mind… It was way overdue. Higgledy piggledy — and some stuff dating back 15-20 years. No joke. I used a stack of wide, flat bins for the fabric (sorted into household vs. garments and remnants vs. uncut) and a series of regular rectangular bins for the yarn, which I organized by type and quantity. I also commandeered a nifty bin for my WIPs that had been used for something else (which then went into one of the opaque bins that were now empty). What’s special about this particular bin is that it has a hinged lid whose two halves are hinged to swing open and interlock when closed, which makes it really easy to dive in & examine the contents.

    Thanks for this post and for all the great ideas in the commentary. :-)

  34. Old thread, but just want to share a couple of my organization tips:

    1). When I find a pattern I really like and think I might make again, I make a photo copy and store in a binder in one of those plastic page protectors along with:

    picture of finished project
    who the item is for, if applicable
    needle size/type used
    gauge
    yarn sample and label
    finished measurements
    knitting notes

    2). I have a small, leather storage ottoman at my knitting chair. I keep a small knitting basket inside for WIPs. When not in progress, the project is easily stashed, out of sight and safe from investigation by our cat. It’s also a great place to keep oft used knitting reference books handy. I also keep a small container in my knitting basket to corral small tools such as crochet hooks, stitch holders, scissors, tip protectors, measuring tape, etc.

    3). I find an electronic label maker to be one of my most often used organizational tool, whether it be for labeling my yarn stash, knitting tool storage chest (a small version of a chest with drawers, originally a jewelry box), or identifying storage containers in the kitchen pantry.

    I enjoy reading everyone’s organization tips. I’m an organizing freak. If things get unorganized, it’s just not fun, for me :)