I went into my Billy Shelf o’Stashing today in order to put away some odd balls of yarn I had laying around, and had some knitting needles fall on me in a nasty way. Yikes. So what’s a girl to do? Right – t’was time for Christmas Cleaning(tm).
Which inspired me to do a blog post about it – because, what else. Right? What can I say, sorting things makes me happy. So without further ado…
My WIP Basket. Been having this one for a couple of years already, and I use it to store my home-WIPs – stuff I don’t usually take outside the house with me to work on. I got it at IKEA, and I love it because the surface is very smooth, thus no yarn can catch on it and mess with my projects. It currently holds… heck, if I knew. A scarf, a poncho, three shawls, fingerless mitts, a cowl…? Which may or may not be a complete and accurate list. We will never know, because I avoid digging all too deeply into this thing, on a regular day. And then there is…
…my WIP Purse. Love, love, love this thing! And so do other people – it’s recently even inspired a co-worker to make one just like it, and I’ve had random people comment on it in the streets on several occasions as well.
The lining was actually done by my husband Geo, because I don’t know the first thing about sewing – and I really appreciate that, because without lining the purse would have lost its shape rather quickly. As it is, it’s a great bag for storing WIPs, because it’s very spacious inside and can hold quite a lot. Right now, my Moogly CAL 2015 resides in it – which is currently on hold until further notice. (I will finish it, though – too much work already went into it, and I really want this blanket finished.)
You’ve already met this fun little bag here. (And it is. A post-apocalyptic life-skill, that is. Cracks me up every time.)
Since it’s smaller than the purse and can be bunched up quite easily and stuffed into my regular purse, this is what I currently have the small WIPs in, that I also like to carry around with me, to maybe work on during my morning commute, or when I visit my parents on Fridays after work.
For all my needles and hooks and other random assorted stuff, I have several smaller things to organize them in. I want to start with this gem – one of my most treasured possessions:
It’s my late grandma’s needle purse. She used it to hold her crochet hooks until she passed away 6 years ago.
After the war my grandparents earned their living sewing leather bags and purses for a large store for some years, which they did working from home, with my dad and uncle playing by their feet. My grandma was on the sewing machine, while my grandpa was doing more of the “construction” part of the work. This little purse is from that time – it was made sometime during the 1950s. It still holds her hooks today, which I don’t touch, out of a sense of reverence for these things. It is obviously well worn, but of extremely good quality: all the seams are in perfect condition, and the clamp still works and holds the leather just fine. It’s a wonderful piece of family history – so I don’t personally use it, but take very good care of it, all tucked away in my Billy Shelf o’Stashing.
This beautiful little thing was made for me as a Christmas or maybe birthday gift from a once dear friend of mine, who dappled a bit in the sewing arts back then. I first used it to hold my crochet hooks, which was fine – because I didn’t have more than maybe 10, which all fit in there nicely. But my collection of hooks soon outgrew its storage, so I had to find a different solution. It’s been empty for years – until today, when I realized that I could actually use it for my knitting needles instead. It’s not perfect, but at least it brings order to the chaos, and keeps my needles from randomly tumbling around some box or other in my shelf – and landing on my head on occasion. I am glad that I found this new use for this pretty little thing – which is more than I can say for the person who made it for me.
This, then, was the new solution, after my hooks outgrew their first home! One of my besties made it for me and gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago.
She’s something like a sewing Goddess – actually, if you are interested, you can find all of her wonderful work collected here:
(I made that logo, btw.)
I use it on an everyday basis. At first my hooks didn’t fill it up all the way, so I managed to keep scissors and a tape measure in there as well – but those days are long since gone… lol. I currently own a set of 16 bamboo crochet hooks, a set of 14 aluminium crochet hooks, 2 knooking hooks, and – as of Christmas Eve – a set of 8 beautiful birchwood Tunisian crochet hooks. (Some random single hooks here and there, as well.) They all fit into this very nicely – and the obvious advantage of this over the first option is that it can be rolled up and doesn’t take up much space at all. Loving this every day!
So because I ran out of space for my accessories. in my red case, and because the amount of these things keep growing over time as well, I’ve recently taken my old pencil case, and filled it up with just that. It’s perfect for it! The current contents: scissors, a measuring tape, a row counter, my tapestry needles, 2 sets of pins for blocking, my stitch markers, a knitting thimble, some clothespins to use as bobbins if needed, 2 nylon strings for knooking, and my new gear for Tunisian crochet.
And of course, there is my trusted pin board to use for blocking.
For this, I actually recommend a thick, higher quality board. My first one was the cheapest thing I could find, and I found out soon enough that the cork was not made to withstand wet pieces of yarn for very long – the thing completely disintegrated quicker than I could finish my Moogly CAL!
So, how do you store your yarn, needles, hooks, accessories, and WIPs? I am curious!
(I gave my hands a rest of about one full day – but tonight I am planning to finish the Pyjama-Bears – to hopefully have one WIP out of their WIP storage!)