January 22nd, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized: How to Store Your Needles and Hooks

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Yesterday, we went through all our knitting needles and crochet hooks to purge the duplicates and unwanted ones. Now, what do you do with it all? For the organizationally challenged like myself, it can be so tedious sorting through that big pile, but it does pay off in the long run. When I’m ready to start a project, the last thing I want to do is dig through a bottomless pit of hooks, straights, circulars and double points, needle gauge in hand checking each one for the size I need. We asked our staff and our readers for some ideas on how to store your needles and hooks.

Straight or Single Pointed Knitting Needles

  • Try using a needle roll. If you’re even a basic sewer, you can try making one yourself. It’s a fairly easy afternoon sewing project.
  • The most popular suggestion for storing your straight needles is to stand them up in a vase or a jar. You can let them fall where they may for a decorative look, or to keep things organized, use a rubber band or hair tie to secure same sizes together.

DPNs or Double Pointed Knitting Needles

  • You can keep your double points on display in a vase too. It’s best to tie these together by size so you don’t have to check each one when it’s time to start a project. You can use a rubber band, hair ties, or even twist ties.
  • Keeping a three ring binder with page protectors for your double points and circulars is my favorite solution. I keep one size per page protector.
  • Double point needle tubes are an inexpensive solution for keeping them safe from breakage and organized by size.

Crochet Hooks

  • Tea tins are the perfect depth to stand your hooks up and keep them on display.
  • If you have a big crochet hook collection, sorting by brand first and then size might be the way to go.
  • A pencil case is a simple, compact and portable storage solution.
  • The Lily Crochet Roll works great!

Interchangeable Knitting Needles

  • Most interchangeable sets come with a carrying case already. You can usually fit some notions in the case too.
  • The Della Q Fabric Case is a beautiful solution if you want something extra special to store your set.

Circular Knitting Needles

  • You can use your three ring binder for circulars too. I like to organize by cable length, then size. I have binder dividers sectioning off each cable length, so all the 24″ length needles are in one section, and then each size is in its own page protector.
  • The Que Theo needle case keeps all your circulars organized and easy to find.
  • I love the hanging circular needle organizer. It keeps needles on display and in order.
  • You can keep your circular needles in separate boxes, and each size has its own zip-top baggie with the needle size written on it.
  • The Namaste Circular case is an easy solution. Or, try getting a tri-fold portfolio style case from your office supply store. They are perfect for circulars. Write the needle size and cable length on the tabs to make them easy to find.
  • The original packaging is actually an easy and economical way to store your circulars long term. They’re usually easy to open and close without ruining, and can even be hung up or filed away easily.

How do you like to store your knitting needles and crochet hooks? Do you like to keep them on display or tucked away in a binder or drawer?

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Grace

Customer Service Liaison at WEBS - America's Yarn Store
I started working at WEBS in September 2010. I learned how to knit 5 years ago and have been crocheting since childhood. When I'm not knitting, I love to be outside with my Black Lab, Ellie.
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  • Kandice

    I prefer to keep my needles tucked away–although I love the look of the straight needles in a vase, I only have DPNs and interchangeable circs, so not enough to make a pretty display! I have a case that I sewed for my interchangeables, and my DPNs live in their original packaging (keeps them together and has the size on it) in a zippered case.

    I would definitely not use rubber bands to keep my needles together, though. The fabric-type hair ties would probably be fine, but regular rubber bands will degrade over time (faster in the heat/sun) and can leave behind a sticky mess. I don’t want that on my needles!

  • Laura

    I have Della Q needle rolls for both my interchangeable needles and my DPNs. My fixed circs have been a little more problematic and are currently hanging on a hook beneath a shelf over my desk. I’m thinking I need a Jordana Paige Tool Butler for them…

  • http://twitter.com/PurlKnit Doris

    I don’t have room in my sewing room / office to have my needles on display. I ended up using 9×12 kraft envelopes, one per size for all my needles and size written on each envelope. I have my crochet hooks in a separate envelope. I have the envelopes standing in a box that will eventually end up on a shelf in my closet (once I get the shelf installed). Works great for me. I have all the needles that I accumulated plus all my mother’s needles PLUS all my grandmother’s needles. I have a LOT of needles. I know I don’t need them all, but I just can’t get rid of them yet – for sentimental reasons.

  • Beth A.

    My needles could use a bit more attention, I have most of the circular ones on one of those hanging organizers but keep finding them tossed in drawers too. I have many duplicates, which is bad because I’m an Addi snob. I have a small little plastic set of drawers on my sewing table that I use to keep my DPNs and notions in. As for the straights, I keep those in a pretty red vase. I tend to use circulars and DPNs for everything, so they are there just for decoration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clarapinkham Clara Pinkham

    I have a bait & tackle bag from Bass Pro Shop…it has lots of heavy duty zip-lock envelopes, and the whole thing zips shut. It holds my DPs and circs quite nicely, and is easy to take on trips (although I rarely take all my needles, in case I loose the bag). It’s very handy and practical!

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.h.sitze Susan Hayes Sitze

    I use a Stitchbow Travel Bag. It’s made for holding embroidery floss, but the inserts for floss are the perfect size for holding interchangeable needle tips, dpns and crochet hooks. I don’t use straight knitting needles much, so I have a separate case designed specifically for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ageeksgirl08 Ashtan Albright

    I have some gorgeous handmade wooden crochet hooks and my grandfather was kind enough to build me a display stand for them. As for the rest, they are kept in a decorative coffee cup.

  • fiberkat

    This is what I use, too. I’ve had mine for years. You can buy replacement envelopes for them .

  • Betford2

    So, you touched on my pet peeve and kept moving: WHY can’t the manufacturers MARK the size on the needles? Why do I have to go through the needle gauge test over and over and over???

    As for storage, I keep the most often used ones propped in a beer stein, with sets of DPNs bundled together with yarn scraps … Wrap wrap wrap, then wedge the trailing end between the bound needles, and it holds just fine – no knots needed.

  • nanasbug

    I have bought the needle rolls on etsy too–there are some for every time (and multiple types) of needles.

  • Geri

    I keep my DP needles in double ended travel toothbrush cases. They are inexpensive. I put 2 sets of sizes I am working with in 1 case plus a cable needle and stitch holders. They close securely and are hard plastic so they protect the needles and are easy to pack.

  • Tracy Kilpatrick

    This year at Stitches EAST, I invested in an Erin.Lane Bags interchangeables “envelope” and 2 Della Q organizers – one for dpns and one for fixed circulars. They’re all beautiful and super functional and I love having all my needle options SO organized!!

  • Janet Chutro

    Bass Pro Shops live bait bag — it’s a canvas zippered case that opens on two sides to zipper plastic bags on 3-ring binders. Plus more pockets inside and out. I have a plastic bag for each size of needles, containing circular, interchangables and DPNs. My straights are stored in flower vases, one for the 14″, another for 9-10″. Crochet hooks are in a mug.

  • sallyg

    I keep each set of my dpns in a piece of corrugated cardboard. The needles slide into the holes of the corrugation and I write the size on the cardboard. Then I keep them in a box.

  • PS

    The binder solution to store needles is ingenious! So obvious, cheap and yet so effective. Where do we find those zippered page protectors though?

  • shopping JAM

    I use 3 ring binders with pages made by KnitoneCrochettoo to hold dpns and circulars (separate sets for each.) They are clear plastic and easy to see what is in each pocket. Plus it has markings you can check off what should be in the pocket (in case it is empty.) I keep the interchangeables in the same binder and pockets with the circs. I have found them at several places on the web – though sadly not through Webs!!

    My straight needles are in a case my Dad made using a heavy wrapping paper tube (~3-4″ diameter) and corrugated cardboard. Coil the corrugated cardboard up – put it in the tube (cut to whatever length suits your needles) Add a bottom of carbaord and use a leftover plastic store food container top for the top. My Dad topped it all off with a nice contact paper wrap. Then just stick the needles into the holes formed in the corrugated cardboard or down the center area that is formed, for the largest needles. My dau has my Mom’s old one and it is still going after 40 or 50 years!!

  • Sara Byron

    Me too! Gues Im not that original. But I created a ravelry project to be able to show other knitters what I’m talking about. (I’ve always called it a worm binder – for fake fishing lure worms. The men at Bass Pro do not find this idea funny! I also store projects in a STANLEY tool chest on wheels! ) So here is my worm binder – ah, I mean needle organizer! http://www.ravelry.com/projects/SareBearKnits/my-worm-binder-organizer

  • Robin F.

    I keep my circs in a Bait and Worm Binder. Lots of heavy duty zip loc pockets and waterproof case. DPNs in a roll up made by a friend and straights(which I never use) in a case on a shelf.