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Organizational Tips for Knitters and Crocheters

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Organizational Tips for Knitters and Crocheters by Kelsey Innis, San Francisco, CA

 

When knitting or crocheting, if you need to put down your work and you don't have a point protector handy, try using one of those erasers that fits over the end of your pencil. It's soft, so even if your needle doesn't fit snugly into the opening, you can jam it in. This is also useful when you are crocheting, especially with slippery yarn.

To use up yarn scraps, start a yarn ball! Just tie the scraps together. As long as it doesn't get too big , you can stash it in your bag. Just make sure you don't start using it for a project!

When knitting or crocheting, to help keep yarn tension even, wear a smooth gold ring on your ring finger and thread the yarn through it. This is especially helpful to those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

To remove wrinkles from yarn that has been ripped out, wind the yarn around a large box, like a suit box. Tie it in four places with contrasting color yarn and remove the hank from the box. In the microwave, boil a bowl of water, turn off the microwave, and put the hank beside the bowl. Leave it in the microwave for about 20 minutes. Then lie the hank flat on a towel and let it dry completely. Wind it loosely into a ball.

When knitting or crocheting, try putting your ball of yarn into a Ziplock bag, almost completely closed except for where the yarn comes out. This prevents tangles and knots.


 

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I've used 2 and 3 liter plastic bottles. I cut off the bottom almost all the way thru then feed yarn end thru opening, put the skein into the bottle and use some masking tape to hold the botton closed. I can then write on the tape the type, color and other information on the tape.Can't take all the credit, got part of the idea from another magazine. jr

I've seen instructions for using a large vinegar bottle as a yarn holder; I'll try to track down a link to it, as it came from the Internet. For yarn storage I reuse large plastic bags that had stored bedding. One that held a duvet and a pillow cover came in two large compartments that used for two types of blue yarn (light/heavy, in my case). Keep an eye out for these bags at your recycling location; mine came from my father's retirement community. I really appreciated the info new to me on preparing previously-used yarn and washing yarn.

@BombayGranny 4982650: Thanks for the new yarn organizing tip! It sounds like it would work really well for some skeins. Thanks for sharing -- FaveCrafts editors

I tried the ziploc bags, but found they were so slippery they kept falling out of my lap or off the chair arm or pulled too easily out of my yarn tote. They also didn't work for the biggest skeins of yarn or for skeins without a center pull, i.e., skeins that unwound from around the outside instead of from the inside. I'm a big fan of using what I already have around the house, so I think I'll start saving large coffee cans and put a smooth hole in the lids. Will let you know how/if that works.

I tried the ziploc bags, but found they were so slippery they kept falling out of my lap or off the chair arm or pulled too easily out of my yarn tote. They also didn't work for the biggest skeins of yarn or for skeins without a center pull, i.e., skeins that unwound from around the outside instead of from the inside. I'm a big fan of using what I already have around the house, so I think I'll start saving large coffee cans and put a smooth hole in the lids. Will let you know how/if that works.

Buy some Gridded notebooks and/or milkcrate/filing boxes. You can keep your books together and your stash in totes. You can use the notebooks as a project diary, like a sketchbook for possible future projects, and to list your stash inventory. If you can take a little time to make an inventory, and to make changes as you get new, you should be able to look at pattern requirements and know if you can meet them, or if it's time for a scrap project. I categorize mine by: 1)Brand 2)Style 3)Color# 4)Color Name 5)Total wgt/yd and (*)for Varrigated.

Please tell me how to make a scrap yarn ball. Thank you!

My local 99-cent store has 1 and 2-quart drink pitchers for $.99 I put the skein or ball of yarn in, standing up, and put the lid on, letting the yarn feed through the pouring spout. The pitcher has a handle, yarn doesn't tangle, and while the project is small, I can stash it in with the skein to travel. When I was teaching teenagers, it helped immensely to keep their skeins clean and untangled. At the end of each class session, they transferred their project to a 1 or 2-gallon zip bag to await their return. When I'm changing yarn colors in the same project, I put each color in a different pitcher, and I can shuffle them to keep the right color in position.

As a relative new knitter I loved these organizational hints Thanks so much--now I just need ideas on how to compress my "stash" so it takes up less room but colors and type of wool are still visible! Plastic bins hold plenty but don't fit under the bed.

Just thought I would pass this along that I like the zip lock bag idea but I have used tall instant ice tea cans and (covered them with contact paper to make it look nice), put my yarn in then poked a hole in the lid pulled the end of my yarn through the hole and snapped on the lid. I have made alot of these for my friends and they just love them.

I have been using scrap yarn balls as easy storage and to make what I call my "big ugly" projects. They are fun and I don't waste good yarn. Great for fun winter scarves!

Love the hint about storing th yarn in a bag with the tail out. I might add that you can also use a plastic soda bottle (any that has a larger & smaller diameter); cut just above the bigger part up from the bottom of the bottle); trim smaller edge so that it fits back inside the larger part. Yarn can be inserted in these, leaving end out.

That's REALLY helpful! i'm gonna use the scrapsto make a new ball of yarn, but I WILL use it in a project! It would be really natural and unique-looking!

The tip on washing yarn in the microwave is a good idea, but please do NOT use it on wool. Cold water will also shrink wool yarn - so be careful.

My use for yarn scraps is to make a crochet granny square. From single round up to 4 rounds. Then I put in a drawer where I save them. Once I get about a hundred or so finished I get several balls of one color and put a finish round and then sew together. Makes a cool looking quilt.

I have read (but not tried-yet) to put the yarn in a knee-high,tie it shut. wash & dry and it should come out OK. I would do this with acrylic or synthetic yarn only. Good luck!!

To wash the soiled yarn, unwind the ball and loop it around a sturdy form use something very large. (I use an extra-large 30 qt? storage tub that I use for storing my yarn stash.) Make sure the ends are secured (tied). Now tie contrasting yarn around the large looped skein at four evenly spaced places. Now you can slide the yarn off your form. Hand wash the yarn in barely warm water using a mild detergent or Woolite. Rinse till the water runs clear. Gently squeeze out the extra water. Lay flat to dry where air can circulate freely. A sweater dryer works well. I place mine outside on my back porch out of the direct sunlight. Once it is dried completely, you can untie the skein and rewind it into a ball.

what is the best way to clean yarn that has become soiled. What is the best way to get it clean without tangling it into a ball of mess. Can you unwind it, wrap it around a box, tie it and launder it as well?

Very helpful and easy to understand!

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