Every now and then someone who doesn’t know me very well will tell me that I’m so organized. My response is always the same: I’m so unorganized that it looks like I’m organized!
It was about three years ago that Chad, Nicole and Addie were here. Chad and Vince went to Lampasas, went to a few flea market type places and Vince came home with this peg/coat rack and I suggested hanging it in one of the extra bedrooms for hanging my project bags.
This is probably the extent of my project bags three years ago. It’s kinda sad how many I have now and it’s all because of so many unfinished projects. After a reader left a comment about a friend who had a whole wall of pegs for their projects, I was thinking “I want that!” then I decided no . . I want to finish projects and not have them sitting around in totes!
A couple of weeks ago, I was getting ready to go to our knitting group. There’s a lot more talking than knitting that goes on there so I need something that doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking. I literally went through a dozen project bags and either everything was too hard to do while talking, laughing and eating, or it was a project that just didn’t interest me that particular day. I ended up taking a project that wasn’t very organized. I took the big iPad, got to knitting group and realized the project was on the iPad mini so I had to download it on my phone, then I needed a tape measure and didn’t have one with me. I told myself . . this is not going to happen again!
For the next few days I was thinking about how to better organize my projects. Here’s what I came up with.
First, I ordered these name tag holders. An index card will go into a holder for every project/every bag. I intend to color code the cards. Since I’m just now starting, 2018 and 2019 will have red cards. In 2025, when I see a red tag, I will know that project needs to be finished. It’s 6 or 7 years old. Maybe just seeing the colored cards will motivate me to finish projects. On the tag, I include info as to name of project, yarn used, amount of yarn I have and the amount needed for the project, as well as the needle size. The above project needs 1410 yards and I have 1848 yards. There may be a time when I want to use a purple BMFA Tigger Targhee for a project and that project requires 1750 yards and I have three skeins, so I have 1848 yards. Swatching with the purple yarn might cause me to run short so I could go to the Tangential project, see that I have about 430 extra yards there, grab some of that and swatch with that. It’s the same yarn so the swatch would be the same as using the purple yarn. You may be wondering why the Tangential swatch couldn’t be used in place of the purple swatch. Good question! If there’s a pattern to the design, the swatch usually includes that pattern (a cable, a lacy design, etc.). Also, there are times when I need a size 7 US needle and all of them are in projects. I can look at the card, see what needle is in which project and decide if I’m close to a spot where I could free up a needle, I could just spend some time with that project or, I could put that project on waste yarn and free up that needle.
All of this info will be on the outside of the bag, easy to see. No more taking every bag down and going through it to see what’s in there, which needles, and how much yarn is left.
Because I do not have, nor do I want to have, enough scissors, tape measures, stitch markers, and other supplies so as to have everything I need in every bag, I’ve packed up a little “grab & go” box. This will sit on the dresser in the room where the projects are hanging and any time I’m going anywhere, I will grab whatever bag(s) I might need, as well as the little grab & go box.
In there are the tools I’ll need.
Dental floss is just one of those things you have to have. I don’t use it a whole lot for knitting but it would be fine for a lifeline if I needed it. In the little Rocailles bead box or stitch markers, the plastic safety pins, a couple of T-pins (for tightening interchangeable needles, a tape measure as well as a little flat 6″ ruler, a small tablet, several pens, an emery board and a tiny little tub of cuticle cream. Rough nails or cuticles can make knitting difficult.
With the little notepad, I can take notes if I need to take notes that I don’t want to write into Knit Companion. I tend to scribble lots of notes on scrap paper when I’m knitting. If it’s a note I want to keep, I can fold the paper and tuck into the name tag holder behind the red card.
My plan is that when I start to leave and I’m going somewhere to take knitting projects, I’ll grab the projects and this little red box. When I return home, if I’m not going to continue knitting on that project, I’ll take the red box out, put it back on the dresser, and hang the project tote back up on the rack.
This should work like a charm!