Whether you want to buy something new or like to recycle or reuse items you already have, keeping knitting needles organized is a challenge. Rummaging through drawers filled with needles, trying to find the size you need can take away precious knitting time – no one wants that! While straight needles are generally marked with their size, double-pointed and circulars are usually not easily identified by size. Here are six good suggestions for keeping needles.
Wine bottle boxes
If you have ever gotten a gift bottle of wine, they often come in a box. These tall, thin boxes are perfect for straight needles. Stack the boxes and put the needles with the points facing inward so you can see the sizes. Put similar sizes together so you can find them easier. Paper towel tubes can work in a similar way, but would need to go inside another container to hold them in place.
Loose leaf binder with page protectors
You can make binder with plastic page protectors for your circular needles. Put all of your identical sized needles in one page protector or have one for each length of needle. Add a label to write a description of what is in each protector. Car CD cases are a smaller version of the loose leaf binder method. The cases are smaller and may not fit the thicker circular needle sizes, but they usually zip closed which makes it nice and portable.
A terra cotta pot or vase can be a decorative way to keep needles. Planters come in a variety of sizes, colors and designs and can add a little zest to your knitting area. A bud vase is the perfect size for double-pointed needles. Coffee mugs can work for short or double-pointed needles. Circulars do not work as well with the vase method unless you have part hanging over the side.
Cloth paintbrush holders
There are knitting needle holders that are very similar to artists’ paintbrush holders. It is a piece of fabric with pockets for the various sized brushes. The fabric is rolled up for storage with a tie to secure it. They work best for straight or double-pointed needles
Silverware dividers that are meant for a drawer, work well for straight needles, especially if you are storing them in a drawer. The drawback with that is that you will need several of them if you have a lot of needles and they are a little awkward for circulars so you may need another way to store them.
Metal cookie tins
Round cookie tins are nice for circular needles. Some people like to collect the tins, so they can serve two purposes. There are usually holiday or gift versions of tins that are made for popcorn, cookies or crackers that can be square or rectangular. If you have a good assortment of these tins, they will make an eye-catching collection that is also useful. Along the same lines, snack foods often come in hard plastic containers that are clear. Having clear containers may not look as decorative. Because they are transparent, they are certainly easy to see what is inside.
No matter how you store your needles, it is always important to keep them in a place where they will not be damaged or bent. Keeping them in a place where they are well organized will save time and aggravation when you are looking for a needle when you need it.