Knitting Needle Storage Ideas
Carol Duvall shares a few great ideas for storing knitting needles and crochet hooks.
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Not a lot of space is needed for storing knitting needles, stitch holders, etc., but the shapes are unusual and sometimes tricky to keep together. The easiest way to solve the problem is to buy a knitting needle/crochet hook case, but it's often more fun to try to solve the problem yourself with this placemat holder.
Materials and Tools:
2 sturdy rectangular placemats
1 yard 1" wide grosgrain ribbon
white marking pencil
1. Stack the two mats on the tabletop vertically, and place the longest pair of needles on top to make certain they will fit. If all your needles are fairly short, you can place the mats horizontally to see if they will fit that way instead. Measure from the bottom of the longest needles to within 1 or 2 inches from the top. This is how far you will want to stitch up from the bottom of the mat when you make pockets for the needles. Mark this spot. You might place a piece of masking tape horizontally across the mat as a reminder. On our mat, the distance from the bottom of the mat to the mark was 11 inches.
2. Remove the needles and stitch the two mats together. Start the stitching at the same distance from the bottom of the mat as your mark is, and stitch down the side on top of the row of stitching that is already there. Continue across the bottom of the mat and halfway up the second side. Before continuing up this second side, fold the ribbon in half crosswise and insert the folded end in between the two mats. Finish stitching up the second side, catching the ribbon in as you go.
3. Sew a second row of stitches 1/4 inch in from the first row, but this time, sew only from the bottom of the tape (the mark) to the bottom of the mat on each side. Do not sew across the bottom.
4. Place longest pair of needles in position on top of the mats and next to this row of stitching. With a tape measure, measure from the row of stitching across the needles to the mat. Make a white mark there. This is where you will make a second row of stitching. Make a second mark 1/4 inch away from the first to indicate another row of stitching. Repeat with the next pair of needles and the next, all the way across the row.
Note: When measuring the distance between each needle pocket, be sure to use the needles that will go in that pocket. Do all of the measuring and marking before stitching. Those side seams take up 1/2 inch of space. If you need even more space, you may prefer to eliminate the 1/4-inch row between each section, and make that reinforcing row just a fraction of an inch away from the first - or eliminate it all together.
5. Stitch from the bottom of the tape to the bottom of the mats when making the pockets and the reinforcement row of stitching.
6. When the stitching is done, remove the tape. Fold the top mat back onto itself as far as the stitching will allow. Insert the needles, fold the top mat back up to cover the needles, roll everything up and tie the ribbon around the mats to hold everything together.
Other needle storage suggestions
Use a notebook for holding extras and for keeping pesky circular needles out of the way. Keep the needles in plastic insert sheet holders, and put hook-and-loop tabs across the top to hold them closed.
Put the needles into zip top bags. Punch holes across the bottom to fit over the notebook rings and keep the top facing out. Write the size of the needles on the bag with a permanent marker. Note: To make it easier to punch the holes in the plastic, hold the plastic over a piece of an index card or any lightweight cardboard and punch through both at the same time.
Cover a coffee can with self-adhesive paper, put some unpopped popcorn or uncooked peas/beans in the can and stick the needles in. To eliminate the sight of the ridges on the coffee can, cut a piece of paper (watercolor paper) the exact size of the can and cut the adhesive paper 1 inch longer. Peel back only the 1-inch extension. Stack the two together, wrap around the can and secure with the sticky extension.
For longer needles, make a taller container. Cut a piece of poster board large enough to go around the plastic coffee can lid and twice as high as the can. Cover with self-adhesive paper plus the extension. Roll into a tube using the lid as a pattern for size. Secure. It should be just enough larger than the covered coffee can to easily slip over it and cover the extending needles.
Use an inexpensive vase from the florist, partially filled with the glass flat-backed marbles, and insert needles.
Leave the needles in the plastic holders they came in and slip the holes at the top over a large notebook ring. Hang it on the wall, on the back of a closet door or under a work table. It's probably the least attractive but most convenient way to store all of your knitting materials together in the smallest space.
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