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Shoebox: Storing Knitting Needles and Sewing Aids

Tips for storing knitting needles and sewing supplies

It was another great day for the Shoebox when Darlene Carman of Toledo, Ohio, sent in her solution to the problem of storing her knitting needles. Darlene also accompanied her letter of explanation with photographs, which made it very clear that she had a lot of knitting needles and had found a wonderful method for keeping them organized and handy.

Darlene started with a very nice and very sturdy-looking woven basket for a container, which she could conveniently carry from place to place. She cut a 1/2-inch thick piece of board to fit the bottom, but before putting it in the basket she decided that she was going to use mailing tubes to hold the needles. She divided all of her needles first by length--10 inches and 14 inches--and then by size. When she knew how many tubes she would need (28, in her case) she purchased them from eBay on the Internet. She purchased 10" x 1-1/2" tubes, removed the tops and attached them upside down to the board using three screws in each top. She then placed the tubes in them and inserted a small cardboard disc into each tube to cover the screws and protect the tips of the needles. She also placed a foam rubber piece in the bottom of each tube. This was also so the 10-inch needles would show above the top of the 10-inch tube. When everything was securely attached to the board, she put the board in the basket and filled the tubes with her needles. She is pleased and satisfied with her orderly and handy container.

I loved the idea but not having as many knitting needles as Darlene, I knew I wouldn’t need 28 mailing tubes to contain them. I searched my closets and garage and found a perfect little basket with a fold-down handle. I then scoured the boxes of gift-wrapping paper and found a number of rolls that had sturdy center cores that were of a good size. They were larger and sturdier than waxed paper or aluminum foil cardboard cores. These I covered with burgundy Contact velour that I happened to have (Figure A). For the bottom of the basket I cut a piece of 1/2-inch thick foam core (Figure B). To make a bottom for the tubes I cut circles of the foam core that I was fortunately able to cut to fit very snugly (Figure C). These I inserted into the tubes and then covered the bottoms with circles of industrial strength double-faced adhesive (Figure D), which holds very securely to the foam core basket bottom. The tubes fit the inside of the basket perfectly (Figure E), and I filled in the empty space in the middle with shorter tubes into which I placed items like a stitch holder, a knitting ruler, a pencil, etc. The tubes are not as secure as being screwed to a piece of wood, but since I don't move the basket around a lot, it all works just perfectly.

Convenient storage was also on the mind of Ann Stevens of Fresno, Calif., who wrote about the sewing cabinet that her son made for her following her design. It works well and does the job. In addition Ann sent a photo of the storage container that she uses for keeping her rolled-up sewing aids like Wonder Under and the like. Ann purchased a 4-foot length of 2-inch wide PVC pile, which she had cut into 18-inch, 12-inch and 6-inch lengths. These she hot-glued together then placed on a piece of foam core and drew around. She cut the foam core out and hot-glued it to the bottom of the tubes so they now stand on their own inside her sewing cabinet.

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