WIPs in the New Year

I write a weekly newsletter for the LYS where I work. This past Sunday, I included what I thought was a good idea to start off a new year … organizing your workspace/knitting corner and all your supplies.

The idea isn’t mine. I saw it on an Instagram post by @ithoughtiknewhow and the general premise is to take a day to do something to start your new year off with a sense of organization and planning rather than the left-over havoc of the old year. I know that I can’t get all of these tasks done in a day but I can probably accomplish several of them in a week. Yesterday I started and finished three steps (all of the ones that I suggested people finish in the newsletter.)

Gathering WIPs

I gathered all of my WIPs (works in progress), my needles and notions that are spread around in bags and drawers in my studio, and brought them to one spot. I’m so lucky to have a studio space where I can do this! (Gratitude.) I then proceeded to examine each project to see if it’s something that I still want to knit, made sure that the yarn and pattern are in the bag of projects I want to keep and put them away in my cabinet. I also rescued yarn for the projects I don’t want to knit, returned it to a cake/skein and put any needles and notions away. I put finished project contents and bags away (I have bins of partial skeins saved away for those “just in case” times and I do return to them frequently) and made sure the project bags were clean before I put them away, too.

I have kept ten WIPs to finish this year. I returned several projects that I don’t want to knit and there may be one more that I’m on the fence about.

I also made a list of the WIPs in my 2022 Bullet Journal so that I make time to get some of them finished – they’ll be in my face every time I start or finish a project. Right now I have a commission that I am working on, it’s half-way done and when it’s sent off to my client, I’ll finish one of the WIPs in my cabinet. @ithoughtiknewhow suggests the possible planning of a day where you work on WIPs … I’m not sure I’m that good at keeping a schedule but it’s appealing and I’m considering giving it a try.

(Sadly, I have a drawer of sewing/quilting WIPs, too. I wonder when I will get to thinking about them. Maybe when (if?) I retire. LOL

Gone knitting.

Organize Your Cords

Not vocal cords, not electrical cords, not all those cords that are around your desk. This is a great way to organize your cords for interchangeable knitting needle sets!

Typically, you’ll buy a set (or better yet, get them as a gift like I did at Christmas time – thanks, Glenda! I love you.) One of my sets comes in a special collectors’ box and I can’t imagine taking them all out to organize because they looks so pretty! But if you’re buying extra cords or want to travel with all your needles and no boxes, this is a tip for you!

Julie's AMAZING organization!

Julie’s AMAZING organization!

Can you see it? Julie’s clipped her cords with a little binder clip. Genius!

Here's a single cord so you can see it even better!

Here’s a single cord so you can see it even better!

And even better, check THIS out!

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Geez, my thumb looks wrinkly!

Julie’s used some white out pen to mark the cord length on the binder clip. You could use white out pen or there are also those terrific paint pens that would probably be a bit more permanent.

I just loved this idea and couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Gone knitting!

 

Organizing my Patterns

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Pattern Storage (and popcorn ceiling)

Organization is something I love. I don’t like disorder much. So, when my atelier is out of order, I am not as grounded and efficient as I could/can be.

Thank goodness for 3-ring binders. I have, over the years, decided that this is the best way for me to organize my printed patterns (whether purchased or printed from sites) in binders. I have a huge box of sheet protectors that I bought at Costco, too. The patterns are slipped into plastic sheet protectors and then snapped into binders. The binders are getting switched around a bit now, since the pattern supply is growing, but I have seven or eight with labels on the spine. Cowls & Scarves, Kids, Sweaters – Adult, Dogs, Dish Cloths, Socks & Slippers, and then I have the old stand-by with miscellaneous patterns, bags & totes, mittens (the latter will be broken up as soon as I get to Costco again.

My magazines (which I never NEVER throw away) are organized by date and title in magazine files. IKEA has the best files for the most reasonable price. I have green ones in my atelier’s closet. They hold all my magazines together so they don’t get mangled or torn. One day I plan to go through them and mark the patterns that I like well enough to knit but it hasn’t happened yet.

Lastly, I have my books. They are on a shelf in my atelier. Reference books for knitting are something that I love having around – even just for an hour, I will sometimes pull them off the shelf and look at the pictures or read a few pages. I  have the Barbara Walker treasuries and the Sally Melville books as well as a few others. Then there are the fun ones like Noni Flowers, Knitting Mochimochi, and a few books about Aran knitting (perhaps my favorite.)

All of the classes that I’ve taken also have a binder (or share a binder if there were few hand-outs). My certifications also have a binder. All with my swatches, labeled and in page protectors.

So, there you are! I’d love to hear about how you organize your patterns and books. I know some people prefer to have their patterns in hanging files and I’m sure there are other ways as well. If you’d like to share your ideas and thoughts, I’d love to hear about what you do.

I didn't even talk about my needles!

I didn’t even talk about my needles!

Gone knitting.