If you love to crochet, your supplies may be getting out of control
If you do a lot of crocheting, you probably have a lot of supplies, and it doesn’t take long for them to get out of hand. Here are some useful tips for keeping your supplies organized and ready for use.
I have been crocheting since I was five years old, way back when my grandma taught me how to crochet with my fingers. I’ve been hooked (forgive the pun) ever since. As I got more and more into crocheting all sorts of crafts and clothing, I built up more supplies, and eventually I had quite a mess on my hands. I had to get it under control, so I came up with a few ways to keep my supplies neat and ready whenever I wanted them, as well as minimizing the space they required.
Crochet Hooks and Needles
One of your most important supplies for crocheting is your crochet hooks and finishing needles. If you let these get away from you, you won’t have them when you need them for a project. And let’s face it, crochet hooks can easily get lost in bags and boxes, slipping out and falling, never to be found again. If you can afford them, the best thing you can do is get a zipper case that will store all of your hooks. You can buy cases at most craft stores that have every hook from a 00 up to a K, and they all fit in one neat case. Sometimes you can also buy the cases without hooks.
If you can’t afford a zipper case, the tall plastic containers that hold Cheetos and Pringles can be a good makeshift crochet hook storage unit. You can take a piece of sturdy fabric such as denim, cut some small holes in it and weave your hooks into them. Then roll and tuck your crochet hooks into the container. If money is really tight, you can use a storage baggie to keep all your hooks in one place, and easily visible.
If you make clothing or toys from your crochet, you probably have finishing needles that you use to work in ends and sew pieces together. Needles usually come on some sort of card, but these can tear over time leaving your needles loose. I find that the flip-top cases from Tic-Tacs make great needle storage. Since everybody and their brother seems to be getting coupons for free trial canisters of Camel Snus, those are good too. I got one, threw away the contents, cleaned it out, and it makes perfect storage for both large and small needles.
Yarn and Crochet Cotton
You can’t crochet without some kind of yarn or cord, and depending on how much crocheting you do, you can end up with a lot of both. If you don’t keep your materials organized it can be hard to find what you need when you need it, and yarn can get tangled or destroyed.
For new skeins of yarn or spools of crochet cotton you can easily store them neatly in a cardboard box or drawer of a storage unit until you need them. It’s a good idea to organize each box or drawer by type of material and color; this way you can find exactly what you need with minimal fuss. I always keep my crochet cotton and cord in a separate drawer from my yarn.
Sooner or later everyone who crochets end up with remnants; the small balls of yarn and cotton that are left over from a project, but still enough to do something else with. These can get unruly in no time. However, it’s fairly easy to get them under control.
For both yarn and crochet cotton, I recommend rolling the leftover amount into balls rather than leaving them in loose skeins or with just a little left on the cardboard roll. These balls can then be put into sandwich baggies or storage baggies and kept in the box or drawer with similar materials. You can actually stick the baggies full of small balls into those empty cardboard rolls to keep them from sliding around, and keep them sorted.
I also keep a baggie for scraps that are too short to do much of anything with. Sometimes I use these short scraps as markers when I have to do counted rounds. I also often take up the scraps, chop them into short sections, then stuff them into toys. It works just as well as fiber-fill stuffing, and you never have to waste anything.
Overall Crochet Supply Storage
Once you know how to keep your small supplies in check, it’s a good idea to keep the whole collection of supplies organized. One of the best things to have is a rolling 5 or 7 drawer storage unit for your crochet supplies. In mine the larger bottom drawers contain yarn and crochet cotton. The middle drawers contain hooks, needles, scissors, and other mid-sized supplies. The shallow top drawers house things like bear eyes, noses, ribbon and decorative bits, and there is one drawer where I keep my pattern books and pamphlets.
For the general hobby crocheter, one rolling unit or a couple of plastic totes can easily keep all your supplies in check. If you do a lot of crocheting, you may need more, and you can always expand as your supply organization needs grow. Fortunately, with these simple tips, your days of hunting all over the house to find your hooks and taking back balls of yarn from the cats will be over.