One of knitting's most frustrating endeavors is organizing your needle stash. When not properly stored, circular needles can become tangled and double pointed needle (DPN) sets can become separated. And when it comes time to cast on, good luck easily finding the size needles you need.
After trying what seems like every storage method, we finally landed on a sustainable solution that has served us for several years. Surprisingly, it’s not a knitting-specific tool to help get the job done. We share our secret on how to organize your knitting needles with a photo storage box.
Inside the larger carrying case-style box, there are sixteen 4x6" snap tight, translucent cases. To get started on your needle organization journey, label each of these interior cases with the needle size of the needles that will go inside (we used this label maker). Make sure that you place your label on the long side of the box with the snap closure so that you can easily see it.
Customize the storage containers to fit your needs. You don’t have to make a case for each needle size. If you’re a shawl knitter, you might only need boxes for needle sizes US 3-8. If you're a sock knitter, you might have a case for circular needles and another for DPNs of the same needle size. Or, if you're like me, you have a box just for your US 6 24" needles because apparently you need 10+ pairs.
To really level up your needle case organization, include one of our Needle Inventory cards on the inside of each case. The card will allow you to document the types of needles, the different lengths, and how many of each you have in your stash. Place this card on the inside of the case's top so you can easily peek at the information through the translucent lid.
But just because you own a needle, doesn't mean will be inside the box when you need it. Keep track of your needles by using our Needle Check Out cards (which are on page 3 of the Needle Inventory Card printable). Use this card to "check out" your needles. First, log all of the needle specifics so you know which needle you too. Then, add the date and what project you’re using it with. This will allow you to easily locate the needle and help you determine if you should borrow the needle from the WIP (don't forget to add a lifeline if you do) or buy a new one.
If you have the room in your needle case, consider dedicating one of the cases to “needle tools.” Fill it with a tape measure, gauge tool, pen, and any other needle accessories that you might need like a tightening tool or cord stoppers that are used with interchangeable cords.
Having these tools easily accessible will ensure that you don’t take any shortcuts when you start taking and adding needles. Organization domination!
Commit yourself to taking the time to organize (or reorganize) your needle stash. Whether you have a system in place already or want to build a system, checking in with your needles is a good way to take inventory of what you have and what you need. You might even discover some needles with a project that is begging to be finished.