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Monday, February 18, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized Wrap-Up

Make a list of what's working for you and a list of what you want to improve!

Things Working:
1) I think my yarn storage is working pretty good. I reorganized each bin last month and now each one has a different brand of yarn. I also use the bottom row to store my UFO's. On the top I display all of my Freshstitches amigurumi I made last year (my personal collection not the ones for sale). I think this is the only thing that is working for me.

Things I want to improve:
1) I want to stop leaving things unfinished for so long. I tend to finish projects to the point where all I have left to do is add a border or some detail. For example on the dress below all I need to do is add some ribbon and maybe a little flower and the sleeves and it would be finished. Yet its been in my UFO's for over a year. 

2) I want to organize my patterns. I have some patterns in binders, others in my ravelry library, and others on my computer that I have already downloaded but when I want to start a new project I can never decide what to do. Or I'll remember I had a pattern but can't find it. 

3) Bring down the number of UFO's I have.

4) Use up my yarn stash. 

Pull out all your WIP's and decide whether to finish or to frog!

Here are all my UFO's. Well my knit and crochet ones anyway. There are several I know I want to frog and have already taken out the needles. Now I just have to frog them. Some I'm undecided about. While others I know I want to finish eventually. There are several that all I have left to do is sew or add borders. The bag on the top right corner for example is full of Ipod cases I made that I need to sew up. 

After about an hour I decided to frog these below. I put them into baskets so that I can frog them in the living room while watching TV. It will be easier to just take the basket then have to carry them in something else. I have a lot more than I thought but the good thing is that many of them are pretty small projects. 
(A picture of the ones I have decided to keep will be shown in the next section)

Organize the WIP's you decided to keep!

Here are all the projects I am keeping. Many of them have very little left to do. Several of them are baby sweaters that I need to sew up the sleeves and add buttons. I also have a pile of Ipod/Camera cases at the top left corner that I need to sew and add buttons. Some baby bibs that I need to finish the I-cord. A couple baby blankets that need borders. And another handful of baby shoes that need buttons, pom poms and need to be sewn.  There are about  2 projects that I need to figure out what size hook I was using but other than that I know the pattern and what tools all the others need. 

Store your WIPs!

I stored my UFO's in the bins I showed above. All of the projects that only need to be sewn were put into this NY&Company bag (its a clothing store). I really like their bags because they are much sturdier than other plastic bags so I like to keep them. The smaller project bags my mom made me are used for my current WIP's. I may need her to make me a larger one that I can use to store my baby blankets and larger projects in. 

Keep up to date notes for your WIP's!

I'm not the best at keeping good notes about my projects. I usually carry around this little pad where I write down my own patterns and changes to patterns I downloaded. I never thought to add these notes to ravelry as I posted the project so I might attempt to do this next time.

Flash your Stash!

This task was not as easy as it seemed. At least it wasn't for me. I admit I have a problem when it comes to yarn. I know I may not need it and I may not have an idea of what I will use it on but in the end I will buy it. Just yesterday I got eight skeins of Berroco Vintage in the mail (just in time to make it into the picture)! But I have decided that this month I will not buy anymore yarn. I think I've come to my limit. I have no more space for it and so I will need to use up some before I can think to get more. Plus I need to save money for other things. Just in the last two months I know I've spent close to $500 on yarn! Which is way too much!

(Just in case anyone is wondering: Most of the yarn on the left side is from Knit Picks, the middle section towards the front is Berroco Vintage, some Cascade,and Bernat Softee Baby towards the back, to the right I have Caron Simply Soft at the front, more Bernat Softee Baby in the middle and some cotton yarn from Hobby Lobby and Bernat towards the back. I have a lot Bernat Softee Baby from years ago that I haven't used. I was obsessed with making baby blankets and that's mostly what I use it on.)

Get rid of the yarn you don't love or won't use!

I'm a firm believer that if I spent the money on something I have to use it. I think I'm going to skip this idea. All of this yarn can be used and will. I may end up making things to give away but I'm going to be the one to knit or crochet with it. :) 

Recycle yarn from your WIP's!

This post is a tip of how to get the yarn from a project you frog back into good shape to be used on another project!  I have yet to frog my projects so I don't have much to say for this day.

Tracking your Stash

This one is pretty easy to figure out. Basically the tips in this post are all about how to keep track of what is in your stash. If you have a lot of yarn this will come in handy because you will have a record of every yarn you currently own. Otherwise when you store it there is a chance that you may forget you have it. I have a lot of yarn but not nearly as much as others and another advantage is I tend to buy a lot of the same kind of yarn just in different colorways. So keeping track of what I have isn't hard even without a written list but I thought it would be a good idea to do this anyway. When I started using Ravelry I noticed the stash tab but never got around to adding yarn. This day took me about a week to complete but I finally finished adding all my yarn. I currently have 178 yarns in my stash. It took me longer than I thought because I actually took a picture of my own yarn instead of using those on the yarns website and it didn't help that all of last week it was really cloudy. But I'm happy its done. I will try to update this information every time I buy new yarn so it doesn't accumulate over time. Using ravelry to stash my yarn is also helpful when listing a new project because now I don't have to look around for the labels to know what colorway it was, all I have to do now is add the yarn that is already in my stash with all the information. And every time I finish a project I can keep a record of how much yarn I have left over that way its easier to know if I have enough to use for another project or not.

Ideas on using Leftover Yarn

In this post several people shared ideas on what they do with leftover yarn. Some of the ideas were interesting but I think I am going to stick to something I make already which is amigurumi. Some of the patterns from Freshstitches don't call for a lot of yarn so I think I may end up using it on that. If  its not enough to make an entire amigurumi then I could use it to make a stripped one. For example these tiny owls below only need 60 yards of yarn total.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Yarn

This post is another one that doesn't really apply to me since there isn't any unwanted yarn in my stash. But if there ever was something I just didn't want, it did give several ideas on what to do with that yarn. :)

Identifying Mystery Yarn

I only have one yarn I'm not sure what it is. I bought it some time ago its supposed to be like recycled fibers or something similar. I'm pretty sure its acrylic and its a fingering weight. The pack came with four large skeins so I decided to get it but never found a use for it. Whenever I want to test out a new pattern or need some waste yarn for a project that's what I use it for. So I didn't really bother figuring out anything else about it like the post suggest since I'm pretty sure I won't be using it for an actual project. 

Organize your Yarn Stash

I mentioned before that I use this system to store my yarn and will continue to do so but this post did help me with some ideas. I store my yarns by brand and now also by color. KnitPicks yarns are in the top left separated by brand like Comfy, Shine and Brava. The top right stores my Berroco Vintage which I separated by color family. One has warm colors, the second cool colors and the third neutrals. The middle row stores most of my acrylic like Bernat, Loops & Thread and Lion Brand. I have three bins for my Bernat Softee Baby which store the boy colors like blues & greens in one, girly colors like pinks & purples in another and the last one, colors that could go work for both. The bottom left has one bin where I store my Joann acrylic yarn and the other two store cotton yarns from Bernat, Hobby Lobby and Lily. I recently bought these two new storage units below at Michael's. They are meant for storing scrapbook materials but I decided to use the for my yarn. The one on the left stores my crochet thread and the one on the right the rest of my acrylic yarn from Caron and Hobby Lobby. I placed them under my desk since there was no more room for them anywhere else and I also used the top as my book shelf to store my pattern binders and craft books.

Protecting your Yarn from Moths

I've never had a problem with moths getting to my yarn. I didn't even know of the damages it could do until I saw it online so I've never done anything to prevent it from happening. This post will definitely come in handy. I think I will need to do something to protect my yarn before its too late.

Organizing Craft Books, Magazines, & Pattern Books

This post tells you to decide which books to keep, give away, or toss just like the de-stashing yarn post. I actually don't have a lot of craft books. Most of them are stitch dictionaries and I try to get ones that don't have the same stitches in them. There are a lot of books that I want to get eventually but just haven't. So for now I don't really have a lot of organizing to do. My craft books are organized by craft under my desk. I didn't have anywhere else to put them so I put them on top of the new storage drawers I mentioned above. I also store my binders with individual patterns with the books that are in the same category. As you can see below after my knitting binder I have all my knitting books to go with it. So if I am ever looking for a book from a certain category its already there and I don't have to do any searching. I don't buy magazines so that's not something I have to worry about. Most of the patterns I own are in binders and I know I need some help organizing those but that will be in another post.

Day 16
Organizing Single Patterns

I currently store my patterns in sheet protectors and put them in binders according to category. In the picture above you can see I store my binders with my books. I currently have seven categories: Jewelry Making, Cross Stitch, Knitting, Baby Knitting(only patterns for baby items), Crochet, Freshstitches( I have so many of her patterns they need a binder to themselves), and Tatting. All the binders except the Freshstitches one are seperated into sub-categories. For example my knitting one has sections for shawls, hats, scarves, socks, etc. I really like this way of storing them at least its working for me. :)

The two patterns shown above are free at I tried making them small enough that you can't see what the writing is. :)
Day 17
Using & Reorganizing you Ravelry Queue

I've never really used the Ravelry Queue so this was another day I didn't need to do anything for. But after reading the post I think I decided to give it a try. I currently only have four projects I am really interested in.

Day 18
Organizing Digital Patterns

It took me less than 20 minutes to organize my digital patterns. I took some time to organize them last year so all I had to do now was organize the most recent I had downloaded which were not many since I started using Ravelry I don't really download that many anymore unless its something I am going to work on. Below is a picture of the different folders that I use to store what I have downloaded. Some are by designer and others are general crafts.

Day 19
Keeping Track of your Patterns Library

I don't think that I really need to do anything for this day either. My patterns downloaded to my computer are organized. I've been using Ravelry for storing most of the other ones and the ones in my binder are organized. So if I need to find a certain pattern I'm sure I won't have a hard time doing so.

Day 20
Sort your Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks

This day was also a fast one. I did some cleaning and organizing over the weekend so I had already stored my needles and hooks in a drawer. I don't have too many of them so I don't really need to get rid of any of them. I do have several duplicates of size 5 needles because it tends to be the size I use most for my baby blankets so I bought plenty to have in case I got bored with one blanket and wanted to start another. I have an idea of what I want to use to store them in but I haven't gotten it yet. That's what the next post is about but I will save that for next week.

How to Store your Hooks/Needles

I've thought a lot about how I want to store my needles and hooks. I even made my mother a crocheted case for her hooks and had begun to make a crocheted case for my knitting needles but decided to frog the project. I recently found an Etsy Shop The Needle Palace. The owner Jodi makes all kinds of bags and cases for both crochet hooks, knitting needles or both. The picture below is of her Combo Needle Bag that you can store your straight needles, circular needles, DPN's, crochet hooks and additional tools like stitch holders. It also comes with a small pouch that you can use to store our stitch markers, tapestry needles and any other small item. Its like an all in one bag. I could store everything in one bag instead of having a different bag for every type of needle.  
She offers several different designs in her shop. This one was my favorite. I'm hoping to get one for myself soon.
Keeping Track of Hooks/Needles

I decided to use Ravelry to keep track of my needles and hooks. I don't really buy needles or hooks any more since I have at least one pair of the sizes I need but its good to know I have a list in case I need one. 

Photographing Finished Objects

I think I need to work on using props when photographing my items but I think using the blank white background really makes the items stand out. Here is how I take my pictures. I set a white poster board against the wall where the item gets natural light and take pictures.

Tool Kit Essentials

I think I've done a pretty good job at keeping a tool kit with the most essential tools but I know I'm missing some. I really need to get a tape measure but every time I go to the store I forget. I need to get a pencil that will fit in my tool case, Right now I carry a pen but sometimes using a pencil is better. I also need to get some cable needles. I've tried using a DPN before but I think using one of the cable needles maybe easier. My essential tools are a couple of crochet hooks, one or two dpn, a pen, a needle size check, stitch markers, a couple stitch holders, tapestry needles, a small pad and some scissors. 

Knitting & Crochet Tools

After the organizing I did this past month my stitch marker case has definitely changed. I would see less and less of them but not its mostly full. Other than that everything else is the same so I didn't really have much to do for this post. 

Storing Tools

My tool case is actually supposed to be used to store photographs. It can be found in any of the big box craft stores in the scrapbook storage section. I never used to carry a tool case with me when working on a project outside of home so I always had to dig through the bag I was using to try to find my tools. So when I saw this case I thought it would be perfect. Its made to fit 4x6 photos so it was big enough to fit all my tools but small enough to fit in my project bag. I also like that its clear which is helpful when I'm in a rush to leave the house I just take a quick look to see if I have everything and I'm good to go. It can also fit the pattern I am using after folding the piece of pattern neatly. 

Knitting/Crochet Spaces at Home

At first I didn't think I would need to do anything for this post but since one of my craft spaces in my house includes my computer desk I decided to clean it up. The only other place I some times knit/crochet is my sofa in the living room and I just take my project bag and tool case so I didn't have to organize anything there.

Out and About

I don't really do a lot of knitting outside of my house. But now that I have been working on amigurumi I can do it more often because I usually don't need to carry a lot of yarn with me when working on a project. Everything I need fits in my project bag so I'm good to go if I ever need it. My mom made the project bag I have below. I can fit my project, my tool case, a small pad I use to write notes and even my chart keeper if needed. 

Storing your finished projects

I currently store my finished projects in the plastic bag. Since my amigurumi's need to be in a place where they won't get smashed I use these big cardboard boxes. I want to buy some plastic boxes but for now these will have to do. I put them in bags individually to keep them clean. 

Maintaining your Organization

I have to admit I was already getting a little disorganized. But I took some time over the weekend to get back on track. I downloaded a couple of new patterns and made sure to put them in the correct folders. I got some more yarn in the mail last week. I took pictures and uploaded it on to ravelry. I've been trying to keep up with tracking each item I start and have started on my ravelry project page which I'm really bad at doing. I think overall its not too bad. I know there are ways that I can be more organized from now on and its my goal this year to try to keep everything organized from now on so we will see at the end of the year how that works out. 

Well that's it for the 31 days to get organized. I feel like following these blog post really did help me get organized. I may have to take a look at some of them throughout the year. If you are interested in checking out the blog post of a certain day click on that day as I have added links to each day. If you would like to check out all of them today's post is actually a list of all the days. I hope you enjoyed seeing my progress as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Have a great week! See you on Wednesday! :)


  1. I LOVED this post and will be bookmarking it! So many great ideas, and definitely inspiring!

  2. It's real cool how you went all out on organizing. Love seeing your amigurumi all nestled upon your yarn case.


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