One morning I noticed that the windowsills of our spare bedroom were decorated with jumbo packages of toilet paper. “Great insulation!" exclaimed my husband.
I surveyed the room: one corner of the 8’X12’ space was occupied by a small office chair and a student desk that holds my sewing machine. A maple dresser on the opposite side of the room was filled with threads, fabric, sewing patterns and knitting needles.
Then I opened the closet. I found out-of-season clothing, a varied collection of soft-side luggage and six or seven plastic bags of yarn.
The rest of my knitting materials were stored upstairs: books, magazines and individual patterns were in a bookcase in our office/den; still more bags of yarn were in the office and master bedroom closets.
I suddenly had a mental image of Martha Stewart wagging her finger at me. “Put all your knitting stuff in one room and get it organized!" she scolded.
I began the Knitting Room Makeover with the dramatic gesture of gathering all the toilet paper packages and dumping them in a heap in the middle of our recreation room. Next, I collected all the luggage from the closet and put it in a pile next to the toilet paper.
I made several trips back and forth between the spare bedroom, master bedroom and office/den, gathering all the rest of my knitting materials and depositing them in the new Knitting Room.
This bold first step of organization took several hours of one day. Over the next three months I set aside several hours each weekend for the project. Some of the tasks involved in the makeover included:
Recording an inventory of all my knitting materials
Sorting all my yarns, needles, books, patterns, etc. to decide which ones I would use and which I would dispose of.
Researching different kinds of furniture and containers to hold specific kinds of knitting supplies, and where to obtain them.
Researching ways to improve the lighting in the Knitting Room
Reorganizing storage units in the recreation room to hold the toilet paper, luggage and clothing that I evicted from the Knitting Room.
I found inspiration for furnishing my Knitting Room from many different sources. First, I asked members of my knitting guild and several informal knitting groups to share their ideas. Several knitters invited me into their homes to see their original solutions for storing favorite knitting materials: an antique glass-fronted bookcase displaying a rainbow of handspun yarns; a large cut crystal vase filled with single-pointed needles; a pair of large hanging basket for knitting projects in progress.
I went to local knitting shops and asked the owners for their ideas about storing yarns, books and patterns. I found additional inspiration in local furniture consignment shops and thrift stores.
The chart below summarizes some of the ideas I gathered for the Knitting Room.
3- ring binders
Holds individual patterns in page protectors
3-ring binders and page protectors at office supply stores
Magazine holders- made from wood, acrylic, plastic, metal or cardboard
Holds knitting magazines and pattern pamphlets
Office supply stores and thrift stores
bookcases with glass doors
armoires and wardrobes
glass front kitchen cabinets
Glass door sections hold and display yarn
shelves and drawers hold books, patterns, needles & notions
Retail furniture stores such as Scan & Ikea
consignment furniture stores
home remodeling stores
Zippered pencil cases in 3-ring binders
Holds circular needles, crochet hooks and assorted knitting notions
pencil cases are found with school supplies in office supply stores, drug stores and department stores
3-ring binders are available at office supply stores and thrift stores
Holds and displays straight knitting needles
Thrift stores and import stores
Several years have passed since I launched my Knitting Room Makeover. I’m amazed at the number of knitting projects I’ve completed during this time! They include scores of baby sweaters (a few for family gifts and the rest for charity), knitted-felted purses, knitted-felted teddy bears and bunnies, afghans, Spring and Summer tops for myself, and winter scarves and stoles.
The upkeep on my Knitting Room is quite easy - every three or four weeks I spend about 30 minutes putting materials away. Every six months I do a critical inventory to destash. Some items in my destash box will be put up for auction on Ebay, and others will be donated to a thrift store.
I sincerely hope other knitters will be inspired by my experience and consider creating Knitting Rooms of their own.
Knitting Room desk area with 3-ring binders, magazine holders, pencil pouches and wine basket
An under-cabinet fluorescent task light
Another task light, with a magnifier lens and swivel arm.
Closet poles set in a corner space, to store and display yarns. Zip-lock plastic bags are held with skirt hangers.
Loveseat size futon is a comfortable place to relax or work.
Pencil pouches are used to store and organize circular needles.
Individual patterns, held in page protectors in a 3-ring binder.
Marjorie Brigham started knitting and crocheting at age 7, and have been "artsy-crafty" all her life.
She is a semi-retired teacher and her current craft-related interests include the job of webmaster for the
Friendship Knitting Guild, publishing a book set called, “Get Organized: A Workbook for Knitters and Crocheters",
sewing and designing all manner of handbags---and learning to make bead crochet jewelry.