Organization of the WIPs (Part 2 of 3)

Recently, when answering questions about knitting, I reflected upon my teaching.  I found myself comparing what I call the outside process of knitting:  plan, make, finish, wear to the process of planning a unit.  “What is it I want my students to know and be able to do at the end of the unit?” I would ask myself as a teacher.  “What is it I want to wear to the special event?” I ask myself as a knitter.  I see similarity in thinking about the end first, then planning accordingly.

Plan, make, finish, wear is the process I am talking about in this 3 part series.  In What’s OUT and what’s IN regarding FO Storage (Part 1 of 3), I began with the end, the finished garment.  In this post and thinking backwards, I will explain how I organize and house the works-in-progress (WIPs).  For me, this is the easiest of the process sequence to write about as, once figured out, is pretty much without change except for the fun, creative projects I put inside it.


  • Designed for at home use as that is where I knit
  • Out of way of sun and family traffic
  • Needed to house one item WIP at a time  (Years of employment and raising a family took precedence and offered only limited amounts of time for knitting.)  This could change with the upcoming retirement.
  • Large in capacity:  My projects are typically large in size, therefore this system has to house a large amount of yarn that then transforms to multiple pieces of knitted fabric, typically large fabric pieces due to styles I prefer.
  • Preferably with compartments for organizing
  • Offers a note taking system and easy access to tools
  • Protection from one loving, disobedient pooch

So, here is how she looks.

first things first. Animal protected. (Can you see the beast in the corner?)
First things first, animal protection.
check out those evil eyes...
That’s the look I worry about.
The container sits behind the couch out of sun and away from family traffic.
The container sits behind a couch out of way of sun and family, yet offers easy access.

Right now, the container is fairly empty because I haven’t rolled all the yarn, yet.  And, I’ve just begun this project so there is no knitted fabric to be stored.  As I move along however, you can imagine how I will keep all the pieces together in one shelf and the yarn in another.  The actual piece and all the tools I am using sit on a white tray that moves in and out of the top shelf of this container and to my lap.  The tray makes for efficient movement and everything I need for that work is at my fingertips.

tray housing tools and WIP

and finally, onto lap

With coffee table in front, there is space for note taking, magazine inspiration, and coffee drinking.  There is a beautiful window to my left for natural light and a TV in front of me, oftentimes set to mute so as to concentrate.

Vogue Knitting, Fall 2014

Can you recognize the project?


Outside process: plan, make, finish, wear ~ what happens before and after the actual knitting

Inside process: the actual knitting

7 responses to “Organization of the WIPs (Part 2 of 3)”

  1. Are you knitting the cover sweater? Ooh, this indigo blue looks lovely. I use clear plastic project bags for my Wips, I have three different sizes to match the size of the project, but only one large enough to house a blanket project. Not that I would ever knit two blankets at the same time. With a dog around, your system works really well. A bag could be chewed or torn apart.


  2. I recently went through all of my boxed “WIP’s” and discovered many of them were still on the needles…leading to many “oh, so THAT’S where all my size (insert number from 5 to 10,5) needles were!” realizations. I’m now taking the projects off the needles, on to stitch holders, with a note stating what size needle I was using. Purchasing more stitch holders as needed is less expensive than purchasing more needles.


    • well, hang in there Barbara. Next is ‘stash’ where I did something a bit more drastic than that. Good to share to feel better about situations we get into as knitters.


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