Creative Space Revisited . . . Again

Funny, when I notice my frustration regarding housing all things knitting.  I am quick to think it is the stash of yarn that needs some kind of attention.  Whether it be shelving for the large collection of yarn, or a way in which to organize the yarn, a color coding system, a pattern to fiber system . . . these sorts of things.   However I am noticing, it is not the housing of the yarn stash at all that is taking my planning and thoughtful consideration, rather the housing of my finished projects.  And, of course, as time moves along, this ‘challenge’ only grows.

I know, I know, you thought I had a system and I did.  Question.  Do you ever re-visit your own thinking or walk around critiquing this or that about your house after you’ve come home from a trip?  One of the things I like best about travel, besides the obvious, is that upon arriving back home, I do just that.  As if I were a visitor into someone else’s house and seeing the house for the first time, I walk around to see what it looks like, feels like,  I ask myself questions like what could I do to make my environment more pleasing?  Have I utilized light and space to its fullest advantage?

When I did just that this last trip, I didn’t love the arrangement I had created for my finished objects.  I also noticed the containers my sweaters were in looked sweaty, not a good look visually and I wondered if that was doing harm to the garments.  Also, I knew there was more space in my upstairs due to the fact that I have been working down my stash and not purchasing more yarn which is an amazing thing in itself!   Another thing I’ve felt, like children, when not in sight I miss them.  Yes, these projects really are a part of me.  ok . . I thought, I need to revisit my own system of organization of all things yarn and do so by utilizing one spare bedroom.

First step.  Since my closets are painted as beautiful as the room,  I thought, let’s take off the door so that it becomes an extension of the room.   “Does this shelf unit fit in the closet?  How ’bout a sweater nook?” I asked myself.  The sun streams east to west and narry into this space.  A bit of luck!  Let’s remove this, put that there and let’s see, “I think this may work!”   Not purchasing one new thing to pull this new arrangement off but rearranging in a smarter way, the look and feel is now quite different.

Feel free to browse my creative space.  I think I’m quite happy!

IMG_0577

fits perfectly

room for many more

The hooks were already there and yes, there is a working light in the closet and when turned on at night, is just beautiful.  Hey, if you want to see these things on, just look right HERE!

Space for over-flow is to the right . My knitted dresses and suits are housed, here. The top space is for sewing supplies needed for knitting.

Those four containers on the right? Leftover stash organized by weight . . bulky on bottom, fingering weight on top.  Such easy accessibility.

my precious Vogue Knitting collection . . .

There is no curtain on that back window because I love the view. That is where I sit and can view my sweater nook. ahhhhh

Would love to ditch that other curtain but you can see the sun streaming in. This is the view from the doorway. Heaven.

Until my next critique (after travel), me thinks this looks pretty good!

Little Red Wagon

I recently heard someone say of her house, “This is not a house of yarn.”  She and I were looking to repair a knitted hat and she was fearing she did not have yarn or supplies we could use.  With that criteria one would say that this home is a house of yarn.  And, I am always looking for new, functional, and creative ways in which to store it.  And, the projects.  And, the works-in-progress.  And, the knitting tools.  My goal:  convenience, cleanliness, free of dog destruction, least amount of space, variety, and attractive.  I love perusing yarn rooms and often talk to knitters about their space.  When you google yarn rooms or craft rooms, you see oodles of shelving either lining walls or mounted on walls.  I do think shelving is handy however, I was recently in a local yarn shop, Raveloe Fibers and quickly became inspired by how the yarn shop owner displays her new yarns.  She uses antique suitcases, here and there, some opened, some stacked, some vertical, some horizontal.  Something about the juxtaposition of old (antique) and new was very appealing to me and I felt added an artistic appeal to her shop as well as variety in storage.   The suitcases drew me in to want to investigate further their contents, I would think the goal of her shop, any shop.  I’ve written about organizing yarn and supplies before here, here, and here and being a kind of organizational geek, I continue to tweak a ‘system’ that works for me.  Here is what is working along with some added features, ideas that may work for you.  Hang tight, this is a three room tour!

Knitting Tools to Enhance Knitting Space (aka Our Living Room)  

My shelving bin is working beautifully for my works-in-progress.  We have found an out-of-the-way spot, away from sunlight, near where I knit for easy reach and my projects are free from dirt, dust, and dog.  I’ve added a few things to make this space even better.

Likely, you’ve thought of sewing caddies for knitting supplies.  But, did you ever think to ‘borrow’ from your hubby’s fishing supplies . . . those little boxes for holding lures are working perfectly for all my little knitting tools such as row markers, stitch markers, and the like.

Purchased from an office supplies store, a 3 ” binder is ideal for me to store round needles and is easily placed on a book case, an inconspicuous spot.   From the kitchen, I’ve pulled a ceramic pitcher as it makes a nice, decorative holder for my straights.

Another kitchen item I find useful are trays.  I think I purchased these from Joann Fabrics a few years, back.  I use a tray for each project to hold the tools I need specific to each project.  There is no running around losing time and adding frustration.  If I have more than one project going at once, which happens now on occasion, there are multiple trays.  They also make for easy, quick pick-up and fit easily into the shelving bin.

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Finished Projects Space (aka Guest Bedroom)   

Moving to the second room, the space and shelving that holds my finished projects is nothing more than industrial shelving.  Sounds awful but is working so ideally, I’ve doubled it in size replacing an old shelving unit.  Together these utility shelves offer these qualities:  keeps hand knits clean from dust and sun, can see all garments, easy access, piles of sweaters not falling over, and tucks behind door.  The flatter bins can store those speciality projects such as my Hoodie Glam providing the air and space they need to keep their shape and elegance.  I keep just one project or two in them.

Hoodie Glam as seen on Ravelry

That space can fit about 100 projects from super bulky to the finest of yarns due to those bin sizes and the room is not altered at all for its other multi-functional purposes.  Yeah!  Oh, and by the way the shelving is lightweight, easily movable, can be folded up and stored away (I’m talking about the shelving) and was put together in about five minutes by me only and the entire idea including all of the plastic bins and their covers came in under $200.00!

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Yarn Stash Space and Yarn Room Space (aka office/yarn room)   

And, the third room on this tour is my piece of heaven.  Of course, I am no different and utilize book cases for office supplies and yarn bundles of remnants put together and projects I could not get to during employment.

Yarn room tools ~  Sweater racks lean against the wall in storage, come out for thorough drying after blocking, and of course, what yarn room wouldn’t be complete without a yarn winder and swift? Having ample table space allows creative energies to flow.

Sewing supplies  (a must for knitters) ~  I’ve asked for the closet door to be removed for quick, easy access.  That’s a fabric shoe holder hanging from the clothes pole.  It makes perfect storage for all kinds of sewing supplies.  A thankless job is to sort those buttons.  I’ve worked through about half of them.  The container below the tray has dividers separating size, color, style, etc.

Your more typical yarn containers are here.  Those Guild bags are ideal for sorting and holding projects.

Hubby was so thrilled when his Brooks Professional saddle arrived and I was so thrilled with its box!  Perfect for yarn scraps!

I had in the back of my head that inspiration of antique suitcases.  Not an easy combination, creativity and function, however when I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods recently, I saw this wagon.  It stopped me dead.  Yes, a wagon meant for hauling sports equipment or camping supplies, my mind went immediately to THIS!

I love the concept of the traditional red wagon.  I love the concept of its sports-like nature.  Somehow  its attitude brings my interest of health and wellness into this space and I appreciate it even more.  Just look how this newest addition fits in against the wall!  Keeping open to using containers not necessarily meant for knitting has given my space a unique feel unto itself.

I do enjoy organizing and am always interested in new and improved solutions in the handling of this knitting ‘obsession’.  I work hard to capture the beauty of the process but at the same time want to  be respectful to the space of others.  Share and share alike if you have any ideas that are working particularly well for you!

 

 

 

The Stash (Part 3 of 3)

Continuing this backwards account of this ‘outside’ process: plan, make, finish, wear, this takes us to the stash. I wrote these posts in this order as truly, this is how I think to begin any new project. Backwards. 100% inspiration to knit any garment, for me, comes from the fashion statement it creates in the end.

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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.

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What’s OUT and what’s IN regarding FO Storage (Part 1 of 3)

In reviewing  my last post called Keeping Site for Knitwear where I discuss my thoughts for storing hand knits or finished objects (FOs), I still feel very much the same way today as then regarding storage of this collection.  In reality however, I was not following one of my criteria, EASY ACCESS, I set for myself (which is odd) and that is why I had to revisit this in my life and why I am here talking about it again with you.  And, the importance of easy access is because this is one knitter who really DOES wear her hand knits.

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‘Keeping Site’ for Knit Wear

This could easily be a three part series:  storage of yarn as part one, the management of the process of work(s) in progress, and the final ‘keeping site’ of finished projects.  And, for me it is that final step in this series that is capturing my attention as the number of successful finished projects continues to grow.

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Yarn Haven is Knit Heaven

It is true how personal space reflects one’s life.  This space, once a bedroom, followed by a study, is now evolving into a knitting haven.  Knitting magazines, love seats, and yarn bundles are slowly taking over the teacher manuals, red pens, and piles of papers.   Just look at the yarn winder clamped to the desk!

I do not actually knit here as I do not want to be far from family but rather I spend time reading, researching, planning, and/or thinking of what lies ahead.

I am thrilled to own a complete set of Vogue Knitting from 1982 – current including the Special Editions and the crochet magazines that have come in between.  These magazines with their fashion ideas and well written “how-to” articles by the knitting gurus have truly been my inspiration for over 30 years and in more recent times, have become a resource for photo shoot ideas..

 The current collection of yarn  probably represents purchases made in the last three years.  Also, kept organized are the remnants, of varying weights, perfect for fair isle and color blocking.  I’ve come to accept the pace at which I can actually “get” to my knitting.  I have wondered about dust and sun fading when keeping yarn for such long periods of time.  Therefore, I keep my stash covered.  (see above)

I dot the shelves with a variety of containers to look inviting.  Mix and match always appeals to me.  Doesn’t the brilliant English cylinder-shaped box look fabulous?  It was  difficult to tell who was more excited about that postal delivery, hubby with his brand new Brooks saddle or me with the box!  I keep small remnants of Rowan’s Scottish Tweed inside…

and

 From beginning to end, there is special care.  Fabric boxes, themselves of fashion and function, house hand knits when out of season while the open shelving houses the pick of the day.