Spring Cleaning! Crochet Organization Tips
Tips for Organizing your Hooks, Yarn, WIPs, and Patterns
By Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence
Spring is here. For many of us, that means it’s time to do some annual spring cleaning, de-cluttering and re-organizing around the home. As I look around my own space, I can easily see that it’s my craft supplies that tend to take over the space. Luckily, it’s easy to organize crochet supplies in creative ways; in fact, they can often be organized to add art, inspiration and décor to the home.
Ideas for Organizing Your Crochet Hooks
How many times have you tried to find a crochet hook you need for a pattern, but were unable to locate the right size hook, even though you know there must be ten of them in the house somewhere? You can only check the couch cushions and bottom of your purse so many times before you realize that maybe your hooks should be organized!
The first thing to do to is to gather and sort all your hooks by size, brand, or the material they're made from. Personally, I like to keep at least one complete set of different sizes together in one spot so that I can easily find the hook size I need for any project. In fact, it’s great to tuck them in a crochet hook case, so you can always have a full set of hooks ready to go. Download Red Heart’s free pattern --it’s also a super gift idea for your crocheting friends!
Once you’ve set aside a go-to set of crochet hooks, organize the rest of them in more decorative ways. Do you have a set of vintage crochet hooks that you'd like to display? Place them into a shadow box and hang it on the wall. Do you have beautiful glass and wooden crochet hooks that you do use, but would also like to decorate with? Place them inside vases on a fireplace mantle, so they’re on display but also easily accessible. Sundae glasses, bowls, and baskets are a few of the items people use to collect and display crochet hooks. Or upcycle an empty tin can by covering it with yarn, as explained by Red Heart's free pattern.
Yarn Organization Ideas
We could devote a whole book to the best ways to organize your yarn! Some people prefer to sort by color, while others like to sort by fiber type or weight. You may put your yarn in plastic boxes that are neatly labeled and stacked into a closet. Others want their yarn out in bins or on shelves where it can be used for inspiration. The trick really is to figure out what will make your space feel the most comfortable and arrange it accordingly!
Take inspiration from yarn stores and organize your yarn into a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, like in this San Francisco LYS example.
We love the way this Buenos Aires yarn store arranges colorful yarn balls into a hefty container.
Wine racks also make great yarn stash organization!
The Leethal Blog has a tutorial for upcycling old coffee cans into wall-hanging yarn storage.
Organizing your WIPs
Do you keep dozens of works-in-progress going for years on end? Or do you finish one project before starting another? Either way, most people have at least one WIP, and it can be tricky to figure out the best place to keep your work accessible and organized.
If you have some WIPs that are truly in the works and will be finished soon, then you’ll want to keep them handy--perhaps in a tote bag, so you can take the project with you on the go. Above, Marty Miller’s May Flowers Tote from our May/June 2010 issue offers a great spring tote option!
Alternatively, tuck the WIP (along with the right hooks, yarn, and pattern) into a basket by your desk, bed, or other usual crochet work space. You can even crochet a few creativity baskets using the pattern by Noreen Crone-Findlay in our Quick & Easy Gifts special issue.
What about those WIPs that won’t be worked on anytime soon, but you just don’t have the heart to frog in case someday you want to finish them? One option is to turn them into decoration by arranging those with the same color scheme into baskets. This can be strikingly beautiful … and may even inspire you to get back to work on them! Linda Cyr’s Big Granny Basket Pattern (July/Aug. 2011) can be worked up easily for WIP storage.
Alternatively, you may want to put those WIPs away in a closet; the most important thing here is that you can pick up where you left off, when and if you decide to work on them. Make sure to print out the pattern, make a note on it about where you left off, and include the yarn and correct hook in the bag with the WIP so there’s no confusion when you're ready to get going again!
And of course, once those WIPs are done, you'll want to display them with pride! A great example of this is the crochet potholder display from the home of Swedish stylist and photographer Elisabeth Dunker.
Crochet Books, Magazines and Patterns
Finally, many of us crochet lovers have a large selection of crochet books, magazines, and printed patterns. Books actually make great art on their own, whether you stack them on the floor or place them on bookshelves. Find creative, decorative ways to leave your crochet books out where they can inspire you! One fun option is to put a stack of similarly colored crochet books on a table top and then add a vase with your decorative crochet hooks on top of the stack.
Magazines can be similarly decorative but they aren’t as durable, so you may want to put them in a more protected space. A shelf on a bookcase devoted just to crochet magazines is a terrific and easy choice for your spring cleaning. Printed patterns can be placed neatly into labeled three-ring binders on the same shelf. Of course, you can reduce the paper clutter by using a free site like Ravelry to keep your crochet patterns organized online. Crochet magazines are available digitally if you want to declutter your space: Crochet Today is available on the Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Play, and Zinio platforms.
Think of your crochet hooks, yarn, WIPs, and patterns as art forms that can be used to decorate your home. By doing this, you'll reduce the feeling that you're surrounded by too much clutter and celebrate your craft in small, everyday ways. What are your best tips for crochet spring cleaning? Please leave them in the comments below!