This is a guest post by Susan Kerin. She is a full-time designer and teacher of knit and crochet. You can read more about her and see her work at her website, Skerin Knitting and Crochet. The site provides free tips and patterns, knit and crochet patterns for sale, and also featured are the invaluable yarn tenders.
Whether there is ample space or space is at a premium, the same rules of organization apply. The more organized I am, the more I can devote my time to focusing on my to-do lists. ‘A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place’, so simple and so true and prime to good organization. Here is my personal list of supplies and guidelines.
1. Drawers – all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Drawers pull out. Mix-and-match sizes and configurations rearrange easily when needed.
Stacked bins are often cumbersome and create more handling time when any bin other than the top bin is needed (unless they are in custom cubbies).
There are times of course when the ultimate ‘don’t stack the bins’ rule just isn’t possible. Under the layout table are easy-access large project bins, stacked two-high.
2. Label everything – Labels are easier than trying to remember every item and its place, no matter how good we think we are.
3. Chairs – Comfortable, ergonomic chairs.
4. Good Lighting – speaks for itself. The purchase of a good craft light is well worth the investment.
5. Blocking Tables/Mats – kept on top of the layout table.
7. Establish and Maintain Filing Systems – for hard copies, printouts, drawings, photos.
Key for materials used regularly: employ three-ring binders, all within arm reach. Avoid stacking anything but current project materials on the work table. Instead, keep a to-do list handy while keeping upcoming project materials in a labeled ‘to do’ drawer.
8. Laptop Computer and Printer – My keyboard is my pencil. The computer screen provides wonderful detail that printed photos do not when looking at pattern photo details.
9. Reference Library — A good knitting and crochet resource reference library is a must, kept on same shelves as ring binders.
10. Projects Organization – project materials stay together (pattern pages, swatches, references collected, needles being used, or notes of what needles are being used). If multiple projects are in process, each project goes into labeled work-in-process project drawers, separated from other projects in plastic bags.
11. Needles and Notions Trays – Needles and notions within arm reach in labeled drawers. Duplicate supplies are helpful.
12. Yarn Storage – Yarn for daily swatching is within arm length in containers. Designated project yarns for work-in-process are in the appropriately labeled drawers.
Only yarn being used for current projects is in the work space. The stash is organized on a wall filling a series of bookshelf units.
13. Yarn Tenders – for every opened skein are invaluable and save a lot of time detangling.
To maintain organization, discipline is key. I am reminded of ‘If you want to get something done, ask a busy person’. Well, I’m pretty sure they’re very organized.