Tag Archives: how to

Decorative Storage Solutions for Stitch Markers

That’s right, I said it: storage solutions for stitch markers. Man, I like alliteration far too much. Ok, so by now you’ve fallen prey to the siren call of handmade, prettified, dangly, sparkly, adorable stitch markers. You have them in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles, bejeweled and bedazzled, and plain janes that are perfect in a pinch. But there’s a downside to having enough stitch markers to decorate all of your digits – where can you store them all?! Feeling a little overwhelmed yet? That’s what I thought. But don’t worry! I’ve got several solutions that will have you knitting happily away very soon!

I was inspired to write this post after I saw how happy Abigail from KnitLounge was with her Snap ‘n Go Notions Case™ in red. It’s a great little case – everything is very compact and fits neatly inside and there are plenty of fun little compartments for stitch markers. But I don’t know, there’s something sad about having all of your pretty things buried and hidden away all of the time, like when you put all of your pretty baubles in a jewelry box. I certainly need notions cases and jewelry boxes to store my favorite sparklies, but I also like being able to show them off, too.

Snap 'n Go Notions Case

My best friend, knittingale, has long been a member of the decorate-with-your-jewelry club. She has a wall in her closet hung with a lovely silken shawl, and has all of her jewelry pinned to it. When you open the door the first thing you see is this gorgeous bohemian wall that just shines in the light. Recently, she decided to give her stitch markers the same treatment.

Down in her den/craft room she hung all of her stitch markers on a bulletin board to keep track of them – she said she laughed when she’d organized them because she hadn’t realized how many of them had been made by me for her! She loves the way they are both decorative and on display all the same time. Best of all, because this is the family room area of the house, whenever guests visit they admire her board and often can’t help themselves but need to come over and fondle the pretty styles and gleaming bright colors. When she needs a particular set, she grabs them off the wall, pops the set in her notions case and goes.

Hester's Bulletin Board of Stitch Markers

I really like her corkboard. If you want to make this same style but kick yours up a notch, simply take a nice piece of fabric and some ribbon and staple or glue it around the edges for a finished look. Here are a couple of quick tutorials – one for a plush, quilted look and two others with  framed out and vintage styles. You can use a variety of objects to hang your stitch markers – everything from safety pins to stitch holders.

Image courtesy pbteen.com

Corkboards aren’t the end-all, be-all, however. My grandmother, whose Depression-era background makes her the epitome of creative budget craftiness, always hung her brooches on the wall in her bedroom in a vintage wooden picture frame she’d found at some flea market. The wall feature was very stylish and made her jewelry look like a professional art piece. She used a sturdy piece of black velvet and padded the back with polyfill and that worked very well to hold up her pins. But I found something even better to do with a nice vintage picture frame. I was enchanted by blogger Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles‘ mesh picture frame for hanging her earrings on, which is such a simply construction but has this elegant look when it’s all decorated. How clever is that? The link above takes you to her how-to, by the way.

Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles' "Pretties" on Display

If you are trying to do for a style that is less “screen door chic” then I recommend switching out the metal insert on the frame with something softer – perhaps lace? Tanya from the Trey and Lucy blog made this awesome guest post at Ucreate, and I’m in love with her delicate, lacy mesh fabric backing for her teensy sweet earrings. The Vintage Lemon has a lovely DIY tutorial for a similar project. If you are suspicious about just how well something like lace will hold up with all of your stitch markers, you can always go for a funkier variation, like burlap.

Lace Earring Frame by The Vintage Lemon

Maybe your crafty gene doesn’t tend toward using implements sharper than knitting needles. Whatever the case, sometimes simpler is better. Head over to the store and buy yourself a key rack holder. Just make sure that the hooks aren’t huge. Pop that up on your craft room wall with some nails (but please, if you aren’t handy, don’t touch the hammer – let a professional hurt their thumbs) and you are good to go! They’ve even got some pretty cool designs out there in key holder world.

7-Hook Key Rack in Walnut and Satin Nickel by Spectrum

While I’ve listed a few of the big and bold ways to display your stitch markers and other knitting and crocheting notions, there are many many more. Try one of these ideas below for easy ways to show off your favorite stitch markers, no matter what your decorative style is like.

  • For the romantics, take a long piece of ribbon and tack the ends onto the back of a dresser or across your mirror. Pin your stitch markers to it for an instant bejeweled banner.
  • If you are more of a hippie, one of those Tibetan flags would work fabulously strung across your wall with stitch markers tacked to it.
  • For the hipsters in the crowd, recycle a damaged roll of film and stick stitch holders through the tiny holes at the bottom and top that usually keep the film moving in the camera. Slant it across your door and voila.
  • If you have a streamlined, mod style, buy those  clear, round stacking containers that screw together, where the bottom of one container is also the top of the one below it. You’ll be able to see exactly what you want and the tower can sit nicely on a shelf. Try color-coding your stitch markers by container to create a stunning rainbow effect.

But however you choose to store your stitch markers, don’t forget to enjoy using them as well. Happy knitting!

Advertisements

Workin’ The Yardage Maths

Math has never been my strong suit, and therefore I know that what I just learned today will fly right out the window of my brain if I don’t write it down somewhere. Hopefully it will help someone else in the future, too.

I received this gorgeous skein of laceweight recently. It was a test base for the yarn company Dream in Color, when they were trying to pick out a good laceweight for their future Baby yarn.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be a yarn buyer? I imagine someone getting a box full of creamy white skeins of yarn and lying them all out on a table and then having everyone walk around and pet different skeins until they pick which one they like. Mmm, maybe they even roll in the yarn. Secretly, of course. When everyone else is off dying test skeins. 😉

Anyways, enough of my fantasies. So this test base I acquired is, as you can imagine, absolutely divine. Dream in Color doesn’t do shoddy yarns, yo. it’s a blend of 75 percent merino wool and 25 percent silk, and it’s a very traditional laceweight, probably coming in at around 2/18 (which is a typical laceweight gauge). There was just one problem with this yarn. I had no clue what the yardage was! There are all of these mysterious numbers on its tag (which I’m sure, dear readers, you will be able to figure out) but they had me totally and completely stumped. As you can see, this was clearly mill language, not end user writing on the tag:

SPH 5169
STH (?) 1596
75 – sw merino wool
25 – silk
2/12.86 wc. (or 2112.86 wrc. it’s a total tossup. really.)

So what was a girl to do? Figure it out the slow way. I started by unwrapping the skein and picking a point on the hank where the yarn seemed untangled and pretty straight. I began counting each strand, in groups of 100, eventually counting out loud so that I didn’t lose track. That total came to 368 strands of yarn. But now I needed to find out how long my actual skein was. I started by trying to simply shake it out and measure it, but that was an effort in futility. Then I remembered that professionally spun skeins are typically done in specific lengths. I grabbed by yardstick and sure enough, the skein was the full length of the yardstick when pulled taut, meaning that this was a 2-yard skein. A quick bit of math (one yard, or 36 inches, doubled equals 72 inches) and then I took 72 inches and times’d it by the 368 strands. That gave me the number 26496 – as in 26,496 inches. Right. So now I have to get that number of inches down to a manageable size. So, how many yards are in 26,496 inches? If I divide that number by 36 inches (aka a yard) I get 736 exactly. Ah ha! Therefore I have 736 yards in this skein!

So essentially the formula is this:

strand count X skein length doubled = total inches / 36 inches = number of yards

For metric measurements, it’s the same system except:

strand count X skein length doubled = total centimeters / 100 centimeters = number of meters

Yey! I figured out how to measure large amounts of yarn! Now, granted, this is just a rough gauge. And if I was trying to figure out the yardage for a skein of yarn with less yardage I’d reskein it around a niddy noddy to get to my yardage. However, for large amounts of yardage, like laceweight, where it’s just sort of inconceivable to spend your day fighting hundreds of yards, this is a great formula to use.

How do you keep the yarn in your stash organized?

Someone on Ravelry asked this question and I thought it was good enough to deserve a blog post answer. Plus, I get to show off my new Rubbermaid containers. Yes, I confess, I have finally upgraded (about a month ago) – no longer do my yarns flop about in canvas bags. Instead, they are all nestled neatly into sealed plastic bins, keeping them fresh and bug free (knock on wood).

So, the Question of the Day is…How do you keep the yarn in your stash organized?

1.) Store your yarn in skeins, not balls/cakes. It will preserve your yarn, being easier to fix into a storage space, and help it retain it’s resell value.

2.) Store your yarn in plastic bins. Especially if you are renting, and don’t have total control over the space. It again, helps preserve the yarn, protects it from outside elements like bugs, and is easy to manage and transport. Rayon is the only yarn that “needs to breath” so I would pack it lightly. The rest can be happily squished.

3.) Consider storing your yarn by fiber. It helps keep your cottons defuzzed and protects your silks from your hairy mohairs. Additionally, many people have specific allergies – if you make them something out of cotton you don’t want them breaking out in hives because it was stored next to a pile of wool. My cotton, rayon and silks are all stored together. Blends are stored by the primary animal yarn in said blend (i.e., 70% wool, 30% alpaca). Sheddy yarns, like mohair and angora, are stored together. And exotic fibers like llama and camel go in with their camelid cousins, alpaca.

Here is my yarn, stored in handy-dandy Rubbermaid tubs from Wally World. Note that I have more sock and laceweight than you can shake a stick at. I separate out those two weights in part because I want to be able to dig in easier, and in part because laceweight is so delicate that I don’t want to store it too tightly and have it get all tangled.

Storing My Stash