If you’ve been looking for instructions on how to organize your knitting projects for the New Year, this post is for you.
Maybe you feel like you waste a lot of time trying to decide what to knit next and not enough time knitting. You probably have all the yarn and all the patterns you need, but you just haven’t connected them together.
This is the year you’re going to change all that, and I’m going to help you.
Starting with the basics, I’ll show you how to get organized and how to stay organized.
First, I’ll show you how to organize files and ways to keep your knitting patterns sorted. Next, I’ll talk about your yarn stash and provide options on how to organize your yarn. Finally, I’ll show you how to create knitting project bags from your yarn stash inventory. This way you’ll always have something ready to knit.
You’ll be so organized that your knitting productivity for the year will astonish you.
Let’s get to sorting so you can get back to knitting!
How to Organize Knitting Pattern Files
Aside from the goal of becoming more organized, keeping a knitting pattern file will help you focus on what you want to knit.
Some knitting patterns I keep simply because they were free. Some I keep because they have an interesting feature I want to learn about. Still, I couldn’t possibly knit all the knitting patterns I have. Whatever your knitting reality is, organizing a pattern file to suit you is a must.
The first thing to consider when keeping a knitting pattern file is what format you want to keep it in.
There are three different formats in which you can keep your knitting patterns. They are:
- Soft Copy
- Hard Copy
- Digital Copy
Let’s talk about each respectively.
Keeping your knitting patterns organized doesn’t have to be complicated. One simple way to keep your files organized is to create a specific folder on your computer. This is what’s considered a soft copy.
I use this method, but I like to take it a step further. I keep a separate folder for knitting patterns I know I want to knit next. Obviously, this file can get quite large but I always whittle it down when I look through my yarn stash. We’ll get to that in a minute.
For deeper file organization, I recommend creating more folders sorted by type of item. One way to do this is by listing something general like “neckwear”. Another way would be to sort by knit scarves or knitted ponchos, etc. More specifically, you could also sort your folders by knitting gift ideas for Mom, or small knitting projects, etc.
There are lots of ways to keep your files organized. The trick is to do what works for you and to remain consistent.
Now, let’s talk about keeping hard copies.
Personally, I like the soft copy method, but I also prefer a hard copy for future knitting projects. I’ll print out my favorite patterns as I come across them. Then, I’ll add them to a growing manila folder I keep on my desk.
I do this only for the patterns which I intend to knit. If I did this for all of them, well, I’d have a significant storage problem to deal with and a lot of ink to buy. Again, choose your battles wisely.
If you want to keep your knitting projects more organized, I recommend using the hard copy method. Print out only your favorite knitting patterns and keep them in a folder on your desk. It will definitely keep you organized and focused on your knitting goals.
Organize your knitting patterns with:
Slim manila folders.
Colorful expandable folders.
Finally, keeping a digital record is another great way to organize your knitting pattern files. If you have a Gmail account, you can store them in your Google Drive. If you have an Apple account, you can save them in your iCloud. Outside of email accounts, Dropbox is another great storage option.
All of these sites include a small amount of storage space for free. Usually more than sufficient if you’re just uploading your knitting patterns.
Another option that’s available is found on Ravelry. In addition to being able to purchase knitting patterns, Ravelry also includes a Library feature. This allows you to save free knitting patterns, and purchased patterns, too, found on the site.
With all that said, digital copies are not just used as backups. You can also read them on your tablets. This is quite useful if you’re using an app like Knitting Buddy or knitCompanion.
Now that we’ve talked about how to organize your knitting patterns, let’s move on to organizing your epic yarn stash.
How to Organize Your Yarn Stash
If you haven’t organized your yarn stash before, take a minute (a day, a week) to do so now. Your methods don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. The goal is, simply, to organize your yarn stash so you can find what you need quickly. You want to knit more, not less.
Once that’s done, take the hard copy folder of knitting patterns you’ve saved and begin sorting by desire to knit. Take note of each pattern’s yarn requirements and consider what you have in your yarn stash inventory.
The goal to this organization is to create knitting projects you want to knit with the yarn you do have. So, for now, put all knitting patterns aside in which you don’t have the yarn on hand.
These can be one skein knitting projects, yarn stash buster projects, baby knitting projects, or anything you wish to knit. This is a great way to make sure you use up your yarn stash. You can always replenish it later when there’s a sale like shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
I like to organize my yarn in clear plastic bins and I organize by yarn weight. This lets me see what I have and how much I have. I find this easier to organize my knitting projects as well.
Get these stackable storage bins to keep your yarn stash organized.
Use these blocking mats for your next knitting project.
Now, you’ve organized your yarn and your knitting patterns. Next, we’re going to sort your knitting projects into bags so they’re ready for you to knit.
Organize Your Knitting into Project Bags
If you sort your knitting projects into bags, you’ll have an easier time deciding which project to knit next.
Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. I opted to purchase these large organza bags, which are transparent. They let me see the yarn and the knitting pattern inside without having to dig through the bag.
Organize your knitting projects with these Organza Gift Bags.
Try Arne & Carlos Schachenmayr Regia sock yarn for your next project.
You can sort your knitting project bags by season, like summer knits or knit winter hats. You could also include project bags sorted by Mother's Day gifts for Mom, knitted Christmas gifts, or easy knitting projects for beginners. With good organization, you’ll have twelve months of knitting planned before you know it.
There’s always something going on seasonally so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
I hope you found these useful tips on how to organize your knitting projects for the new year to be useful.
I wish you a more productive year of knitting and lots of success in clearing out your yarn stash.
Be sure to keep me posted on your knitting adventures! I'd love to hear from you.
Fantastic tips! So well thought out and loved the links and your shared projects. My I add using documents protectors for the patterns and highlight tape to track work.
Thank you, Sheila! I appreciate your comments and loved your suggestions. I had not heard of highlighter tape before so thank you. I'll have to check it out.
I love the idea of storing future projects in bags with the pattern. Are the 12"X16" organza bags you mentioned big enough to store yarn for a large man's sweater or yarn for an afghan?
Hi Karen! Great question! I've found the 12x16 bags can hold about 4-6 skeins of fingering weight yarn, fewer in heavier weight yarns. You might need two bags just so everything is not crammed in there.
I'm so glad you found my knitting project organization tips helpful! Best of luck!