Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Organizing the WiPs

When I look at my stash -- which I wish I could say was beautifully organized, but that would be a bit of a lie -- I realize that one of my obstacles is dealing with the works in progress (WiPs). Recently I finished a project (Quant, from Knitty) and realized I didn't know what I was going to work on next. Now, I have no shortage of WiPs, but most are what I would call abandoned projects. And they're tucked away in the Kangaroom purse organizer that I mentioned in last week's post. It's going to be awhile before I feel like working on those projects again.

So when I ran out of things I wanted to knit, I went through my pattern notebook and found a sweater and a poncho that I wanted to make. I then started on the delicious process of deciding on yarn and color and actually finding and purchasing the yarn. So now I've started the projects and the yarn's just sitting in shopping bags on top of my stash cubes. I'm all about form over function, but that' just plain ugly.

When I started looking at things, I realized that I have some other WiPs that I wouldn't consider abandoned. And they're basically cluttering up my stash cubes as well. So what's the solution? One method that's worked well for a long, long-term project (Barbara Walker's Learn-to-Knit Afghan, for which I'll eventually knit 63 eight-by-eight squares in 63 different stitch patterns) is to store the completed squares in a large pop-up cube and the square-in-progress in a bag. I use a cosmetics case for this project, one that I purchased from Target. It holds a ball or two of yarn, the square in progress on the needles, the pattern book, and stitch markers. Here it is.

So I thought I'd adapt that idea by storing my WiPs that I'm actually working on (or might be working on soon) in knitting bags. That way, I can just grab the bag for the project I want to work on. So I emptied the unsightly plastic grocery bags and put the projects into the various and sundry bags I had on hand. I added hand-written tags to identify the project contained in each bag. Then I lined them up for a photo. It's sort of a motley looking group of bags, but it's organized and not too ugly!

It occurs to me that I nice coat tree might store the WiP bags nicely. A sweater organizer would do the trick, too, if I had rod space in my closet for it. Or a book shelf would work. Right now, floor space is what I have, so there the bags rest.

What about you? How do you store your works in progress?


Jenean said...

Awesome! Everytime I leave the house I think to myself that I do not have enough bags to hold my WIP's. I usually end up taking something out and setting it on the shelf and replacing it later when I start to work on it again.

HarpTonya said...

I store my WiPs the same way as the method you came up with - in various cases and totes - I detest grocery bags!

I've scoured the clearance aisles at Target when they put their end-of-season purses and totes on sale - and I've managed to find bunches of them that are not only stylish, inexpensive, and just the right size for all my different projects, I can even coordinate the tote to the WiP so I can grab and go!

That said - I work REALLY hard not to have too many WiPs - it is counterproductive to me as it takes forever to finish anything, which drives me to my stash to start something new, creating an eternal loop of WiPs. bummer!

Mommyx4 said...

I have a basket in my library and a tote next to the living room chair with all my current WIPs in it - yarn, pattern, hook canister. I can just grab something to either work on while watching TV or on my way out the door.

southern gal said...

I put my current WIPS in those plastic Sweater zip bags. I bought a huge box of them on ebay for very little money awhile ago. And for larger projects, the ones that come with blankets and linens. (i have collected them)

In the vein of recycling - I use those recyclable grocery bags you can buy at all the big grocery chains.

I find that they are the perfect size for sweater type projects (mostly what i work on) or shawls. And they are very lightweight - now of course they arent the prettiest bags - but I like their price (99 cents usually) and their durability.

I also have a few bags from LYS and use them for taking my projects out on the town.

I just take the current project in its plastic bag (the zip one) out of the "grocery bag" and put it one of my dressier bags and go!

Janine Adams said...

Great ideas, everyone! Thanks so much for contributing them.