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Keeping Those Wild WIPs Under Control

Jan 31, 2011


I don’t know about you, but my life has been Crazy Town lately, and my knitting has suffered. Over the holidays, I pretty much just grabbed whatever project was closest; when I stopped to do something else, I’d leave the project in a corner, or hanging on a chair. By early January, my knitting projects were literally all over the house. (I found half of an Undulating Ribs sock on dpns in my bath towel drawer. Even I can’t explain that one.) 

I am not one of those critters who proceeds in an orderly, calm fashion throughout my crafting life. My crafting life is exuberant, full of passionate yarn affairs, patterns stained with chocolate, needles stowed hopefully in coat pockets, and projects full of cables! and lace! and charts! Oh. My. I knit wherever I am sitting, or standing, or leaning; this means that my projects live a rich life full of many adventures long before bind-off day.

Earlier this month, I picked up my sister’s customized Central Park Hoodie, intending to knit another few inches. After searching the sofa cushions, and the bookshelf, and the kitchen table,  however, I realized that my chart for the custom cables had gone walkabout. 

 “No problem,” thought I, “I can just print out another one.” I hop on over to my laptop, and there in the folder are about twenty different versions of a chart named “Heart Cables Liz Hoodie." EEK.

This Is Getting Silly.

I’m not about to try to restrict myself to a certain smallish number of WIPs, because it’s in my nature to like to work on many different things throughout the course of my week. Having multiple projects is an expression of my personality, of the great joy I take in yarn and all the lovely things one can make with it. I love to experiment and be playful with yarn; I love to look at a clever pattern and sit down to watch the designer’s cleverness become three-dimensional on my needles; sometimes, I even love to just sit and get lost in the simple rhythms of garter stitch. 

But one does have to preserve one’s sanity somehow. 

Thus, 2011 for me is the year of Project Management. I don’t really want to tame my wild ways, because that’s just who I am as a knitter; but I do want to know where my needles are, and which chart row comes next. Here’s my strategy so far:

1. Make a list of all my current WIPs. 

This has been harder than it might seem, especially what with finding half-finished projects in my linen drawers. (Apparently, even my WIP list is itself a work-in-progress.)

2. Place all the bits of each project in a separate small box or bin. 

Each WIP gets its own bin; the bin has to be large enough for all the parts of the project.

3. Put a printout or copy of the full instructions in the bin with each project. 

Include any notes or modifications; if necessary, put a pen in each bin so I know I will have one as I am knitting.

4. Put a LABEL on each bin. 

5. Put all the bins in one place (stacked on my project shelf). 

6. Add an important piece of info to each entry on the WIP list: The needles I am using for each project. 

(Oh, look. There are ALL my size 6 circs. Who knew?)

7. Print out two copies of the WIP list.

One copy goes on the wall by my desk. One copy goes in my purse, as a reference in case I find myself in a yarn shop. 

8. Periodically go through each room, collect all the stray project bits, and put them back in the bins where they belong.

9. Make sure needles-without-projects are put back in their proper cases.

Now I know where all my WIPs are; I also know that I have all the charts, pattern notes, and needles for each one. It’s OK if things get strewn about the house because I can easily collect them again. I have lists to remind me of what I am knitting. I also have a list of all my needles-in-use so I know where they are if they are not in their cases. 

And I know which version of the chart to sit down with for Liz’s CPH now. WHEW.

Needles at the ready, Cap’n. 

Any of you have clever tricks for managing multiple projects? Share your tips with us in the comments!

– Sandi




Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily each week.
Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can follow her: sandiwiseheart.


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Comments

on Feb 23, 2011 1:08 PM

Finished Object Alert! Plus Sparkly Sock In Progress Quick note: This post is late! I actually wrote

pindy4176 wrote
on Feb 14, 2011 7:15 PM

I use zipper bags, from snack size through the 2-gallon and 2.5 gallon bags (big boxes, from Amazon.com, cheap). I sorted my stash into appropriate size bags. I have some large, see-through plastic bins in which these bags, sorted by yarn weight, are stored.

For WIPs, it's a simple matter to add needles, pattern, etc., to the bag. I keep my notions in a small plastic container, so everything is easy to grab and go!

As for tracking, I only recently undertook loading my stash and needles into Ravelry. I LOVE having my stash and needles inventoried there, and being able to update things whenever I need to. I'm in the process of loading patterns, too,  so that when the urge to start a new project hits me, everything I need to inspire me will be in one place.

Tiffny wrote
on Feb 14, 2011 5:25 PM

i am driving my man nutz with the amount of projects i have going at any given moment. I even gave up scrapbooking recently as to cut down on all the xtra craft stuff i have. (plus i really prefer yarn and fabric crafts!) i have all my stash in a chest at the end of are bed. my long straight needles are in a tray in my drawer of my bedside table. my notions, DPN, crochet hooks, and pens/highlighters are in a Mary Kay roll up bag and my circ needles are stored in a zipper CD case to hold them in place. i am proud to say that i have only 2 WIPs for knitting! But i have about 20 patterns i want to do and pick the right yarn for.....i also have a handled tote that has scraps from every project that ive ever done to make a massive granny square blanket that i catch up on when im feeling under the weather or have off from work during the winter. all the women in my family have made one. its kind of a tradition........no wonder im driving my man crazy with all this yarn and fabric we have to move...again....to a new apartment......mwhahahahahahahah!!!!

C Schneid wrote
on Feb 11, 2011 1:22 PM

When my son was in 2nd grade, I painstakingly charted his favorite baseball teams insignia on graph paper and began knitting him a baseball jacket.  It was all done but for the finishing (sewing seams) when he announced he hated the team...because they lost too many games.  I still have the unfinished project in my basement.  He is 27 yrs old now!  Can't bear to take it apart or finish it because it's a precious memory.

on Feb 9, 2011 9:12 AM

Oops, forgot about patterns and notes:  Plastic page-savers come in several styles.  One copy of pattern in with project, one in ring notebook with obvious cover (mine is left over from Georgia Bonesteel's Spinning Spools).  Doesn't break the copyright to make personal copies.  Notations on project copy go in "portfolio" notebook with picture of completed item and sample of yarn. I generally re-use patterns with different yarn, so notes that specify what happens with that yarn go into another location -- the yarn bin.   Notes about using handspun go into spinning "library.," of course.

on Feb 9, 2011 9:02 AM

My needles are by size in those non-rip envelopes from office supply.  Indelible marker of size on the outside.  Both DP and circular together because they are needed for lace, sleeves, etc.  Hat boxes with pull cords for those large traveling projects.  Glass jars hold the handspun lace weight wools and silks (large canister for the pound of roving).  I'm enjoying everyone else's suggestions for solving everyone's constant problem.

on Feb 8, 2011 9:11 AM

As a newbie to knitting (my first knit lesson is this evening) this is a GREAT article.  Thanks so much!

PattyS@2 wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 1:15 PM

I use quart and gallon size ziploc bags for smaller projects and  those lovely plastic zippered bags that sheet sets, tablecloths, etc. come in for larger projects.  Marilyn, I love the closet rod and skirt hanger idea for keeping those bags organized.  This would be great for "pre-planning" for projects I want to do.  Sometimes I pass up a great yarn buy because I am not ready to start a project.  If I bag the yarn and pattern and hang it in my knitting closet, it will be there and ready to go when I am.  Thanks for a great idea!

cynthia 55 wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 7:09 AM

I'm happy to ear that i'm not alone in this way haha. I drag my projet every where so that I know it's waiting for me to go one but something else show's up and here I go again.

Tempe@2 wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 6:13 AM

No, i don't have a great way of managing my projects...they end up,like yours in various places around the house...although I do try to corral them back to my bedside regularly. I have a basket there, but the contents often overspilleth! I like your idea of organizing them into bins with everything you need accounted for. Because, although I am very like you in loving to have several different things going at a time to keep me entertained, I also sometimes long to be able to find charts, needles, and the ever evasive yarn needle, etc at the ready  when I go looking!

Tempe

jlwilkin wrote
on Feb 6, 2011 9:16 PM

I use these mesh produce bags for my WIPs. They are breathable and see-through and eco-friendly. The smaller needles can sometimes poke through them, but I don't see this as a huge problem. When Im walking out the door, I just grab whichever WIP bag that's appropriate for my journey.

www.solutions.com/jump.jsp

woodanne wrote
on Feb 6, 2011 7:37 PM

ok -- clearly I missed reading one post that explained this:

FROG  ?

please tell me more.

sounds like a term I need to have in my life

(if it means roughly what I think it means...)

KittyM@6 wrote
on Feb 6, 2011 3:05 PM

I have recently purchased an Entourage Pocket Edge (available at Amazon.com).  It opens like a book.  On one side is a computer and on the other side is an ereader that can toggle to a writer.  I can pull up instructions from the internet on the one side, or read them as a pdf file on the ereader and toggle to a journal that will record what I write -- what row I'm on, notes and whatnot.  It's all in one place.  All my instructions are there.  All my notes are there.  It's absolutely wonderful.  The Entourage Edge comes in Pocket size that fits in any knitting bag or my purse and there's a larger version, too.  And I can make the print larger which is wonderful for me being visually impaired!  I highly recommend this!  It will display graphs and color pictures!  I can't knit without mine!!!

FrancieW wrote
on Feb 6, 2011 12:05 PM

Sandi, loved your article, just as with WIP's I have tried many ways to organize as my projects have grown.  I use all of those mentioned, but for storage purchased color coordinated nylon folding/collapsible cubes, sorted yarns by type, color, project, etc., and store then on tall shelving units labled on the shelves.  This is good for long term storage.

I find I am a visual person, surprise!?, if I can't see it, well it is out of mind.  I like the clear plastic storage idea, have purchased shoe boxes (in massive quantities as not all types/mfgs. will stack properly, guess how I found that out?), and that seems to help.  Have done the same for my beading supplies, stamping supplies, etc.  Think I have an addiction?  

munchkin1590 wrote
on Feb 6, 2011 10:39 AM

What great advise, but you realy have to be an organized person to do this and have a closet  just for your WIP. Mine are in different knitting bags staked ontop of each other and then forgotten.I have projects that are five years old on  needles.

EleanorL@3 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 7:00 PM

I love all the ideas for our WIPS.  Just one more.  I get so many envelopes with   plain white  paper on one side.  I make a copy of my directions, stick it in the envelope and use the white side to keep track of my rows, etc.  Just a little green.

on Feb 5, 2011 4:51 PM

Sounds like too much work to me in keeping your WIP in control. I purchased several plastic dishpans from the dollar store and conscientiously place each WIP in a dishpan when I set it down. The pans are all the same color, a nice chocolate brown, and they stack. Long knitting needles fit in crossways and only afghans that are on their way to being finished don't fit in the dishpan, that is, you can't stack another dishpan on top. The dishpans are large enough that they virtually mandate they be placed in the same area. Thus only a quick glance shows me what I have going and helps me determine what needle sizes are in use. The pans are just large enough that an 8.5 by 11 in sheet of paper fits in it, meaning my patterns are with my projects when my projects are in the pans.  Very easy to grab a project with pattern and toss in a tote to carry wherever.

SuzanneN@5 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 2:57 PM

Jknit is the perfect app for keeping track of multiple projects.  I love it!  You enter in your project and then it becomes a pattern specific row counter.  You can have as many projects going as you want and keep track of them all.  I'm also a happy owner of 5 or 6 project bags by Slipped Stitch Studious.

NormaC@14 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 2:24 PM

Oh yes. the WIP's. Not that many, but 8-14 years in progress! I tend to start new projects when I am stuck and have to think about what to do next. Someday maybe I'll follow a pattern somewhat closely and let someone else make the decisions.

The purple cardigan started probably in 1996--Elaborate all over leaf and bobble pattern on fine yarn that I have to relearn when I pick it up every couple years. Most recently reknitting the shoulders and hoping I won't have to do anything to the sleeves.

Red cardigan started maybe 2005-5--fine chenile stockingette but the saddle shoulders need some adjustment and I need to decide a lace pattern for the edges (open cast on), haven't touched it in 2-3 years. It will be wet block jsut to get the dust off of it.

Sock yarn modular pullover started a mere year ago, decided to change the Contrast color so it's frog and reknit. Nice and small to put in my purse.

Then there are the two sweaters I decided to make longer, both on my computer desk.... they probably will get finished.

Jillyon wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 2:16 PM

Good system. Mine is similar, except that I use a zippered tote bag (fabric, not plastic) for each project, including needles, any necessary notions and either the printed pattern, or a copy of it if I found it in a book (lugging coffee-table-size knitting books around isn't fun). My needles are already in soft cases by size, so I can see what's missing without having to keep a list up to date. The system worked especially well when I was doing a lot of business travel; I could grab a tote bag and carry it on with my briefcase. When we moved and I stopped the business travel, I was able to go back to a number of tote bags and FINISH THE PROJECTS! A huge sigh of satisfaction for we anal-retentive types . . .

eljulia wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 1:23 PM

Great article--i especially love the unfinished project in the towel drawer! And i like your ideas for organizing. i love organizing, it's the KEEPing it organized that i'm not so good at.

i seem to end up with bags inside of bags inside of bags with my projects. Since there are several going at a time, i'll stick one plastic grocery bag with a project inside another plastic bag with a different project--just so i can have choices, you know? :-)

i'm inspired to make a plan for my assorted projects now!

MegM@7 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 12:27 PM

Sandy and commenters, thank you!! It is so nice to know that I am not the only one!  I've been despairing about the shape of my knitting paraphernalia which is basically in piles of totes and bags in several piles in the living room, hall, bedroom, upstairs bedroom, etc.....  There was some organization and I'm pretty good about keeping things together for WIPs but after finishing the Christmas and new grandson push, it's now a disaster! I appreciate everyone's suggestions and having boxes for projects and needles, etc, sounds like a great idea.  However, where to put them is a problem - I long for a shelf or closet where I could put boxes!  I guess I'll make a start getting everything updated/recorded in Ravelry and go from there.  Oh, for a room of my own......  

MegM@7 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 12:27 PM

Sandy and commenters, thank you!! It is so nice to know that I am not the only one!  I've been despairing about the shape of my knitting paraphernalia which is basically in piles of totes and bags in several piles in the living room, hall, bedroom, upstairs bedroom, etc.....  There was some organization and I'm pretty good about keeping things together for WIPs but after finishing the Christmas and new grandson push, it's now a disaster! I appreciate everyone's suggestions and having boxes for projects and needles, etc, sounds like a great idea.  However, where to put them is a problem - I long for a shelf or closet where I could put boxes!  I guess I'll make a start getting everything updated/recorded in Ravelry and go from there.  Oh, for a room of my own......  

mimim1980 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 10:20 AM

Your ideas for WIPS is great except I was told natural fibers like wool  needs to breathe and should never be stored in plastic.  I bought some beach bags  and keep the yarn, the project and instructions in those (some of the bags are big enough that I keep more than one small project in one) than cover with tissue paper to keep the dust off them. Cardboard boxes lined with tissue paper is also a good way to store wool.  

on Feb 5, 2011 9:43 AM

Tks for sharing your knitting life. I too have a multiple at one time knitting personality.

It is a delight to learn, I am not the only one.

I have a different solution for finding & ordering mine.

Loved hearing what you came up with.

:) Rose

knitviv1 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 9:20 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to write so that I, another disorganized, yarn addict, can find peace and acceptance in my knitting life. Even though there is a grand plan of getting my WIPs and ridiculous yarn stash under control, I can now freely admit that I just don't want to take the time to actually do it. All your ideas using plastic gallon bags and phone apps will help me greatly until the time comes when the grand plan can be accomplished. And if not, so what? Knit on!

pakoss wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 9:03 AM

This is a great thread. I, too, have almost as many projects as tote bags - all over the floor, stuffed next to my chair in front of the TV, and at various other locations. I just saw a shelved bag in a catalog and realized I have a similar bag, bought for storing sweaters in a closet and a much less expensive price. I am going to put that bag to use storing my yarn and WIP. I usually use gallon "project" bags to store yarn and patterns that I have bought but not started on yet. My New Year's resolution is to finish as many WIPs as possible before I start something new. Broke that already working on a quilt. Oh, well.

sandy@199 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 9:00 AM

Are you in my house? I too had to "organize" and I, like you don't particularly feel comfortable with everything in it's place and each project done, way too confining.  But I did sew up knitting and crochet hook holders.  I simply used cloth placements, folded down the top, stitched across, to keep the needles from falling out, it's a flap, moved to the bottom of the placement  stitched as many "tunnels" as needed, stitched on an elastic at one end, sewed on a button, and bada bing.  Of course, one did not even come close, so I have about 4 of these, but they are in a corner in the living room in a nice basket.    Thanks, it's always good to know I'm not the only one.  sandyknitsalot, sharon, ct.

sarawutzke wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 8:25 AM

This is great! When we made a cross-country move, I promised myself I wouldn't start a new project at the new house until I'd finished all my WIP's and  I did it! now, however, I find myself with a couple pairs of socks going while I'm working on Tree of Life...it's just such a massive project, I need something to break it up. I love the bin idea. I did something similar, but for my queue...so that when I'm done, I can cast right on with the next 2-3 projects and everything's ready to go. Thanks for the bin idea!

Shannon@17 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 8:03 AM

How timely - I've been working on getting my knitting organized for the past week and a half!  I, too, have multiple WIPs going at any given time, for which I use the handy gallon zip-top bags and tote bags.  I'm in the process of entering all of my WIPs, UFOs (hibernating projects), and stash in Ravelry.  I bought a wire shelf unit and clear plastic storage boxes.  Future projects (my "queue" in Ravelry) are where I have the yarn and the pattern, so they go together in a box.  All the queued boxes go together on the shelf.  Now when I'm ready to start another project, it'll be easy to look through my queue or browse the shelf.  All the stash without patterns picked out yet is stored together.  I'm even putting all of my hibernating UFOs together with their patterns because I'm determined to one day finish them (they're also entered in Ravelry, so those Zzzz projects stare back at me as a reminder).  Finally, I put the copy or print out of the pattern in a sleeve protector so it doesn't get crumpled up so bad (pull it out while working to make notes and tick marks), and then I can put it in a notebook when I'm done so that my notes are available for future reference.  Do I sound like a Type A personality?  I am.

Linda@177 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 7:51 AM

I find the easiest part of these plans is the maintenance thereof - I have gone thru this exercise many times (and it's really difficult in my case because I not only knit, but also weave, spin, and dye) and have never, in 35 years of trying, managed to succeed. I keep trying, though, and if you find a way to keep it up, be sure to put that in your news. At this point I am trying to limit my WIP's to what I think I can reasonably be sure of completing IN MY LIFETIME. Not sure I can hold that line, either.

PamealP wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 7:15 AM

I have 27 WIP and I love them all. I was so happy to hear you say you had no intention to limit yourself to a certain number. It's wild, but fun. The rest of my life is more sedate and my hobby is knitting so why not have fun with it? PP

PamealP wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 7:15 AM

I have 27 WIP and I love them all. I was so happy to hear you say you had no intention to limit yourself to a certain number. It's wild, but fun. The rest of my life is more sedate and my hobby is knitting so why not have fun with it? PP

on Feb 5, 2011 7:12 AM

Yeah Sandi...such ambitious organizational plans....I , too, have always one or

two(or three ) projects underway....its about the yarn, or the colours, or the

texture or the design...or just how I am feeling at that moment...creative people

are not usually very organized however, I am one of those people who does

almost manage not to lose the pattern. but sometimes a needle casing seems

to go walkabout...or , darn where is that pile of stitch holders, oh well, a trip to

the yarn store seems just about right...hahah...and it goes on and on and on.....

DorothyP@6 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 6:52 AM

Having just finished a WIP that I started in 2007, I can sure relate.  My particular WIP was stored in a drawer under our sofa recliners and the yarn for it was in its own tote bag BUT I had neglected to note where I had left off.  Big no-no.  I've made a promise to myself to make meticulous notes from now on as to where I leave off when I set a project down for any length of time.  Otherwise my WIP organization methods are to put my active projects in tote bags - one per bag.  Then future projects are organized by putting the yarn and pattern in either a big gallon plastic ziploc bag (if it is a small enough project) or in a recycled clear zippered bag that might have held a comforter, pillow, or blanket when originally purchased.

k4tog wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 6:40 AM

I have all my straight needles needles in a felted vase I made.  I don't use straights very often anymore, so it's almost more for show.  I put my DPN's in toothbrush holders then I marked the outside with number stitckers. Then if I need my size 2 DPN's I can just grab the holder and go.  It also keeps them safe in my knitting bag. I have a circular nedle hanging case which I hang on my wall, I used a fabric marker to mark the sizes up the side.  I have a fabric case that holds my knit picks interchangeable needles and I keep that with me in my main knitting bag. I have several knitting project bags, most of which have socks in them, but I try to keep it limited to the number of project bags I have.  Larger projects I keep in clear plastic bags like the kind I get from my LYS.

I have a large cedar chest where I keep my stash.  I do use space bags to create more room, but my stash must fit in there.  If not I need to destash.

To keep track of what I'm doing, Ravelry is my saving grace.  I would be lost without it. And I can access it from any computer, so if I am visitng friends or relatives and need to reference a project, no problem.  I would misplace a notebook, so that doesn't work well for me.

Deb Storz wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 6:27 AM

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!! If you are like me, it works for a while and then it goes back to ..... where did I put that pattern?????

SusanN@2 wrote
on Feb 5, 2011 5:58 AM

If you're a bin/ box storage person....

For storage bins in general, take the time to label BOTH ends of the box/bin. (and DO label them. I'm always certain I'll remember the contents, but I don't.)

Good labeling is worth the time because that way it doesn't matter where on the shelf you put it or which end out is out, you can still tell what's what.

Also, write large enough on the labels so you can read them without your glasses!! I have reading glasses,  "computer" glasses, and can see well at distance without any glasses. It goes without saying that I'm likely to have the wrong pair at any given moment. A label I can't read is no help.

RobinH wrote
on Feb 4, 2011 9:22 AM

I'm another fan of the plastic baggie.  My rule is to try not to have more than one of the same thing on the needles at a time.   Currently I have:

1 pair of socks

1 scarf

1 cowl

2 sweaters (one doesn't count- it's a fine gauge stockinette project and may take the rest of my life to finish).  

1 baby blanket

Active projects live in either a) my coat pocket (the socks) b) the backpack I use for knitting or c) the knitting basket in the living room.   This mainly works because I usually have only 2-5 going at a time- I prefer not to have too many because then I feel like I don't make progress on any of them.   But I always try to have one pocket size and at least one portable one on the needles.  Once a project gets to a finicky stage where it needs a block of time and attention to work on it, it gets grounded, and I wait until I have time to deal with it at home.  

To encourage me to keep the numbers low, I refuse to buy more needles because the size I need is in use.  Not that I don't have multiples- some I inherited and some are of different types (in size 6, I have one fixed circular, one in my interchangeable needle set, long and short straights and long and short dpns).   But if the type/size I want is in use, I make myself finish the project using them before I start the new one.  

yarngirl wrote
on Feb 4, 2011 5:47 AM

Hi Sandi,

I'm also a multiple knitter.  I've learned, from hard experience, that  the most important detail to have together with the yarn and other equipment for a project is needle size!  How quickly we forget.  These days, I keep each project in a separate bag hung on my kitchen chairs, cause that's where I generally knit.  The chairs look burdened...but neat.  I have an index card with my own instructions, or the print out of a pattern, with each project.  I staple the yarn label and a bit of yarn to each card/pattern.  If it's a more complex project, I try not to be "out" for too long between sessions cause getting back "in" might not happen.  This means applying discipline, cause the urge to "bounce" can be very strong.  If it becomes totally clear (i.e. ages have passed, I no longer feel any click with a project) I unravel and reuse the yarn.  But I have taken up projects and finished them after 15 years cause I still felt that attraction.

Sandi, I really love your posts, and all the comments too!  

MarilynH wrote
on Feb 4, 2011 5:19 AM

Sandi, I really do miss your wonderful smile in the emails we regularly received from you.  It's a special treat to read your tips & comments.  I am so pleased you're still in touch with us.  As for managing WIPs, I'm in the lg baggie category.  My daughter picked up some VERY large zip lock bags with handles.  I had never seen them before & they are great.  I can write on the bags or use hang-tags as another commenter uses & a good idea.  I hang the bags from coat hangers and place them on a closet rod --- everything's upright & at my reading height.  Also, skirt hangers & the multi-tiered hangers are great for hanging several WIP bags in one space.  I know where everything is and see them daily when I enter the closet ensures my WIPs aren't out of sight, out of mind.  Bless you & yours', Sandi.  Marilyn  

LisaW@2 wrote
on Feb 2, 2011 8:47 PM

This is one of my tasks for this year also.  It's a shame how many sweaters I should be wearing, but can't because they are unfinished!

PatH wrote
on Feb 2, 2011 1:14 PM

Inspired by your organization, I found my WIP, took photos, made a mental pledge to work on them AND finish them this year. I frogged a sock (but it still counts as a WIP until I make the pair of socks with that yarn, took photos of each WIP (there are 6) then bought yarn and made a hat that now just needs to be felted and started on the matching mittens.

By the end of the year I'll have a whole new set of UFO but these old ones will be done, by golly.

TraceyB wrote
on Feb 2, 2011 7:33 AM

I spent the last snow day organizing.  Needles, wow now I have more size 9 dpns than anyone needs.  I found these great clear plastic pages for needles - each page has 2 pockets for circular and dpns.  you can write the sizes on them.  I find this much easier than an opaque needle holder.

I also spread out my stash, wrote down the paticulars and even looked for patterns that would match what I had available.

Since then I have finished a colorwork hat and can find my goodies.  Who knows if it will last  ;.)

Terri@70 wrote
on Feb 1, 2011 2:48 PM

Susanne, I almost spit out my coffee reading your comment...LOL!!  I must have 40 tote bags...your method works for me except that I have 40 bags with WIPs in them.  This past weekend I did give a nod to organizing.  I bought some string tags and wrote what the project was, and tied it to the strap of the tote.  Then I put the totes on the closet shelf with the tags hanging so I can read them.  I smooshed a lot of totes onto the shelf, and at least they're up off the floor.  It's a start.  Now, what to do with these 500 skeins of "oh look I must have it" yarn...

LauraR@15 wrote
on Feb 1, 2011 6:59 AM

I am usually a knitter who works on only one or two projects and finishes them before going on to the next.  When I do find that I have a project sitting, it usually means I am unhappy about something - it's too hard, the yarn is yukky or I picked the wrong yarn for the project.  I am learning to frog those because I will not finish them.  Why spend all that time and effort for something that will make you unhappy even though finished?  Sometimes during the summer, I stop knitting so much just because it's warm in West Michigan, but I always pick the UFO's up when that weather starts crisping up again!

SusanneF wrote
on Feb 1, 2011 4:37 AM

I have now resigned myself to do no more projects than I have project bags, and that counts projects in "hibernation" as well. So I have 1 bigger lace project, 1 sweater, and two small projects like socks on the go at all times. I have an emergency knitting bag for when I need to cast on something else, and I have a knitting basket for when I need to put a sweater in time out.

I make copies of all the patterns and put them in the bag. For bigger project part of the yarn I need for that lives in my "current project yarn drawer". That also holds regular yarn that I haven't knit with yet. Leftover yarn is in designated boxes.

I try to be good and update my ravelry project pages so I know which needles I used but mostly I write things down on my pattern copies in pencil. I also have a designated knitting notebook that lives next to my general notebook, and is usually somewhere near me. That notebook is only organized by date. Mostly I'm writing things in there like "orange merino/silk for tam: 38 grams left". It takes a bit of time to find things in there but everything I need to knit something is usually right in the project bag.

Empty needles, stitch markers, and tape measures all have designated places where I put them after use.

I'm not a very tidy person by all means but I really hate to have to search for things.

I think your new plan will work very well for you, if those bins are portable enough and easy to put back. Having everything together is very helpful.

Pooch2 wrote
on Feb 1, 2011 12:55 AM

What a relief!! I thought you had a towel-lined drawer for each WIP!  We're talking many, many drawers!

:)

Ptinutz wrote
on Jan 31, 2011 2:37 PM

Do you have an iphone? You have a beautiful apps who can do all that for you, Knitminder... but I understand, I am quite the same and I only have 4 WIP and one is just a blanket for left over yarn... Ravelry was my knitgard... all my yarn, my project and the thing I would like to do...

but of course, I will be lost if I lose my notebook...

JaimieS wrote
on Jan 31, 2011 2:16 PM

I 'organized' my WIP's in a bit different way before the holidays kicked our butts...I frogged probably 90% of them.  I talked myself out of liking any of them that I had on the needles...wrong size, wrong yarn, wrong color...it was surprisingly easier to do than I thought it would be.  It had been so long that they were sitting on the needles that I would look at them and kind of sneer my mouth up at them, so I was over them.  It felt good not having all those WIP's hanging out.  I do have one sweater that needs sleeves and seamed, but it's almost done and I am in love with it I am just intimidated on the seaming part!

I do put WIP's in a plastic gallon baggy though, that way I can just grab the bag, shove it in my purse, and go if I do want to work on it!

AnnWilliams wrote
on Jan 31, 2011 1:27 PM

Sandi, I think we may be related!!!  

NikiS@3 wrote
on Jan 31, 2011 12:14 PM

My main method for managing multiple projects is my knitting journal.  It's not foolproof, but I have gotten better about writing down needle sizes, sources of pattern, modifications, measurements, etc.  I don't carry it with me so there are also pieces of paper tracking where i am on individual projects. Am considering trying out a pattern tracking app for my phone but that might be too much...

and, mostly, I've gotten good at forgiving myself if I don't know where I left off, figuring out how to get started again, and just winging it!