Friday, November 16, 2012

My Expandable Circular Needle Holder

I prefer fixed circular knitting needles as a general rule, for several reasons. I have some interchangeables, but the range of sizes is limited so they are usually my last choice, despite the undeniable lure of a case with a place for each needle tip, cable, tightening key, etc. (What is it about a custom-made case that gives me such a thrill??) I was keeping my needles in the original zip-loc bags, filed in an "elegant" cardboard box. I got tired of fishing them out of those bags, having the size labels fall off and having the cables permanently curled into a tight spiral.
I had a few requirements for alternative storage. First, I wanted it to be cheap. I spend so much on the needles that I can hardly afford to spend much on storage (besides, more needles is more exciting than more storage). I also wanted it to be space efficient. I wanted it to be easy to make and I wanted something that wouldn't require the cables to remain coiled. I wanted the needles to be organized by size and length and most of all, I wanted to be able to add new needles without having to move the existing ones around.
That last requirement was critical. We used to keep our DVDs in those binders with little pockets, four pockets to a page. The problem was that we have so many that we needed to keep them organized so we could find the one we wanted. We chose to alphabetize by title, but every time we got a new DVD, we had to move some of the ones we had to keep them alphabetized. It was a major pain and my husband (who did all the filing) grumbled a lot. I knew I didn't want to face the same problem with my knitting needle storage. That meant I needed to be able to "insert" a new needle whenever I wanted without having to shift the other ones around.
I thought about it a while (longer than I'm willing to admit, because I'd like you to think that I'm so brilliantly clever that the solution came to me instantaneously). In the end though, I figured out a solution that satisfied all my requirements. My needles are now hanging on the back of a door. The cables are still a little curly, but I think they'll relax with time. Here they are:
Each size and length of needle has its own little holder labeled with its "vital statistics." The holders are attached to each other with velcro. That means that I can take them apart and insert another holder. I can also carry off a needle and its holder for use if I like. Taking the holder along with the needle means I have its size and length handy so I don't have to wonder what needle it is when it's time to put it away.
The holders are made with extra firm heavyweight sew-in stabilizer. I bought a yard and I had enough for about 80 of them.
Here are the instructions, in case you'd like to do this too.  

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