Friday, 25 April 2014

A Needling Question of Storage

How do you store your knitting needles? My last post about how to make one's own knitting needles got me thinking about options for storing them. You're looking at my method, a cut glass vase that I found at Value Village for $6 and that sits on a chest of drawers in my attic workroom. Vases and other containers with an elongated shape are probably the simplest and most cost-effective solution for knitting needle storage. People use all kinds of containers for their needles, and often employ whatever's already sitting around the house: old paint cans, mason jars, cookie tins, or Pringle or coffee cans. One attractive option is to use those tubular gift boxes designed to hold wine bottles.

If the vase option isn't organized enough for you (the one drawback of the vase method is that fishing for a certain size needles can take a few very frustrating minutes), there are a number of types of needle cases to consider. This is one of the higher-end options, a Namaste Double Wide Red Circular Knitting Needle Case. Namaste makes a range of storage cases that are designed specifically for knitting needles and knitting notions, and I must admit they are all pretty snazzy looking.

Another storage option is to use a binder to hold your knitting needles. This option is probably best for your circular needles and DPNs, because your straight needles may be too long to fit within the binder. You can assemble a knitting needle binder yourself and organize it in exactly the manner you wish fairly easily and inexpensively, because Staples will have a selection of binders and hole punched envelopes and cases. A zippered binder like this one would be ideal because it prevents your needles from ever falling out, but an ordinary 2" school binder will serve the purpose as well. If you wish you can dress up an old binder by making it a special fabric or knitted cover, to which a zipper, tie or snap closure can be added. The needle-containing envelopes inside the binder can be labelled and organized by size to make it easy for you to find the needle you want, and the binder itself can be stowed away on a bookshelf.

A fourth knitting needle option is to use a folding fabric storage case. These cases are widely available for sale (the one depicted above was made by Etsy vendor Lena Brown). If you have even basic sewing skills, you can try your hand at designing your own. Sometimes people use placemats for this kind of project rather than raw fabric as so much of the cutting, shaping, reinforcing, and edge finishing is already done. A case like this can be made exactly to your specifications and can potentially hold all your tools — not only all your needles but also your scissors, stitch markers, tape measure, needle gauge, etc. The case can also be made to tie, zip, or snap shut. Another option is to stitch a casing along the top of their fabric needle cases so that a dowel rod can be slipped through it, attach a cord or ribbon to the ends of the dowel rod, and hang the needle case on a wall or to the back of a door.

Have you found another storage option besides that of a vase, box, binder or handmade or purchased needle storage case? Tell us about it in the comments!


  1. I keep my straight needles in a rolled fabric case, my DPNs in their original packets in a little basket, and my circulars in a hanging organizer like this one:
    It looks a little crazy with all the spiky ends everywhere but it makes finding things and putting them back away right a snap.

  2. I made a fairly crude hanger for circulars, which I really need to label and organize so I can find things better. For straights and DPNs, I use a makeup container I found at the Container Store, which is essentially a bunch of tubes joined together, and I did label those so I can tell the 5s from the 6s without a needle gauge. Works like a charm! (

  3. I have a dollar store cache pot for my straights, antique stoneware marmalade jar for some dpns, and then a couple other cylindrical holders for other dpns and hooks etc. The circulars are very messily stored in a hanging holder I made from a dollar store place mat and ribbon. All other needles are hidden away with various UFOs causing the need for occasional rampages in the laundry room where my gear is stored or a trip to a local shop for what I already have but can't find. My storage and organizational methods could be better. :oP

  4. My circs are in a zipped CD case which fits them really well (I really need to get a second one because it doesn't close any more since I bought what amounts to a second complete set when I started doing socks TAAT). My new DPN set of 5 sock sizes (a couple of years old) is in their purchase case which is proving quite sturdy, and my motley collection of ancient aluminium and plastic needles are rubber-banded in sizes and stuffed into my nappy bag, which hasn't seen it's original purpose for 20 years. The really big ones are loose at the bottom of the bag, but it's hard to lose a bright yellow 10mm plastic needle.

  5. I use 6x9 envelopes for my circular needles. I write the size and length on the envelope tab and stand them up (sorted by size) in a shoe box with the labeled tab at the top. Since I hardly ever use anything but circulars, I keep my double points and straight needles in a flat box beside the shoe box. Works great for me as I have a plethora of circular needles.

  6. An accordian portable document file works great! for both circular and straight, organized by size.