Where Do Your WIPs Live?

KnittingBasketClothPerhaps because I routinely have multiple WIPs at any one time, KnittingBasketAfricanmy WIPs are scattered in an array of containers – a cloth basket hung on a wooden frame I bought 20 years ago (similar to the one on the right) and African market baskets (like those on the left).

But while my WIPs are safely stored, my related “equipment” gets scattered across end tables, under a chair, under couch cushions, on a bookshelf, etc.  By “equipment,” I mean my notebook (as I either knit my own designs or drastically revise existing designs), calculator, a pencil, a good eraser, tape measure, a few colored pencils, a needle gauge, and my hand cream.  The result has been I lose (translate that to “misplace”) the smaller items, buy replacements and eventually end up with multiples.

KnittingBasketBurlington2Seeking to avoid some awful mass-produced commodity from a foreign land, on my bike en route to a local farm to buy applies, I cycled by a local thrift store.  This basket caught my eye: a mid-century Hawkeye Knitting/Sewing Basket made by Burlington Basket Company of Burlington, Iowa.

BikeBasketFearing some other fiber-obsessed person would grab it before I returned with my car, I paid for it, balanced the basket in the wire basket in the front of my bike by putting two of the sewing basket’s legs through the wire basket, and cycled on to the farm where I loaded up my rear panniers with McIntosh apples.  Only then did I cycle home (carefully) with my treasure.  As you can imagine, I received some odd looks from drivers.

KnittingBasketBurlingtonOf course. after I turned the apples into sauce and pies, I had to find out about the manufacturer.

Established in 1888, Burlington Basket Company was once a premier producer of baskets, hampers, bassinets, picnic accoutrements, etc.  It even supplied Walmart, K-Mart and Target in the 1960s when these now-giant corporations were far smaller.  (See here for more details.)

Ultimately, however, like many American manufacturers, Burlington Basket Company was unable to compete with the low prices of goods manufactured in China (and other places) and declared bankruptcy in 2011.

I am happy I found such a useful item – and one that once had an important place in American manufacturing history.  In the process, I saved money (I paid $8.50 in USD), kept something out of a landfill and gave a new home to an item that, I like to think, was cherished by its previous owner for over 50 years.

So back to my original question, what do you use to store your WIPs along with the related, important items?!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Crocheting, Knitting, Miscellany and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Where Do Your WIPs Live?

  1. Pingback: What’s in the box? | Tangled Up In Blue

  2. slippedstitches says:

    She had excellent taste.

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  3. I know the feeling … you end up with lots of little units storing knitting treasures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, that sounds wonderful!

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  5. Years ago, my daughter’s chihuahua, then a puppy, would burrow into skeins of yarns left unattended. Curiously, she only went into skeins of cashmere, ignoring all the wool skeins. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not so sure I can be the best example of organizing … one of my storage “units” is a nice wooden open low box with a wooden handle. It was sitting on the floor today and I forgot about it. I walked through the room carrying my sandwich and a glass of water to find myself flying through the air. Thankfully most of me landed on the couch. My sandwich and water … well, they went farther. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely sympathize about notions getting out of control. I have several little boxes of notions that now live in the bigger box!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Allison says:

    I love your basket! I have a little accessories bag to hold my scissors, markers, etc. WIPs have their own little drawstring bags that are either on the couch or in my tote bag: my system of organization is informal!

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  9. rucraw says:

    I inherited a beautiful bedroom dresser from my great grandmother that originally came from a cruise liner – it now has yarn and craft supplies spilling from every drawer and shelf with the WIPs usually on the top!

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  10. slippedstitches says:

    My WIPs live in large plastic storage bins with locking lids to keep out Yarn Rascal, my little dog who loves everything that’s yarn.

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  11. Libby says:

    Yes, I always look under cushions if something goes missing!

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  12. KerryCan says:

    Mine work is all over the place–old suitcases, plastic bags, baskets–and I am feeling a serious need to organize and make sense of things. I need to do the same with sewing/quilting/weaving tools–I can never find what I need! Maybe your post will inspire me . . .

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  13. Many thanks. No problem

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  14. Sorry – I should have spelled out WIP! (And your garden is lovely!) >

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the link to the cases. I’ll take a look at them. I have soooo many needles (both circular and double point), that I’ve created a system to house my circular needles in a large binder and my double points go in a (very) large pencil box. Ahhh, we do what we can! 🙂

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  16. Yes, our knitting goodies do travel around the house, don’t they? As I don’t think I have any elves or tomter who come out at night and move things around, I guess when I find cable needles in the silverware drawer I have only myself to blame! 🙂

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    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks! It is!

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  18. Every time I try to organize my knitting-related goodies, I get distracted because I invariably find things I forgot I had!

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    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s tough keeping track of them all, isn’t it?! I find many of my knitting tools end up hiding under couch cushions!

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    Liked by 1 person

  20. For some of us, perhaps trying to keep our fiber/craft tools organized is a bit like herding cats! 🙂 >

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a great idea (though I don’t have a single drawstring bag in the house)!

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    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have a big pencil case for my DPs, though my circular needles are grouped by size in gallon-sized zip lock baggies, 3-hole punched and then stored in a fat binder!

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  23. As long as you know where they are! Of course, I am curious how portable you find a pickle crock! 🙂

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  24. Susan says:

    Oh dear, do I have to ‘fess up? In everything from 12 gal stone crocks (yeah, why not pickles or
    krout?) to whatever will contain them…pillow cases, boxes…..how embarrassing!!

    Like

  25. teabeaknits says:

    I have a lot of cotton totes I’ve picked up at conferences which I use to store WIPs, unfortunately most are white but I do try and colour coordinate if possible. A see through plastic shoebox houses knickknacks but I do have a pencil case that I use for travelling which tends to always have a tape measure, crochet hooks, pencil, rubber, etc in it……unless of course I’ve used them elsewhere and not replaced them.Oh wait a minute, that’s my hubby, not me!

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  26. writeknit says:

    I keep WIP in those “giveaway” drawstring bags you get a fairs, 5k runs, etc. Each is ready to go in an instant and I can leave the yarn inside the bag while knitting or crocheting and it stays clean when I am at work or riding in the car 🙂

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  27. What a great post which has had me smiling the whole way through. Only last night I was accused by my teenage son of cluttering up the house with all of my wool related paraphernalia. To be honest I hadn’t noticed …and then I looked around. WIPs are found in various baskets in our tiny cottage along with fleece to be carded, carded fleece to be spun, etc. etc. My most precious container though is my sewing box that my husband made as a project when he was in school. I love it even though it is usually spilling over with threads and various sewing implements. It just wouldn’t seem right to replace it with something else. Well done for finding such a super sewing/knitting basket in the charity shop. It’s gorgeous!

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  28. That basket is an awesome find! I love it!

    My more active and/or portable WIPs live in a small canvas bag and get toted around with me. Longer term or more complicated things have a new home in my decidedly less exciting goodwill find–a medium sized bin with locking lid.

    My needles and notions and such are getting out of control. I have a couple of small tins or tupperwares with the essentials: a tape measure, blunt darning needle, stitch markers, scissors, maybe a cable needle. I used to have straight needles in a box and everything else in a large rectangular tin, but lately I’ve been acquiring more things so I’m trying to figure out how to best reorganize.

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  29. Libby says:

    Mine too are stored all over the place in a variety of bags, drawers and boxes, including a sewing basket woven for me by my mother when I was a child (and much loved it is too!).

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  30. kiwiyarns says:

    Love the story! My WIPs are stored much like yours – I have an African basket with the less active ones. The ones I am working on currently sit on the ottoman in front of my chair. All the notions that go with knitting sit on the ottoman too, or the coffee table (that also serves as secondary storage for WIPs…). The bulk of my needles and other knitting-related paraphernalia have their own shelf in my wool room.

    Like

  31. liwella says:

    Your new basket sounds fabulous by the way 🙂

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  32. liwella says:

    I tend to keep my WIPs in cloth project bags. They vary from a cosmetics bag I got free (perfect for socks) up to large sweater size bags. They’re usually tote bags but I have a few ‘proper’ project bags.

    I store my notions in several ways. I have a small tin I can carry round with me (retractable tape measure, scissors, darning needles, flexible stitch holders, stitch markers, row counters, pins). I also have a larger version I keep in a pencil case at home. Needles I sort and store in storage boxes upstairs, but they have a habit of migrating downstairs over time, so every now and then I have to pick them up and take them all back upstairs.

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  33. My WIPs usually live in plastic bags. Very prosaic, I know! 😀 I have a very similar basket to yours to store my scissors, threads, tape measures etc that I found when we cleaned out my Grandma’s house. For my needles I use a knitting needle case I’ve sewn from a tutorial I found on the internet: https://lagrancostanza.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/from-the-archives-my-knitting-needle-case/
    It’s very pretty and practical at the same time. I can take it everywhere and it doesn’t take up that much space!

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  34. I had to Google WIP 🙂 Ours is in the garden. Mine is on my desk and in the library

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