wednesday's needles? In a UFO

Geek Week, Day Three: Check It Out!

Wherein we discover that organization is sometimes only skin deep.

Yes, the Needle Tower was a HUGE step in the right direction for me. It has everything going for it: instant accessibility to the right size, good visibility of contents, and easy maintenance because needles can be put back quickly in the right place.

There is room for improvement.

[My girlfriends-with-small-children (two of whom were over for Girls' Knit Night last night) roll their eyes and ask me to come sort their laundry sometime. Since I have so much time on my hands ... which I clearly must, because I think about these things.]

No, but seriously –NeedleDrawer.jpg take a look in my drawers!*
 Yes, everything in here is a 10-1/2.
That's a good thing,
but there are empty packets of long-gone needles in here
(destined to be recovered from some long-neglected UFO, I'm sure);
and I never match up the incoming needles with their littler pouches;
and all those different packets with ripped cellophane and tired cardboard are getting on my nerves.

[Yes, these are the annoyances that build up when you don't have to chase after small people and change diapers. Everybody's gotta have something.]

 So when you're looking for a solution to a problem like this, look no further than your local yarn store. After all, they must deal with this issue themselves, right?

At Churchmouse, we have a set of used needles in a 'staff stash' which we use to knit up store samples. And with a  staff of ten or a dozen knitters, thatsalotta needles flying in and out. They have a drawer with hanging accordion files (like the kind KarenJo mentioned in the comments the other day). Each needle size gets a file, and each needle in the file gets its own Ziploc bag with a little card-catalog library-check-outcard. It works like this:
The index card reads: "2.5mm • 20" • Turbo"

Every time I take a needle from the drawer, I can write on the card:
• The date the needle is being checked out;
• Which project it's being used in;
and then when the project is done and the needle comes back, I can write down when the needle was returned.

Okay, so it sounds über-geeky when it's your own needle stash, but at the shop it's been hugely helpful -- we get to nag our fellow staff member who's had that 24" rosewood circular checked out since March for their Rowan Felted Tweed sample...

And in my case, it lets me know EXACTLY where to go digging to find that needle. And it saves money!
How, you ask?  Obviously, if I can't find the needle when I need it, I'm likely to just go out and buy another one... right? Oh, come on -- we've all done it. This is how My-First-Husband-Father-of-George ended up with a mess of US 4s in his storage unit, and why I now have even more of them in my stash.

Well, at least I should have even more... they've left their little sleeves behind, like the tired skins of snakes. But is there one right now when I need it for my Halland Mittens on my trip? Noooo....!

Ah well. In the meantime, what I'm left with, even of needles, is a vast improvement, with lots of visual peace:

1499159-1199548-thumbnail.jpg Tidy.
We like that.




Tomorrow on Geek Week: Why Short Hair is Good for Socks.

* Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. Go visit BlueGal if you want to see some panties.