Q for You: How many needles/hooks do you own?

Q for You: How many needles/hooks do you own?

Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating today, and happy peaceful quiet day to everyone else! I thought this would be a good day to ask a question for which the answer might well be changing for many of you at this very moment. It’s a pretty simple but meaty one, so anyone who misses it today can weigh in over the long weekend, and I hope everyone will enjoy checking back to see all of the answers. The Q is: How many needles and/or hooks do you own, and more so, how do you store them?

To be perfectly clear: I totally have an ulterior motive in asking this one. It’s a problem I’m personally always trying to solve — and am at it again while setting up my new workroom — but it’s also something I get asked constantly with regard to Fringe Supply Co. We’re all looking for the perfect needle storage product, and I have multiple ideas of things I want to develop, but is there even such a thing as perfect needle storage? There are just SO MANY variables, as I’m sure will be evident in the answers to this one. It’s a true conundrum.

Me, for instance, I own all of two pairs of straight needles — one size 50, which have been used once, and one size 17 which were just recently sent to me by Wool and Gang. What I have loads of are circular needles and DPNs. I own two sets of Dreamz interchangeable circular needles, along with a booster set of the big tips. I love love love them, and those are what I use almost exclusively, but they’re spilling out of the plastic zip pouch they came in, which also won’t last forever. I keep that in my knitting bag with my works-in-progress.

Then there are all of the circs I had accumulated before my sister gave me the Dreamz, which have become my gap fillers and loaners. I found the old metal card-catalog drawers pictured above at the Nashville flea a few months ago and recently sorted this particular motley crew into it. They’re all still in their original packages, so I know what the gauges and lengths are, and are sorted into the drawers by size. (I still need to label the drawers.) There are 39 of them that I can locate at the moment. (Not counting whatever might currently be in use or tossed in various project bags.)

Then there are the DPNs. I own at least 32 sets (same caveat), of just about every type known to man. I also keep them in their original packages, again so I can see the sizes at a glance. I love seeing pics of people’s needles all plopped down in a jar together, but it seems like it would be a nightmare to find four of the same size when you need them, no? I’m toying with the idea of rubber banding them all together and putting them in this Mexican candleholder also seen in the photo up top, so at least they’re in sets. But even then, knowing how the numbers wear off the shafts, I dread the idea of getting out a needle gauge every time I’m trying to locate a size. I’ve toyed with various means of tagging them, but always resort to putting them back in their packages and keeping them all together in a box. But I love the idea of having them out where I can admire them! Along with all of my crochet hooks and Tunisian hooks. So I’m hoping one of you has some brilliant solution for this.

So that’s my two-part question: How many needles/hooks? And are they in a box, a jar, a tool roll, their store packaging, what? What works (or doesn’t) for you? If you’ve posted pictures on the interwebs somewhere, be sure to include a link, please!


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64 thoughts on “Q for You: How many needles/hooks do you own?

  1. I have never counted them, afraid too! I have some in a good sized wooden chest, thought it would hold them all, it doesn’t. Two needle rolls for straights, wood in one, metal in another. One of those Lantern moon holders, like a box with plastic seperators for circulars, does not work well, will only hold one of each size. A large vase holds my Mothers loooong needles, mostly aluminum. I inherited my cousin Pat’s under the bed storage box of needles and hooks, would never attempt to count them, way too many. I have the Knit picks circulars wooden tips, have the tips in their original sleeves and in a zippered bag, and the cables are in another bag. Crochet hooks, some in a jar, some in a lovely little zippered crochet hook case, but it only holds about 14 hooks. None of this really works, would love an all in one chest of drawers for them, but then I would want that in the family room next to my chair, so that probably won’t happen. Maybe 2015 will be the year I get organized. :)

    • For my straight needles I have a carrier tote from Dick Blick art supplies that is made out of canvas and has LOTS of skinny pockets(maybe for paint brushes?) all around the outside that hold them in the order of size – with the super big needles in the bigger pockets on the two ends. The inside is filled with containers with buttons, etc.
      For my circulars I use small open baskets (I think from Pottery barn kids, not sure) that are just big enough to hold the circulars in their plastic sleeves with colored mat board dividers with size number son them as tabs.
      For the frequently used Karbonz circulars, a beautiful wool Pendleton zippered case that holds both the regular size circular set and then the shorter size set I have as well.

    • After decades of trying everything I could think of, I hit upon a semi-satisfactory solution that I’ve been using for a number of years now. It’s far from perfect, but it works well enough that I haven’t felt compelled to try anything else OR to spend money I can’t afford on any “better” (i.e., more expensive) solution I’ve seen in knitting supplies catalogs or magazines.

      I bought a large 13-pocket plastic accordion filing folder at an office supply store, labeled the tabs with the appropriate numbers, and “filed” all my circular needles according to their sizes. How many do I have? Too many of some, and not enough of others!

      My Knitpicks set of interchangeable needles are stored in the plastic case they came in, together with the occasional extra pair I’ve accumulated in the sizes I use most often. Cables are kept in the plastic envelopes they came in, which in turn is stored in the original Knitpicks case.

      My straight needles, which I almost never use any more, are stored in a fabric roll designed for that purpose that I’ve had for many years. One of these days I’m going to donate all but one or two pairs of each size to some worthy organization. I do have some dpn’s, but I hate them and I’ve never learned to use them properly, so they just live in another fabric bag and are rolled up with the straight needles.

      I look forward to reading other responses to your questions, in the hope that someone will post an even better and still cheap solution to the problem of circular needle storage.

  2. I have several sets of interchangeables, a ton of circulars and a few dpns and 2 straight needles that I will never use again. I made myself an awesome zippered case which has more than enough space for all that I own including all notions (except for the two straiggts, they are in their own case at the bottom of a bag of yarn) and spaces for much more. It is very compact and beautiful, and I love my creative design of it. I can even remove sections that I can take with me on the go. It is beyond fantastic! And the fabric is heavenly to touch. And nothing ever spills out. I’m so glad I took the time and effort to create this marvelous masterpiece.

  3. Knitting and organization – two of my favorite topics! goody.
    I have a chest of drawers from Ikea that’s about 4′ tall, with wee flat drawers – perfect for needles. One size per drawer, so I get from 0 to 13/15 (combo drawer) all in one place.
    DPNs I have ganged up with a hair elastic labeled with their numbers – punched a hole in a metal-ringed garage-sale-price-label thingy and the kind & size written on it (i.e. “Brittany 3.5mm/US4″).
    The interchangeable sets mostly live on the little side tables next to my usual knitting spots – I have 2 favorites…. the Karbonz (my go-to needles these days) next to my dad’s old chair; and the Addi Natura Clicks next to the window seat.

    But I’ve been knitting professionally for quite a while, so I probably (hopefully!) have more needles than most. What I recommend to knitters when I teach about this is a receipt file from the paper goods store. They make them to fit 8-1/2″x11” paper, and they come with 30 slots (one per day). 30 is more than enough to organize most needles. And you can close them with the flap and the elastic cord they usually come with. Sorted, contained, portable. All good. My only beef with them is that the divider slats don’t usually go all the way to the bottom, so you have to put the DPNs in a little zip bag or they roll around at the bottom like a little needle mosh pit. Unhelpful!

    • You’re smart to use hair elastics — I’ve bought old sets of DPNS at estate sales that have been rubber banded together for years; the rubber tends to break down and stick to the needles, and it can be nearly impossible to get it off.

  4. I have one heck of a mess. I wish you would find a solution for us. I try and keep them in the original bags stuffed in a tote bag. The truth is mostly a tangled mess.

  5. Nothing works..I wish they marked the size better…so I could see it and it didn’t wear off! Circulars are pretty much all I use..Addie turbos always need gauge…

  6. I’ve never counted them, but I have a few needles. When not in use, I keep the individual circulars in flutter original packaging in a plastic box. I have them sorted by needle size then length. All of moist strfaight needles (I do not use) are arranged in a glass jar. Think a vase of arranged flowers.

  7. I too have a lot of needles. My straights which are barely used are in a beautiful vintage fabric roll. I have one set of lantern moon interchangeables which I now use most often. They are in their original silk pouch and are easy to carry everywhere. My older circular needles are in a rather clever organized system, but not at all beautiful. I went to Staples and bought a clear plastic pencil pouch for each size needle I had, one for DPNs and one for miscellaneous (stitch holders, cable needles, crochet, etc.). I labeled each pouch and connected them all with metal rings also found at staples. It is not attractive but it works!!

  8. I have some straights I never use. I don’t like interchangables splitting. I wasn’t sure what brands I liked best so I have a mix of Addi, Boyle, Hiya Hiya and Chiagoos.

    I’ve developed a method to determine size. Zip-lock sandwich bags hold a needle giving enough room for them to relax. I keep the original wrapping there so I can identify the brand later. I mark the size and length on the outside of the bag. The bags are kept in order by size in a small square box tucked in a handy place.

    Happy Knit Year.

  9. I have a notion to make a hanging bag out of quilted material for all my needles…I have the fabric and a vague idea but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I have many, many pairs of straight needles, some that belonged to my Nanna (and since I’m 60 years old myself, they are OLD!) I rarely use them any more, preferring to use circular needles myself for almost anything now, but how can I get rid of my Nanna’s needles? Anyway, when I make this bag I want to make sure I can store the circulars so they aren’t all wound up. I hate knitting with them when the cord keeps curling up! If I ever get it done–I have way too many knitting and sewing projects that I’d rather do first–I’ll send along the details.

  10. Oh my goodness. I am a bit afraid to count. I have two different sets of interchangeables – one will stay in the case it came in (Knitter’s Pride Karbonz), the other is in an adorable Dela Q case. Plus, I have spare tips, misc. fixed circulars and a handful of straights… Maybe a dozen ish double points, plus a set of Karbonz DPNs too… how do I count the interchangeables? LOL As for crochet hooks … A dozen? maybe?

    I struggle all the time with how to store everything. For the time being, there’s a couple of Dela Q cases and everything gets tucked into a small hinged basket next to my hope chest. I’ve yet to find “the” way!

  11. Merry Christmas! Like most of the other commenters, I have a roll of straights (mostly old aluminium) in varying colors, sizes and lengths that I rarely use any more, and my circs stashed loosely in order in the drawer of a large side table beside my knitting chair. Have heaps of dpns in a shallow box inherited from my neighbour’s mother-in-law(!) so mostly old aluminium too ……… I have rubber-banded them together but need to use the gauge to find out their size every time I need them which is mostly for Icords.

  12. I have a set of the Dreamz interchangeables and they’re my favorite, too! I recently reorganized my needles & now keep my fixed circs and extra cables sorted by size in an old Letraset box–like a little desktop flatfile. I don’t save the packaging, I just keep a needle gauge handy. I store the interchangeable needles rubber banded together in a pouch made of recycled sailcloth–heavy enough for the needles to not poke through the fabric. The few straight needles I have left I keep in a mason jar–

  13. I just took a deep breath and went to count them. I have 56 circulars, 38 sets of dpns and 4 sets of interchangeables (Addi, HiyaHiya, Chiagoo and Denise). That doesn’t count the ones that are in projects.
    I have purchased some “systems” along the way. Nothing worked. Most of my needles that weren’t in projects were in a single drawer. That took forever to look through whenever I needed a needle.
    A couple of years ago it was time to figure this out. I got a 3 inch thick spiral binder and a bunch of sheet protectors and put all needles of one size in a protector. I have from 00 to 10.5. There is also a needle gauge in the front pocket. I finally got the courage to dump all the packaging. It just added too much bulk to everything. For the dpns I bought what I suspect is a hanging jewelry bag. It has 8 zippered pockets on the front and 8 more in the back. The pockets have a plastic window so you can see what is in each one. I started at the top and put all the needles of the same size in to a pocket and worked my way through all 16 with notions in the last couple. I also keep a needle gauge in one of the pockets. It’s no fun to have to go searching for one.
    This has worked really well for me. It certainly has saved me a lot of time. It has also made me wonder why I have six sets of size 1 dpns.

  14. I bought small binders at staples and ziplock type pencil cases that fit the binders. All my circa are in these, labeled by size. My dpns are banded together by size and in a jar near my knitting space. I put a little tag on each band, although I don’t mind using my needle gauge and I always keep one handy. I find that needles of the same size will actually have slight differences between brands which can be helpful to know if you’re switching needles mid project. I also have interchangeables from dreamz and they are in the original case, which is working for now. I have been collecting “vintage” needles from antique shops whenever I find them. These are in a vase. My binders of circs are my favorite tool keeper so far, probably because they’re functional and low fuss, and affordable. It gives me a lot of pleasure to have a couple of things organized in the midst of all this chaos!

  15. I like your organization, but I would tie dp’s with twine or string. Rubber bands degrade…and sometimes adhere to a surface.

    Also, Ravelry has an online organizer so you can at least keep an inventory. Though, I have to admit that, if I am traveling and just happen to NOT have the right size needle for a project I just purchased, chances are I will buy new needles.

    And I have a full contingent of circulars (and multiples in sizes I use a lot) and dp’s, a set of birch single points, two types of KnitPicks interchangeables, a set and travel set of Denise, and a set of Dyakcraft.

  16. I have an old, very tall small 8 1/2 by 11 flat file from a library. The circs fit in the 15 flat drawers, the interchangeables in the one big top drawer. a good solution. I am afraid to count, but have multiples of 0, 1,little and big 2s and 5s as I am a sock knitter…but not many DPNs for me! Only a few pair in a jar.

  17. It’s a real Christmas treat to hear you are puzzling over this issue for us. I, too have the plastic case for knitter’s dreamz interchangeables and that is housing other circs for me. I have a too-small waxed canvas pencil roll for DPNs. I want a small leather or canvas binder with brass grommets and linen zippered pouches. I can make it, but I’ve never had the time yet. If I could buy effective non-plastic storage for circular needles, I would be a happier crafter. Why hasn’t this obvious organizational conundrum been solved already? There is a fortune to be made here! I recall Jared Flood, in his Our Tools profile, claimed he had engineered a solution for himself. I still want to know more…

    • Yes, I was frustrated also that we didn’t get a pic of Jared Flood’s circular organizer. Karen, did you see it? It was a hanging system, as I recall. So I sketched for hours and played for days stitching up some circular holders, but alas there were all too fussy or complex. And then the lightbulb came on. It’s almost finished, I will share when it is. Might have to pc you KT !

  18. I have more than I can count! I have all of my own needles which I purchased as needed when completing a project. When my grandmother passed away I inherited all of her needles! Gram was 80 and notorious for having unfinished projects. Imagine a lifetime of needles accumulated and many duplicates since there was always a project on the needles! Straight needles, circulars, DPNs, and crochet hooks. I can’t bear to part with any of them. I currently have all the straight needles and circulars in a big bin. Crochet hooks in a pencil box and DPNs in another pencil box. I am most frustrated by the DPNs and have been looking for alternative storage. They are not sorted by size and I spend a ton of time with a gauge each time I begin a new project. I had settled on sewing a roll up case for them but perhaps I’ll wait to see what you come up with since your products are always so lovely!

  19. What a great question, with hopefully, a good accessory solution-to-be.
    The # of needles, straight, circular, dpns reach towards 100, all together. Though My favorites are Dreamz, and not the inter changeable ones. The Knit Picks were my favorites once, but the colors being all the same, it got annoying to test gauge each time, even with your gorgeous wooden gauge,especially with sock needles . So Dreamz it is going forward, except for when Karbonz work better on stiff bast yarns.
    Storage for all these needles currently is aLantern Moon big roll. It’s annoying , though, because it has no notions storage and the needles all tumble out of their pockets if I don’t roll it just so and stand it upright in a basket.
    I’d be over the moon with a wooden chest unit that held all types of needles and a way to sort them by type and length. Also a drawer with divisions for notions. The idea of being able to pull out a drawer and see all my 5″ sock needles separated from 6″ and *” dpns, or a notions drawer with compartments for tapestry needles, markers, gauges, row counters, etc.! Wow!
    Being portable isn’t a big issue, as it’s easy enough to put a few things in a carrying pouch or case. BUT, what if there was also a co-ordinating mini case, very slender, for toting on the go?
    Being a sewer and fiber arts maker person, I can’t think of any “soft” solution that would be great except matching cases designed for each type of needle that somehow could be then all gathered together, perhaps in a bigger, sectioned envelope ?
    And of leather , so it doesn’t get dirty and tatty looking.

  20. like all the above people…..I have an embarrassing number of needles!!! Since i hardly ever use my straights any more (except my signature ones and they are easy to spot), they all live in an old French pottery pitcher and look good. My circulars are in a ‘worm binder’ kind of thing that actually was made for circulars and works OK….each pouch holds a different size from 0-7, 8+ are all jumbled together because I hardly ever use those sizes. I can’t remember who made these, but I carried them in my shop when I had it. (sizes 4 and 5 must have a dozen or more needles in each pouch—it really holds a lot!) DPs live in a fabric roll….one roll for long ones, one for short ones, and the karbonz and the knitpicks live in their own carrier case they came in……and constantly get in the wrong compartment. (I have one of those Mexican candle holders—-I thought it was a sugar mold?….and I put my extra ‘tools’ in it….cable needles, stitch holders, crochet hooks, etc.)

  21. I have no good solution to this. But I would love it if you came up with something for your shop, because I know it would be fabulous. As is everything you sell. I was just given a few items from your shop today and I’m in heaven.

  22. Wow! What a question – can’t wait to read the responses. I own … well, A LOT. A pair or so of straights, tons of circulars and dpns. Crochet hooks – one or two in every size up to 6mm. So the juggling has been going on for a while: how to store for how I use them? Years ago I found a long canvas organizer that hangs on a hook (or in my case, a hanger in the closet) and I love it for circulars! Especially for the long dangling circulars. There they are, hanging neatly in the closet by size. My dilemma, though, is wanting circulars/dpns at hand for having with me when I’m not at home. Solution so far: two small fabric zippered cases, the smaller inside the larger. The small (handmade, waxed case of Karen’s) contains crochet hooks and tiny knitting essentials. The larger case contains the must-have needle gauge, the dpns rubber-banded, the most used 16″ circulars. Grab a couple of stocked up project bags and I’m ready for (almost) anything! Yup, rubber-banding dpns has become the best solution for me.

  23. I don’t know how many pairs/sets of needles I have, there are straights (multiple lengths in each size), DPNs in multiple lengths, circulars in multiple lengths – of course there are wood, bamboo, metal and a few plastic in each type. I have been knitting for 50 years so have slowly accumulated the needles (and been gifted a few). I keep the straights in the needle roll my mom made me 25 years ago, the DPNs are mostly in a newish Della Q roll (the tiny “glove” DPNs are in a Tupperware container), the circulars are in a “worm binder”, pages held together by a binder ring (just the pages – one size per page). All of these fit together in a large round Ghana basket. I keep thinking about clearing out some of the needles I don’t use (mostly plastic circulars) but they take such a little bit of space that I can’t be bothered.

    Probably if I ever finished all the WIPs I might have a needle storage problem!

  24. All of the above…I keep the straight needles in a needle roll as I almost never use them anymore, and I have alot! of straights. Circs are mostly in the packaging or the project they’re being used for, double pointed in a roll. As for double pointed needles, the ones in use are kept in a roll of their own as I have a fondness for losing them out of car doors at rest stops apparently. But that’s always a great excuse for needing to stop at a yarn store to replace the needle I lost! And the odd few are in a jar. So there you are!

  25. I have a beautiful and useless bouquet of long vintage straights that belonged to my grandmother. Can’t seem to part with them, though I never use them. They are in a tall glass vase, all ajumble. My dpns, a set in nearly every size, live in a pottery vase designed for that purpose with holes of various sizes. I wish it were more organized, but it gets the job done. And my fixed circs are hanging from one of those long fabric sorters that I made and labeled with knit picks plastic tags whose original purpose is to label UFOs when you rob them of their needles. My interchangeables are housed in an AMAZING Pendleton case which I fawn over regularly. Definitely the crown jewel of my needle organizational system. I wish they would design a case for fixed circs with a similar feel.

  26. Oh yes similar dilemma as stated above. My circs live in a vintage pitcher which is so not practical in a damp climate and dpns in jelly jars tied together by size with yarn. I live in a 1940s California home all very vintage so would love a vintage style storage system! I love your creativity and hope you find an awesome solution! Love your blog!

  27. My knitting space is in a chair in our living area of our open dining room and kitchen. I have a large basket filled with yarn and some needles from past and future projects. I then have my loved project bags with present projects stacked on top , or falling to the side. My needles are kept in lantern moon rolls, one for double points and another for circs. I did have circs in ziplock bags labeled by size. This worked well but I have not kept up with it. The double point keep falling out . It is a mess. So happy you are addressesing this problem.

  28. My favorite needles are Chiaogoo circular – excellent points, very smooth joins, nice coiless cable. I also have 2 sets of Addi interchanble – wood and metal. But the Chiaogoo are my go to needles.
    I store them in their packages in a container from a craft store, originally designed for scrapbooking. It has a number of compartments on a lazy susan. And there are little drawers as well for storing markers and other doodads. See a picture here: http://www.michaels.com/recollections-storage-desktop-carousel/10442456.html#start=15
    I have tried a number of different options – drawers, pencil case in a notebook, etc. But this is the best.

  29. I am one of those people that stores DPNs in jars, not just for aesthetics, but because its convenient to park ’em nearby on a windowsill or bookshelf and just grab one when I need them. Also I can see at a quick glance what I have. I only own about a dozen or so sets and I group them by size so there aren’t too many to rummage through in each jar. I store my circulars in one of these kind of things: https://www.etsy.com/listing/152195862/hanging-circular-knitting-needle?ref=shop_home_active_14, which I made from the pattern in the Stitch and Bitch book (only I didn’t label the sleeves with numbers). It’s a great project for using up scrap fabric! I find I am more likely to spend my knitting budget on yarn and patterns than on fancy storage –BUT I am still excited to see what you design and I am sure it will be beautiful!

  30. I have loads- full sets of Addi Turbo circulars in 40″ and 32″ lengths, 2 sets of interchangeables, a multitude of shorter circulars, and DPNs. I keep them all in a fishing tackle case- https://www.flickr.com/photos/helloyarn/5324179816/ I have a labeled sleeve for each size needle, and the front of the case has pockets that I store all the cables and bits and bobs that go along with them, and a needle sizer so that I can put the needles back in the right sleeve. I have never been happier with any storage solution. I do have some straight needles in a jar looking cute like a bouquet, but I never use them. All they ever do is look cute.

  31. A knitting neighbor recently passed away and I ended up with an abundance of straight, DPN and fixed circular needles that I had to wrangle into submission. I have yet to figure out how to store the straight needles, as they are mucking about in an old large coffee can! But, my DPNs are stored in a Nancy’s Knit Knacks Double Pointed Knitting Needle Tubes. Each tube is for a different size needle. All of these fit inside an old Chinese Tea tin I found at a second hand store. My fixed circulars are stored in a manilla accordion folder intended for photographs that I purchased at an office supply store. Each accordion fits a different size of needle.

  32. I have a BYOB, build your own binder, from Namaste, for my precious Dyakcraft interchangables, and my dpns are in an old makeup brush zippered bag.

  33. I’ve been intending to buy an inexpensive rag rug at Target and turn it into a hanging organizer for circular needles. I think you could just thread them through the loose weave and tag them down the side with size labels of some kind. The rug could be hung on a wall, or from a rod in the closet. However, until I do that, they’re jumbled in their original packages in a big case. I use Evernote to keep my inventory so I can check to see what I already have when I’m shopping for a new project.

  34. What a fun question! I own a lot of needles, accumulated over many years. I have a smallish collection of wooden and vintage straight needles that I rarely use, but I do like the look of them so I keep them in a vase. I have lots of DPNs, and those I keep in a fabric roll. Actually, I have two rolls – one for sock needle sizes and one for size 3 and up. I don’t keep the needles in the packaging, so often need the needle sizer because, as you mentioned, the size often wears off. For the circulars, which I probably use more than anything else, I tried several methods before I landed on a fishing tackle binder by Shimano. It is a very heavy duty (and probably water proof!) binder that zips on 3 sides and holds a series of heavy vinyl pouches. I have one pouch for each needle size. I still have to pull them out to choose the right length, but in general it works for me because the pouches are labeled and everything is in one place.

  35. At the moment all of my circulars, in thir original packages, are in a (very)small tote bag, which may have to be expanded. My DPNs are in a long zippered cloth case. I think it was for jewelry…it was a gift that I was never sure how to use. It works well, but is getting very full. Again, original packaging; I need to know what I am looking at. Good luck with the storage hunt.

  36. Note: Rubber bands rot quickly. Within a year or two.

    My current plan for dpns is a work in progress. I have saved a small collection of the glass jars from Starbucks Frappicunio (spelling?) drinks you can buy at the grocery store. I have obtained some of the key tags that are round with metal around the edge. I want to wrap the tops of each jar with yarn, attach the key tag with the correct needle size on it, and finish off with a flourish. Then I will put each individual size of needle into each jar. I have a metal bread basket that will hold about 15 of the jars, basket to be placed on a bookshelf. (no cats in this house to mess it up!) This will be functional as well as a object d’ art. Plus the bonus of recycling glass. Not sure how this will all work out, but this has been a dream for a few years.

    Not quite sure how folks manage to keep the original packaging. Must be very neat people. I’m not a neat person!

  37. Just ready to try a new system. I’m going to buy an over the door shoe rack and call upper left pocket 00, next 0, next 1’s etc. wish me luck. I envision dpns and circs alike sharing a pocket, just sorted by size. Like others, I have many inherited long straight needles, mostly stored in tall Mason jars. They’ll remain there and only often used will earn their way into shoe rack/ needle case.

  38. I’m definitely not going to count all my needles, but I have 2 sets of Addi Click Interchangeables (turbos and short-tipped Lace), two sets of Knit Picks Interchangeables (the blonde wood & the laminated wood), a set of Hiya Hiya Interchangeables, a set of Knitters Pride Interchangeables (the square metal ones), and a whole lot of fixed circs and dpns in a variety of wood and metal. (I mostly use my Hiya Hiyas and Addis.)

    My organizational system: I have a small mason jar for each size (that holds interchangeable tips of all kinds, fixed circs, and dpns) and a mason jar for each kind of cord. The jars are lined up along a wide windowsill that’s directly in front of the desk where I do all of my work (including knitting). I’m completely in love with this system because any time I need a needle, I don’t have to go searching in some cubby or bag or file – I just reach out and take whichever one I need. I have a needle sizer on hand to check in case I suspect that a needle got shoved into the wrong jar. When I’m traveling I put a good selection into a zippered pouch and toss it in my bag. (I always want more zippered pouches.)

  39. I’ve been toying with the idea of a long narrow shelf lined with antique glass jars labeled with artful numbers to house dpns, straight needles and/or needle tips of circulars. My concern is the dust.

    • Kate Davies blogged about circular needle storage back in January . I store my circular needles in the same sort of container as Kate, (that fishermen use) lots of straight & dpns in large jars & I have a bespoke oak box, rectangular, tall, for long straight needles also.

  40. I’ve been knitting forever, and like so many others, I have too many to count (in one day, at least). They had been all jumbled up until a couple of years ago when I finally got them under control. I sorted them by size and stored them in Ziploc 2-gallon (13″x16″) freezer bags which hang from 4-tier skirt hangers (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Tier-Trouser-Skirt-Hanger-Chrome/dp/B000K1A91O).

    I’m not exaggerating when I say this changed my knitting life. I can see what I need through the clear plastic bag, and because they hang, I’ve freed up floor/shelf space. The only thing is that the straights poke holes in the bags, so I’ve been looking for something similar but sturdier. So far, no joy.

    Oh, and I use plastic travel toothbrush cases for my DPNs (like these: http://www.amazon.com/Willtoo-TM-Different-Plastic-Toothbrush/dp/B00MA8H68O).

  41. I have a Della Q hanging circular needle organizer (life changing) and use a Japanese pencil tin for my DPNs. They do all roll around together but I like sorting through them each time I need them – it’s like picking flowers out of a bouquet. The only drawback is that I have two sets of DPNs that are longer than 6″ and they don’t fit, so I’m always on the lookout for a new tin for them.


  42. I love this thread, and the idea of coming up with the *perfect* storage system for knitting needles! I am relatively happy with storing my dpn’s (yes, encircled by rubber bands. Wouldn’t a nice elastic with a snap be even better? Wink, wink), in a recycled small See’s Candy Chocolate box,. My circulars are in an old shoebox. I keep them in their original bags, although I have lately ended up putting all the size 5’s in one bag, etc, to save time and room. They are divided into categories for 16”, 24” and larger, separated with (handmade) manilla folder dividers labeled with those lengthss. I keep a needle gauge nearby to make sure I’m getting what I think I’m getting, but this works pretty well.

    A few years ago I found a posting thread about this same subject which was fabulous. I was looking for a unit I could keep my circs and dpn’s in when I was travelling. A few people recommended buying a fishing tackle notebook sort of thing, with plastic bags on rings. I ordered one, but it was so cheap and plasticy that I have not used it. Here’s a link to it: http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Extreme-Worm-Binders-Large/product/1206011118/ (It sounds like the one Kathleen ordered from Shimano is much nicer.)

    But…it’s a great idea! And it could be made really nicely by someone. A 2-ring binder, with leather or very sturdy canvas covers, offered with a zipper closure or not. (The zippered idea reminds me of the portable cd cases my son used to use for his cd collection.) The pockets/sleeves/pages for holding the needles could be an undivided pocket for circulars, *or* a “page” with channels to also hold dpn’s. This way, a person could order as few or as many of each sort of sleeve/page they needed for their particular collection. And the binders themselves could be a range of sizes, like buying 3-ring binders with different size spines, for travel or for holding a larger collection at home.

    The sleeve/page/pockets could be made out of sturdy canvas or linen, rather than plastic, seems to me, too, with some really nice closures?

    To me, this sounds like a really good solution. A lot of us have both circulars and dpn’s, and I have yet to see a holder that holds both in one place, can be portable and can be customized for our very particular individual needs. Plus isn’t made totally of plastic.

    Sorry for the long post, but I’m hoping if other people liked this idea, it would be something you might consider developing and selling. It would be so great to have a really nice holder that honored my tools!

  43. The real question is how many needles do I actually *use*, among all those I have. My primary ones are a knitpicks interchangeable set, plus a few fixed knitpicks circulars that are smaller than what the set offers. I dislike working on DPNs but occasionally have a need, so I grabbed a cheapie set of bamboo DPNs that includes everything from 0 up to 15, I believe. I gave all my duplicate circulars – the metal and cheap bamboo ones – away to a friend years ago when she wanted to learn to knit. I never use straight needles these days, so the ones that hold some sentimental value are tossed in an old milk glass vase. The ones without emotional attachment were passed along to the same friend. I keep thinking a I need a new Addi interchangeable set plus some tiny little circulars for knitting socks and sleeves, but I’m worried I’ll feel overrun by “my stuff” and maybe what I have is good enough?

    • oof. I didn’t even consider hooks. One complete metal set plus some mega-huge sizes for making rag rugs. Now that I list everything, it seems like quite a lot.

  44. I don’t have any straight needles, but one expansive set of interchangeables and numerous other circs/DPNs (I’ve never counted them all!) Like others here, I keep mine in a fisherman’s wallet – individual inserts for each needle size, and then cables and DPNs stored separately. It’s an ideal solution for me, and holds a hell of a lot, but I do wish it was more aesthetically pleasing!

  45. I’m trying to minimize the number of needles I have– since most of my knitting is on smaller needles, I have two sets of the HiyaHiya interchangeables in the small sizes US 2-8 (one bamboo and one steel), and one set of the large HiyaHiya steel interchangeables (US 9-15). I have s couple of extra tips and cords in there, also, and I store both small sets in the HiyaHiya fabric case that one of the sets came in, and the large set in the case it came in. Both of these cases fit along with my notions bag into a sock-size project bag. I have a few 12″ circular sock needles in there too. And that’s it– I can bring the whole lot with me so easily.

    I labeled the cases needle-tip slots with white fabric marker so that I know which tips are which. One thing I wish I had was a labeled case for the different lengths of cables– 16″, 24″, 32″, etc. Mine are in the HiyaHiya cases’ pockets, inside the little labeled plastic baggies they came in so that I don’t have to read the tiny print on the cable connectors to see what length the cable is.

    I keep around the other needles I used before I got the interchangeables because my kids like to knit also, and those needles (one set of straights, a set of interchangeables that doesn’t work with magic loop because of how thick the cords are, and a few fixed-circs and DPN sets) are all in a roll-type case where the kids can find and use them. That way I don’t have to worry about getting my own needles back from them– they can use these freely, leave them in a neglected project for months, etc. :)

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  47. Holy, you’ve really hit a sore spot with this one. I’m currently keeping my straight needles in a wooden chest inherited by my grandma, the dpns in an old fishing case and the interchangeables, circular needles, crochet hooks etc. in a shoe box (you can see them all here: http://bit.ly/1wvUC47).

    I’m so excited you are taking up this topic as I would absolutely love for you to find and sell the perfect storage system! I’ll be following closely. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  48. I keep thinking about a smaller version of an old fashioned wood card catalog like they had in libraries years ago.

  49. I use a worm binder (check out bass pro shops for them) for my circulars, one “page” (really a heavy duty ziplock type bag) per size, all lengths stuffed in together. My dpns are largely in plastic containers-vintage Tupperware green longish container. My straights are in fabric needle rolls (several) and vases, various dedicated knitting needle zip containers, etc. It’s a mess. The circulars are the most reliably found.

    As for number? Oh jeez I admire the restraint of others, I have well over a hundred pairs all told, including dpns and circulars and straights. I rarely use straights any longer although I have a few I like (lantern moon are favorites). I think the worm binder is a winner for circulars. But they are ugly, they are made for fishing tackle.

  50. I have a set of circulars which I keep in a plastic tub, a set of dpns which I keep in a drawer in a hutch still in their original packaging but the packaging are getting ripped up so I am going to need to find a new way to store those, a set of interchangeables which are still in their plastic packaging in the drawer and my straight needles are in a beautiful hand-painted vase I was gifted in college. My crochet hooks are all in a hook case. So I don’t have a very consistent method of storing my needles or hooks haha!

  51. Unlike many people posting here I am still majorly attached to my straight needles (this is mostly due to me knitting mostly scarves I think) and because I am not a commuting knitter. I also have a few circular needles for when I decide to tackle larger projects am yet to master the use of DPNs but I can see how storage for them would be an issue!
    I have been keeping all of my needles in an old Whitmans sampler chocolate box tin. The rattling noise when I pick it up for a new project is always an exciting noise!!
    I am looking for a better place to keep them as the tin box is getting pretty full. I too am guilty of buying new needles for a project if I am away from home or if I see some new needles looking at me (Ie. last week in Katoomba I picked up a fancy colourful wood pair of 5mm they are so nice to knit with…)

    Really liked reading how everyone else keeps their needles!! Has definitely given me some ideas.
    Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

  52. I have two sets of interchangables, pobably ten sets of DPNs, 2 dozen circulars or more and a few odd sets of straights I never use. I have most in a small drawer of a chest and it is a huge jumble. I’d love some sort of organized storage – both for home and perhaps a traveling case that fits in your bigger project bag. I often knit on the road and want to have a variety of sizes handy. The cases that came with my interchangables lack places for the cords, the extensions and other bits necessary to go with the set. Looking forward to your thoughts and solutions..

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