Thursday, November 14, 2013

Knitting Vessels

I recently posted about my knitting progress with a scarf for my sister, and Gaia (who has some extraordinary embroidery shown on her blog) commented on my little pottery bowl that held my knitting.  That got me thinking about the different knitting "vessels" I use to tote my knitting around.
 
I used to sew quite a lot, and over the years I got my sewing area into a very nice set up with a large table, storage cabinet and some decorative tins for storing small notions.  But then I got away from sewing as I tried my hand at knitting. 
 
Knitting is such a portable craft (unlike sewing, unless you've got some hand work to do), but I found as a beginning knitter the ball of yarn sitting beside me on a chair would bounce around as I knit and end up on the floor ... most annoying!  So I started searching out different vessels to hold my knitting supplies as I moved from room to room and out of doors with my knitting in tow.  Do you do this?  Or do you have a knitting "nook" with a special chair and that is the sacred knitting spot.
 
I started out by getting my knitting "station", and picked up this tiny table at the thrift store last summer. 



It's a great size, quite light-weight, and it has a handy shelf below.  I believe it's an Ikea end table (there were two at the store, but the other one was damaged).  It's perfect to use as my knitting station.  I can put my laptop (always looking for knitting tips on the web) or a basket of yarn on the bottom shelf, and have my work-in-progress on the top with a cup of tea :)
 
Next I started searching for a vessel to hold my yarn as I worked.  I started out with various pottery bowls and a large wooden bowl to put my yarn in as I was knitting.  The bowls (being round-sided), just allowed the ball of yarn to roll right out of the bowl, and before I knew it, I'd be knitting with yarn on the floor again ... no good when you have a furry Australian Shepherd at your feet ... I know some people actually knit using dog fur, but I don't like to see stray bits in my knitting ;)   But I saw this nice little straight-sided bowl in the thrift store, and find it's really good for a small ball of yarn, and the straight sides keep the yarn from bouncing out of the bowl!

 
This little tin planter is another thrift store find.
 
 
I don't believe it was ever used for plants, as there are no scratches in it, and no rusty bits either.  This tin is what I use outside on the patio, or when we're camping (or as a passenger in the truck).  It can be dropped and it won't break, and it's a perfect size.  I always worry about glass and pottery breaking on our patio, since we often step out there in our bare feet in the summer.  Of course, all of my fears were realized one day this summer when our entire glass-topped patio table was lifted in a high wind and crashed down and broke into a million pieces on the patio!  Poor Cody must've thought the world was ending when I found him cowering under shrubs in the garden. 
 
Now these cute little boxes I picked up at the dollar store.
 
 
They're only paper-covered cardboard, but they are so handy for a small knitting project! I love the flowery paper on the interior ;)  I picked up these two, but plan on getting a couple more.  I think they'll look so cute all lined up in a row with my projects in full view and waiting to be worked up!  They come in various colours too, so I'm going to look for some in blue next.  These are great because my long knitting needles don't fall out when the knitting is having a rest ;)
 
 
How about you?  Do you have special boxes & totes for carting your knitting or hand-work around your house?
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Wendy
 
 
 


46 comments:

  1. I love these solutions. I have a yarn bag that I made to carry my yarn around in for a given project. It's getting very stretched out now and I made it when my skills were still pretty minimal so I really ought to try making a new one. But I'm more tempted by the idea of a big market-type basket with handles, which will look nice in the corner of a room when I'm not working on something. I would want to line the inside to keep it yarn-safe, but that wouldn't be too difficult. I keep my yarn stash in big plastic totes with lids, I love when those go on sale because I always have a reason to buy one. :)

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    1. My stash yarn (mostly from my mother) is in one large tote, and then a few little ones. I've found these little individual boxes & bowls are great because the wool doesn't get trapped down in a bag (I tried using my cotton tote, but it got all snarled up). The market basket sounds like another good solution. I like the look of lined baskets no matter what's inside them :)

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  2. I've enjoyed the grand tour around your fabulous knitting receptacles! Some great ideas there, thank you :-)
    I keep a knitting basket on the floor next to the sofa and have a little cotton Cath Kidston knitting bag that a lovely friend gave me, for when I need to take it somewhere.
    Happy weekend,
    Xx

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    1. Both your knitting solutions sound very pretty Gilly!

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  3. I need something to hold my knitting!

    The usual, is a bag. But love the little boxes. :-)

    Tessa~

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    1. I like non-fussy solutions for my crafts.

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  4. I use an old flight bag...being able to hide knitting is pretty important with 13 cats wanting to play with it!
    Jane x

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    1. Well a flight bag would do the trick then Jane! Seriously?! Thirteen(!) cats?! I'm glad my dog doesn't bother with yarn ... but Smudge the bunny has been known to rip through a paper bag with yarn inside (I think he was just enjoying the paper).

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    2. Yes, thirteen,because fourteen would be too many!
      Jane x

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    3. When you put it that way, 13 sounds even lucky!!

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  5. I have my yarn and crochet in a basket and a plastic crate, but I need to find something to put the ball I am working with in as I keep chasing them all over the sofa (where I sit to crochet) or pulling the yarn a bit at a time out of the basket, so you have given me some great ideas here Wendy! I'll have to shop around my house and see what I can find. All of your ideas are lovely. xx

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    1. See! You're having the same troubles I was when I started this knitting gig. It drove me crazy to get into the rhythm of the knitting and then the ball would roll off across the floor and under some piece of furniture ... drove me crazy! I'm sure you'll find something that will work Amy :)

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  6. Hi Wendy, I really do love the clay bowl, I must keep my eye on for something like that when I visit the thrift store. When I am doing a project yarn is either on a grocery bag [which does not stay properly] or on the floor getting tangled.
    - Gaia

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    1. I hear you Gaia, and yes, definitely try the thrift store (or Dollarama is where I picked up the cardboard boxes, and they have lots of other bins there too). Straight sides I found was the key to keeping the yarn in place!

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  7. You are so organized Wendy and have shared some good tips. Thanks for your thoughts on blogging; I guess it takes time to figure out who we are, or want to portray. Posting whenever and forgoing the parties will definitely work, although there are a few that are photography related that I enjoy.
    Have a good weekend.

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    1. I do enjoy some of the link parties, but they take up a lot of my time if I visit too many of the participants. I hate to spend so much time on the computer ... I'd rather be making things, and in the good weather, I'd just rather be outdoors. Good luck in your own decisions with blogging Judith. Enjoy your weekend too!

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  8. Those vessel ideas are fantastic! As a newbie I need all the help and tips I can get so this comes at a great time! Your yarns are just so beautiful! Where do you buy them???? And yes I have various bins and baskets all over my home in so many locations! It will be a fun project once Norah moves in with her sister and I can start unloading in one space! They we can really get in to talking about storage! I will need help!!! All the best friend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Ok, just STOP!! You're going to have your very own crafting room?! Did the planets just align and I missed it?! You are SO lucky ... you have no idea. I think you should've had to suffer a bit longer though to really appreciate what you've got there. I've been planning my craft room (my daughter's bedroom) since she started university. I think she only comes home to make sure I haven't taken it over yet ;) I still have three, maybe four years to go .... :[

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  9. If are ever on etsy, look up 'yarn bowl'. They are decorative bowls that have a channel cut into the side of the bowl for the yarn to pass through while knitting. I saw one at our farmers' market that was just gorgeous and I am think of buying one to give as a gift this Christmas. I have always liked the term 'vessel' ~ it is very sophisticated. I think your knitting station is a very well organized space and I can't wait to see your sister's new scarf!

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    1. Yes, I've seen these yarn bowls and know exactly what you mean. For some reason I like to find a new use for something for which it was not intended. I have a friend who used to shop for "vessels" for her Christmas gifts. She never wrapped them in paper, there was always a gift in the wrapping too. I've always liked that term since then ;) I've got about 14" done on the scarf ... it'll measure 66" when complete ... blah.

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  10. Yours is much more organized than mine. I have totes and bags and baskets and cupboards and shelves all stuffed with yarn and projects. I buy a basket to sit next to me here on the love seat, that is only meant for projects on the go, and if you saw it now, you would think it was a flipping disaster. Filled to the brim with anything and everything and overflowing. Jingles has taken to sleeping on top of all the stuff spilling over the top. Poor Cody! That must have been really frightening when the glass table top broke. Bet it was a mess to clean up, too. Have a great day. Tammy

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    1. I probably haven't been knitting as long as you Tammy. I battle to find space in my home every day. I'm sort of an organizational junky ;) If my little baskets start to get unruly it just drives me crazy!! And yes, that glass table was a mess ... apparently tempered glass still shatters into miniscule slivers, and I still see a glinting in the sun every so often ... the thought of a glass sliver in my foot gives me shivers.

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  11. Hi Wendy! This is a great idea. I've seen these same boxes here at our local dollar store and thought of buying a few. I usually just have my yarn and hooks on the coffee table or end table in the living room and my ball usually makes itself onto the floor ....drives me nuts too! I don't know why I haven't bought anything yet to carry my stash, but I really haven't found anything that will work well for me. I want something also that I can use when I travel, usually I just cramp it all in my purse and I'm off!
    Good for you getting all organized...you have even me some good ideas!
    xx Shari

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    1. I put up with knitting from the floor for quite a while. But these boxes work so well! Last night I picked up two more in pale blue with flower insides :) I also found some tiny plastic clipboards (6" x 9") that fit conveniently inside the box. I always have little slips of paper as I mark my rows, so I can clip these onto the clipboards, together with a pattern! Now I have three of them filled with WIP projects ... so handy!

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  12. Hi there, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, been really busy with work the past few days, I saw that you had left a comment on my blog about the Christmas decoration swap? However, I then noticed that you had removed your comment so I was unsure if you were still interested?! There were a couple of other people interested so I may be able to sort something out if you are still keen to do a swap?
    Marianne x

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    1. Oh yes please Marianne!! I've been leaving messages all over for you :) I'll mail to anywhere worldwide (I'm in Canada). Thanks so much, I hope you still have someone left to pair up with me!

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  13. I'm a very novice crocheter. I love your knitting vessels. I have a plastic bag and plastic bins. Unattractive but serviceable! I do want to find something prettier to keep the yarn in for a project I plan to start this Winter. Yarn deserves a pretty container.

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    1. Half the fun of starting a new craft is getting the supplies organized ;) I have the bulk of the yarn in those unattractive plastic bins too ... but they're tucked away under my sewing desk. Can't wait to see this winter project Stephanie! Have a happy Sunday :)

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  14. Nov. 17yh

    YOu commented, in my blog... "Since our Thanksgiving is back in October, we don't have the rush of three holidays together." And so lucky you are! I always am *jealous* of the time of the Canadian Thanksgiving. So much more wise, in my estimation.

    Tessa~

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  15. I love your knitting station, and finding items to reuse from the thrift stores are just the best!
    I don't knit or crochet, but I do a little embroidery and use little handmade bags for that project, I use a vintage wicker basket for my rug hooking, and when I am warping on the yarn for weaving the yarn needs to be in a container like you use for knitting or my yarn will all over the place-lol right now I use an old crock for that.
    Enjoy your new week

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    1. An old crock would be a great choice since you don't have to cart that around! My mom used to weave, but I just remember all the miles of yarn tied in bundles as she set up the loom. She used to also have an old "carpet bag" for her knitting. Have a good week Kathy!

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  16. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that there is a little something on my blog for you xx

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  17. Hi again Wendy, I am just waiting for the other blogger to get back to me about the swap, then I will contact you again (soon I hope!) with details etc.
    Marianne x

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  18. Great storage ideas. I love seeing knit/crochet projects in baskets or cute boxes. Its a great way to showcase them and get the color inspiration that oozes from them. I usually have mine in bowls or baskets, but I am on a mission to sew a few medium sized bags with zippers for my smaller projects.
    -Birgitta

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    1. I have two cotton bags that I sewed up too, but I find the ball of yarn gets too tangled in the bottom and I can't see it before it's a total mess! The open boxes let me see that everything is unrolling smoothly ... especially for the very thin yarns like I'm using now. Thanks for visiting Birgitta, I haven't seen you in a while ;)

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  19. Hi Wendy, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and leave that sweet comment about being friends with Chel from Sweetbriar Dreams. I love your blog and see that you like to knit. I love your pretty yellow bins that you bought at the dollar store! What a great idea and I think I will try to find something like that instead of using a plastic bag or canvas tote! I have yarn in my guest room and basement as I don't have a craft room and I love to knit/crochet too! :( I am now following your blog and I hope you will follow me back too so that we can become friends if you like! Take care, Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Julie, I'm glad you came over for a visit. Having an actual place to knit is my next goal ;) Thank you for following me, and I hope you have a great week!

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  20. My knitting and crochet work all always within reaching distance. I have,like you different vessels for different things. One of my favourites is a sweet tin decorated with buttons where I keep all my tiny balls of ends of balls. Then I knot them all together and make one big colourful Granny square.
    Loved having a look around your lovely blog this evening. AThank you.
    Kindest Regards Linda

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    1. Your button tin sounds really cute, and a great spot to store those tiny end balls. Thank you for visiting Linda, and I'm glad you enjoyed your tour of my blog :)

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  21. I admire your dedication to knitting! I want so much to have knitted things, but I am not so committed to actually doing the knitting! I was working on a project a loooong time ago that proved too challenging for me, and so I never went back to knitting again. :(

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    1. It's been quite a long haul for me to get to this point Jo. I wanted to quit many times, but then I remembered all the reasons why I wanted to knit and picked up the needles again ... and again! A lot of times I didn't make an item, I just practiced different stitches. Blanket squares are a good way to start because they're small, you can try all different stitches with them, and at the end you can even sew them all together into a cushion cover (or an actual blanket if you feel like making hundreds). Maybe you'll see some really nice knitting and it will inspire you to try again.

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    2. That's a great idea. I should go back to practicing stitches and not taking on things that are too complex. Too bad you weren't closer to show me! :)

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  22. what a great idea Wendy ! I have my knitting/crochet in a wicker basket....so its easy to carry around! have a nice week...Gail x

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

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