First things first, I suggest organizing your knitting needles by type of needle. Separate your circulars from your double pointed (DPNs), from your straights (single pointed) and from your interchangeable tips.
Next sort your needle type by size. Put all of your fixed circulars size US 3 together and all of the fixed circulars US 4 together, etc. You get the idea.
Next do the same for all of your other types of needles. Sort all of your DPNs by size. Sort all of your straight needles by size and your interchangeable tips and cords by size.
This is a good point to assess your inventory. Are you missing any sizes? If so, keep a record so that you remember. How many times have you wanted to start a project and then realized you don’t have the right needle? Right? You thought for SURE you had it. If you don’t have a needle tracker to record your inventory grab our Ultimate Needle Inventory Tracker.
Next, find a storage system that allows you to store each type of needle separately. I know what you are going to say. “I want to store all of my needles together”. Sure, go ahead. That is called a “suitcase”. If you store them all together, they are not very portable. What are you going to do when your knitting buddy asks you to meet her at the cool new knitting store. . . drag your suitcase? Wouldn’t it be easier to just grab something more portable? Honestly, how often do you really need all your needles at once anyway? Isn’t more likely that you need just your circulars or just your DPNs and a few notions?
The next question: Do you have a lot of one type of needle? If so, start there. Do you have mostly circulars? DPNs? Straights? Or maybe you have just a few of each.
If you have mostly circular needles you will want to decide if you prefer to keep your cords straight rather than curled. If you prefer not to coil your cords, you will likely want to consider a case that allows you to hang your circulars. Our Hanging Circular Needle Caseallows you to store US 000 to US 17 along with metric equivalents. You will notice that nearly all of our cases include labels for the needle size ALREADY SEWN into the case! You want to be knitting, not sewing. This type of storage is really meant for home storage. You can hang the case on closet rod, on the back of a door or in your living room as wall art.
If you prefer your circulars to be a bit more portable and f you don’t mind curling your circulars, we suggest storing all of your needles (wood, metal, etc.) by size. Look for something that allows you keep the needles compact and portable. Also consider the weight of the case or storage system itself. No need to lug around a 5 lb case before it is even full of needles! We offer two popular styles our Que Circular Needle Case and our Tri-Fold Circular Case. You can read more about the similarities and difference of these cases in our post on Comparing Circular Needle Cases.
What about those DPNs?
Ok, how many times have you looked for that fifth matching DPN? Right? So annoying. Think of how many rows you would have completed in that time you spent searching. You can hold them together with a rubber band. It works. Sort of. Just throwing them in a drawer is a bad idea. See my first point. Wouldn’t it be better to keep them sorted (AND labeled) by size? Speaking of size. . .can you actually read those numbers on the needles? I need the extra strong readers for those things! Anyway, consider storing your DPNs by size in our Double Point Roll. You can store up to two sets of needles by size in nice, neat rows. Right, and there are extra pockets in case you have a third (ahem, or fourth) set of size 5.
Straight Needles aka Single Points
I get that these buggers look fantastic in a vase. Again, you have to find two matching ones (e.g. lost knitting time). Well, maybe it doesn’t take any time because somehow ALL your needles are size 7. Darn! How is it that you keep buying the same size over, and over, and over?? Wouldn’t be great if you could see what sizes you had (and length)? Do what works for you but consider our Straight Needle Roll. Oh? You don’t use straights? Cool. I get it. Do you have your mother’s or grandmother’s knitting needles? I do. Super cool and nostalgic to keep them. Keep them safe.
Bummer! You just bought or received (lucky you!) your first set of interchangeable needles but it didn’t have a case. Why do you need a case? Well, play with your set for a couple of months and check back with me. First off, you have to keep track of the tips and now you have to add in the cords. Oh, your set came with a case? Does it have a space for your extra set of five’s you are going to buy? ( You know you will). Anyway, totally sucks if you lose a tip or a cord. Store them in a case. A COMPACT one. Isn’t this why you bought interchangeables? To reduce the amount of stuff and amount of space you need? Check out our Interchangeable Case and Double Interchangeable Case. (Because we all know you don’t just have one set).
Just a Few of Each?
Perhaps you are a new knitter, someone who wants to take a subset of your needles or maybe you just stick to the necessary few.
Make sure it is secure and allows you to keep the various sizes of circulars, DPNs and straights separate. What good is a tupperware bin or a drawer if you have to dig out your needle gauge and find all the matching DPNs in size 7? Or worse yet, you squint to try and read those tiny numbers printed on the needles (if they haven’t rubbed off). Annoying. Let’s say you have now found four DPNs in size 7 and can’t find that #$&)#(*! 5th needle because whatever storage system you were using wasn’t secure and it fell out. Again. Annoying. Consider our Combo Needle Case.
Here’s the deal. Maybe you have the time to sort through your needles every time you want to start a new project. Maybe you don’t mind that part of “knitting”. But honestly, don’t you want to actually KNIT? Get your needles sorted! Then knit to your hearts content. . .