|"Always look behind you before leaving for the day. Is
everything in its place? Be nice to yourself, and leave a room, an
area, a nook the way you’d like to find it the next day."
It was a mouse that set me to work. The little dear stole my stash
of Hershey's Kisses and left a silver foil trail around my studio.
Never mind the other traces he left behind.
The exterminator claimed the mouse came in from the garage. But if
he did, why would he head straight downstairs to my studio, bypassing
the warehouse of delectable possibilities available in the teenager's
room? Does anyone understand the ways of mice and men?
Traps were set. A mouse was caught in my studio. The Hershey's
culprit, most likely. Another one was found in the garage, never having
made it to the promised land of milk chocolate. Presently we are
rodent-free. But the whole creepy crawly episode inspired me to clean
up and rearrange my studio. Soon feng shui peacefulness reigned. That
is, until my friend Monica, a country gal with a studio in the woods
and a mouser of a cat, stopped by.
"What about your knitting?" she asked. "Mice love wool."
Just outside the studio door, my knitting area was bursting
with patterns, books, needles, projects, and lots of artfully arranged
baskets of yarn.
"You don’t think," I stuttered.
"Put it all in plastic containers," Monica suggested.
For a very short moment I pondered the probability a mouse
would resist my mohair or the abandoned beginnings of a shawl. Not
likely. Something had to be done. My knitting mess needed to be
organized, my yarn safely stowed away.
Luckily, I happen to have an organizing guru, Rosalie Maggio, another
friend. She's even written a book,The Art of Organizing Anything.
"The key to organizing your knitting material--and staying organized,"
advises Rosalie, "is to make sure that every item has a home." I
decided to do just that.
A Tip from the Pro!
I asked my friend, Rosalie Maggio, author of The Art of
Organizing Anything: Simple Principles for Organizing Your Home, Your
Office, and Your Life, to share a tip with us.
Knitting bags allow you to work on several projects at once,
them wherever you go. But choose bags that you really love--ones
with comfortable straps, weighted bottoms, inside pockets to keep
scissors and other tools. (Yard sales and thrift stores are good places
to find heavy-duty knitting bags.) Be sure each bag contains only what
necessary for a specific project. If you're working on more than two
items at once and if you can match bag color to project, you'll be able
to grab the pink bag when running out the door, knowing the
pink and lavender baby blanket is inside.
To start, an archaeological expedition was required; unearthing
layers of pom-poms, finished and nearly finished socks, hats,
washcloths, orphaned double-pointed needles, stray stitch markers, and
tiny balls of leftover yarn. I sorted out what was worth saving.
Finished projects were banked for future gifting and donations. Works
in Progress were reserved for a later date. Like items were grouped
together and stored in their own, labeled, snap-lid, clear container.
Then it was time to tackle the yarn.
I separated the acrylics from the wools, the bamboos from the cotton,
the worsted from the chunky, the sport from the fingering, and so on.
Each family got its own home. Many more containers and several weekends
later, all my yarn and projects were warehoused in an organized way.
It's been a few months now, and the system has stuck. My abandoned
works have a place to go. Friends to keep them company. It's even been
easier to add to my stash. New yarn is given a short grace period to be
admired in the basket by my knitting chair. Then, if it's not being
used, I put it away in the correct container. Where it can be found
when I need it. There's the wonder and the beauty of having organized
one's knitting. And to think I owe it all to a mouse who loved