Repurposed plastic containers protect yarn.

Yarn caddy with projectIf, like me, you knit in a home shared with pets, you sometimes have added “fibers” in your finished project. Though I use a tote to hold my knitting projects, the yarn doesn’t feed well from it. I always end up taking it out and putting it on the chair with me. It often ends up on the floor, where it makes contact with both dog and cat hair (who vacuums every day?!).

I also like to take knitting with me when I’ll be spending time in a waiting room or on public transit. The first time I had a ball of yarn hit the floor of the train (who knows what’s on that surface?), I knew I needed something to keep the yarn protected.

I remembered making a yarn caddy in Girl Scouts decades ago from an oatmeal container. But I wanted something small enough to hold the yarn, but still fit in my tote, and be waterproof. Since I hate throwing anything away, I had a few nice plastic canisters that originally held roasted almonds from COSTCO. Measuring about 6” tall by 4.5” wide, they were large enough to hold a typical ball of yarn, were made of study clear plastic and had a simple screw lid.

The simple tools neededIt was easy enough to soak off the label and drill a ¼-inch hole in the top. Within minutes, I had the perfect thing to keep my yarn clean without adding much bulk or weight to my bag. I played around with simple embellishing by creating a label on my computer, but you could go all out if you wanted. Or let the kids decorate it with stickers and/or permanent markers. I then tried out other containers.

A rectangular box that had held dog chews is great for oblong balls of yarn, and is big enough to hold circular needles and a pattern. The zippered plastic “bags” that sheet sets come in are nice for projects that require more than one skein of yarn, and need no alterations. I just leave a small section unzipped to feed the yarn through. These are large enough to accommodate shorter, straight needles as well as the pattern. I have a couple that have a separate zippered compartment on top (originally held pillowcases) that is perfect for accessories like scissors, measuring tape, stitch markers, etc.

A quick check online found a few similar caddies for SALE, as well as instructions to make ones like mine. I even found one that uses bulk CD canisters! It’s nice to see that many people are finding ways to repurpose all that plastic packaging that finds its way into our homes.