Happy Place With Summer Lee

Summer Lee, aka @summer.lee.knits, is a a knitwear designer currently based in Oklahoma. She is a member of the Mvskoke-Creek Nation and before becoming a knitwear designer, she was a political reporter, a researcher for a public television documentary program, and a photographer for a national arts and crafts retail chain. She's been knitting and crocheting for 15 years and sweaters are her favorite thing to knit, followed closely by socks. Her designs are accessible for beginners, and while she loves luxury yarn, she likes designing with affordable yarn too. Size inclusivity is important to her, so all her patterns are designed for a wide range of bodies.



What system do you use to organize your yarn? 

I organize it by weight in my yarn closet (which is currently bursting at the seams, so the system has begun to deteriorate into more of a “let’s try to cram one more skein in there” method of storing yarn)!


What furniture/storage systems do you use to organize your yarn? 

I installed simple hardware store shelves in my closet. I use baskets and bins on the shelves to separate yarn by weight, and to hold my out-of-control scrap yarn collection.


How do you like to de-stash? 

De-stash?!?!? I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand the question. Never heard of that.



More often than not, what colors are always in your office/yarn corner?

Every single dang one of them. I’m not joking - not one color is missing from my space Vibrant colors in every shade are all around me! I love color passionately, and I feel most alive and inspired when I’m surrounded by all of them!


Do you like to work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?

Yes. I keep my main stash in a closet, but I keep a smaller stash in my workspace! It’s wonderful for inspiration, and it makes lovely coffee table decoration too! :-) I’ve carved out a space that is mine in our living room, and the little piles of yarn in my workspace are such a great daily reminder that wonderful, yarny things happen here everyday.


When you are working on a project, do you have a specific spot you put it when you aren't working on it, or does it follow you around beyond your space?

My current project is always on the coffee table! Since I design socks, they often travel with me too, though 2020 hasn’t seen a lot of traveling beyond the confines of our home!



Was the majority of your yarn bought with a project idea in mind?

Oh good lord, no. Sometimes A spark of an idea will ignite while I’m browsing for yarn, but more often than not, I get an idea, and then I’ll run upstairs to my closet to see what I have that will fit! I purchase yarn purely because I love the colors, often with no idea yet what it will eventually become!


Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage/organize your yarn?

As the addiction to yarn has grown, so have the problems :-). I’ve definitely outgrown the yarn closet, and while it was once very organized and pretty, it now looks like the yarn is pleading for help and trying to escape!


How did you find an organization system that works for you?

I’ve always loved organizing things (HUGE fan of my label maker!). When I was just knitting as a hobby, I stayed very organized just by utilizing baskets and shelving in a dedicated space for my yarn. Now that I’ve begun my design business, I’ve definitely outgrown my yarn closet and I need to find a new solution!



How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?

Extremely!!! While the yarn closet might be about to burst open any minute, my actual workspace is very neat, very organized, and very bright. I can’t get any work done otherwise!


Where did you purchase everything shown in your photos?

The shelves in the closet were purchased at Lowe’s. The baskets and bins I’ve picked up over the years at home decor stores and thrift stores.


Do you have any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash?

I think separating it by yarn weight is more important than organizing it by color. Baskets are the absolute best to keep things tidy! Develop a system that works for YOU and that makes YOU happy!


Are there any current projects or promotions you'd like to share?

My Ravelry Store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/summer-lee


Photos courtesy of Summer Lee