I don’t know about you, but I’m a total voyeur. I love to gaze into people’s windows at night, sneaking a peek into a small illuminated image of someone else’s life. And as a knitter, I love seeing other people’s yarn stashes. It hasn’t happened very often; for as much as we talk about our collections of yarn, I find very few people willing to actually quantify it, let alone show it.
We thought it would be fun to take you along on a little behind the scenes tour of how the three of us stash, store, and organize our personal yarn collections. Enjoy this glimpse behind the curtain!
May I present Sonia’s Yarn Cabinet:
I bought this at a flea market in Connecticut around 2008, and unofficially decided that all my yarn had to fit inside it for the rest of time. I’ve always kept my generous collection of sock yarn behind the window pane, for his is the yarn I love to just look at the most. It’s usually arranged by color, though in between stash culling random leftover balls and project bags get tossed in on top. Just for fun, I pulled it all out and arranged it by color.
I am a modest stasher overall, and I much prefer the thrill of buying a new yarn and casting on with it right away. If a yarn doesn’t get wound up and assigned a project right away, it gets tucked into the back of the yarn cabinet, destined to be thought about on one of my semi-annual stash reorganizations. I love my sock yarn stash, and what I don’t still love I pulled. I also seperated out all of the partial balls and put them into a bag together. Striped hats, anyone?
Then there is the rest of my yarn. A lot of this is in 1-2 ball increments for accessories and baby knits that I want to get to eventually. Yarn is generally sorted by fiber content, with cotton and non-wool blends in their own basket. The rest is sweater quantity yarn and leftovers. This is also where I store my works-in-progress that are in a time out (note the red sweater, exiled for Miscrossed Cables), and my swift and ball winder.
Sonia’s favorite yarn storage tips:
- Cedar balls + lavender sachet. You can make these or buy them at home stores. They make your stash smell nice and deter pests.
- Repurposing the clear, zippable bags that sheets and other linens come in. I like to pre-organize projects by isolating the yarn into a bag and tossing in a printout of the pattern or a list of possibilities for the yarn. This is useful when I’ve been madly stalking a pattern and come up with a clever pairing with stash yarn. This way if I don’t get to the project right away, I don’t have to do all the research again if I don’t want to.
- Arrange yarn by weight and/or fiber type. I go one step further and orgnanize by color as well.
I pulled out all of my yarn in preparation for writing this post. I do this about once a year, and it is always enlightening. I also used this as a chance to update my stash status on Ravelry. It’s a great way to keep track of and search for patterns using yarn you already own. Plus you can list it for sale or trade if it’s not something you’re in love with anymore.
I discovered some real gems in this spring cleaning and am feeling excited to cast on a couple of new projects. And the rest of it? It’s in a bag, waiting to go to a good home with some other knitter.
What are some of your favorite stash organization tips?