Organizing Your Stash

kitty_loveLoving yarn is easy when you are a knitter (crocheter, spinner or crafter) and can easily become something to get a handle on. It can be very challenging to keep your yarn stash organized. Keeping your stash organized will help you know what you have, find what you need, enabling you to make projects with the just right yarn. It’s important to keep your yarns, including new yarns, neat and tidy and not feel like your stash is out of control.

Take stock of what yarns you have – color, type of fiber (angora, cotton, etc), the brand, amount of each colorway (meters/yards is most important; grams/ounces) and yarn weight. This way you will know if you have enough of a particular yarn for your next project. It is also a very good idea to make a list of your unfinished projects – WIP (works in progress).

yarn_storageWhen taking stock of your yarns, separate them into bins (clear plastic are the best so you can see into them easily) which you have labeled “Have Pattern/Will Use”, “No Pattern Yet/Will Use” and “Won’t Use” or other categories that make sense to you, ie “Lace”, “Sock”, “Cotton” or “Fancy”, etc. This will allow you to set aside that yarn you won’t really use. This yarn you can trade it with other yarnies, sell it, or just give it away. If you prefer using something other than plastic bins, remember to keep yarn away from pets, moisture and dust. A shoe organizer filled with yarn you already have keeps your stash within your sight, but it keep it dust free. You can use clear zip-lock bags for keeping all dye-lots or project yarns together. If you don’t plan to use your yarn soon, write down what pattern you want to use and keep it with the yarn you purchased specifically for that project.

Be sure cat_amigurumi_perchto keep your stash up off the floor, dry, and in a well-lit place to discourage those bugs that will try to live in your yarn. If you think your yarn might have insects, seal it in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer for a day to get rid of bugs. Keep your leftover yarn and small amounts together for small projects, ie Amigurumi or waste yarn.

You can keep track of your stash in an Excel worksheet and/or in the Stash Section of your Notebook on Ravelry. Ravelry is a free social networking website. It functions as an organizational tool for a variety of fiber arts including knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving. Members share projects, ideas, and their collection of yarn, fiber, and tools via various components. It’s free to join and a great way to meet others with your interests, both in your area and world-wide.

Keep all your WIP’s together in one container, hopefully, within easy reach with a list taped of the projects to the outside of the container. Keeping your Wips within your sight, they will soon become FOs. Cross off the project names as you finish it. Take the opportunity to look at your WIPs and UFOs (unfinished object) and decide if you really are going to finish it or frog (to rip back, coming from the sound a frog makes – rippit, rip it!) it. Put all your projects you want to frog in a separate pile so you can take it off the needles and wind the yarn back into a ball when you want something mindless to do.


a frogged garment



2 thoughts on “Organizing Your Stash

  1. Some yarns hold such strong memories that we’ll never be able to look at them without remembering that failed project. If you’re facing such a yarn, see if anyone else would either like the unfinished project or the yarn. Ask online, check with your knitting group. If you can’t quite declare the projects dead, you can still pack them up, send them away, and give them a better home with someone else.

  2. Little boy blue was knitted without a specific baby in mind, I just felt like knitting a blanket. I had two 100g balls of an English yarn I’d bought on sale at Wondoflex. The wool/cotton yarn had been in the stash for about eight years, and every now and then I’d get them out and wonder what to do with them. Too little yardage to make anything out of just one ball – unless you cast on a scarf – but with two balls…I thought the pale blue and grey looked nice together, and the yarn had the same quality as other yarns I’d knitted up into baby blankets. So a baby blanket it was. And now the blanket is finished, I think the yarns look great, they were a perfect choice.

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