With all the opportunities to “enhance one’s yarn stash” at this time of year at a range of yarn events such as Yarndale and the Knitting and Stitching Shows, many of us are wondering about how or where to store that extra yarn.
So what better time to have a stash sort out?
There is something very satisfying about pulling all your yarn out of its hiding places and reorganising it – it is amazing what you discover. I fully admit to finding some beautiful cashmere yarn I had put away so safely I’d forgotten about it. It was like getting a great present.
To help you avoid similar surprises, we have pulled together a few tips to help wrestle your yarn stash into submission.
Sort by weight and fibre
A good way of keeping track of your yarn is to sort it by weight – so all the 4-ply is stored together, the DK goes on a different shelf or in another box or bag, etc. This means when you see a pattern you like for a DK yarn, all your available choices are easily accessible in one place.
You might also divide each yarn weight by fibre, so you can easily find the cotton yarns rather than the wool.
Have a next project shelf
If you have a plan for particular yarn, why not sort it into a project bag with the pattern (and needles if they are not otherwise in use) and put it in a next project section.
This can help with that moment when you find yourself without anything on your needles, however, be warned, your next project shelf can get very full and it can be difficult to choose which is the real “next one”.
Keep a record of your stash
Keeping records sounds very serious and I know some people are a little scared to recognise the extent of their stash, however it can be very handy.
There are lots of ways to keep track:
- Start a notebook where you tape a snippet of every yarn alongside a note of what the yarn is, including fibre content and weight, and how much you have of it.
- Use the stash tool on Ravelry. One of the handy things about this is that when you browse patterns, you can filter the results to show patterns for yarn you already have.
- Photograph your yarn. You can add pictures to the Ravelry stash tool, but if you aren’t a Ravelry user you can store the pictures in other ways. If you take pictures of your yarn with your phone, you can use a free app like Evernote to make an electronic notebook of your stash on your phone. This is very useful if you are in a yarn shop trying to remember if you already own some of a particular yarn. You can also store yarn pictures of Flickr or Photobucket.
We all end up with a bagful of left over half balls of yarn and other orphaned wool. Be honest with yourself are you going to use these?
Some people save their leftovers for blankets or toy making. I find sock yarn oddments are great for crochet flowers that you can use to embellish anything from hats to bags, to a child’s hair.
But if you aren’t going to use all your leftovers, see if they are of use to someone else. For example a local kids craft club or a learn to knit stand at a fair might be very grateful for some extra yarn. And you will be grateful for the extra space.