How do I control my yarn stash?

Building a large stash is easy because yarn is so addictive. Perhaps your stash is so large and unwieldy that it has become difficult to find (or remember whether you even own) the right yarn when you need it. So what’s a knitter to do? Organize!

Before you begin rearranging your yarn consider how you are

Building a large stash is easy because yarn is so addictive. Perhaps your stash is so large and unwieldy that it has become difficult to find (or remember whether you even own) the right yarn when you need it. So what’s a knitter to do? Organize!

Before you begin rearranging your yarn consider how you are most likely to use it. Are you drawn to Fair Isle or intarsia? Since these techniques combine different colors of the same yarn weight, you’ll want to organize your stash accordingly. Put all the DK weights, worsted weights, etc. into separate containers. Then within those groupings arrange by color. On the other hand, if you enjoy mixing weights and textures or you tend to stick to a single color and weight, may want to sort your yarns by color first. Make separate categories for reds, blues, naturals, etc, then sort again by yarn weight within each color group.

Now that you’ve determined how the yarn will be sorted, decide how you will store it. The goals for storage are threefold – keeping yarn clean and pest free, keeping it out of the way when you’re not using it, and keeping it accessible when you are. Consider the area available in your home for yarn storage and what kinds of containers are best suited for it. Many knitters use clear plastic bins and large zip lock bags so they can find the right yarn at a glance. Vacuum seal bags minimize the physical size of your stash making it fit into a smaller space. And don’t be afraid to explore unconventional options. I store a good portion of my stash in a glass fronted china cabinet I inherited from my grandmother. Check out this post from allfreeknitting.com for more storage ideas.

Once there is a place for every skein and every skein is in its place, it’s time to get digital. One of the many benefits of Ravelry.com is its “Stash” feature which allows you to catalog your yarn and make it search-able by brand, weight, fiber content and yardage, and more. When all of your stash has been entered, Ravelry’s database will allow you to determine whether you have enough yarn for a new project with just a few clicks. When you’re away from home (like at your local yarn shop), fire up your smart phone or tablet to access Ravelry’s website or track your yarn collection with apps like Knitminder for iPhone or Yarn Inventory for Android devices.

Having your stash organized will allow you to make the best use of your yarn. With a little planning, the right containers, and a bit of technology you’re bound to get all your skeins in a row.

 

 AngeliaRobinson

Angelia Robinson is a knit and crochet designer residing in Los Angeles whose playful yet elegant designs explore the interplay of shape, texture, and style. Do you have a knitting question for Angelia? Write us (submissions@ilikeknitting.com) and include “Ask a Knitter” in the subject line.

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Comments
  • I organize by color, put each color in a clear zip lock under bed
    storage bag. then when I find a pattern I really like I go to my stash take out what I need and with a copy of pattern make a kit in a clear Large zip lock bag. I just started this the first of the year so hopefully this will keep me better organized.

    Reply

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