This week we are talking all about your yarn stash. I’m going to share my tips and tricks for keeping your stash organized.
Do you prefer to keep a large stash of yarn or do you only keep yarn on hand for projects you are working on?
This post is part of our 365 Crochet Challenge! I’ve given each month of 2022 a different theme and each week you can look forward to content related to the monthly focus here on the blog! This month’s theme is ‘Finish or Frog’ aka crochet life organization. To sign up all you need to do is make sure you are on my email list.
When I started crocheting, my goal in life was to collect all the yarn. You know that meme that floats around the internet about how crocheting and buying yarn are 2 different hobbies? That was me. We lived 45 minutes from the nearest place to buy yarn and I felt like I needed to have lots of options on hand just in case inspiration struck. I would buy it because the color was pretty, or it was on sale but not usually with a project in mind. This lead to a giant stash filled with a random assortment of colors, brands, and weights.
Fast forward to late 2018 when I realized that every time I wanted to start a new project instead, of grabbing yarn off my shelves I was having to buy it because what I had just wasn’t “right”. This is where the idea for the 2019 Stash Busting Crochet Along was born, I wanted to use up the yarn on my shelves!
Since then I’ve cut down my yarn stash considerably. I’ve got a few of my favorite yarns in colors I like, lots of pretty hand-dyed yarns I want to use, and the rest are for projects I plan to start in the future.
I will say my situation is a little unique because I literally crochet for a living. I am more intentional about my yarn choices, I try not to mix brands in the same project and I have to be mindful about using yarns that have been discontinued for new patterns.
I really enjoy my “minimal” yarn stash. It’s not overwhelming to me. I don’t feel the urge to “use it all up”. I only pick colors that I know I will use and find inspiring.
Having a small stash may not be for you though and that’s totally ok too!
Today I’m going to help you go through your yarn, much as we went through our WIP’s last week. We are going to decide what to keep and what to donate.
Don’t Empty Your Shelves
Do not gather all of your yarn into one place and pile it up.
Just hear me out. I’ve done this before and it was completely overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of yarn. Your best bet is to take this on in small chunks. I have my yarn in a cubicle system like this, so I’m going to go one square at a time.
You could do one box at a time, one bag at a time or even just one armful at a time.
By working in small batches you avoid making more clutter and mess if you get called away.
Sort and Organize
Do a quick scan. Are there any that you 100% know you want to get rid of? Maybe you aren’t a fan of the color or the yarn is scratchy or you don’t like how it splits when you crochet. Put these in the donate pile.
Is this yarn part of a project you are working on? If yes, then put that yarn with that project.
The rest I like to organize by weight, color, brand, or characteristic. While I’m organizing I like to make my skeins look nice by tucking in my ends or making a cake out of them on my yarn ball winder. They don’t stay looking nice for long but the process feels good.
What about the scraps?
Most likely you will come across some yarn scraps while you’re going through this process. I consider anything smaller than ¼ skein a “scrap”. It generally isn’t big enough to make a complete project on its own but you could combine it with other yarns for a scrap buster project.
I like to keep these scraps together just in case the inspiration arises to do a scrap buster project. Make sure they are wound into balls with the ends tucked otherwise you could just have a scrap tangle instead of a scrap stash.
What if I can’t commit?
Do you think you might like a minimalistic yarn stash but aren’t ready to commit 100%?
I have a solution for that! Take the yarn you think you want to get rid of and put it in a “holding tank”. This could be a bag or box, anything. Tuck that box away for a month and do a trial run without it. If you find you need something from the box, that’s ok, just take it out and move on. If after a month you find that you didn’t really miss or need anything from that box, then donate it.
If you found yourself getting into the box for yarn frequently then maybe you should just put it back with your main stash.
The container concept I mentioned last week from Dana White of a Slob Comes Clean can also apply to your yarn stash. The space you have for your yarn is the container and your yarn has to fit comfortably inside. If your “container” is full and you want to add new yarn, you have to take some out for the new stuff to fit.
Managing Your Yarn Inventory
Honestly, this is something I don’t do, but that is mostly because I keep a small stash. It’s easy to see what I have or don’t have at a glance. If you wanted to get super organized or have a large stash in multiple locations you might consider using one of these inventory methods.
The first is pretty well known and that is Ravelry. If you go to “my notebook” and click on “stash” you can add your yarns there.
Another great option is using some sort of spreadsheet system like Microsoft Excel or Google sheets.
I’m a pen and paper sort of gal so my favorite method would be to use these free printables I created. You can find them in my free resource library. I have them split up by weight but there is a blanket one so you can do your own category.
Do you prefer to have a large or small yarn stash? Let me know below!