Stash happens. Whether it creeps up on you over years- a skein here, a ball there – or is a result of too much excitement at yarn festivals, a lot of knitters suddenly find themselves living with at least one box or bag stuffed under the bed with yarn that they’ll DEFINATELY get round to knitting this year.
I love my yarn stash. I appreciate that whether I am strapped for cash, feeling down or can’t wait to start a new project, I can dive in and cast on. So I’m going to share some handy organisational tips for combatting stash stress and how rediscovering and organising all that yarny goodness can actually be fun (really!).
Make some tea. You’re going to be here a while
Clear some space if you need to so you can see what you’ve got. I find it useful to have the following things handy:
- Resealable/ freezer bags and permanent pen (this is how I store most of my yarn, but use a more breathable method if you live in a hot and/or humid climate).
- Spare carrier bag (for yarn being donated/ gifted).
- Digital kitchen scale (to weigh smaller amounts and unidentified skeins).
- Ravelry! (so I can see my stash at a glance and use it when hunting for patterns).
But first…Is your yarn free of wee beasties?
It’s a good idea to check over your stashed yarn for any evidence of wool-loving insects. Silverfish, clothes moths and carpet beetles are all common. Tell-tale evidence can include finding broken lengths of yarn, sticky or cobweb-like material, larva/ beetles/ moths/ silverfish (dead or alive). If you find anything, I sympathise! Identify the culprit, throw out all yarn effected and quarantine everything else seperately in air sealed plastic bags. Cry, make more tea, and deinfest.
Keep or donate?
Do you still love that skein of sock yarn you bought 2 years ago? Colour preferences and tastes can change over time, so consider donating anything that you don’t like or don’t think you’ll use in the forseeable future. It’ll make your stash nicer to look at! Take it to a yarn swap, donate it to knitty friends or to a charity shop. Or if it’s a fancy skein, selling it might also be an option. Put it to one side if it’s not staying.
Stashing identifiable whole skeins
Pretty much any complete yarn with it’s label can be found in Ravelry’s yarn database these days, and it’s the easiest to stash online. As long as the skeins are unused and you know what they are, you can use the weight and yardage information automatically provided when you add to your stash on Ravelry.
To do this, start by going to “my notebook”→”stash” then click the button “add to stash”. You’re ready to start stashing!
More about the Ravelry stashing process in Part 2!
Happy Knitting! :)