I am a knitter, first and foremost. I dabble in other crafts, but a look around my craft room office reveals mostly lots – and lots – of yarn. I’m always looking for new and creative ways to store it, but before we get to that, we need to take a moment to talk about organization.
Organizing Your Stash
Whether you’re a new yarn crafter or have been going at it for years like me, odds are you’ve probably got a collection of yarn hanging about, otherwise known as a stash. The very word stash connotes something that’s hidden, possibly stuffed in a dark corner where one hopes it will go unnoticed.
But the random nature of stashing makes it easy for things to get disorganized, even if your stash is a lot smaller than mine.
The first step, then, is to gather all your yarn from its various hidey holes into one place. This can, admittedly, be difficult if your stash is huge, in which case you might need to take it one section of your home at a time.
Decide if there’s anything you can part with and make plans to donate it to a knitting club or senior center.
Then decide how you want to organize your yarn. There are many possible options: by color, by yarn content, by weight, stuff you love and want to knit with right away versus stuff that can go into deeper storage and so on.
I have some things stored in all these ways, truth be told. I have a giant box of cotton yarn and another of acrylic. I have sock yarn all in one place. Some inspiring yarns I want to work with soon are in a basket on a bookshelf (others, I’ll admit, are just sitting on my desk).
The main thing is that whatever system you choose will work for you and make it possible for you to find what you need when you need it.
(As an aside, if you really want to organize your stash, consider some sort of database or system for logging what yarn you have, how much of it there is and where it’s located in your house. I always dream of putting my whole stash on Ravelry, but I’m just not ready for that kind of radical honesty.)
Storing Your Stash
Once you have an idea of how you want your stash to be organized in storage, it’s time to figure out how to store it. As much as I love having things visible and accessible, I just can’t do that with all my yarn, so I’m really making an effort to only keep things close that I intend to use soon or just find really pretty.
For deep storage I have giant bins that live in the master bedroom closet. I should not admit it, but there’s some really deep storage in my attic, which I really need to take care of soon, since that’s a pretty awful place to keep yarn.
Things I’m thinking about using soon or that I’ve gotten from yarn companies are in one shoe organizer on the closet door; a bunch of plain wool in different colors is hanging on the other door.
That aforementioned basket is heaped with things to review and recent yarn purchases that I really want to knit with soon. For reasons unknown to me, there’s also an aromatherapy ball in there. I guess it’s pretty, too.
More Good Advice
I love the idea of using an old shelf or cabinet for yarn storage. I have a giant bookshelf that used to house yarn, and may again someday if I ever pare down my book stash.
This gorgeous storage unit was meant to house DVDs, but I like its current use a lot better (via the Loopy Ewe).
Or there’s this lovely drawered unit that I guess must have been part of a desk at some point and is now home to a lot of yarn (Sunset Cat Designs).
Ravelry user lesliehsimon has another beautiful cabinet with pull-out drawers that is a colorful inspiration.
Or how about a “yarn rack” instead of a wine rack, like this one from Prudent Baby?
Make Your Own
Finally, baskets, bowls and cute little storage pieces are a great way to show off little special bits of yarn or contain current projects. But why not get double craft bang for your buck and make the containers, too?
There are great instructions at Sew Sweet for a knitter’s tote that holds yarn on the inside and has space for needles on the outside. It even has a handle so you can carry it wherever you’re working.
I also like the Sewn Stash Baskets from Purl Bee, which are great for holding a small amount of yarn in a lovely way.
If you have other ideas for storing yarn I’d love to hear them. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get!