Wednesday, March 30, 2011


How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

I started blogging during a quest to rid myself of all my yarn stash, which I did! So you may be wondering what has reaccumulated in the following 2.5 years. Here it is! (The ruler is a 12 inch or 30cm one--these are "shoe box" sized bins.)

Actually, one contains yarn, and the other contains all the other crapola. Here is the yarn box:
There are only two yarns that are "real," ie have not yet been used for a project. They are an orange yarn for a top and a blue kid linen which was a gift from Rosalia, to be a shawl.

The rest of the bin consists of leftovers . Here's the smorgasbord sorted on one of the bin lids, by weight of yarn. I hadn't realized I'd accumulated so much sockweight recently, from a flurry of cardigan and mittens (these, these, and these).

And then there is a small (~4x6") bag of "small" scraps, which is pretty full and I should probably figure out something to use them all up! (Hello, cat toys).

Onward, to the other bin! This is where all the needles and crap live. As you can see, it is highly organized.

Once in a great while I will arrange the needles by size and rubberband by size the double pointed needles, but soon they get all disheveled. So it ends up being more efficient to dig through like a little mole. I have been putting off getting a nice circular needle case from Etsy because if I were ever to get the beautiful Addi lace interchangeable circular kit, I would just give everything away and bow down at the fantastically organized loveliness of the kit. However if someone wonderful were to, say, give me the circular needle case, or a dpn needle case, as a gift, I would love them forever and be super organized for the rest of time!

In contrast, here are my "regular" single-pointed needles, which reside in a knitted roll-up case.

This is the most faved (178 hearts!) project of mine on Ravelry. So it is too bad I never actually use these needles. Due to non-use, the needles/case still look super orderly. (Angel voices here.)

Plastic bin #2 also contains a pile of plastic bags. I don't have project bags (also hint hint nudge nudge for anyone looking to send me a gift) and instead I organize all of my active projects in "ziplock" plastic bags. I put in the pattern, needles, yarn, notions, any other necessary notions for a specific project into a bag, and keep them all bundled sturdily together.

Like so.

Then all of the active projects (currently only 1, as usual) each in their plastic baggies go into the knitting bag, which is knitted from three different balls of bamboo yarn from a swap.

The other item in the knitting bag is a Le Petit Prince pencil case, which holds all notions.

The needle gauge fits perfectly on the underside of the lid. All the other notions fit inside the case.
Working clockwise from top right...
  • The little green baggie holds stitch markers; leftover from a pair of earrrings.
  • Chibi needles--I lost my one needle and then could not get any metal yarn needles that did not come in a set in a plastic case. But the green case is so cute it gets to stay for now.
  • Cable needles and stitch holders
  • The 3 wee circles are things which I use as stitch markers, but are actually colorful rings that come with electric toothbrush heads (to mark which one belongs to whom).
  • The black thing in the corner is a magnetic rock I got in Los Alamos, ostensibly to keep a cable needle from getting lost during a drive. Unfortunately the cable needle (now lost) was made of aluminum and did not stick! However the little rock is really useful for corralling safety pins, little scissors, and the one ferromagnetic crochet hook. 
  • The business card is from Wolcott & Co, a wonderful yarn shop in Cambridge MA, which I used to visit during college, but is now unfortunately closed. I keep the card for the memories, as well as the useful info jotted all over (the card opens up for a needle tracker), like how many yards are in 100g of a various weights of yarn, typical gauge in different needle/yarn combos, etc. I started keeping these notes before one could look up the stuff online, and really it is a lot easier just to pop open the card than sort through the internet.
  • Row counters, two of them with yarn attached to stitch markers so I can use them to mark between rounds when knitting in the round. I guess I am too cheap to get the row counters made with attached stitch markers.

So that's it! Hope you enjoyed the tour of all the yoelknitting stuff!

Click here to read all the other Day 3 posts from 2KCBW.


mooncalf said...

IS it really two and a half year since that momentous destash? Goodness. I think you've done a fab job to keep your stash levels low too. Just two projects-in-waiting and some leftovers. I'm not even going to try to compare that to my stash.

I like the idea of using a magnet to keep all the tiny safety piny things together in your kit. Even if it didn't work for the cable needles.

Knitpicks won't mail to the UK (or anywhere in Europe). Which is probably for the best :)

Sharripie said...

We use a lot of the same kinds of organization! Nothing beats a ziplock bag for convenience and ease-of use! It's the perfect size for a sock project & you can see everything!

VeganCraftastic said...

I have bins similiar to yours under my bed. I think I have about 4 that hold my yarn stash :)

Rose Red said...

I love the needle holder (which now has 181 hearts!). Your alternate cable is a great improvement!

I'm also a bit envious of your almost non-stash! I mean, I love my huge stash, but sometimes I wish I could just buy the yarn when I'm ready to knit the project. But I love my stash more...heh!