This week I wanted to talk about some tips to organize your yarn stash. I can appreciate crocheter’s that have it all together. You know the ones I’m talking about. The people sharing pictures on Instagram and Facebook of their yarn stash beautifully organized in a room that has never had a child in it. Everything is perfectly in it’s place. They have their hooks organized in beautiful containers and they’re sorted by size. If you’re one of those people, I bow down to you, yarn organization god/goddess. I will think of your yarn room jealously as I search for the crochet hook that I have forgotten in my mom bun…again.
I’m guilty of having multiple works in progress which I leave on my side table so they are accessible when I fancy picking them up again. I always vow to do better but I follow my creativity and then forget I vowed to do better… yeah, I kinda suck. After my son recently told me “Mom, your yarn is everywhere” I realized it was time to get my sh** together and organize my yarn stash for good this time.
Let’s put this out there now: there is no one right way to do this. This is all up to personal preference. So if you start organizing your yarn and then realize that it just isn’t working for you, try something different. Just do what works for you and your space.
Assess Your Stash
First things first, take a quick stock of what you have. You’re going to have to do this Marie Kondo style and just make a big old pile of all your yarn. Do you have more than you thought you had? *Eeek* Me too.
Clean it Up
Got a bunch of messy hanks/skeins/balls in your stash? Take the time to wind them up and make them look pretty again. It may seem tedious now when you have all this yarn laying about everywhere to put away but you’ll thank yourself later. This will help your yarn look it’s best when you put it away and could save space if you’ve got a bunch of messy skeins laying around.
Tame Those Scraps
Got a bunch of scraps laying around? Maybe you’re saving them for a fun scrappy blanket or you’re like me and you use them as stuffing for amigurumi. If you’re going to keep them, get em organized. Put them in a container or wind them up if you can. I keep mine in a fun container that has opaque sides so they aren’t visible and they’re all contained.
Decide How You Want to Sort It
This can be done a few different ways. Here are a few organization method ideas to get you started:
- Fiber content
- Yarn Size
- Yarn Packaging (i.e. yarn cakes together, yarn skeins together, yarn balls together, etc.)
- Skein Size
Make sure that you keep yarn of the same dye lot together so you aren’t ripping your newly organized stash apart trying to find them later. My current stash is organized by colour and then by yarn weight within the colours.
Write It Down
This is a great opportunity to make a quick inventory of what you have. I like to keep my stash inventoried in an Excel workbook but Ravelry also has a great feature where you can track your yarn stash. It also gives you pattern suggestions for your yarn stash. Thanks Ravelry!
Let it Go
I’m totally singing the popular Disney song in my head as I type this and I did so as I sorted my stash too. If you’re not going to use it and/or it doesn’t inspire you – let it go my friend. I know it’s hard but there’s no sense in keeping if if you won’t use it. Gift it to another crafter, sell it or donate it. Oh look! Room for more yarn!
Wrangle Your WIPs
If you have a load of WIPs that are needing to be frogged, do it now so it isn’t hanging over your head. Wind the yarn up and add it to the stash. If you’re not going to do that, maybe donate your project to another crocheter that may be interested in completing it or is at least willing to frog it for the yarn. If you have other WIPs that are still in the queue, assign a specific place for them. I like to keep mine in project bags so it looks a little neater.
Regardless of how you organize your stash, make sure it works for you and inspires you. I like opening my yarn cabinet and knowing that something will likely jump out at me (not literally, I just organized it!) and inspire me. Good luck and happy organizing!
When you’re a beginner, wanting to pick out yarn for that new project you’re wanting to tackle, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or confused by all the choices available. You pick up a pretty yarn and turn it over to look at the label and you have no idea what any of that means. What does that number on the yarn ball mean? What the heck are those little squares with the needles on them? It may not seem overly important at the time, especially if you’re just buying the yarn based on it’s squish-factor but that label has a lot of important info on it that you’ll need. Here I’ll walk you through how to read a yarn label so next time you go yarn shopping, you can easily determine what that label is trying to tell you and whether it’s the yarn you need.
Here is a yarn label I have from a skein of Bernat Blanket yarn.
- Weight: Whenever you see this symbol, it indicates what the weight of the yarn is. Yarn weight standards are determined by the Craft Yarn Council. You can check out their standards system HERE. This particular yarn is a super bulky weight yarn.
- Knitting Gauge: This symbols shows the knitting gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by knitting 8 stitches by 14 rows using 8mm needles.
- Crochet Gauge: This symbol shows crochet gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by crocheting 6 single crochets stitches for 8 rows. The gauge information is helpful if you are considering substituting a yarn for your project. If the gauge on the yarn you want to use matches the gauge of the yarn the project calls for, generally, you should be able to use that yarn for your project.
- Washing Information: If you’re spending that time to create something, you’ll want to take care of it. The label includes information about how to care for your finished item made from the yarn. Symbol a) means that items are machine washable in cold water. Symbol b) means do not use bleach. Symbol c) means you can tumble dry this item on low heat (bonus!) Symbol d) means do not iron. Symbol e) means do not dry clean. You can get the list of what all the washing instruction symbols mean here at the Craft Yarn Council Website.
- Material(s): This tells you what the yarn is comprised of. In this case, 100% polyester. Some yarns are made of a blend of multiple fibers and how much of each fibre is used to make up the content will be listed here. I.e. 20% merino wool, 60% acrylic, 20% nylon.
- Net Weight, Yards/Meters: Here you’ll find how much yarn is in the skein. This information is vital. If your project needs 800 yards of Bernat Blanket yarn, you are going to need to make sure you buy enough yarn for your project. This skein has 220 yards of yarn in it so I would need to by 4 skeins in order to have enough for my project.
I hope this helps you decipher your yarn labels! Happy yarn shopping!