Wednesday, 30 March 2011

KCBW: Yarn Wrangling

Day 3 Question: 
"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."


There was a time, about two years ago, where I bought a bunch of freezer sized ziplock bags, hauled all my skeins of yarn from their various hiding places, and entered all their details in an excel spreadsheet. Then I put them in the big ziplock bags, stood on them (make shift vacuum seal!) and zipped them shut. They were then stacked neatly in an armoire. 
Screenshot of a portion of the original spreadsheet

But I've been in almost every one of those bags by now, and I've definitely added substantially to my stash since then, and it's all a hodge-podge mess again. I have yarn tucked away in my closet, in drawers, in boxes under the bed, and even have loose skeins running amok in my folded sweaters. And I didn't keep up with my yarn spreadsheet. none of the yarn below is in the spreadsheet, and that's just some of what I bought in 2010:
yarn
Confession: I thought the spreadsheet would be an awesome tool for when I was at work thinking about knitting- if you walk by the screen, it totally looks like I'm doing work! What is nice about looking at this old screenshot is I did indeed use some of the above yarns for their intended projects.  As for Ravelry, I use my project queue as a place to keep notes of certain yarns I'm intending to use.

21 comments:

Katie said...

I have such a mishmash of "organization" for my yarn. In my bedside table, I have all the ongoing projects and bags. In a bin next to my bed, I have the yarn for upcoming projects and etsy projects. In my guest room, I have covered bins with my stash, pretty much unorganized, but not out of hand. I have yarn for my ongoing afghan project in a birdcage in there, too. My needles are stored in a needle roll in my living room along with my ball winder and swift. Cheap crap yarn is stored in a giant urn in the living room and leftovers balled up, are stored in clear glass apothecary jars in the living room (one for ends from the afghan project, one for ends from everything else).

Nothing is really written down. But, most of my yarn purchases are done on trips and I remember the trip when I see the yarn.

Blair Bradley said...

I have mine in zip lock bags and then all put into canvas tote boxes and they live in my dining room bookcase so I can easily get to them when I'm knitting in the living room. It acts as a reminder to me of the yarn I do have so I try to make something with that instead of going out and buying more... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, because sometimes I just want to buy more yarn :)

Small and Moody said...

I do try to keep my yarn organized but it always seems to take on a life of its own. I use the stash feature on Ravelry. It has really helped me get a lot more organized. But, I do not have every skein of yarn that I own listed inthere. It has been pretty scary to see that I already have 96 stashed!

I too use the Ziplock baggies and I have plastic bins. I do have my stash sorted by fiber type and if it is superwash yarn. I did inherit a lot of the yarn from a friend's friend whose mother-in-law passed away. They didn't want to throw away the yarn and they knew that I loved to knit. I donated a lot of it to various charity knitting groups. There was some of this yarn that I just couldn't part with. It was free yarn and it needed a good home!

I do have a small table next to our couch and I have all kinds of yarn piled up on top of it. I also have needles, patterns, I have three knitting bags underneath this table that contain yet more yarn, needles and patterns! It can get crazy! I do have plastic bins and drawers in an extra closet where all of my knitting accoutrements belong. Sometimes I actually use it!! :)

Where the nodding violets grow said...

The spreadsheet does look like you are working. Well done. It is much easier to buy the yarn than it is to find places to put it!

Erin said...

A spread sheet! That's intense & impressive.

midnightscribbles said...

The only place my yarn is organized is in my spreadsheet, which I do have open at work. It could totally be a clients information. Really.

I'm just happy to see another spreadsheet out there.

jdknitter said...

HEHE!


When I was in law school, I used the similar tactic. We take notes on Word, so I would open up another Word document, make a table (with invisible grid) of my stash. I would always sit in the front of the class, so to others in the back, I look like I'm taking notes! That table looked very similar to what you had in Excel. =D It made me smile when I read your blog today.

Jacey said...

Mine is mostly in large plastic bins, as well as in a four-drawer dresser. Then I have a few loose skeins. Most of my yarn is logged in ravelry, but there are a few skeins that have not been added.

I like that you originally created the spreadsheet so you could view it at work. ;)

tentenknits said...

Wow I am intimidated by that spreadsheet. I also just dumped out every yarn I had on my guest bed and got a bit overwhelmed thinking about it all.

I adore that you did a spreadsheet and also used it for an at work decoy. Brilliant.

Voie de Vie said...

I am so not the spreadsheet type - at least when it comes to yarn. Nope. Not me. :)

Great stash, though!

Ashley said...

Your yarn wrangling sounds much like mine. A few months back I decided to enter all my yarn into my Rav stash, mostly just to see how many yards I had (there was a "race" at my lys haha), and I have neglected it since. Maybe updating it will be a nice summer project.

yoel said...

Ha! I love the idea of doing pretend work whilst organizing (in theory) yarn stash.

Eva said...

I can't believe you really made a spreadsheet! :)

Things like that move down my "queue" for more time to knit. But I'm lucky, I have an office all to myself and when I know nobody might pop in I can sneek over to ravelry and do some knitting planning. :)

Maybe I should post a picture of my stash (which is not at all that big I think).

Siga said...

Oh, yarn can be found everywhere in my apartment. My husband is amazed as I am totally aware of what's where. :D

Cristalle said...

I have too many yarns, so I bought plastic boxes. I started taking inventory of my stash on Ravelry. I think it's a very good tool. I also put my plans and desires.I also have my project bag that I take everywhere with me.

Roxie said...

My husband suggested that I put all the yarn in one room, so the guest room has bookshelves filled with clear plastic salad boxes full of yarn. That's as organized as it gets. Fibers are mixed, colors are mixed and yarn weights are mixed. I rather enjoy the adventure of taking down every box to consider what I have and what needs to be knitted.

Jenifer said...

New to knitting so my stash is almost non-existent. The stash I do have is more from end of projects than yarn bought for to-be projects. The main reason I don't have a big stash is becuase I have no idea how much to buy since I don't have a project pending. The thought of not having enough for my project is so daunting that I don't buy. You all will probably say I will get there shortly and my stash is about to take off!

CanarySanctuary said...

Oh yes, I've tried numerous times to keep track of all me yarn. Usually goes pear-shaped rather quickly.
And now, I fear my stash has grown to such proportions that it would take a rather large investment of time to inventory it! (but it would be SO something my geeky self would love to do!)

Sarah said...

Ha ha, I like the idea of a yarn spreadsheet that makes it look like you are doing work.

Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy said...

I used to use an excel sheet but I now find the Ravelry stash page much more efficient. Not only does it link/sort by yarn weight and records yardage, there's a place to put notes. Another benefit is the ability to link stash yarn to the queue page. I change my mind about projects a lot and I find the linking function is easier to sort out my ideas. You can even download to excel if you want to stare at your stash. :)

In terms of physical stashing, I use rubbermaid bins and sort by weight or categories such as "fancy yarn", "tweed".