I just have to admit it. I love my yarn stash. I love owning a stash. I love to look at it, feel it and smell it. I also love to organize it, sort thru it and discover skeins I had forgotten all about. Yes, I am a yarn addict (and proud of it). I seldom leave a yarn store without buying at least a ball of sock yarn. Because you always need sock yarn. There is no amount of sock yarn that is “enough”. Just like there is no amount of yarn that is “enough” yarn. But like all other addictions, you should try to keep you intake at a minimum (or at least a reasonable level). For lets face it, ” yarn hoarding” can be both time consuming and expensive. So the last few years my stash have infact become smaller, instead of too big and space consuming. I try not to wander into yarn stores on a regular basis. And last year I sorted out all the yarn I presumed I would never use, like small amounts of leftover yarn, and gave it to a school who needed yarn for a knitting project. Over the years I have reorganized my stash many times, and there are a number of different ways to organize it:
- Color – This is my favorite. I have tried to organize my yarn by other criterias, but I always go back to sorting by color eventually. I find it easier to find what I am looking for this way. And it look really beautiful in my yarn closet too! But it makes it harder to locate different colorways of a particular yarn.
- Fiber – More than once I have sorted my stash by fiber. Alpaca, wool, flax and cotton on separate shelves. This makes it of course easier to find yarn for projects asking for different colors of the same fiber/yarn.
- Weight- I usually only sort my sock yarn by weight. But it would be helpful to store the whole stash like this. Then you would find, just like if you sort by fiber, all the colorways of yarns together.
There are also huge differences in where you can store your yarn. Mutch is based on how much space you have and on the climate where you live. Where I live (in Norway), I don’t have to worry much about moths. We only have moths in the summer half of the year, and my old wooden house keeps quite cool in the summer as well. Because of this, I don’t store my yarn in plastic bags or containers, but keep my stash in a built in closet. My only worry is keeping my two cats out of the stash closet.
- Plastic bags (zip-lock) – This is a great way to store you yarn. They keep moths, cats and all other kind of animals out of you yarn. Also the yarn is still easy to store and organize. I used to keep my yarn in zip-lock bags, but I missed the feel of the yarn as I rummaged thru it.
- Closet/cabinet- As I mentioned before, this is how I store my yarn. It is as much by chance as by design. I have a whole wall full of built- in closets in my work room, so this was the best option. But I also like it like that. My lovely yarn is just behind a thin closet door.
- Plastic containers – This is also a very good way to store yarn. Again the plastic is the barrier between moths (and cats) and stash. And when you lift off the lid, you can bask in the glorious feel off yarn. It is also easier to move your yarn this way. I have moved quite a lot in the past few years, and big plastic containers have been an invaluable asset.
- Baskets- When I was younger, and my stash did not occupy a whole closet, I kept my small stash in a small basket under my bed. I still have the basket, though it now contains other things than yarn. But I have always loved the sight of a basket full of yarn next to a big old chair or sofa. It is something homey and nostalgic about that picture. Sadly, if I left my yarn or knitting in a basket it would be destroyed by hairy house occupants (my cats and dog).
There are, I am sure, a lot of different ways and places to store yarn. I once read that Yarn Harlot kept some of her yarn in the arms of the families winter coats. I think she wrote that she used the piano as storage as well. So as you can see, there are a lot of possibilities. In what way you store your stash is up to you, but just remember one thing: BE AWARE OF THE MOTH!!
I am sure there are many more ways to sort a yarn , and if you sort your stash differently I would love to hear about it.