Dealing with the Stash

I spent my weekend dealing with the stash, and I don't think I've ever felt so cleansed!  My husband was working, laundry was done, and I had no other plans, so it was perfect timing.  Not only have I organized every little piece of yarn I have, but I managed to catalogue everything in my Ravelry stash.  Of course I have a bag of tidbits that are really just for embellishment, so those were left out.  I reorganized my pegboard, which was inspired by Lorna Watt's post on Knits for Life.  Someday I want a wall like hers!  I have the exact same ball winder as her, and it's taken a lot of abuse without breaking.  I highly recommend it. 

I use to have my little cakes organized by color, but now I have them sorted by fiber type, for the most part.  It's not nearly as pretty as Lorna's, partly because I have so much grey, but it makes me happy to see everything and know what it is.  The upper left corner is sock yarn. 
As you move toward the middle, there's some cotton, and then to the right is wool,
working from blends to 100% wool. 

Now I have to be honest and admit that this is really only half of my stash.  The other half consists of cones, which are on my bookcase, and special occasion yarns, like Christmas, Baby, or Sequined yarns, which I keep organized in 5 little stackable plastic containers, each fitting about 8 skeins.  I have my current spinning project in the 6th container.

I also organized my pegboard by keeping all of my hand dyed yarn on the bottom. 
Here's a close up of that section.
  I keep the yarn labels in the middle of each cake, so I don't forget yardage or anything like that.  For the hand dyed yarns, I put a little note in there.


I am, as you've probably noticed, insistent upon winding all my yarn into cakes with the ball winder.  I have my reasons:
  • They are very compact and easy to store, whether on a pegboard, in little stacks on a shelf, or in a container
  • You can start knitting with them right away without any additional work
  • They don't get tangled when you're using them
  • You can use them as center-pull, or pull from the outside, and they'll sit still because they're flat
  • If you're doing a pattern that calls for double stranded, you can just use the inside and outside ends simultaneously

I'm sure there are more reasons I'm not thinking of right now, but haven't found any downsides...  If you have, please share in the comments section!  I'm really curious to hear what other people think about it.

After dealing with the stash on Saturday, I was feeling so good, I decided to go through all of my tools as well.  I'm talking serious, here.  I actually sorted my stitch markers into their individual pouches.  I catalogued all my needles and hooks on Ravelry, too!  I did have to find a solution for my interchangables, since Ravelry didn't have a section for them.  What I ended up doing was filing them under 60" circulars, since I don't have any fixed ones in that length.  I didn't really come up with a solution for recording the interchangable cables I have, but I'm okay with that.

While I'm talking about my needles and hooks, I want to show you the cases I use for them.  These were all designed and made by my awesome mom.  She's a wonderful quilter and seamstress, and you can see some of her quilts on Flickr.

On the top is the case for circular needles.  It's probably my least favorite, but by no fault of it's own. 
The circulars are always trying to escape from wherever they're at! 
I keep sizes 0 - 2 in the zippered compartment.

The second one down is where I keep my straight and double pointed needles. 
This one is the bomb, and it's super convenient. 

On the bottom is the case in which I keep my crochet hooks and my interchangable needles. 
I put the interchangable cables and the oversized crochet hooks in that zippered pouch. 
Also fantastic, and I love the fun colors.

Since I was on such a roll, organizing my yarn and needles, I continued my cleanse by going through all of my failed, partially done, or unfinished projects.  I either frogged them, finished them, or decided to donate them.  Now, I am down to just four WIPs.  I guess I feel like everyone should be really impressed with me.  Only four!?  I have a pair of socks, a pair of mittens, a shawl that I'm designing as I go, and a sweater for my husband.  There's also a baby sweater, but it's done minus the buttons, which I can't decide on until I know the gender of the baby.

Now that feels good!

Please comment below to let me and other readers know
how you keep your stash and tools organized!

P.S. My first pattern is up!