Wednesday, March 30, 2011

KCBW, Day 3

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised?

Me, organized?  Um, yeah...
I do try to keep my stash organized, but I think 'contained' is probably the best I can manage most of the time.  Here's what my stash 'corner' looks like today, after spending an hour or so tidying it all up again...

The white chest that you see used to house all of my yarn.  Mike built two of these bins years ago, when we lived in a very cool, but very short-on-storage flat in Ottawa (it was our first official apartment together, actually...).  That was such a great flat - it was in the basement of a 1920's Art Deco building, but because of the way it was built, our sub-street level flat was actually ground level with the neighbouring sub-street level park - to get into the park you had to go down a flight of stairs at one end, or down a ramp at the other.  Anyway, this place had only 3 closets - one in the bedroom that was about the width of the door, one in the hall that had shelves and was only good for linens, and one in the hall that was actually triangular - much like the overall shape of our flat! (I think the linen closet was triangular too...)  :)   We built these two chests as window seats but never got around to upholstering them (the one thing that flat did not lack was windows!).  Mike used his for outdoor/ski/sport clothing, and I used mine for hats, scarves, gloves, and of course, yarn.

Fast forward about 7 years, and that box has become the basis of my storage 'system' for all things fibery and fabricy.  As my stash(es - one yarn, one fabric) outgrew the box, I acquired the plastic boxes (I also seem to recall a point where I was paranoid about getting moths, so I put the yarn inside the boxes, and then put those into the wooden chest).  When we moved here, the whole lot was moved into a walk-in closet that adjoins our office/TV room... but it was awkward to always be climbing in and out of the box, so I lined the bottom with my fabric supplies, and threw in my collection of scarves, hats, and gloves into the bin (Ottawa was cold - I have a lot of scarves!).  That takes up about half the space...

So here's my system:  The rest of the bin houses yarn I don't want to knit with just now - sweater quantities, UFOs I've stalled out on, some acrylic, and some yarn that needs over-dying before I will knit with it (mint green was a poor colour choice for me).  In the blue bin, I've put the yarn (and a few UFOs) that I have ideas for, and want to start knitting as soon as I can.  In two of the clear boxes, I have sock yarn - some is for socks, some is for mittens or scarves, and one bit is for a kids' sweater pattern I've been wanting to try out.  A third box is all my cotton stash (I have small amounts of many colours, so this is great for when I want to crochet something), and the fourth box is all my bits and pieces of leftover wool.  I 'created' this fourth box for my ongoing swatch a day project/blog - whenever I finish a project, I always keep those last few grams of yarn so I can use them sometime in the future.  Looking at them helped convince me that I needed to do this swatch project, if only to use them all up! :)   I'll do the same with the cotton too, I imagine - for now I'm purposely using only wool and wool-blends in my swatches so that they can eventually be made into a blanket. The plastic bag on the top of the pile is also a new addition - it contains all the larger quantities of swatch-friendly yarn, which just wouldn't fit in the box.  :)

Okay, so that's yarn.  For needles, I have three cloth rolls - you can see them tucked into the wooden basket that used to be my 'current project' basket, but is now home to my 3-months worth of swatches, as well as a few on-the-go projects. One roll is for straights (I made this ages ago), and there's one each for my circulars and my KP Interchangeable set (I bought these two from etsy).  My DPNs are in the hot chocolate tin (thanks to Lucy for that idea!), and my (quickly growing) button stash is in the coffee tin.  In the white basket, I have a stack of bento boxes - one is buttons (I told you it was growing fast), one holds my -g. labels, one has miscellaneous sewing tools, and one has miscellaneous yarny things - pompom makers (in 4 sizes!), stitch holders, yarn bobbins, and I can't remember what else. There are a few other random things tossed in the white basket too - needle gauges, a magnetic chart board, spare dowels for my swift, stuff like that... I'm in and out of this basket a lot, so I don't know how else to store it all.

The whole corner looks so very organized now, but let me just say that its a very good thing that we can close the door on that little room and lock everything inside.  At any given time, the coffee table in the adjoining room can be (and usually is) covered in stray yarn, extra needles, stitch markers, scissors, patterns, projects, stitch dictionaries, the (almost) permanently attached yarn ball winder, and who knows what else.  Nevermind the non-yarny things that collect there also, like magazines, mail that doesn't get filed properly, books, tv controllers (I swear that they multiply when you're not looking too!), and whatever else we happen to be using that week.   Mostly I can keep it controlled by way of a weekly tidy... but then every so often it kind of just takes over and requires several hours to straighten up again.

Some days I think this is fine.. it makes me feel very crafty to be straightening up my desk and find a few of my swatches or design sketches mixed in among the other papers.  Other times, its all just a little too overwhelming.  But when I do get it tidy again, it makes me very happy to remember that I'm on a self-enforced yarn diet and stashdown challenge this year - this abundance of yarn is going to get used up this year, whether it likes it or not!.  Who knows, after a year of this, maybe I'll actually have space in my yarn bin again!  :)

1 comment:

Misty said...

I like that you consider your yarn to be "contained." I think that's probably how I'd describe my stash, too, except there's always some sneaky bits of yarn that escape their containers!

Good luck with using up your yarn. I have a lot of single skeins that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.