I have too much yarn.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I still probably have way too much yarn, but today I have a lot less than I did yesterday. Like, four giant Ziploc bags’ worth.
I’d been meaning to go through the yarn closet for a long time now, but if you’re a regular reader of this little blog o’ mine, you know that the past couple of months have been just a wee bit challenging. And the last thing I felt like doing was pulling out all of the bags and sorting through everything I’ve accumulated over the past couple of years.
Not because of the physical work, mind you. It was just the whole idea of sorting through every skein of yarn because, to be honest, there was a lot of poor yarn purchases on my part and I know I’m not alone in this. I also know that you can’t keep everything. Or that you would want to knit or crochet everything in your stash, either. We all have clunkers in there, buried at the bottom of the bag, just underneath the skeins of the merino and silk blend.
You know, that bag of red eyelash yarn that you bought eons ago because you didn’t know what you were buying? Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about here.
So I decided before I go and pick up my 12 skeins of Osprey for this sweater, before any more cute little skeins of sock yarn come to live in my house, I needed to do a little housekeeping. And here’s how I went about it.
Pick a time when you can devote a couple of uninterrupted hours to go through every bag and box of yarn you have. You don’t have to do it all in one shot, but you really do need to go through all of them.
Find an organization or a person who’s going to take the yarn you no longer want. My local Goodwill was thrilled to get five bags of clean yarn in almost-perfect shape. Please remember that anything you donate must be in good condition. If it’s not, see if you can recycle it. And of course you can always sell it.
And if you were thinking about doing a spreadsheet or perhaps using the “Stash” feature on Rav, right about now would be a good time to start doing exactly that.
Next, figure out what you’re going to keep and what’s going to get donated. And please be honest with yourself. You know what you like to knit and what you like to knit with, right? If you don’t knit lace and you have ten skeins of laceweight, do you really want to hang on to it? Or do you have a friend who would love it and make something beautiful with it? That’s what I’m talking about.
Oh, and I only had three piles: keep, donate and pitch. That’s because I’m a ruthless bitch when it comes to this organizing stuff. And I refuse to hang on to one half of one third of a ball of Sugar and Cream cotton. In barf pink, no less. Out it goes.
I wouldn’t be so cavalier if that was Tosh Sock, of course. You know what I mean.
As you go through your yarn, put aside the yarn you’ve already bought for specific projects. And I will guarantee you that you’ll find yarn for projects that you’d forgotten about.
If you want to, sort it by weight. I have a ton of sock yarn, so once the projects were put aside, I stored the rest of the sock yarn together. And I discovered a couple of neat colorwork possibilities, too.
Once you’ve gone through it all, it has to go back to wherever it was being stored. If you weren’t happy about that situation, here’s a good chance to change that, too.
I’d love to have a huge, open LYS-style storage system, but I don’t have the room for that. So I picked up a few of those closet organizers that hang from the rail and they work perfectly for me. I put the wool in generic ziplocs and write the project name on the outside if it’s earmarked for anything special. If I wanted to get really wild and crazy, I’d slip in the patterns so I’d have a kit ready to go.
Because you never know when you’ll need a knitting kit, right?
I stored the acrylic and cotton in those humongous zipper bags. If you decide to go that route, make sure you get the clear ones so you can see what’s in there, because that’s really the purpose of this whole thing, right?
Sit back and gloat and take pictures of your new stash. Share with other people and make them jealous. Gloat some more.
Now go knit!