While we know some of you are diligent monogamous knitters, working on one project at a time, there is a segment of the knitting population who have amassed a stash… some beyond life expectancy!
As professional knitters Em and I each have a stash and constantly work to keep it inspiring and under control. Every year when Em comes to visit me from Edinburgh she shops my curated collection, finding new inspiration from skeins I had put aside. I often find myself re-inspired as well, seeing old things as new again! So, now that our woollies have been cleaned, stored, and cared for (all about Spring cleaning the knits here), it is time to set upon the stash!
For further reading I loved Hannah Fettig of Knitbot’s article about stashing yarn here.
There are so many reasons to give the stash a good toss every year, or every few months. It’s good to know what you’ve got, to gather some new inspiration for what to cast on next and of course, to keep moths at bay! While I have not seen a moth in my yarn bins, I know they are out there, lurking, waiting. The very best way to keep moths away is to go through your yarn often, moving it around and exposing it to light and air. I keep cedar balls or lavender in each of my bins as well. Keeping your yarn in sealed bins is a good idea if you have moth concerns.
The biggest debate I have is how to organize the stash. Some methods considered are:
- By brand: I currently my yarn more or less binned by brand (with a few bins of ‘miscellaneous’); because this helps me to remember exactly which yarn is which and which colourway it is etc. but there are many ways.
- By weight: weight is a good one, especially if you are the kind of knitter who finds a pattern first, then heads to the stash to see what’s there in the right quantity.
- By colour: If you prefer to choose yarn first, project second, you might prefer to sort by colour, so you know what you’ve got in a blue at a quick glance.
- By project: our lovely model Emily Read has her stash arranged by project. Each project has it’s own bag in her sealed bins, and I think she even has a sticky note with the pattern name with some of them. When she is ready for her next project she can head to the stash, simply pull a bag and she’s ready to roll!
Once you’ve tossed the stash and organized however you like best, it’s time to cast on! I mean, you just spent a bunch of time organizing, so it’s time to reward yourself in a knitterly way. Is there a skein of worsted calling out to be a new hat? Is it time to turn that SQ (sweater quantity) into an actual wearable sweater?
If you just went through your knits you may have noticed some gaps in the wardrobe. For example I know Bodhi’s mittens won’t fit next year, so I can cast on a pair for her for next winter right now. If you have a lot of those 1/4 balls lying around (as I have found I do), as well as a few lovely skeins, maybe a stash busting Marley blanket is just the thing to keep the stash manageable and create something beautiful for your home at the same time.
So tell us, how do you organize your stash?
TCK Knits to cast on immediately: