Yarn stashing is commonly referred to as yarn the knitter (or crocheter) purchases without having a set purpose and is
stashed stored throughout the house in creative places where her husband can’t find it. Until I started knitting, I wasn’t aware that there was a term for random yarn purchasing and storing. But today I’m not talking about hiding yarn.
Or maybe I am- we’ll see where this goes.
I started buying yarn before I could knit. Back then though I thought I could crochet. It turned out I couldn’t and I still haven’t mastered it.
However, that didn’t stop me from buying yarn every now and then.
Thankfully, I learned how to knit.
And then the real yarn craze began.
At first, I didn’t know the difference between yarns and I will be honest, there are some things about yarn, like sport and DK weight, that confuse me. So in that first year of yarn buying and stashing (and by stashing I may or may not mean hiding), I just kind of threw everything together and not very well I might add.
Since then I’ve learned that all yarn is different. They come in different weights and they are made of different fibers. How you
stash categorize it matters.
Keeping yarn clean
We own a cat and a dog so I always preface everything that I make and give as gifts with “It’s been washed but we have pets so I can’t rule out stray fur,” because as we all know, pet hair gets on everything. When it comes to keeping your yarn clean you want to opt for storage that will minimize the amount of dust or animal dander that can get on it. Dust, dander, all of that can break down fiber over time. Besides all of that, yarn that lays about willy-nilly has a much higher probability of having something spilled on it.
Oh yes. It happened. Washing wool yarn may cause it to felt. Lesson learned.
Just say NO to cardboard
First of all, cardboard is flimsy and if you have yarn ADD like me, you must check the yarn often; to see if a new project matches the yarn you have (if not, it’s time for a trip to the yarn shop), to see if the yarn matches the project, to see if anything is missing, to see if there’s a color of the rainbow that you’re not properly representing. To. Touch. It.
Second, cardboard doesn’t keep everything out. And by everything I mean dirt, animal dander, little boys who are looking for the perfect material to “spin webs like spiderman” with, bugs… you get the picture.
Lastly, cardboard isn’t pretty. You have pretty yarn, why choose a cardboard box to store it in?
Durability, stack-ability and other abilities
What you store your yarn in should be sturdy and withstand just about anything. Kids sitting on it, stacking and un-stacking, frequent opening or moving, and most importantly acts of God. Many a yarn stash has been ruined from improper stashing and a flooded basement.
My cat loves to sit on the tops of closed cardboard boxes. Refer yourself back to the above suggestion on cardboard and know that she is an 18-pound cat.
Mystery storage. Much better than mystery meat
Ever open that one container in your fridge that you couldn’t see through only to discover that some things can’t be unseen? Yarn storage isn’t like that. Every time you open a bin of yarn, pretty things are found. I promise. However, that doesn’t mean all of your yarn has to be stored in see-through containers. Yes, it helps you to see what may be inside before opening it but it’s not completely necessary. I have a couple of nice durable bins that are see-through just so I can see the rainbow of fiber waiting to be touched on the inside.
However, variety is the spice of life so I also have my great grandmother’s 1970’s footstool with hinged lid, a nice Rubbermaid tote, a couple of extra large reclosable storage bags (zippered microfiber pillowcases from my Type-A Parent Conference adventure with Heather) and a pretty purple polka-dot collapsible box with lid.
A word about labeling
Some people are known as yarn snobs…
Wait. Wrong label.
Just as I mentioned earlier, I used to toss all my yarn together in one big bin (Actually that foot stool that belonged to my grandmother) but yarns are different, remember? Because of their differences, it’s best to store like fibers or weights together.
For instance, wool in one bin. Novelty yarn in another. Cotton in another, synthetics… and you can get really, REALLY anal about categorizing from there. I presently have three categories: Expensive, cheap, and stuff I’m working on.
Regardless if you’re storing your yarn see-through containers (or even if you are), best to label what’s inside for faster finding, touching and project starting.
And what about the tools?
Look, people who don’t get knitters or crocheters can just kiss my…
Oh, you mean like crochet hooks and needles? Yes, they need a place too.
I’m a little laxer with my needles and hooks (Yes. A knitter needs a crochet hook every now and then). I have a couple of small pouches for all my knitting notions and accessories (such as crochet hooks, stitch markers, darning needles, stitch holders, stitch counters, measuring tape and tiny scissors). Depending on what I need I move things from pouch to pouch. Still, a couple of needle cases are very handy for storing and keeping track of needle types and sizes.
Unfortunately, most of my needles are on current projects – so knowing what I have means I have to know what I’m working on and the two don’t often play well together.
So there you have it; how I stash my yarn. We’ll talk about the actual art of stashing (okay now I’m talking about hiding it), another time.
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