I know a lot of you have been waiting for tips on how to organize your yarn stash. You’ve been looking for ideas on how to sort your yarn, but also how to store it. Last week we did a lot of work going through our yarn stashes and whipping them back into shape. Now comes the fun part of sorting our stash and putting it all away.
As my yarn stash has grown and changed over the years, so has the system for storing my yarn. Now I like to keep some of my yarn out in the open. I might not use it for awhile, but I can still enjoy it until I do. Yarn is beautiful, with all of its textures and colors. I don’t have pets or small children anymore, so I can have a bowl of yarn on a shelf and not worry about it becoming a cat plaything. Even though some of my yarn is not on display, it is stored in a way that is still accessible for me. This system works for me, but it may not work for you. The key is to find a solution for your yarn stash.
Let’s look at a some ways that people sort their yarn and different ideas on how to store yarn.
How to Sort Yarn
People who know me know I love sorting. It brings me pleasure. How I sort my yarn as changed a lot as my yarn stash has changed. 75% of my yarn stash is stored in the hutch above my desk now. I sort my yarn partially by type of project, fiber content, and weight. But I also have a couple of special categories such as fancy yarn, keepsake yarn, and teaching yarn.
If you have your yarn spread out in front of you, you’ll start to see some natural categories that make sense to you. Here are some categories to help you start sorting.
- Color – Are you the type of person who walks into a yarn store organized by color and feel a sense of calm? When you are searching for a yarn to use, is color the most important attribute?
- Weight – If you know the pattern that you want to make before you decide on the yarn, sort your yarn by weight. It’ll be easier to find what you need when there’s a new project you want to knit or crochet.
- Fiber – Do you only knit with certain types of fibers depending on the season, alpaca in the winter, cotton in the summer. Try sorting yarn by fiber content.
- Project – Some people buy yarn for a particular project. Sort these yarns by project type. Consider even storing the pattern with the yarn.
- Care – If you like to knit or crochet things for babies and children and machine washability is important to you, keep the easy care yarns separate from the hand wash yarns.
- Keepsake Yarn – Some yarn you may never intend to use. It’s more of a keepsake. Don’t hide these yarns in a box. Display them in a bowl so you can enjoy them daily.
- Yarn Scraps – Don’t throw away your yarn scraps. Keep them in an accessible location to be used for waste yarn, practicing new techniques, even stuffing your latest amigurumi.
Containers for Yarn Storage
There are so many ways you can store your yarn stash. Just Google “yarn storage” and check out all of the image results for some inspiration. Also searching for yarn storage on Pinterest will bring up even more ideas of how to organize your yarn. Here are some examples of how others store their yarn.
- Plastic boxes and totes with lids – These can be inexpensive, stackable, and available in many sizes.
- Plastic bags – Shopping bags can help sort yarn in large totes. Clear zippered bags that bedding comes in works great for yarn storage. Oversized ziploc bags are similarly good. Small ziploc bags are great for partially used skeins to keep the yarn and ball band together. They’re also nice for storing slippery yarns like ribbon yarn or bamboo that might get tangled in a large bin.
- Open baskets - These work great on shelves and are good for yarns you want quick access to.
- Shelves and bookcases – Shelving with lots of cubbies are popular with many crafters.
- Closet organizers – Hanging shoe and sweater storage can be perfect for organizing yarn too.
- Reusing food containers – Large oatmeal boxes and large clear bulk food containers are good options if you’re on a tight budget or would rather spend money on yarn than storage.
- Cabinets and cupboards – Behind doors but easily accesible, there could be some empty cabinets just waiting to be filled with yarn.
- Drawers or dressers – These work great for yarns that don’t stack well such as yarn balls. Also easily accesible, but out of the way from pets.
- Decorative containers - Bowls and glass vases can be great for showcasing some of your favorite yarns.
Preparing Yarn for Storage
The best way to store yarn is either the way it came, or in hank form. If you want to store your yarn wound in a ball, be sure to wind it loosely. If it’s too tight, the yarn may lose some of its elasticity while being stored. If you have a ball winder, winding your yarn is quick work and creates beautiful little cakes of yarn that are stackable. To avoid winding your yarn too tightly, wind it twice. When winding a ball from a ball, it will be looser than when you wound it the first time from a yarn swift.
Tomorrow, Grace will be posting some tips on how to keep critters such as the dreaded moth away from your yarn while in storage.
Hopefully some of these ideas have given you a little inspiration for organizing your yarn stash. Please share your favorite yarn storage idea in the comments.