Monday, November 12, 2018

Yarn Is Complicated

Deb, a long-time reader (I'm talking 10 YEARS here), messaged me on Facebook, asking if I had any yarn organizing tips to share with her. Once I stopped laughing (I mean, really, she asked ME for organizing ideas), I decided that yes, I do have some ideas. They're just not well executed, is all. Apparently, the road to knitting chaos is paved with good intentions.

For example, there was my project bag organization idea, which got sort of, um, out of hand. And then there was the yarn dresser approach, which worked for a few months, anyway. And, of course, there was the day I bowed to the inevitable and purchased under-the-bed storage bins for my worsted and bulky weight yarns.

But, as devoted readers (there must be one or two of you) will recall, I now have an entire ROOM in which to organize my yarn, because Brian was kind enough to go off to college a few months ago. And I won't lie - I envisioned a beautiful set-up in this room, a sort of working studio, as it were, with the added benefit of a bed to sleep in if Larry were snoring too much.

I know I've asked this before, but where DOES a dream go when it dies?

Not very comfortable to sleep on

So, yeah, step one of yarn organization is to leave a lot of junk on the spare bed, because you're going to get to it some time. Are you taking notes, Deb?

I do still have the yarn dresser. I moved it into the closet of my, ahem, studio. Unfortunately, it's full. Full of yarn? Well, sort of...

The, uh, miscellaneous drawer

Spinning supplies, because I'm delusional like that

Drawer for sport weight yarn, but other stuff sneaked in

No idea what all this crap is

I also still have the two under-the-bed storage bins, now under the bed in my wannabe studio. It is nice to have them out of my bedroom, so I can Swiffer under my own bed more efficiently. But they are also full.

Worsted yarn I'm gonna do something with. Someday.

Bulky yarn, ditto

Oh, and I have this three-drawer rolling thing-y that Susie no longer wants. I shoved most of my fingering/sock weight yarn in there. That's organized, right? Tell me I'm right.

Totally gonna knit this. Soon. Really soon.

Let's not forget the cotton collection! Attractively arranged in a pretty hatbox I stole from Anna...

This used to be full, but I gave some away. See? Organized.

Organizing my knitting needles was definitely a challenge. Used to be, I never knew what I had, so I would just go out and buy a new set every time I started a project.

Look, I'm not proud of that, okay?

But then I came up with the idea of sorting them by size into those plastic zippered pencil cases that go into three-ring binders. It's like I'm a genius or something, you know? So now I have two binders full of needles, and I'd say that I can find the size I need at least 50% of the time. That, my friends, is progress. In my world, anyway...

This actually works. Yeah, I'm surprised, too.

Complete with needle gauge and template of someone's foot...

To round out my studio, I have one of those cube things, to store books and needle binders (see above) and such on. There are supposed to be a few blue storage bins in there, too, for odds and ends, but Susie confiscated them. The bins, that is. That's okay - I would have just filled them with junk, like my dresser drawers.


Surprisingly empty, but we know it won't stay that way, right?

And I have a regular bookcase, too, that I use to store my sundry knitting bags and baskets filled with unfinished projects.

Can you spot the sweater I was going to finish last week?

Look, I'm an artist. You can't expect me to operate in a linear fashion. STOP STIFLING MY CREATIVE INSTINCTS.

Oh, and speaking of unfinished objects (UFOs, in knitter parlance), here's a basket of sock yarn leftovers that are slated to be used for a blanket I started knitting, oh, 2 years ago.

My pretties....

I believe the project bag holding the blanket is in that first picture, lying on the bed under the purple yarn that is waiting to be knit into a school-colors scarf for Brian. No rush, people, I've got 3 1/2 more years to get to that scarf. More, if he does grad school there...


  1. This had me laughing out loud!

    Love the 3 ring binder thing for needles. Right now, mine just sit in a bag and I have to dump the whole thing out to find what I am looking for, only to find that the correct size is either missing or has 3 sets of needles or more to choose from.

    Considering I have much less yarn to store than you do, I can skip the dresser, though now that the kids are gone, I may have a couple of empty ones around. Will re-think this. I thought I wanted some clear plastic bins so I could see on a shelf what I have, but not sure if this is a good idea or not. All that yarn lying around waiting for me to do something with it.

    My daughter just had a baby girl and said to me yesterday, "You're going to make her smocked dresses, right?" Did you know, smocking is apparently out of style and all my sources for fine batiste have dried up? Thoughts anyone?

    Thanks, Rena, for pulling out all the stops for me!

  2. Well the yarn all looks gorgeous, so there is that.

  3. I'm going to be so excited when I have my own "studio".

  4. Looks like my storage, except I think you might have more yarn! I have huge airtight (so the Container Store claims) bins in a guest bedroom. Not attractive at all, and I don't even move them out when my daughter visits. She understands; she's a knitter too.

  5. "Are you taking notes, Deb?" This line SLAYED me!!

  6. Is Peter Rabbit on the bookshelf for inspiration?

    1. Seriously, no idea how that got there! But par for the course at my house, I guess...

  7. Oh, dear... I absolutely love you! And really, some of that yarn is gorgeous!
    I do know the dangers of pretty boxes (and drawers that close) where you can hide away unsightly odd ends without having to deal with them. You're making me think I should blog about my craft space.

  8. Even though my stash isn't as large as yours, I recognize some of the organizational tactics. I currently a three drawer rolling cart, two plastic drawers, one large rolling bin, and two ottomans filled with yarn. I may have to try your ring binder idea. I have a scrapbooking container I use but this hasn't worked well. Oh, and I have my mom's old stand-up container. My problem is patterns, because I don't knit well without one. In fact, I'm currently in the midst of frogging back a few rows of my current project because I forget what size I was making.

    Good luck with the studio!

  9. I love how honest you are--most people would just brag on their success and make the rest of us feel inadequate. But you have a system, in progress, and the binder for needles is genius. I admire how you have it organized.