One of the ways that I get myself to focus on getting things done when I feel more like flitting about is by using timers and setting limits on how long I can spend on tasks. I think that is what was in my mind when I divided Stash Smash Challenge 3 into 6 mini challenges to appear on the hour every hour in the Facebook group! That and I was high on yarn fumes from the first day at Perth Festival of Yarn!
This post gathers all of the mini challenges into a single post and some pics of how it changed my stash! : )
You have confessed your WIPs and singles, now it is time to Sort That Stash!
Time to think about how you store your stash and how easy it is going to be for you to knit/crochet from it!
Mini Challenge 1: What is already earmarked?
So first things first, what yarn do you already have earmarked for projects?! Get into project bags/other storage (with patterns if possible!), ready to go! You have 60 minutes*!
(*Or all day or as long as you would like of course!)
I now have 8 projects all bagged up and ready to go … and one that I was able to open and cast on a week ago! The fade is already out of the bag for Massive Makes Mondays and having it ready to go saved me having to faff about with my stash to pick out the colours. There are probably a few more earmarked projects in there that aren't in bags as well but I wasn’t ready to commit.
Three of the projects bagged up and ready to go!
Mini Challenge 2: Sock yarns that will become socks
This is not for everyone but it will be for a few! Gather all skeins destined to be socks, put them together so that when you desperately need to sock, you can reach in, cake (if necessary) and sink into sock nirvana!
I should have made this ‘your main category of yarns’ rather than socks but having seen some of the WIPs folk were trying to finish and what was in stash pics I thought sock yarns might be a good bet! : ) Mine are now all together and ready to become socks or sockkens!
Sock yarns (and more ready projects) all ready to become Socks and Sockkens!
Mini Challenge 3: Categorise everything else & store accordingly!
Colours, weights, what they will become, toys, crochet, knit … you choose! Which way will make it easier for you to mix, match and make!
I went by weight, mostly, and then singles lol. I love the idea of doing it by colour but my stash is a lot of green anyway!
Mini Challenge 4: Multi-location stash management!
For those whose collections require multiple locations, think about what you keep where!
Do you have those most likely to be used first closest at hand? Do you have a selection of projects to choose from for those days when you just need to cast on? Should some yarn be kept in deep stash!? Time to decide which is in the drawer and which is in the loft!
I have worked really hard for this not to be an issue. I used to have a stash in the loft but I could feel it nagging at the edges of my mind … I couldn’t be having that! I do have two boxes of ‘Shop Yarn ends’ that lurk outside my stash but I know where they are and what’s in them (mostly).
I must also admit that there is also a bag of own ends in the drawers below the stash but I feel they will be becoming a scrappy blanket soon so I don’t mention them so much.
Mini Challenge 5: Don’t forget about your tools
While not strictly part of stash, these need just as much love! I mean do you really know where your 6mm needle is? Is it cavorting with the crochet hooks?!
There are great needle and hook organisation tools out there and there are great options for making your own as well (Pinterest time!). And remember, if you are making your own, function over form is just fine!!
It was during this part of the challenge that I realised I was definitely part of the problem! The design of this whole challenge was based on many of my own struggles with my stash. Seeing the pictures of other folks beautifully organised tools made me realise that I really do live in the kind of organised chaos that Simon has hinted at a few times. I have mostly wrangled mine into a single location … mostly.
Of course I still can’t find my 5mm DPNs … Maybe I never had a pair!? Yarndale is going to fix that.
I try, honestly I do but the needles consider themselves free range!
Mini Challenge 6, The Final One: How is your pattern library?!
The physical one… not the Ravelry one although perhaps that should also be included and organised!
Where are all your knitting books? Are they all together? Are they in a pile that would require you to lift 30 books to get to the one at the bottom? Are there clipped out patterns from Knitting Magazines lurking everywhere?
Find yourself a shelf and make sure you can get them! Perhaps a folder for your patterns so you can flick through them?
There was an avalanche recently from which the books have not recovered
I know, I know. Do as I suggest, not as I find myself!
So there you have it, suggestions from someone whose stash continues to escape around the house but really tries to contain it in one room!
Now, I'm going knitting ... if I can get the pattern book I want out of the pile!