When I think about spring cleaning, the dirty windows and cluttered closets are the least of my worries. What really needs a good, thorough cleansing is my knitting.
We’re so busy knitting throughout the year that we rarely check in on our supplies. Needles, yarn, and unfinished projects can get misplaced and unorganized in those months, so sometimes it’s nice to just do a little cleaning. Sometimes cleaning can even lead to inspiration for other projects!
Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your knitting supplies — yarn, needles, books magazines, and more — are organized and safely stored for another year of knitting.
Do a bit of purging and organizing and your stash could look as lovely as this Plymouth Essex Yarn stored in a wooden container.
Bust your stash!
1. Purge, purge, purge.
The biggest mess in many of our craft spaces is the abundance of UFOs (unfinished objects). These take up a lot of storage room. If you open a bag and find a surprise UFO that you completely forgot existed, chances are that you’re never going to finish that project. Be honest with yourself. If you aren’t going to finish knitting the project, frog it (frog just means to rip it, for any knitters who aren’t familiar with the term) and use the yarn for something else.
It’s not just yarn that needs to be purged. Knitting books and magazines can take up a lot of room, too. Recently, one of the members of my stitch group was talking about how she’s donating her old knitting magazines and instead opting for digitally archived versions. If there are dusty books that you never reference or aren’t in love with, consider donating those to the library.
2. Host a fiber swap.
Once those unwanted UFOs have been frogged, you might find yourself with a lot more yarn than you anticipated. One great way to get rid of yarn is to attend a fiber swap.
Fiber swaps don’t have to be fancy. You can attend one that’s hosted by an organization — one of my local YMCAs hosts one — or you can organize it with some of your fiber-loving friends.
If you’re really paring down your yarn, you’ll probably want to drop your stuff off at the swap and run away. But if your issue is just that you need some inspiration for new projects, check out what’s available at the swap. Maybe something will catch your eye and inspire a new design.
3. Donate leftovers.
If you still have yarn left after the swap, or if you can’t gather enough people to host a swap, then you can always donate your yarn. Need some ideas for where to donate? Check out a few possible resources here, and don’t forget to read the comments to see other Bluprint members’ great ideas.
One way to store your scraps? Wrap them around cardboard and display them in a neat row!
Organizing your knitting supplies is probably the most tedious part of spring cleaning. You can start by separating UFOs into individual project bags. Make a list of all the UFOs you have left and prioritize which ones you’d like to complete first.
If your yarn is overflowing from its current storage space, think about adding more storage. I use fabric containers with zippers that can be stacked on a shelf. Some knitters like to sort by color or weight and even use clear containers. Labels are important, too; don’t forget to label all your bins so you won’t have to dig too much.
Don’t forget to read our post on whether or not you should wind your hanks into yarn before you store anything permanently.