A new year means a new yarn stash. Maybe you used a lot of your old stash yarn on stitching holiday gifts. If you’re lucky, friends and relatives helped replenish your stash with the gift of yarn during the holidays! Or maybe you took advantage of some of those end-of-year clearance sales.
Now your stash yarn is turned upside down with new and old mixing together, and you’re not quite sure how to control it. What better time to organize your stash than in the new year?
Devote a few moments (or even hours, depending on how big your stash is) to answering these questions about each yarn:
1. How will I use this yarn?
Do you have a specific project in mind for this yarn? If you do, you might want to make a note of it. You could use Ravelry to enter your stash and assign a project to it, or simply attach a sticky note to the yarn label with the project name on it.
2. When will I use this yarn?
If you have a specific project in mind that you want to stitch soon, perhaps you could set its intended yarn aside so that you don’t bury upcoming projects deep within your stash. When you’ve collected a few different potential projects, store all that yarn together in its own basket or bin. Next time you want to start a new project, you’ll know where to go!
If you know what you want to make but you aren’t sure you’ll get to it any time soon, add the note and store the yarn with the rest of the stash. You’ll get to it one day.
3. How and where will I store this yarn?
First you might have to figure out how you’re storing all your yarn. Is it by color? Fiber? Weight? Second, you have to determine what you’re storing it in. Is it baskets? Bins? Clear containers are a great idea since you won’t have to wonder what’s inside.
No matter how you organize the yarn or what you store it in, there’s one important thing you should do: label it. Label by fiber and weight especially, and any other information you might want later on. Labels not only help you find yarn when you need it, but they also force you to keep that organized system in place throughout the year. After all, who wouldn’t cringe when knowingly storing a sock yarn in with dozens of skeins of chunky yarn? It just isn’t right!
4. Do I already have a similar yarn?
Maybe you were gifted a navy worsted weight that looks and feels similar to some leftover gray worsted yarn. Could the two yarns be used in the same project? Store them together so you don’t forget that you have some pairs that could work together. Even yarns that are the same weight but different colors can be used for the same project.
But don’t rule out pairing yarns that are a different weight for the same project. Some projects mix weights to create some beautiful knits. See some examples of mixing different gauges here.
5. Do I love this yarn now?
If the answer is yes, then by all means store the yarn and maybe even make a plan for how you’ll use it by attaching that sticky note. Maybe you even want to add it to your upcoming project pile!
If the answer is no, I think you know what you have to do. Give that yarn to a friend, or put it in a giveaway pile to take to your next fiber swap. You might even be able to sell the yarn online or donate it to charity.
6. Will I love this yarn next year?
We’ve all been suckers for trendy yarn that’s all the rage one year and totally irrelevant the next year. Did you buy a yarn on a whim that you might not be in love with when you get around to using it? If so, consider selling it or giving it away. Make room for yarns that you know you’ll use.