Up till now, I’ve not mentioned my yarn stash. It feels like one of those things you just don’t talk about in public, like your IQ score or your salary. But I bring it up now because I wanted to mention a problem we have here at my house, and a potential solution in progress.
My mom is what we like to call a Fine Yarn Collector (because “hoarder” just sounds so crude). She has been collecting yarn since the 1970s, at least. And when you add to that my own, much more recent collection of yarn, well…ummm…we have a lot of yarn. So much yarn, in fact, that we don’t even know what we have. Sometimes, when we are looking to start a new project, we “go shopping” in our stash. By this I mean that we randomly open up bins in the basement and start sifting through, oohing and aahing over exquisite finds as if we were in our own LYS. Every once in a while we get lucky and find just what we need. But most often, the prospect of digging through all those bins is just so daunting, we end up buying more yarn instead. I mean, it’s not called a collection for nothing, right? Buying yarn and using yarn are two completely separate endeavors, after all.
Still, I sometimes feel sad about our luscious yarn languishing away in dark cold bins. If only we had a way to organize it, to know what we have so, when the time comes, we can find what we need!
A few weeks ago, Ravelry posted a tutorial about using their “stash” function on the website. Now, I’ve certainly looked at others’ stashes on Ravelry for much needed information on yarn weight, colors, yardage, etc. But this post inspired me to consider using Ravelry’s stash feature myself. So, one weekend in late November, I found myself in a rather extraordinary, unprecedented situation: I had two hours to myself and NO binding commitments! I decided right then and there I would give the Ravelry stash feature a whirl.
I chose one small bin that I keep in my bedroom: recent purchases and yarns I am keeping handy for specific projects. I figured that a small bin would be the perfect experiment to see how feasible this project might be.
I had no idea that one small bin could hold so much yarn! It took me the full two hours to upload photos of each individual skein, input all the information, the location, and add notes about potential projects. Thinking about how many more bins are lurking…well, I almost gave up on the whole plan.
But here’s the thing. When I am not momming and knitting and designing and freelance translating and teaching, my full-time position is in an academic library. And my inner librarian was LOVING the idea of cataloging my stash, with pretty photos and all sorts of record detail and filterable searches…even if it does take me the rest of my life to catalog what is already in the house, not to mention what we will continue to purchase in the years to come, it still seems like a worthwhile endeavor.
So I’ve made several resolutions for myself:
- First, any new yarn I purchase will be catalogued before storage.
- Second, I will continue to work on cataloging what we already have, little by little, whenever I have a spare moment or two.
- Third, going forward I will try my best to create designs specifically for yarn in our stash. I typically come up with a design and then find the perfect yarn for it, but I’m going to try doing the opposite – finding yarn, and creating the perfect design for it. We’ll see how it goes.
I’ll keep you all updated on my progress! Let me know if you’ve had success with Ravelry’s stash feature as well!