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Project Organization: The Stash (Design Yarn)

As noted in the previous organization post, I have one big major division:  yarns for designing vs yarns for personal use.  There’s a bit of overlap when it comes to Shetland yarns — I have a lot in my personal stash but do consider those as both personal and designing.  For this post, I’ll address just design yarn.

Most of my design yarn is for specific projects.  I’m totally thrilled to be given yarn out of the blue — who wouldn’t be! — but I feel very strongly that if I’m given yarn by a yarn company, it’s for professional use only.  If I can’t use it in a design, or at the very least for swatching, I’ll use it for giveaways or similar things that will promote the company.

I like having my design yarn visible and accessible.  For the longest time I had it in a large basket at the base of the sectional sofa.  I also had some in a leather tote next to the basket.  Then, as I acquired more, some went into the tall bookcase, along with personal yarn.

I wasn’t really happy with this:  yarn in three (at least) different places, mingling of design & personal yarn, and yarn not really accessible without dumping out the tote or basket.  Plus, the basket and tote contents were vulnerable to the cats, Rigel, and the occasional wine spill (WineAway is a great product, by the way, and works on yak yarn (sorry, Carl!)).

So, I’d been on the lookout for a solution.

Just a few weeks ago, on a walk on the Strand with Dave and Rigel, I noticed a garage sale sign that also said — oh thrills! — ANTIQUES.  We stopped in on our way back, after turning around at the Pier.

And I found this (well, here it is in my dining room):

Isn’t that the neatest piece?  It’s oak with oak veneer, and poplar dove-tailed drawers.  It has rolling fronts, like a rolltop desk, but the center one doesn’t really work so well. We estimate it’s from the 19-teens.

We spent about 3 hours removing the bottom panel (damaged), sanding the edges, and cleaning it (including each of the 27 drawers).  It’d been kept in the owner’s very clean, cement-floored, totally finished garage, but nearly 100 yrs of existence means a build up of dirt and grime.  I still need to take some denatured alcohol to it, but as you can see, it’s now in use.

I keep my needle cases and miscellaneous supplies in the upper left three drawers, and beads in the lower left and lower center drawers, but all the rest is design yarn.  I’ve grouped the yarn for the next book in some of the center drawers.

I love it. I can see bits of color and yarn, which makes me happy.  It’s easy to glance & see what’s where.  The shallow drawers mean that the yarn is layered only 1 skein deep, so if I open a drawer, I can see it all without digging.

The scale of the case fits our dining room better than the bookcase I had there before (that bookcase is now in our bedroom), so that’s a happy bonus.

Next post:  Personal yarn!



Here are all the posts in the series:

Project Organization:  Introduction
Project Organization:  Overview
Project Organization:  The Stash (Design Yarn)
Project Organization: The Stash (PersonalYarn)
Project Organization:  Knitting Books
Project Organization:  Knitting Tools
Project Organization:  The Business of Knitting

8 comments… add one
  • Vicky September 25, 2012, 10:46 am

    That is such a good solution! It’s really a beautiful piece of furniture, and the colours of the yarn enhance it so much. I’m a teensy bit jealous, such a great find!

  • Jennifer Crowley September 25, 2012, 10:57 am

    You got really lucky with that piece – it’s simply beautiful! And it’s great that it lets you see a little bit of yarn without it being all out in the open. Sun can be so damaging. I have to store all my yarn away – I have two kittens that I don’t want to learn that yarn is a good toy. I’ve been diligent, so it hasn’t happened yet, but you can’t relax your guard around them a BIT!

  • Anne September 26, 2012, 4:53 am

    Brilliant piece. It’s stylish but the organization looks absolutely perfect. Much easier than digging thru a 36 liter bin.

  • Audrey September 26, 2012, 2:22 pm

    OMG this is the most perfect yarn storage ever! The drawers are the perfect depth, and you can see what’s in them at the same time.

    I loved what you said about your personal vs design yarns, and the yarns that manufacturers give us. Well said.

  • StephCat September 26, 2012, 2:37 pm

    I think my favorite aspect is that the yarn isn’t all piled up on itself!

  • Mary Lou September 27, 2012, 5:57 am

    That is the coolest find. What do you think it was for? I am really jealous. My yarn is no where near that organized.

  • StephCat September 27, 2012, 7:53 am

    For filing papers and documents, I think.

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