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Project Organization: The Stash (Personal Yarn)

Since I try to limit my design yarn to that which I’m going to use — and since I’ve only planned about a year out for projects & books — my design yarn stash is, I believe, under control.

I’m not so sure about the personal stash.

Let’s just get the Shetland out of the way, shall we?  It’s personal yarn that I count as overlapping with designing yarn, and it’s kept in a cedar chest in the dining room.  It tucks under the window, next to the front door, and is occasionally used as extra seating.

I have two vintage cedar chests.  One was left to me by my grandma, the other I found on (yes, you guessed it) Craigslist.  Both have contained yarn at some point in time.  In fact, I got the second just to contain yarn.  Now my grandma’s chest stores linens (and a little bit of yarn) and the larger the Shetland.

Cedar chests are great for yarn storage IF you know what’s in there and IF you enjoy emptying it all out once in awhile to doublecheck you really do know what’s in there.  (I do.) You have to do a bit of digging otherwise, to find things.

I do try to have the Shetland arranged by color…but that doesn’t really work so well.  If I had (or made) dividers, I’d be able to manage it a bit better.

On the topic of Shetland…I have a variety of colors from J&S, Jamieson’s, Elemental Affects, and a little bit of Alice Starmore Campion.  The latter is for sale on my Ravelry stash page — I can’t justify keeping Shetland yarn I can’t use for designs, and, since it’s discontinued and not all the subs for the other companies’ colorways are exact, I don’t want to use it.

Sock yarn and miscellaneous yarn is kept in the English Arts & Crafts bookcase (Craigslist) (see above pic).

Sweater yarn is either in the bookcase as well, in the barrister’s bookcase in the living room, in our bedroom closet, and in grandma’s cedar chest.  It’s not that there’s a lot of it — probably six sweaters’ worth*? — just that it’s ended up in several places.  It used to all by in the second cedar chest, but the linens ended up there.  I’m working on destashing some fleeces & roving (if you’re local, and are looking to build up your fiber stash, leave me a comment!) so it will end up in the bins that used to hold those items.

Even were I to give up designing, I think I have enough yarn to keep me busy for many, many, MANY years.

Do you have a large yarn stash?  Is it a SABLE? (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy)?


*Okay, here goes.  After making this list, I was so delusional with the 6 sweaters’ worth guesstimate.  Granted, some of these are more vest quantities than sweater, but to me, that counts.



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
  • Anne October 3, 2012, 5:51 am

    I think it’s very hard to realistically determine what one has in terms of stash. Even when it’s organized. And (mostly) listed in Ravelry. I work like you do – I have personal stash and design stash, and they do not particularly overlap except for an odd occasional thing. A goal of mine for the next couple of years is to get knit thru my sweater lot stash (I probably don’t want to know how delusional I am about that) and sock yarn, which I know I have a lot of.

    • StephCat October 4, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Oh, yes, you’ll notice I didn’t list out my sock yarn. But most of it is, I believe, listed on Ravelry.

  • Cambria Washington October 3, 2012, 6:26 am

    I most certainly have more yarn in my stash than I could ever knit in my lifetime. I don’t know how that even happened! (Actually, it all happened when I went to work at a LYS and I shopped their annual sale a few times…) I keep running into the same problem about buying a yarn and then having it be discontinued, so I end up with a bunch of yarn I can no longer design with.

    • StephCat October 4, 2012, 1:55 pm

      That’s one of the big reasons I do get yarn support for designs — usually the company will let me know what yarns they’re keeping & what they’re discontinuing, so that doesn’t come up.

  • Jennifer Crowley October 3, 2012, 10:00 am

    Compared to many I have a small stash – two boxes, one of personal yarn and one of handspun, and then what I have for designing (which is remarkably little also). Most of it’s a function of space and finances that I don’t reach a huge stash, but sometimes I wish I had more so I had more options.

    Still, I’m pretty happy with what I got.

    • StephCat October 4, 2012, 1:54 pm

      I bought my stash when I was doing a lot more vet work (and before I started designing) — so I had a lot more disposable income. I certainly couldn’t afford it now.

      I honestly wish it was smaller… but I’ve pared it down to a point where it’s like parting a dragon from her treasure!

  • BeckyinVT October 4, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Well you’ve made me feel way better about my personal stash! Was that your goal?

    I’ve got 6 sweaters worth (counting 2 in progress), and maybe 2 or 3 vests if I combine a few types of yarns. AND since I successfully knit 12 sweaters in 2010 that’s less than a year’s worth of knitting (if I stoppeed designing – ha!) I’ve got plenty of accessory amounts and single skeins of nice stuff and a small hat box half full of sock yarn too…

    But seriously? I probably have 1-2 years worth of yarn on hand…

    • StephCat October 4, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Well, that wasn’t necessarily the goal, but I’m glad it made you feel better!

      I’m totally focused on designing and the goals I’m setting for myself. If I’m knitting, it darn well better be for one of those designs — there’s only so much knitting I can do in one day. That may be a little sad, but, it’s what it is.

      I’m pretty sure I could go through my personal stash in less than 5 years.

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