In this season of giving, there's no shortage of receiving, too. And for many a knitter or crocheter, this means the receiving of yarns. Or maybe gift cards to purchase yarns if the giver is REALLY savvy.
But what do you do with all of this yarn that you have either been given or have purchased?
There are very few knitters who only have enough yarn on hand to knit their current and next project (and I bow down to these amazing creators, and their ability to curb the craving to buy all the beautiful yarns) so today I thought I'd talk about storage ideas.
I've tried a few of these iterations and think I've finally settled on a solution I enjoy!
Before I get into that, if you feel like you never know what yarn is in your stash, perhaps you want to keep a digital library.
I think many knitters start out, when they begin stash-building, by placing their new yarns in storage totes. The dreaded "Yarn-Eating Moth Invasion" is a fear that had me lovingly placing each new skein into an air-tight tote bin.
And I like to think of myself as a relatively intuitive person, but for some reason my first totes weren't clear; they were blue. Like, 'opaque, can't see through them' blue. That made going back to the bins rather a pain since I couldn't remember what yarn I'd stored in each tote. So THAT option didn't last long.
Storage by Color
As visual people, I think many fiber artists thrive on storage in a beautiful way.
I spent one holiday season over 5 years ago sorting all of my yarn into perforated baskets to store my yarn by color.
Visually, I loved it.
I could walk into my office (read: oversized yarn storage room that had a desk and a treadmill in it but was never used for anything more than looking at yarn on my shelves) to get instant-gratification color inspiration.
Oh my - now here's a trip down memory lane! This is my actual setup of my color storage. If you want to start with shelving racks like this, here they are on Amazon.
I believe that top shelf is sporting two bins dedicated just to white yarn. I don't know what happened to it all, but I don't think I have any white FO's...
The trouble with this solution, for me at least, was the lack of division of weight of yarn!
Sure, if I was looking for a yarn for something I wanted to knit in blue, I could easily go to my Blue bin (which was, conveniently, a blue bin... ) but I never knew at a glance what weights of yarn in I had in this bucket.
This evolved, eventually, to a storage system that I now swear by:
Storage by Weight
This is 5 years later, a new house and a new state later, and I now have my yarn stored by weight of yarn. It's perhaps less visually pleasing color-wise, but it works so much better for me when I find a project on, say, Instagram that I just GOTTA MAKE NOW - I can run to my shelves and let the weight of yarn help me choose a color. Plus is offers room for storage of books, swatches, tools etc.
That's a real-live look at my office and storage solution. If you're really astute, you'll notice that I somehow always manage to store my really ugly paper shredder right next to my yarn storage. *shrugging*
And while it may not be sorted by color, it shows off pretty clearly that I have a problem with blue and gray yarn. But, like, a really excellent problem. It's my favorite so I have a ton of it.
How do You Repel Moths?
So, at the beginning of the article I talked about my paranoia of yarn-eating moths getting at my stash.
Don't get me wrong - that fear hasn't disappeared. It's something that I still think about. But not enough to make myself go back to an air-tight storage solution.
What I've done to help mitigate (but by no means is this a fail-safe method if you live somewhere that moths are quite prolific) is purchase some cedar cubes.
They're actually pretty cute - they're just about an inch square. And I toss a few into each little cubby of my yarn shelf to keep the moths at bay.
I don't think they smell particularly strong but they obviously do enough of a job that I don't have moths.
I have some hanging cedar planks in my closet and keep my regularly worn hand-knit sweaters in a cedar chest. If you're interested in the set of cedar preventative measures I've purchased you can check it out HERE.
In addition, here’s a homemade moth repellent you can make using a few items you probably already have in your pantry.
How do YOU store your yarn?
I've seen tons of creative (and beautiful) storage solutions online such as creating a mural out of yarn cakes (image VIA, though the jury is out on whether you really want to cake up yarn well in advance of using it), and there are plenty of clear tote options that you can choose from at The Container Store or other retailers. I've seen many-a-knitter (and crocheter) who use the same cubby-style bookshelf as I do, in various iterations of shape, create a storage solution that works for them.
What speaks to YOU most? Form over function or vice versa? I'd love to know if you've maybe got the next best idea!