Stash Toss

Twice a year (spring and fall, as time permits, those are pretty loose parameters) I do a “stash toss”. A quiet, undisturbed stash is a grand home for all sorts of beasties, so I try and shake it up a couple times a year just to keep an eye out for problems. This bi-annual tossing of the stash also lets me visit with things I’ve forgotten I had, allows me to take the vaguest possible shot at organization (coughHOPELESScough), allows me to pull out things that are no longer to my taste and pass them on to someone else, and generally gives me the worse possible case of start-itis ever imagined on this earth.

I am, at this very moment, knee deep. This springs stash tossing was, ironically, sparked by the desire to find one particular skein, which, even though I have ripped up the better part of a small semi-detached home, eludes me yet. (Here’s betting that I spend eight hours today pulling stuff out, organizing it by weight and brand and putting it back, only to discover said skein sitting by the front door in a cloth bag…entirely divorced from the stash. (I actually checked all of the spaces that I put “transient stash” and didn’t find it, but you know how these things go.)

I’ve found some Briar Rose that I meant to make into a sweater immediately after last years Rhinebeck, and a couple (ok. Twenty) really, really juicy sock yarns that I can’t believe sunk to the bottom, and even some silk I was going to spin the second I bought it. Spinning stash in with knitting stash is actually a major offence in my rather loose stash management system. Usually they are separated, and the fact that fibre is in with yarn is a clear signal that sometime in the mad dash that has been the last six months, I have totally lost it in terms of organization. (Not that I had much, but what I did have was vital.)

Sorting through all of this has me thinking three things.

1. How many pairs of socks is it wrong to cast on in 24 hours? (Clearly I am done with being sick of socks)

2. This is a lot of yarn. I bet I have a smaller stash than a lot of you, and I don’t think of it as too much, not if you consider that I’ll be knitting for a lifetime (everyone is supposed to save for their retirement, and I don’t have more than a lifetimes yarn yet) and certainly not if you think of it as a collection of excellent inspiration and resources, but in terms of wanting to knit everything at once, it is a little frustrating. When I go through it like this, I find so much that I want to knit now. Right now. So many wonderful, wonderful things that I am overwhelmed. I keep thinking how everything in here was, when it came into my possession, something that was so brilliant that it was going to be next. I think I’ll knit from stash for a while after this, not because I think it is too much yarn, but because I want to play with what I’ve got. How do you prioritize stuff in your stash, be it big or little?

3. There has got to be a better way to store all of this. Right now the stash is ziplocked (allegedly by fibre weight, eg: bag of laceweight, bag of sock yarn, bag of worsted, and by project – a sweaters worth of yarn or three shades of a yarn that were to make a colourwork project are together.) Then I stack the bags flat in a closet, in a rubbermaid bin in the bottom of the closet, or on an old set of shelves that is dedicated to the purpose. Toronto is moth/mouse/carpet beetle central, and I live in a home that is over a hundred years old. (That means I’m extra vulnerable.) There is no chance that my stash will be wandering around without protection, so the ziplocks stay, but given those limits, can you think of a better way? How do you store your stash?

322 thoughts on “Stash Toss

  1. First?! Probably not…
    I also store in plastic ziplock bags, then those are stashed in cardboard storage boxes. I keep telling myself that I need plastic storage containers for an extra layer of bug protection…

  2. I just moved my stash into Rubbermaid bins a couple of months ago. I am proud to say that I only have two bins full (though I had an accident at a yarn store just this morning involving a sale…maybe I can make it fit?). I offer no help on prioritizing, though…startitis is really freaking powerful when you open those bins…good luck!

  3. I’ve just gone through my fiber stash preparatory to going to the WEBS fleece sale last weekend (I still came home with a fleece – coated wooly hoggett Romney x Border Leicester) and to the Massachusetts sheep fair tomorrow. I was hoping to shock myself into resisting buying more (in my defense, I didn’t buy anything from Webs proper, just from the outside vendors they invited).
    Ha. Resistance. What am I thinking?
    Anyhow, I store the yarn and the older WIPS in bags of various sorts, tucked in plastic storage bins. Mostly. Except the few paper bags on top of the sweater shelves and the WIPs that are clustered around the sofa (some of them for at least 6 months). I store the roving and top and such in whatever bags it came in, tucked in open baskets. Some of the bigger batts and processed fleeces and the ten pounds of Romney top (God help me!) are in plastic storage bins. The unprocessed fleeces are in large plastic bags, not tightly closed.
    I thought you had a larger stash than all of us put together, and if you don’t, my faith in harlotry is severely diminished.

  4. Most of my Stash is stored in BIG ziploc bags. but some of it gets to hang out in baskets in the living room. Some of it gets to travel in my current knit bag, I can never just carry one project at a time. Some of it even gets to hang out in my LYS (it just doesn’t know it’s mine yet).

  5. I use Ziplocks as well, which then go into giant tupperwares, or modular clear plastic drawers that can fit in closet shelves. And I visit only rarely, because I too get overwhelmed by the sheer number of cool things I want to make right away.

  6. I store my small stash in a basket in my apartment. The basket is too small and has attracted some cat hair. (my cat has enough hair for 3 cats). So, I’m thinking of changing my storage. Especially now that I have cleaned out my closet. I understand about wanting to protect your yarn from insects but I wonder if the acids in plastic bags might hurt your yarn. Have you thought about using your plastic storage bins with cedar chips? It will help with the moths and make your yarn smell nice. Not too sure about beetles or mice but if it’s put away in a bin with a tight fitting lid it might discourage those critters.

  7. I have a marvelous secondhand cedar chest that is stuffed with winter clothes and yarn. The yarn is all bagged up in zipocks, too, and i’m pretty sure it’s going to displace all the winter clothes at some point in the not-too-distant future.

  8. I generally find the best stash storage to be in a large old chest freezer, in BIG zip-loc bags, clearly labeled. I will wind off one ball of the yarn in question, saving the ball band. On the back of the band I write when & where the yarn entered my life. If my brain is turned on I’ll even record how much I paid and what pattern for which it was intended. Then the lucky ball band gets tucked into the Zip bag, face out. This makes it a little bit fun and a little bit sad when the time comes around for stash diving.
    Hats off to you Ms Harlot for being so diligent!

  9. how about those space age vacuum bags that squish the air out and compress a down comforter to a shoe box? I think the stash would bounce back fine..

  10. Wow! you are way more organized than I am. Mine is sometimes in a ziploc bag (sometimes still in the bag from the store where I bought, all in a big plastic tote.
    You make me want to sort through my stash now too.

  11. Since I only buy vegan yarns, I am less concerned about critters than you. I have some similar storage methods to you but then I have homemade criss-crossy balsa wood XXX’s that resemble a wine rack to place skeins in. No chance of entanglement and all are easily spotted.
    Alas, all the empty spaces are also easy to see nowadays. My business has flattened out due to the real estate quagmire and I have rapidly depleted my stash. I have started knitting cotton face/dishcloths because the skeins are only $1.49!
    So savor your stash! Revel in it! Consider yourself the envy of those of us unable to save for our retirements, and painfully aware that there is no pension fund for knitters. πŸ˜‰

  12. I just switched up most of my stash into shelves made out of pre-fab slide together bits. Stash is mostly in ziplocks; by project (big bunches in bottom of closet by project), some by type & weight, some by color, some by leftover bits that are alike. I was experimenting with having some out of ziplocks for inspiration, petting and smiling at. However, not two nights ago I saw a BIG moth dropping onto a sweater in my closet – right in front of my eyes too. So, this week-end all skeins for petting are back into ziplocks.

  13. Some is in ziplock baggies stacked in shelves, some are in sweater bags, and some is in clear rubbermade containers–and all wool yarn has an accompanying herb-sachet moth repellent inside the bag/bin. I have to use clear containers, otherwise it’s just a LITTLE too easy to be in denial about the stash…..

  14. I toss my stash in the spring before strawberry season. That’s when the freezer is at its most capacious and sacks of wool can be tossed in for a freeze/thaw session. There are fewer insects in northern climes and I believe it’s due to the incredible antiseptic properties of bitch-ass cold.

  15. Am I the only one whose first thought on reading the comments was, “Why isn’t walterknitty spinning the excess cat hair?”

  16. I think we have to make a distinction here between public stash (that which is openly acknowledged) and private stash (that which may cause marital strife if discovered).

  17. ziplocks. lots of ziplocks in the basement
    I went in the lys this week as a mood booster. Did not buy though because I thought about the stash and how I really need to make something with that first. I tend to get excited when I buy something new, and then sad because it usually ends up in a ziplock in the basement, not on the needles.

  18. Oh, and about socks and the casting on thereof: my general rule is that it is all right to cast on as many pairs as you have sets of needles. But I know for a fact that I am not actually above ripping needles out of an in-progress pair to start another pair.

  19. Hah! You’re practicing safe stashing! All wrapped in plastic like that, there’s no way it could multiply on it’s own! Kudos for putting your foot down – little yarn babies all over the place, otherwise.
    I have a tiny stash – all fits on 2 shelves within an armoire. It’s organized by fiber type – plants separated from beasts, in general.
    Seriously, though, you could use Ravelry to help. Photograph all the yarn and make one tag the yarn’s location (teapot, piano, etc).

  20. Ah, stash. My 3 yr old & I were fondling stash last night…..:) He couldn’t sleep. And I couldn’t decide what to start next.
    I have 2 medium rubbermaid containrs – that are clear – I can see all the way around. I try to put a list of whats inside on the top of the box. More a quantity list than anything. One box goes under the bed- its mainly worsted as well as leftovers. The box in the closet is a tallish box and its my lace and sock yarn box.
    Then there is the nightstand. We have huge nightstands – 3 drawers tall. *cough* That holds my WIPs and my circular needles.But, hmm…there are now 2 projects on top – as well as my sewing machine – yeah thats how big these nightstands are. And I have a project in the car, and the spindle is ontop of the stereo on the dressser. Oh, and the laundry basket….has a project as well as all the odd clothing that has to be mended. (like thats going to happen anytime soon!)
    So, dang. I guess I really don’t have a storage solution. Just that I love the clear plastic bins – I know at a glance whats in there. Well except for the yarny center – thats the nougat of the fiber bar!
    Enjoy playing in your stash. Its a bit like being a kid again and pretending your a shopkeeper *chuckling* arranging and rearranging….petting and more petting. Lovely. πŸ™‚

  21. I have my stash in 70 gallon rubbermade bins, mostly by weight – about 7 of them if I have to admit it, 3 alone just for sock yarn.(I don’t have a problem, do I?) Yet, there is stash that is in ziplocks and the tidy plastic bags they came in that couldn’t fit into these bins. Must learn to knit faster.

  22. I put the yarn in ziplocs. Then they and a bar of Irish Spring soap (supposedly, the soap covers the smell of the tasty wool) go into zipped plastic quilt storage bags. There’s some sort of an organization system to the larger bags–commercial sock yarns, handpainted sock yarns, yarn suitable for shawls, scarf yarns, odds and ends yarn, sweater yarn. The quilt storage bags then get tossed on top of an armoire in the bedroom where they sit very precariously.
    Then there’s the ziplocs full of yarn that are shoved between the couch and end tables in the living room.

  23. Bins. Big, plastic bins made with reconstituted cedar in them that should, hopefully, ward off the terrifying beasties.
    I think I’ve achieved the state of having too much yarn ‘spiritually’ as well as physically. That’s fine, though. I’m working part time next year, so I’ll finally have enough time to knit, even if I don’t have any more money with which to bu y yarn. I’m covered though–I’ve got plenty with which to sustain the money drought.

  24. Mine needs to be pruned again but…but so much pretty stuff! And with price of gas, I might have to stop buying yarn for a while. Of course, I just started a yarn diet because the yarn purchasing was out of control but…
    Mine is in ziplocked bags and then sorted (mostly) by fiber–with lace weight separated out. Wool blends, wool, man made, cotton, lace weight. It’s just in boxes right now and one tub. Of course, that doesn’t count the last two trips I’ve made to Loopy in Chicago or the yarn that I got from Leslie–because that hasn’t been added to Rav-stash yet. Supposedly it doesn’t get added to “stash stash” until photographed and documented. So instead it’s piling up as “new stash.”
    I should go home and take photos.

  25. I ziplock mine in gallon size bags… I have my warm colors for cottons together, then cools. the stuff I’m allergic to i have my husband or kids put in a baggie for me and then I go and ship it to a friend. I then keep what i’m working with in one of the giant purple rolling knitting carts from Joann’s and keep it by my desk in my home office, the rest is in rubbermaid bins under my bed.

  26. i find that it works best for me to keep my yarn in out of the way (some may say hidden) places so the husband doesn’t know quite how much i have. it’s easier that way to convince him that i (of course) need more and since he can’t find any bags, boxes, bins, or piles – he has no proof against my arguement.

  27. I used to store my stash in THOROUGHLY clean kitty litter tubs. The leftovers were are sorted by weight and fiber, the rest by project and sock yarns without patterns yet. My husband got me an old dresser and chest of drawers to move most of it into, so I’ll probably go the ziplock route. Somewhere I heard that natural fibers shouldn’t go into airtight plastic containers, but I don’t know if it’s because of contamination or airlessness.
    Anyone else hear this?

  28. I have four large plastic bins and two pair of aromatic cedar sock blockers. One sock blocker lives in each bin. Two bins hold sock wool, one has worsted & bulky and one has lace & miscellaneous skinny wool. Oh, and a fifth smaller bin of cotton. Someday when I grow up I will have a cedar lined yarn closet.

  29. I have no stash safe in plastic. Mine is shoved into wicker baskets in an IKEA bookcase with doors wherever it will fit. I have one that is devoted to yarn, and the rest of the yarn is tucked in among books on all the other sections of the bookcases. Keeping it all neat and tidy in plastic, organized by fiber or project is hopeless as I have a toddler whose alter ego is the Leader of the Destructobots. πŸ™‚ I prefer to view her unstashing incidents as opportunities to induct her into a lifelong love of all things wool.

  30. I can’t think of any better method than what you have outlined. My question: WHY no photos of your stash? I want to see the kneecaps swimming above the tidal pool of yarn!!!
    You are way ahead of me, so no worries!!!

  31. I have 2 Clore cedar lined cherry blanket chests – everything in those is also in a box or bag for sorting purposes, 1 huge Longeberger basket (where a nordic sweater is currently hiding in a half knit state with the rest of the Peer Gynt needed to knit it), a pile of lace weight in sealed bags, another basket of sock yarn ready to go (including patterns sitting next to it at the ready) and a large box of yarn sitting behind my desk.
    This does not include the huge bag of partial skeins I sorted out the other day, OR the 5 skeins of Montera that supposedly belong to my niece, OR the sweater I am currently working on, OR the sock I’m working on.
    So, you are thinking that I really shouldn’t be picking up my credit card and sending a message to Webs about that Silk Road Aran I want….? Yeah I was thinking that too. But then I was also thinking that I really want to make the Military Jacket. So, you are probably saying now I should swatch with the ball I already have to see if it’s even appropriate for that project? Hmmm. Yeah. You are trying to make me rationalize a desire for a sweater’s worth of silk/cashmere/wool blend yarn???

  32. My WIP’s are in large plastic baggies and I bought an old wooden chicken/pigeon coop about 3 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet to put the stash in. No, it doesn’t smell (I don’t know why, however) and not concerned with bugs, I am just putting the skeins in that, easily visible. My problem is that all of this is in my sewing room, which is another whole organizational disaster!

  33. Big plastic bins as well…two floor to ceiling stacks of them, in the closet of my college son’s room!

  34. Guilt… I am in sliding, stacked bins, but not bags. I know I’m courting disaster. Time to toss some stash and correct that problem.
    I love the idea of using the giant zip storage bags.

  35. Briar Rose rediscovered in stash – what a lovely thought. That’s the fun of stash.

  36. Hiya Stephanie.
    I use IKEA SKUBBs ( to stored all my yarn and fabric.
    They have handles on the front and a little holder that you can stick a note card in with a list of the contents.
    I have about 20 (hubby redid the craft room for me) and all my yarn is finally divided and labeled (now if only the same could be said for my needles). Half for yarn and half for fabric.
    They are stackable. The handle on the front is perfect, and they should fit in your closet or a cabinet and you can keep your yarn in the ziplock inside these.
    They come in multiple sizes, so you could get a couple of longs ones to stick stash under the bed, or they might fit in the piano too. πŸ˜‰ Check there for your missing skein, or in one of Joe’s sweater sleeves.
    Now I need to find my Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNS in 5 and 6 that went on walkabout. They must be loitering somewhere with my back up wallet.

  37. Lily Chin has 5 storage units full of yarn. She has a container at the front of each unit with one ball of each yarn in it and a notebook with yarn swatches. If she needs a sportweight wool for a sweater, she checks her notebook for possibilities, pulls out the single balls for swatching, then when she makes a decision for the project she digs for the yarn. Of course, she’s also the one who also suggested hiding yarn in the oven (she doesn’t cook) or stuffing pillows with it.
    Me, I have plastic tubs alphabetized and logged in a spreadsheet. Each type of yarn is in a ziplock bag. I can “browse” my yarn stash by reading the spreadsheet and sort the spreadsheet by fiber type, gauge, color, brand. In theory, it works great. In practice, not so good because I’m still tempted when I see yarn in front of me at a shop (soft, fuzzy, nice colors, ME WANT). I should have known I was in trouble when I went to double letters (AA…ZZ), but I didn’t actually accept it until I went to triple letters (AAA…) I am on a stash cleanout as well, and I’m finally down to one layer deep on each wall in the spare room. I hope to get down to one wall some day.

  38. Oh, so it’s true confessions time, is it?
    I discovered a while ago that it helped me to sort out “true stash” (lovely yarn that hasn’t told me what it wants to be yet) versus “stash masquerading as projects” (lovely yarn that knows exactly what it wants to be, thankyouverymuch, and is just waiting for me to get my act together).
    Stash lives in my lovely Ikea shelving units;
    SMaP gets bundled up in 2-gallon Ziplocs or in translucent Rubbermaid or other storage boxes, complete with working copy of the pattern (copied after purchasing the book or mag or pattern, natch).
    I find categorizing this way helps stave off the frenzy and sadness that comes from visiting stash and realizing you still only have a few hours to knit each day.
    Good luck with it!

  39. Stash storage?? Let me count the ways: Old hardside suitcase that belonged to my grandmum, those vacuum-out-the-air ziplock bags, in open air and light (sun is said to discourage stealthy bugs), large glass jars with screw-on lids, zippered plastic bags that bedding comes in, a huge, glass vase with fiber bits and spindles, and covered in a tablecloth in a drawer. A textile curator told me the best thing is to wrap textiles in a clean sheet, and put them in a breathable container. Of course, I don’t do this.
    If the yarn has any kind of mothproofing (like Top of the Lamb ) I have heard that plastic traps the chemicals and weaken the yarn. Is this true?
    Do you ever see condensation inside the zip-loc if you put yarn in it on a really hot, humid day? I have had this problem in summer.

  40. I have two methods for stash storage. First method is the plastic totes with the patterns and yarn stored together. Second is taking any stash non desires and taking them over to my mom’s stash and hiding them in the shelves. She has so much yarn that she doesn’t notice, however, it doesn’t always work because then I come home with some of her stash shoved in my pockets.

  41. Ziplocs bags standing up on small bookshelves inside the guest room closet. More ziplocs inside cardboard boxes stacked on higher shelves in guest room closet. More ziplocs in cardboard boxes piled on floor in guest room closet. My brother, after he had been staying in my guest room for nearly six months (he lives in Kentucky, but prefers San Diego, where I live, so he “visits”–a lot), exclaimed one day, “Hey, do you know that closet is completely lined in yarn?!” Like it had sprung up overnight, and I might not be aware.
    I have considered using those vacuum bags–you know, the ones where you put the stuff in and then suck all the air out with a vacuum, so that you can store your entire king-sized bed in your night table drawer?

  42. I just did a stash toss, with the specific purpose of separating out my sock yarn. (A friend said his wife had “enough sock yarn” so I had to show him that I had six times more, so he should get off her back.) I discovered that I have yarn for 47 pairs of socks, not counting the eight or so that are on the needles. Ack.
    I just moved, and my stash is now all in plastic bins (seven of them) on a shelf in one side of my closet. I’m really liking knowing it’s all together like that.

  43. 1. The answer is a simple formula: (Available sets of DPNs or circulars suitable for sock creation) – 1. Otherwise, when you see a sock pattern on the Internet that you will just DIE if you don’t cast on THIS VERY MINUTE, you’ll be short a set of needles and what happens to Joe and the kids if you DIE of sock-deprivation?! So it would be wrong of you to exceed that number of socks-in-progress; otherwise, carry on.
    2. I don’t even try. I love it ALL, great or small, so I prioritize projects rather than yarns. Otherwise I would go crazy. Oh wait. Crazy-ER.
    3. Ouch. I don’t have a lot of wool-eating varmints around here, so I don’t have to worry about protection from same as much. I keep most of my stash in decorative lidded boxes, out on the shelves in my bedroom. They look neat and tidy, and I try to keep like things in each box. Baby yarn in one, sock yarn in the other, worsted wool in this one, DK alpaca in that one. Then I’ve got some Space Bags under the bed, and since I’m not worrying about moths et al, I keep quite a few things out in the open on trays or baskets.
    And a big cookie jar stuffed with sock yarn, which amuses me far more than it deserves to, really.

  44. My family moved a building into the backyard to be used for my “studio”. It has lovely stacks of shelves normally used to store reams of paper, perfect for bags of ziplocked yarn……….
    However, whenever I want to knit, usually after dark, I am in the house, not the studio, and, well ……… yarn has somehow migrated back into the family room, by my chair, in a couple closets, in the spare bedroom, by the computer, etc., etc., etc.

  45. I was commenting to a friend about my large stash of yarn and she suggested that I get a pretty basket and then I could store the colorful yarn in the living room. That would look nice! Now, how big would that pretty little basket have to be? Ha Ha Ha!

  46. I need to have a stash toss. I generally manage to keep my stash contained in two baskets and one “display bowl” (the stuff I can’t bear not to be looking at). I haven’t been as good as I should about keeping it all in ziplock bags, probably because we don’t have a huge problem with moths (I live in San Diego – maybe there’s not enough wool to lure them here? I’m OK with that). But with my last purchase of sweater yarn (for one of my daughters – that’s always OK, right?), and with the new stash of spinning fiber (I just bought a wheel), I need something new. I’m thinking maybe a bookshelf with baskets? Or something? I guess I’m not being much help…

  47. 1. I think this is clearly a case of Personal Truth — therefore the number of socks to cast on is only limited by your own comfort level, and your knitting guilt tolerance threshold. (i.e. do you have any UFO gifts out there to be finished?)
    2. I sort my stash sort of by weight, mostly by fiber, and lastly by category. I have a bin with plastic bags full of sock yarn. I have a bin full of cotton yarn of various weights (DK, worsted, double-worsted). I have a bin of “my” yarn–stuff that I love, and is special in some way (luxury fibers, things I have planned for my own projects, and my lace yarn). And lastly I have a “Misc Wool” bin–full of lone skeins, things I bought for projects that didn’t pan out, etc. Clear as mud, right? lol
    3. Most of my yarn is in ziploc bags, but I have a small stash of inexpensive sweater bags–clear plastic on one side, and breathable fabric on the others, with a zipper at one end. The laceweight, favorite sock yarn, PureWool and hand-dyed yarn go in those. Otherwise I like the 2-gallon ziplocs by Hefty. Ideally I’d sew recycled fabric bags for all of the stash, but right now there’s not time in my life for that. (Small children, new baby, etc. ;o) I’m lucky if I get to knit!
    Have fun with your newly-rediscovered stash!

  48. I store my stash in ziplocks (the best) in small rubbermaid boxes that fit under my bed. The beauty in this system is that no one in the house really knows how many of these little rubbermaid boxes I have, and I can pick up one or two more when I’m in Target or Walmart and it’s not recognized as a yarn purchase.

  49. I haven’t got much of a stash, but what I do have is in one of my drawers in my room… and a big duffel bag in the spare room. I suddenly feel the need to do a bit of stash tossing of my own…

  50. For prioritizing, I would say to gather yarn to make 2 larger projects. Then gather yarn to make about a dozen smaller projects (or anything that uses chunky yarn and would be fast to knit). I would cast on up to half of those initially. The smaller projects would work up in a few days and then new small projects could be started!
    I am going to a yarn “yard” sale on Saturday. I think I should buy another bin before I go.

  51. At the moment the stash is kept in ziploc bags, then stored in Rubbermaid containers, but I have fantasies of a wall of cedar glass-fronted cabinets, like my own little yarn store.
    (Why , yes, I do have a fantasy fiber room all planned out in my head, with cabinets, bookshelves, a long counter with a utility sink, a blocking table, a rocking chair, and a permanent place to set up my wheel. Doesn’t everyone?)

  52. WOW, I’m a lucky one. I’ve got an entire extra room in my house for my “stuff”. I’ve got a total of 4 3-shelf cubbies (2 on the bottom, 2 on top) and rubbermaid containers in all the cubbies full of yarn. This bucket is for wool, this one for cotton, this one for “sock yarn”, etc.
    I have 3 cats running around, so yarn can’t just be left out… it has to be put away somewhere cat proof.

  53. I organize in a very similar fashion to you – large ziploc bags sorted loosely by type (sock yarn, which is the biggest and fullest bag by far, sweater quantities, lace, etc.) and then all in my pretty new yarn cupboard that my husband bought me for Christmas. Most of it is catalogued on Ravelry, even, but I’ve dropped the ball in the last six months or so and haven’t gotten the new stuff in there. I shall use your motivation as my reminder to do so and get all the loitering yarn into my cupboard and onto Ravelry!

  54. I have a room. It has two bookshelves with lots of zip lock bags lined up. And a dresser that is full, and a store display rack that used to hold Beanie Babies now full of yarn….and a closet with two sweater hangers full of yarn….and ….. a couple baskets yet to be sorted. Oh and then there are the boxes of beads . . . . and the bin of needles. Oh my, is there a YA (Yarn Anonymous) chapter in Western NY???

  55. I am one of the lucky people whose stash fits in a single cabinet and drawer set-up. Everything’s sorted by weight and fiber content in clear plastic garbage bags, stuffed into the cabinet. Books, tools, and the yarn for the next project in the queue live in the drawer.

  56. Hmmm … I did a sock yarn stash toss just before Maryland Sheep & Wool. I’d say that’s a very good reason why I have made very limited yarn purchases since then.
    Last summer, I moved from California (where I had never seen a moth) to Pennsylvania, where I know they exist. I have a large supply of rubbermaid-type tubs (purchased at 50% off at JoAnn’s over time) and tossed in an herbal moth repellent pack along with each project’s worth of yarn. I also had bins dedicated to sock yarn (I don’t do lace) which have now taken over one built-in cabinet in my den where they share space with my kick-ass new cedar sock blockers.
    Since we doubled our space when we moved, I replaced my old fabric storage (IKEA cabinet) with bookcases for fabric storage (I quilt too) and took the cabinet for yarn storage.
    I should shut up now, since I’m quite certain that none of this is helping you. I’d have to say that asking how to store your stash is like asking which way you should knit socks. You do it the way the feels right for you and your space!

  57. Please, let’s not even mention stash out loud. It’s sort of an embarrassing subject. Not to mention the fact that I just logged on to get some info on Mass Sheep & Wool tomorrow (where I’ll be buying wool and fleece that I have no need for in this lifetime) and I managed to discover a new KAL and buy 8 new skeins of yarn at KnitPicks in the course of 10 minutes… How do these things happen?

  58. I’m currently doing something simliar, though it’s running newly acquired stash through the freezer quarantine protocols. Almost all of mine is stored in zip top plastic and then either in a cardboard or plastic box. I need to work on the fleece stash next, but the yarn is pretty well compartmentalized. All over the house. At some point, I will have a shelving unit or four with neatly labeled yarns. The fibers? Will probably live in the storage space while I have a one bedroom apartment.
    I did just get a shipment of 1lb of lavender buds to make sachets to tuck in each box, along with some lavender oil to make it that much more potent. I also have some cedar and lemongrass to help repel the beasties.

  59. In heavy ziploc bags–the thicker, freezer kind–and then in locking plastic bins, each with a bar of Irish Spring to throw the beasties off the scent, stacked in a closet. The very tiny odds & bobs leftovers are also in plastic bags, but that bin isn’t air tight. Still with the soap and in the closet, though, which also has a loose bar of soap hanging in it. (Every time I take yarn from stash for a new project, it smells spring fresh and clean.)
    I try to sort by weight, within the bins, but it all got sort of messed up. I don’t have a humongous stash, so it’s not a big deal for me to sort through it, looking for what I want. I figure this also regularly exposes the stash to light and activity, and I’d notice if something was up a lot sooner than if I could easily ignore a whole portion of stash for months on end.
    I like to knit down stash, too, not out of guilt because I like what I’ve bought. At a certain point–usually when I run out of bin space–I feel the need to knit down a bit, enjoy what I have, and look forward to adding more once space is cleared up. It works for me.

  60. I stash in zipbags and plastic bins too. But I had this one cat who LOVED mohair and alpaca. He would shred any plastic bag that contained mohair or alpaca so he could get to it. So those yarns went into zippered cotton pillowcases. Go figure…

  61. I store my yarns in sterilite or rubbermaid totes. Six total that are of various sizes and can all fit easily in a closet. I never have had a problem with bugs though, so I am no where near as diligent as many others of you would be.
    I am sure this has been covered already but .. If ANYONE needs help storing their stash .. let me know!! My spare bedroom looks rather .. spare! πŸ™‚ I can’t say that it wouldn’t get used up for charity blankets .. but it would have a very safe home! haha

  62. Personally, my yarn stash is unappealing to me when I keep it in big plastic tubs. I don’t like having to dig through the bottom to find that coveted colorway, and things inevitably get buried.
    So I converted to a new system. I currently use ziplock bags (we have pantry moths, but I’m paranoid that we may have closet moths, too) and I have a rubbermaid-esque set of drawers from Ikea that has 4 shallow drawers and one deep one. The deep one holds socks that I wear (not just knitted), and the shallow ones are just big enough: I keep one bag on top of another. My bags usually have either enough for one project (ie: sweater, pair of socks), or is an assortment of random yarns in a similar weight. I also put a little homemade lavender satchel in each bag.
    I also have a 7 foot tall bookshelf. While it is mostly consumed from top to bottom with books, I’ve taken to stacking ziplocked yarn on top of it as well. I also use dresser drawers with the same system in mind, always keeping it no more than two bags high.
    It sounds a little anal, but if it is only two bags high, then I can just lift up the top one and see what is underneath. No major digging or unearthing! It required a small financial investment initially (<$50, I currently have one dresser-like thing solely for my stash), but it was worth every penny.

  63. Count me in on the Rubbermaid bins, too. Mine have got locking tops, so I’m okay until I start seeing moths armed with flamethrowers. Or wee little chainsaws.

  64. zip lock bags… all the way. I actually have a room, it’s mine, all mine, (after 54 years of NOT having a room that was mine, all mine :^) and even now I share my room with Gracie (granddaughter) but the closet… it’s nice and big and Bobby put up those metal shelves, that’s where my stash lives.
    I also have a bowl with lavender buds and cedar balls, also lavender essence oil so it smells pretty nice too.

  65. I use zip locks the ones you can vaccum seal and I also use my Seal a meal too. that way it is protected and you can fit a lot more in a big plastic bin that way!
    The new zip locks that you can suck the air out of are less expensive than the seal a meal ones and they can be re-used more easily!
    Good Luck!

  66. I have my yarn in zip lock bags. About six weeks ago I took a weekend and wound hank after hank into center pull balls. If it was sock yarn, I went ahead and split the hank into two equal halves and then wound two balls and put each hank’s worth of yarn into a small zip lock bag. I have one of those sweater storage contraptions that hangs on the rod in the closet and I have most of my yarn in that. A couple of the sections have drawers so some of it is hidden from sight. That is all the “good” yarn. All the acrylic I have (which is specifically for charity projects) usually stays in the sack I got at time of purchase and then some of that is in a file crate beneath the file crate with all my cross stitch patterns. I try to put at least the name of the intended pattern in with the yarn. If the yarn is in a large enough zip lock, I will put a copy of the full pattern with it. I don’t know how many times I have pulled out a zip lock full of yarn, opened it, looked at the pattern enclosed, and thought, “Oh, yeah…..”

  67. I store mine that exact way that you do. 20 skiens of sock yarn! Be still my beating heart.

  68. Oh boy! I do love a good stash toss. πŸ˜›
    I can completely relate to the start-itis thing…I have over 20 projects that I want to (or have!) cast on for and not much knitting happening lately…argh!

  69. Mine is sorted somehwat like yours. I have most things grouped in ziplocs (especially a whole project of something) and then from there I have rubbermaid bins for lacey yarns, one for sock yarns, one for Cascade 220 (I have hopes for a few projects), etc. Basically if I can keep matching skeins in the same bin, I’m happy.

  70. My way to deal with my stash, both in terms of prioritizing and storage, is to keep it small. Truthfully, most yarns don’t have that it factor for me. For the most part, yarn is my boring raw material that turns into something beautiful, and while I certainly have my likes and dislikes, and find some yarns very beautiful, they don’t have much of that retail pull for me. I can take it or leave it, and for the most part I’m going to leave it if I’m not going to use it immediately.
    Fiber, on the other hand, I can see becoming a problem. Unspun fiber has so much more potential than any skein of yarn. The yarn is already what it is, but the fiber can become almost any kind of yarn you want it to be, so each little lump of fiber holds almost infinitely more potential than the analogous lump of yarn. Also, I think fiber is prettier. And much, much more interesting.
    I just bought a couple of canvas drawer sets that I’m using to hold my stash and fiber equipment. They’re not too big, they’re wheeled, and they were cheap yet attractive. And while I seriously doubt that I’d let my fiber stash get out of control, at least the storage area gives me some guidelines — I know I’m comfortable owning enough fiber to fill the designated fiber drawers. More than that, and I have too much. (And of course I’ll make an exception if I ever decide to buy a fleece to process, or decide to get enough fiber for a sweater project.)
    I think that if I had enough yarn and fiber to need to design a real system to keep track of it all, I’d go insane. I don’t have the energy to develop systems to keep track of my stuff. For me, that would be a sign that I had too much stuff. But we all work differently, so that’s just my personal take on how I like to handle my own collection of fibery materials.
    I’ve tried to prioritize my fiber stash, but there’s no point. I still feel like a relatively new spinner, with tons to learn, and tend to alternate between “comfort zone” projects and learning projects. I just finished a learning project, and went straight to my fiber stash to pull out some merino, for a 3 ply sock yarn (my total comfort zone). That means that my next spinning project (yes, I’m still a serial spinner) will probably be a learning one. That’s about as much as I can prioritize right now!

  71. Rubbermaid containers work for me – with yarn sorted according to fibre content and then subsorted by weight.
    Sally Melville offers the idea of sorting according to colour in her first book, Styles. There is even a picture of her stash, and a good explanation of her storage style, and also how to know if you have enough yarn for a particular project!

  72. Thanks to the wonder that is IKEA and the fact I have a 2 bedroom condo and I live alone, my stash lives in it’s own room in a nice giant shelving system with 25 generously sized cubbies with diagonal dividers. It looks like a yarn shop and makes me very happy. =)

  73. heh…I have a whole room for the tools (loom, sewing machines, computer) and books and all the stash is in the attic above in rubbermaid bins.
    It’s more or less sorted by weight and fiber – project yarn as well as just yarn.
    When we moved in here last November, um….there were about 40 63litre bins that were stash. Most of them yarn, some fabrics. I’m now working my way through everything. No more yarn til I’ve actually put a dent into the stash,

  74. I live in a relatively wool devouring critter-free area so I have a couple of dowels in my craft room (closet sized room) with the skeins hanging. Then the rest is in the cedar chest I inherited from my mom. Random wool is in random plastic tubs and baskets. I am rotten at organization.

  75. Ok — but don’t tell my wife this secret. Run to the store and buy three (or more, depending on how you organize) of those storage bags that vacuum all the air out. I have one that is lace & sock, one that is sport and worsted, and one that is bulky, ugly, or squeaky acrylic. Vacuumed, they take up absolutely no room at all. With enough bags, I’m pretty sure I could get an entire yarn shop into a closet.
    The reason I say don’t tell my wife is that this is how I’ve been slipping yarn past the yarn police for years. Filled and vacuumed, all three bags fit behind the dresser (it’s a weirdly-shaped space) in my closet. Then, when I bring out the yarn and she says “Oh, that’s pretty. When did you get that?” I can answer truthfully, “Oh, this? It’s been in my stash for ages.”
    I’ve been “knitting from my stash” for years, and she hasn’t a clue. But remember — mum’s the word.

  76. Congrats on working on stash organization!
    When (if) I organize my stash, I put yarn together by project (if I bought a sweater’s worth for a particular project, for example) – otherwise by weight so when I’m looking for a dk for a baby sweater or fingering for some socks, I can find it. This was especially important with my ever expanding sock yarn collection that was being tossed where ever I had room…and pretty soon I was searching all over to find that skein of STR or whatever that I was looking for. Bad news? I realized how much sock yarn I actually have – enough for an enormous amount of socks!

  77. I store my yarn supposedly by content and color and weight in tupperware drawers. 5 or 6 drawers, twenty gallons or so each. Most of them are full. Some I can still open without yarn jumping out and trying to escape out the door.
    I also have a weird closet that is hard to get into where I have my “projects” hanging in bags or on the floor in bags. (There are about 20 of those). And then there is the bag of WIPs next to my side of the couch that is full of another 5-10 project bags (the WIP bag is huge).
    And since I just finished the LYS Tour of Pudget Sound (lystourDOTcom) I have added about 30 more skeins to all that and they are in “project” bags from the store I bought it from (just the bag you put your purchase in) in all the empty corners of the house. Behind the fireplace (that we can’t use) most of it is piled up the wall.
    My goal now is to actually finish projects I have on the needles. Haha. (I must have at least 30 projects actually on the needles, so I have way more needles than it looks like).

  78. I have some large baskets that current projects live in (and usually a tote or two with OTHER current projects)….. Then the rest is stored in clear plastic drawers by color. I find it very asthetically(sp?!?)pleasing to look at my beautiful, rainbow-esque drawers of yarn.

  79. I use the gigantic ziplock bags to store my yarn and my fiber. I lay on top of them to press all of the air out before sealing and store the bags in a ceder chest.

  80. The sock yarn is in plastic boxes at the top of the closet. Everything else is in the store bags in a cardboard box next to the dresser in front of the radiator. Or in project bags by the recliner. I did, however – even before reading today’s entry – put together a bag of yummy yarn for a new knitter. And another bag of good entry-level yarn (ahem) for Goodwill that is already in the van.

  81. The stash is in 3 under-the-bed long Container store containers, several (I can’t bring myself to count them!) Container Store boxes (shoe boxes hold sock yarn, sweater boxes hold sweater yarn) stored in two different closets – but not completely filling those closets. And there might be an under the bed bag (or two), and there are a couple of knitting bags with wips and ufos. I do put some moth proofing potpourri in the closets.

  82. Because I have a small stash and an even smaller apartment, my stash is located in only three places. The first is the “current knitting” bin that holds yarnballs for second socks (a loose definition of “current”, to be sure) and projects in the immediate queue (like the Patons Kroy Sock and Koigu intended for Endpaper mitts). The second stash-zone is for the rare and rarely-used yarns – sockyarn mini-balls from finished projects, long-term sock yarn storage, precious leftover bits of roving, and some now-unobtainable worsted Bartlett yarns spun from a friend’s sheep and earmarked for a fairisle yoke sweater. The third and most substantial stash is the “general rotation”, a small dresser beside the front door with three drawers – the top drawer is filled with random reasonably untouched yarnballs for undecided projects, the middle is for handspun of every sort, and the bottom is for synthetics, gifted yarns that aren’t my style, and general spillover. Rovings live in a wicker basket on top of the whole thing. Small stash, nary a ziplock to be found in San Francisco. I was told by a Civil War Reenactor friend that in his 30 years of woolen uniforms, he’s never had a moth. The only bags involved are for the rovings, who would otherwise be eaten by the cat.

  83. Just finished another failed yarn diet. I give up. I store the stash in zip lock bags according to kind or project, then store those in sterlite bins, each with their own spreadsheet listing contents. Bins live in their own room, line the wall and are stacked. Fiber is stored the same way in bigger bins and occupy a different area of the room. There’s overflow because there’s not enough room for more bins. Most of the yarn is up on Ravelry so I can actually see it — this has helped tremendously in using up the stash. But I can’t stop buying. I’m fine with having a stash, fine with having more to knit than I can possibly get to and fine with getting more (as long as it fits in the room). I have no idea where I’d keep all the things I knit from it — but well that’s a different problem.

  84. The yarn has taken over my study and it is now the Yarn Room. Yarn is all over the room as I am trying to organize it using Ravelry. Mainly it is going into 35 gallon Rubbermaid CLEAR plastic bins. Leftover yarn goes into ziplock bags with a ball band so I can find it later for repairs. Meanwhile, I just received a box of stunning yarn from the Isle of Lewis. I’ve counted 17 existing projects on my needles. The desire to start a bunch of new projects immediately has me distressed. I drift off to sleep with my mind flitting from one project to another, trying to decide where to start . . . .

  85. Ok…. you take a bedroom in your house, kick out the occupant(s) (The kid went to college) of said bedroom and install industrial shelving on 3 walls. Buy several rubbermaid bins and several boxes of those giant zip-lock bags. Now start sorting….
    The north wall is organized by project. The shelves at eye level have the WIP’s, the shelves on the bottom are the ones that WILL be moving up on the shelves when there is room and the boxes on the shelves at the top hold UFO’s (ones that I really do mean to get to, but just don’t have time now). The UFO’s that probably won’t ever again see the light of day are in the closet where they cannot reproach me with their unfinishedness.
    The east and south walls are organized by color then weight. For instance, if you pulled the “red” box off the shelf, you would find a zip-lock bag holding worsted weight, another holding lace weight, another holding bulky, and so on. There is also one shelf on the south wall that holds yarns that fit into no other category. Like the 100% acrylic lime green rug yarn that seems to have crawled into my house by itself because I can’t think why in the world I would buy something like that!
    Now the west wall has bookshelves holding all my patterns and needle collections. There are also baskets of goodies and notions stuffed onto these shelves in between the patterns and needles.
    How’s that?

  86. I only have two stash bins FTB (Full To Busting) with yarn in the sitting room all just lumped together, ahh but there is a plan. I chucked out my Mum’s display cabinet, guess what is going in the big space??? A wall full of shelving with little cubbies for different types of yarns, on the bottom I am having a bookcase for all my Knitting books, what else?? Good paln eh??? And who do you suppose is gonna fix it???
    My gorrrrgeous hunky Joiner boyfriend of course and I’m gonna help him cos I’m his Joiner’s mate.
    That’s not all. I have a BIG suitcase full of yarn I don’t use yet… its’s for my retirement, definately a bad case of SABLE. I plan on living till I’m at least 85 then I can go to Knitting heaven in my stash-lined coffin. Bliss. Ha, ha.

  87. I don’t know if someone has mentioned this already, but I’m thinking one of those zip-up hanging sweater organizers in the closet would be ideal for yarn storage. In fact, I’m thinking of going out and getting one right now.

  88. Not that your writing isn’t descriptive enough, but I’d love to SEE a picture of your stash! You allege that it’s not that large or that organized. I’m not sure I believe you on either count… What d’ya say: will you flash the stash? Please?!

  89. Mine is not an actual system, but the dream of a system.
    I envision ziploc bags that above the zip part have a hard plastic clip. Attached to that clip would be a hanger hook. In my closet I would have 2 or 3 clothes rods, stacked on top of eachother, not one behind the other. That way I could hang my stash and be able to flip through it the way I flip through clothes. And I wouldn’t have to dig through tubs or look for yarn piled behind yarn. It would be protected, organized and pretty….a girl can dream.

  90. I’m still a stash baby, as in all of my extra yarn can fit in one bin under an end table. I aspire to true stash-hood someday πŸ™‚ I don’t yet worry about ziploc bags but I’ve considered it. And I just cleared out every bit of acrylic yarn I owned!!! I’m trying not to be a yarn snob about it but I’ve developed a love affair with wool and I’ve finally figured out how to use wool for Southern California.
    I’m a color person though so any long term stash solutions will have to involve clear storage solutions. I need to be able to see what I’m hording πŸ™‚

  91. Over the years I’ve tried various sorting methods — yarn weight, yarn colors. Right now I’m sorting by brand/independent dyer. I seem to associate yarn better with the person or company that created it (brain thinking “where is that yarn I got from Lisa Souza” — in the Lisa Souza box.) I store yarn in plastic ziplocks and then in clear plastic boxes. I don’t like storing them in closets and I’m lucky enough to have a big room with shelving so I can store the boxes there. I like to be able to see my stash.

  92. 1. The number of socks is bound by the number of sock needles, on one end, and the number of days it takes for a new needle order to arrive in the mail on the other.
    2. Prioritization is whimsical. And I let it be. Because I’ll change my mind with the seasons or the phases of the moon or what I got sick of last. I just let that be and try not to think about it too much.
    3. Something else I try not to think about. The ziplocks, of course. I have a wicker hamper filled with some sort of yarn. (Folks just think am a laundry slacker.) Open African woven baskets everywhere hold yarn that I choose to pet and view at any given time. Stuffed everywhere. And (my only clever idea) a clear plastic shoe “bag” hangs over the back of the door I laughingly call my study. Nestled in each of the pockets is a serving of sock yarn. (Yes there is overflow.) I can gaze over my holdings when selecting the next one for use and then open the door tucking this between the door and the wall. It is barely noticeable.
    I’m just fooling myself. I tell guests that it is all yarn art.

  93. I have stash all over the place. Most of it is in one box in my closet (which probably doesn’t help you). In fact, since I got most of my stashing ideas from your books (down the sleeves of unused coats, in the freezer, etc.) I’m not the best to give advice. I like to tuck a sweater’s worth of something in those tins that we always get for Christmas, you know, the ones with popcorn in them. I like to have two bags going at once, one to hold the current project and the second holding all the materials I need for the next one.
    I do love my display of sock yarn. I have two wine racks in a little alcove and they are stuffed with sock yarn. It’s like having my own rare bird aviary, with all of them just peacefully resting in the wine rack, all colorful and glorious and waiting for me. It’s a little full right now, and I need to do something about that. . .what with Harry Potter Opal sock yarn coming out this fall!

  94. GASP!! I thought when I read the title that you were tossing your stash. As in THROWING AWAY!!
    Ha. Momentary lapse of reason.

  95. Your stash sounds very organized to me. I have one skein of noro sock yarn that has disappeared completely from my stash and I KNOW I haven’t knit it up yet. If you see it, let me know.

  96. Wow–you are so lucky to have a stash that inspires you, and better yet, a stash that you can knit something other than bibs and little cosmetics bags out of. (That’s what I’m doing with mine until I can justify buying more yarn)
    I cannot boast either cedar chests or baskets in the living room–everything’s dumped, unbagged, in a big rubbermaid under my bed. This may sound like I’m living on the edge, but we live in the desert, so I’m more scared that I’ll go stash diving and come up with a scorpion than a moth.

  97. I go the ziploc-bags-inna-bigger-bag route. But my stash is still small enough to fit in part of one closet. Although it *has* started kicking my laundry hamper out of said closet from time to time…
    Also, I’ve found the Ravelry pattern and yarn browsers to be of great help when planning stash reduction. πŸ˜‰

  98. First you buy a 14 X 70 ft. mobile home to live in while you build the house. Then you start moving the stash over there to get it out of the way for awhile. Then after you fill the mobile home up completely. If you have timed it right the children start to leave home and you can take over their rooms. And once you have filled the mobile home, and all the children’s rooms, and there are underbed storage containers, on both your and the hubbers side, maybe, you should look at clearing out some of the excess, unless your mother has some room in her garage…

  99. As to critters … in the winter do you take your stash outside on a sunny, dry – but CRAZY FREEZING COLD day? I take out my pillows, comforters and stash – twice in the winter. Leave them out from early morning until night. Whatever little, teenie-tiny critters are laying in wait to ruin your life will be killed.

  100. I don’t have a stash, just leftovers. I was damaged by a very traumatic experience as a young mother. I kept my yarn in a plastic bag in my pre-schooler’s bedroom closet. To my horror, the bag was also home to a very furry, very dead mouse. Imagine reaching in for something soft and fuz…Okay I’ll stop.

  101. I joined Ravelry last year to get control of my stash. Nothing has happened yet, but Jess (co-founder of Ravelry) had a great idea about what to do with your truly outstanding skeins — she put a metal hook arrangement from Anthropologie on the wall above her office/work table, and then hung yarn on each hook. It was one of the prettiest wall decorations I’ve seen in years. I’ve bought my hooks so that when I finally go through my stash, I will keep an eye out for the hanks that will also pass for art. And you can change the yarn as often as you want, so you never get tired of looking at your wall. Some hanks are just too pretty to store in a ziploc bag!

  102. I put all my stash in ziploc bags. I bag each ball or skein or hank or each set of balls or skeins or hanks (i.e. two 50g balls for socks, or a sweater’s worth of yarn) or each bump, batt, roving, sliver, or hankie in their own ziploc bag. I use the good, heavy ziploc bags. Not the crap kind you get from crap places.
    I have stash stored in a window seat, stash stored in an antique travelling trunk of my mother in law’s, and stash stored in a huge Rubbermaid trunk, and two smaller rubbermaid boxes…and also maybe a cardboard box or two with 2 or 3 (ahem) sweaters worth inside. And then I have a bin bag which contains a lot of acrylic and things I bought before I knew what I liked. And then there’s my mobile stash which I bring with me (complete with pattern and needles) in case I get the urge to cast on during the whole 11 minute train ride to or from work every day. I also carry at least (!) one spinning project and spindle, and two knitting projects at all times. One complicated project for when I need a challenge and an escape, and one simple project for when I need to relax, unwind, take the edge off. I also carry a book with me everywhere…and several other non-knitting related items.
    I’m maybe a snail. Perhaps a turtle. Or a Giant American Land Tortoise. (I think Giant Land Tortoises come from Africa but I’m American so I’m voting for that one.)
    I keep my stash in separate rooms so it doesn’t all creep up on me at once.
    I don’t have a lifetime’s worth either but I’ve got lots of (to me) exciting stash yarns I’m dying to use so I’m on a knit from stash binge right now.
    Though to be honest the lure of new stash is always too bright and beautiful to resist. No matter how much I love my stash.

  103. See-through lidded rubbermaid containers (the size of one sweater’s worth of stash, eye level shelving in the basement- or else I forget it exists.

  104. I keep my stash in a mix of Tupperware and plastic bags. The Tupperware is just stored on the bottom of my closet, but I keep the clear bags organized by stacking them by color, weight or project in those hanging sweater organizers. They have individual spaces for sweaters, they are (re)movable, and they are cheap. Plus, you can stick several in a closet and take advantage of a space that might otherwise be limited by a lack of shelving.

  105. I have a yarn room. When my kids finally moved out, I turned one room into a yarn stash, one room into a sewing room. My yarn stash is in dresser drawers, sorted by color and weight. Each weight has it’s own dresser, each dresser has drawers with different colors. There is a small chest for needles and crochet hooks, and pattern books on shelves in boxes.

  106. First, I live in a 100 year old building, too, so generally speaking, most of my yarn is stored in Ziplocks inside Rubbermaid bins.
    Ziplock bags, from sandwich to Hagrid sized, function as subsets. Next comes the clear Rubbermaid bins. Clear is important to me even though I label everything. Recently, in a moment of organizational inspiration/optimism, I purchased several of the bins that are the same length and width as the ones I have been using, thus stackable, but only half the height. This means STR gets is own bin, Lorna’s Laces gets its own bin, etc. This excites me for some reason only another yarn lover will understand.

  107. My stash is in ziploc bags, and is stored in an antique sideboard on the upstairs landing. The sideboard has glass sides, and you can see all the skeins in the stash (okay, most of them…) Of course, the stash is starting to overflow the sideboard, and is now stacked on TOP of the sideboard. I think I need to have my own stash toss.

  108. well, my stash is NOTHING like yours. i just started knitting again a few months ago. mine is ziplocked and stacked in a sweater organizer, the kind that hangs on your closet rod and has 7 cubby-like spaces. then the cheap yarn (the kind that i let the kids play with) is in a tote. i will probably be adding another sweater organizer soon, though. this one’s getting full!

  109. I do basically what you do only I stuff a large lavender sachet into each bin as extra protection since I also live in a 100-year-old house. I’ve now got 5 bins stuffed full. I think I have a stash problem…

  110. I have a laundry basket with yarn and spinning fiber that sits next to my desk. Periodically I sort through it to decide what to use next (usually based on whether or not it’s already wound into a ball.) Yep….that’s it. Even this basket’s worth is driving me nuts. I can’t imagine having a substantial stash. I would be frozen with indecision.

  111. my stash is color coded and placed into small breathable sweater bags. yarn for projects get their own sweater bag. the majority of my stash is in a “cedar” wicker hamper i got at target last year. cotton stash is in a plastic lidded garbage can/under the bed bedding bag. sock yarn are in small lidded boxes (one cardboard, one wicker) a little larger than a large 3-ring binder (i have sachets of lavender in them to prevent bugs but it’s prolly futile). fun fur/crap yarn is loose in a basket as are odd bits and pieces. i used to have baskets of yarn balls all over my dining room but after finding “worms” in an ancient jar of buttons i got paranoid, quarantined everything for a few weeks and the majority got crammed in the hamper now.
    plastic tubs are the way to go but are not aesthetically pleasing for me. since i live in an old house with no closets i just have no where to put them as the attic’s too hot/buggy/batty/birdy and the cellar’s too damp/stinky.
    in my dream house i have a huge cedar closet with drawers in which i sort my yarns by color and fiber. since that ain’t happening soon, i do the best i can.

  112. Old Stash, New Husband
    For many years, I have kept my (most of my) stash in a metal cabinet that has two locking doors and some shelves. It is organized by yarn type within the cabinet, in cardboard boxes and plastic bins. Before I married the New Husband, during the time he was the New Boyfriend, I kept the cabinet, which is about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and 3 feet deep, in my bedroom. It was a major presence in the room. There were even other boxes of stuff on top of it. Of course, I never thought a thing about it–it had been there for years, providing endless pleasure. Eventually, we got married, I sold my house, and we were packing things for the move. This was about 2 years after we met. As the moving men were struggling with the stash cabinet, New Husband said, “Just what is in that thing?” He had never before asked. Not for 2 years. I opened the cabinet, revealing the stash. He just nodded. Was he relieved? It has never been spoken of since then.

  113. Just a few quick words for those who asked about plastics and storage. Some plastics do ‘off-gas’ as they age and in the long term can cause damage to yarns. Fortunately many of the zip lock bags are made of polyethylenes which are some of the most stable options. As it happens, I work at a textile museum and we have a few basic preventive processes to protect woolens from evil insects. To start with we bag all textiles in polyethylene bags (ziplocks are preferred) and then freeze to -20 degrees celcius (typical of a domestic chest freezer – uprights don’t necessarily get this cold) for a period of 14 days. This is followed by time to warm up and then a careful inspection. After this process textiles can be safely stored for extended periods in plastic bags.
    Moth balls are toxic to humans as well as moths. Cedar is acidic and direct contact can damage fibres over time.
    The only other thing to be mindful of with plastics is to avoid getting moisture trapped in the bags as this could lead to mold. After a bag comes out of the freezer, give it time to warm up to room temperature before opening.
    Web clothing moths (one of the most common species in North America) are incredible creatures. If they can’t find wool they will eat any textile fibre. Our pest consultants, have seen them chew their way into and out of plastic bags to get at good dirty wool (the more dirt and oil the better for the moths). The best prevention is good housekeeping and regular inspections (stash cleaning and diving).

  114. Plastic tupperware bins and ziplocs got nothin’ on my stash! How about several years worth of yarn purchases (I live about 10 miles form the home of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Fest)stuffed behind my sofa, which is now angled away from the wall to accomodate more yarn. A thin duvet is laid on top, in keeping with the story that it is really is a pile of out-of-season blankets. My kids and husband have never wondered why, when they need a blanket, they ARE NOT ALLOWED to get one from behind the sofa!

  115. Can wool moths chew through Ziploc? I don’t know, but I know pantry moths laugh in the face of Ziploc (when I had my infestation I was finding them in totally sealed and unopened packages of food) so I wonder if their smaller cousins can chew through Ziploc, too?
    I tend to keep my wool stash in a big Rubbermaid bin (though I certainly have various hanks floating around in other places). It’s not pretty, but moths can’t chew through bins. And, it protects the yarn from becoming cat toys, too.
    I am tempted to buy a nice storage chest from IKEA to store yarn after I move. It won’t be as secure against moths as the current Rubbermaid, though. Decisions, decisions.

  116. Mine is sorted and store in ziplocks then into a few boxes in the closet, except I love to keep a few (ok more than a few) skeins of sockyarn out in vase-ish sort of thing as a little inspiration display. It looks like a bouquet. I have some vintage straight needles stuck in there, too…very pretty.
    I think that what you need to do is take out all of your stash…all of it…and set up a space in your house to look like a yarn store. Then leave the house, walk back in like you are going into a yarn store, then “re-shop” (from your own stuff) for your next project(s), and put the rest back. Kinda like playing dress up. For knitters. πŸ˜‰ Then you’d get to have that happy gotta have it gotta cast it on shopping feeling twice LOL.

  117. Well apparently us knitters are keeping Ziploc in business!!! I have my sock yarn (all 93 skeins of it, including the two on the needles and the 2 just recently purchased) in ziplocs that are kept in the plastic bin in my closet. Then I have more in ziploc bags that hold the charity yarn (one big bag of acrylic, one big bag of wool). Then in the craft closet I have more ziplocs that hold the baby yarns, the wool blends and the cottons. Considering I live in Orlando Florida and we are hot most of the year, I have people look at me strange.

  118. I’m definately in the minority here, but I prefer to keep my stash small. I buy yarn only after I have a project in mind. Sock yarn is my downfall though, and I’ve been working this entire year to clear through my sock yarns, since I felt that I have too many when I reached about 20. I’ve been almost nothing knit-wise this year apart from making socks for Christmas gifts. When I need a break I have a cotton cabled hoodie I’m working on, being that it’s about as different from a plain wool sock as could be.
    That all being said, I too use the ziplock method, with it all being in 5 rather smallish tin bins in a floor to ceiling bookcase (the rest of the space in the bookcase is devoted to tools of the trade – books, needles, notions, etc; as well as my sewing machine).

  119. I use the ziplocs too. Have you seen the HUGE ones that they make for storing clothes and stuff? Yay.
    I have more sock and lace weights hanging around, so those are categorized by themselves. The worsteds and arans are weights that I go through faster so I never have as much of it laying about… so those are sorted by fiber… just for fun πŸ˜€
    Next time post a picture of this stash of yours!! I want to see and be jealous-ified!

  120. Take pictures of what you buy.
    Use clear bins put where you can see them.
    You’re burying treasure.
    Other thoughts – vacuum sealer, without the vacuum. Nothing is going to get in until you cut it open – no need for bins at all.

  121. I knew you’d be back to knitting socks in no time.
    My stash? In plastic bins. Big ones. Many. I don’t know how many. Every time I try to count, I get confused and lose track. We’ll just say many.

  122. Gah! I wrote a very long winded answer to the stash storage solution question. Like, inappropriately long. So I posted it elsewhere. If anybody really cares to read it you can check my link.
    In the mean time, I too vote for photos of the stash. It may make some of your guilty readers feel less guilty.

  123. Ziplocs. Even the acrylic.
    And many rubbermaid hampers.
    And two blanket (make that three) boxes.
    And a foot locker from the Korean War.
    And a few dresser drawers……..

  124. Mine is in big plastic boxes with clip-on lids, sorted according to content. I have one for acrylic and cotton yarns, one for wool, two more for spinning fibre and one for carding and dyeing equipment. The last box is for luxury yarns (like my Posh Yarn) and sock yarns which is kept close to hand for when I need to roll in cashmere.
    My stash shares a room with our servers. Every now and again my man will stand in there and say something like “You don’t have much yarn, do you?” this is a fairly good indication that he wants to buy a new computer.
    We get along pretty well.

  125. I keep all of my personal and business yarns in big rubbermaid totes. Actually, the yarns are placed in zippered pillowcases, and placed in the totes. Less plastic that way. Oh, and I keep a lavender sachet in each tote, too. So far, so good, but I’m not really in a rodent-y or moth-y part of the States.

  126. Well, I had mine separated at one point by two wicker bins: a smaller, fancy one with laceweight/alpaca/ritzy yarn and a large one with everything else. Well, both are full, and I’ve expanded into some rubbermaid bins. However, I do periodic stash organizations, and have found in the last year or so my taste in yarn and fibre has become really nice. Also, it has expanded much like my waistline!

  127. Ziplock, SpaceBags, Rubbermaid Containers – plus lavender and rosemary in the storage room (supposedly the scents repel moths)
    Ziplocks with holes hang nicely from cuphooks hung into the rafters of the storage room – puzzles the heck out of my 3yr old why momma is laying on the ground of the storage room looking at the ceiling and smiling πŸ™‚

  128. Like you I keep mine in good old Zip Locks and then they are lovingly kept safe from harm (kids, bugs and dogs) in a beautiful Cherry Wood trunk that is lined with cedar. It came with a lock and I alone have the key.
    The trunk was my 6th anniversary present from my beloved husband. That was 10 years ago. And it is still so lovely to look at and it’s contents thrill my soul.

  129. This would totally be the wrong day to remind you about those fleeces from last year’s auction we still need to do something with, wouldn’t it?

  130. Start everything NOW. It’s an excuse to buy pretty new needles. Then you can flit between projects as the mood takes you, and sometimes you can finish 5 things in a weekend if you have enough on the go.

  131. I live in fear of yarn-eating moths finding my stash. The stash is Oz is in the garage in those vacuum bags. The stash here is in plastic containers, sometimes in bags, mostly not, and also in the open topped reusable poly-whatever shopping bags (ie all of my sock yarn stash). I have a useless stash – apart from the sock yarn, I only have enough yarn stash to make hats and beanies and scarves, but not a full set of any of them. Not much help but interesting to see the comments!
    Fleece is stored in cardboard boxes – it just doesn’t fit well into the plakky boxes.
    BTW, chai tea mix makes yarn smell really nice (but the spices and tea, not the made up stuff with milk – that would make yarn smell yoghurty!)

  132. The ziplocs are a great idea, but here’s where I keep my stash and it works WONDERS for organization. Go out and buy a shoe organizer. Not one of those hanger thingys, get a stackable one that you can keep building onto, like blocks with one open side. You can make them any shape you want, to fit up, over, around, anything else, and you can leave out a side wherever you want if you have too much of one yarn to fit in one square. I don’t know how I got by without it.

  133. ziploc and rubbermaid all the way of course for any yarn that has wool content. I don’t have a huge stash but I also live in an old house with mice and other uninvited visitors.

  134. Ooooh, Karin, wine racks. Yarn in the dining room looking like it belongs there. THANK YOU!!!

  135. Right now the stash is in no way organized, not even all the skeins of one yarn are together. It’s also in big plastic bags in the middle of the bedroom floor and on the couch in the living room. I haven’t decided how to store it all yet; maybe the space bags would be good… maybe this post will inspire me to organize it. (Last month I did a clean out and gave a large shopping bag of yarn to a charity to use in their work with homeless women. They may be getting more.)

  136. My “legal” stash fits in one largish (clear) Rubbermaid-type tub: this is yarn that I “allow” myself to have, without guilt. My “legal” stash overflow (read: sock yarn) occupies a smaller tub, and was started when the first tub was too full for comfort. My “illegal” stash lives nestled on a shelf in ziploc bags in my wardrobe on a shelf not occupied by clothes (with the rationale that eventually it will be part of my wardrobe), and also on top of my wardrobe (with the rationale that it is Christmas gifts, actually) in paper shopping bags. The yarn that I am inspired by inhabits my desktop, thus inhibiting any “real” work on that surface and forcing me to my kitchen table. I was mortified to admit to myself about a month or so that my “illegal” stash is now bigger than my “legal” stash, and numbed my guilt over that by ordering more yarn so that I could feel guilty over more recent expenditures. Do I have a problem? No, I quite simply need another tub, because I seem to feel no guilt if yarn is organized in such a tub. Two tubs plus sock yarn isn’t that much, right?

  137. Some of it is in ziplock bags, but all of it is in Rubbermaid type storage boxes, labelled by number. Sock yarn is in 2 boxes, lace yarn in 1 box, everything else in the other boxes. I have a Mac program called Bento, which is a database program. Every yarn is photographed and entered into the database, with the name of the yarn, company, fiber content, yardage, and roughly the project type. And most importantly, the box number, so I can find what I’m looking for. It’s sortable by everything, so I can sort by any of those parameters. Yes, it’s obsessive compulsive. I know.

  138. Mine uses ziplocks and plastic lidded bins, but I also use the large clear zippered bags that quilts and blankets come in. They are cubical, insect proof and stack flat – so I can see the yarn in them – they also hold a LOT. I have four of those, 6 or 7 50 liter translucent plastic bins and lots of large ziplocks. The Sock stash resides in 4 or 5 15 litre plastic lidded bins. And then I have lots of overflow. I need to learn to knit in my sleep.

  139. Well, since you asked…
    I keep individual batches of yarn, sweaters worths, paired sock skeins etc, in zip lock bags, then I keep al those zip lock bahs in big clear blue recycling bags, one for sock yarns, one for sweater yarns, one for what ever doesn’t fit in the other two, those I keep behind my fireplace. I have lovely gas fireplace but alas, haven’t been able to afford to build a mantle around it (renovations ending abruptly in divorce). There is a rather large gap in the wall behind the fireplace where the cold air gets in but do you know… yarn makes the most lovely insulation!!

  140. Well, like you, attempting to organize my stash is a frustrating,wonderful,scary,memory enhancing experience. I find the best way to overcome the “vapors” of so much yarn waiting to be something besides gorgeous is to -wait for it-buy more yarn! I get so overcome that I get nervous and even distraught ,while at the same time smiling at the idea of projects to come, that I am forced to leave the house. Leaving the house takes me directly to my LYS-I do not pass go-I do not collect $200 . In fact, I spend probably spend that much. It is a sickness-but one I don’t want to cure. And besides, my husband thinks all yarn costs $1.00 per skein,which I do nothing to correct his delusion. I never say delusion in his hearing distance.
    I store my “latest” stash in baskets-easy to get to and beautifully restful to look at.
    Stash that has been around awhile or that may even be “permanent” stash I store in those plastic vacuum,suck the air out bags. I open these at least once every six monthes to insure that the skeins are still bug and crush free. And, bonus!!!!, it is amazing how small a stash can look after the air is removed.
    So small that I may need to increase my yarn shopping.
    Yarn that no longer speaks to me is given to a knitting friend who teaches kids at a city shelter to knit. They love everthing except beige.
    Glad you are back on the sock bandwagon.

  141. Well, it’s official. Fiber Folks are marjorly responsible for keeping RubberMaid and Zip Lock in business. Think I’ll go out and buy stock (and yarn, of course.)

  142. As a knitter of 4o years plus, I have been thru a number of storage options from baskets to cardboard boxes to shelves to clear plastic boxes and from small ziplock to the large ziplock with handles. I finally found the perfect storage altho not the most attractive but it keeps out all the creatures. I use galvanized trash cans – I put a layer of cedar shavings (from the pet store for hamster cages) on the bottom (and pennyroyal if I have it, then store the yarn in ziplock or any other clear plastic bags and they do not have to be closed completely. I also store fleece this way but in pillowcases. I haven’t lost a skein of yarn or any fleece to “creatures” since I started this 7 years ago.

  143. I store my stash (both fiber and yarn) just about the same way you do, although, since I live in a teensy apartment with 3 cats, but no other humans, the stash actually lives in an old closet-ish space that was probably originally used to store a Murphy bed (and which is usually referred to as the “Closet o’ Doom”), variously divided into those ginormous Ziploc bags and a variety of Rubbermaid bins. I separate it by yarn weight, or sheep-of-origin, and I’ve actually got it all inventoried on Ravelry. Active and newly acquired stash is stored in bags, baskets, and anything else I can hang out of reach of Moth-ra, my wool-eating cat. (Okay, so his name is actually Mac.) I don’t actually have a problem with any of the critters you do, and I’m lucky enough to live in a really dry climate, humidity-wise, so there’s never been an issue with molds, mildews, etc.
    Oh, and for the record, the number of socks cast on in a single 24 hour period is never wrong, unless you’re exceeding your actual needle stash, and having to pinch the extra needles from the already started socks to provide “new” sets for more socks. Which I’ve done, of course.

  144. I use the next to the largest clear plastic stacking bins that are sold at Target. For the most part they are sorted by yarn weight (lace, sock, etc.) although handpaints tend to be separated and Mountain Colors and Jamieson’s jumper weight have their own bins. They can safely be stacked about 6 high and still have room on top to stash the drum carder and not hit the ceiling. If I actually have a multi hank ie sweater, project in mind there are smaller bins that contain just the project yarn and the pattern. Undyed yarns are just in separate bins. And coned yarns have their own bin too.
    The spinning stash is also in bins although those tend to be arranged by ummm acquisition event rather than fiber or something else.
    All of them are stored in what was supposed to the third bedroom, but is now used as a knitting studio. I have my knitting machine in there all my knitting reference books, a TV and comfortable chair and the components for the sound system for the entire house. There are 2 windows and the outside walls are lined with bins of wool. It’s amazingly toasty in there in the winter.

  145. My stash is tiny so I store it in a nice wicker basket.
    I’m such an organizational freak that I would love to just go in an organize someone’s stash. And then I would photograph it and make sure everything was updated on their Ravelry page as well!

  146. In a room with no carpet next to the soap room which reeks of cedar, lemon and lavender, with a cat standing guard. The cat, Ruby the magnificent, sleeps and stands watch in the loft, (among some stash, but also among the wool blankets, one of which Ruby has claimed for her own by virtue of the amount of black fur that is imbedded in the blanket).
    Unfortunately the room is also the guest room. So much for having visitors. Ha! They can sleep in the back yard.

  147. My rule is never have more than 5 socks going at once. I have a hard time playing by my rules.
    I work in a yarn shop so I have a big stash. Right now it is in wire stacking cubes along a wall in my sewing room in the lower level of my house which stays cool(I’m telling myself that this is my moth repellent). I am starting to think about the plastic bags though.
    I keep my spinning fiber separated too. I have another room for that and it is in plastic bags and plastic containers.

  148. I also use zip lock bags in RubberMade totes, and just this week, I bagged up my work clothes for the thrift shop, so I could buy more totes and stack them to the rod. (Retirement is a good thing!)
    I make a working copy of the pattern, and store that in the zip lock with the yarn, buttons, etc. That’s the ONLY way I can remember what I bought the yarn for. Each tote holds a different type of garment.
    One other precaution – I keep a bar of soap, (eucalyptus) in the wrapper, in the zip lock to ward off the nasty buggers. I also hide yarn in suitcases, the piano(it’s out of tune anyway), and behind the knitting books on the bookcases. All in zip locks as well. Oh, and the bottom 1/2 of my china cabinet does NOT have china in it.

  149. In cloth book bags that I pick up at library conferences. These are stuffed into various closets. Plus the two drawers of my bedside table are yarn only and not in bags. I am clearly asking for it in terms of moths.
    Then in the living room there are more bags and piles… oh and I bought a side board and put it by the front door and that’s getting full. Its cutlery drawers house my needles.
    A lot of my stash is on ravelry, but not all. I like the photos – the older I get, the less I remember what’s in my closets so the photo record is great.

  150. Badly at best.
    Colourful stuff is in a spectrum in a lovely large (I mean really large!) basket on the floor. No distinction as to fibre types or thicknesses as it was started before you gave me wisdom in this area. Neutrals in a big plastic storage bin till they get tossed annually, pondered and then sometimes offered to my knitting club rummage sale or used for charity knitting – though a few ponderable treasures lurk in there. Also various projects in progress here and there about….
    Cedar strips hang in the closet nearby.
    Oh, and the bag of wee bits of sock yarn that some day will make a very wild pair of socks. Should probably learn toe up socks or be braver on leg length.
    At least, lately, I’ve taken to keeping a somewhat journal with ball bands, pattern descriptions and editings.
    A few bags of intended but not yet started projects – like the lace shawl. I’m dabbling in lace but I have not yet been assimilated.
    So, useful advice. Very little.

  151. Count me with the Zip-Lockers, though I do sometimes leave a non-animal yarn in its purchase bag. Just a short while back I wrote up my knitting habits for my blog and included a view of my stash (you can see it at
    – it’s all in various baskets that gather at the end of and behind my couch, and in Rubbermaid under-the-bed boxes that were cheap at JoAnn because it was January and they had red lids. Not one to sneeze at a half-price tag, I grabbed two, which means there is just barely room for the guitar case under there. If my bed were higher off the ground, I’d stash the cello case under there too!
    I keep meaning to get my stash up on Ravelry – maybe this coming week, when three of my clients are out of town, I’ll allow myself a break and get that done.

  152. A chunk of dry ice in the rubbermaid excludes the oxygen and moths need oxygen to live as do we all. Put the dry ice on the bottom, stash on top, wait until smoke is wafting out of the wool and put the lid on. If the lid pops sometime later burp it and seal it, if moths are there they will not survive long.
    Dry ice is relatively cheap too and will not harm wool.

  153. I still have yarn I accumulated when I worked in a yarn store 21 years ago. Most of it is stored in boxes on shelves in a workroom (I sew for money) My current projects are stored in a large steamer trunk in our family room, right near where I have claimed the couch. I limit my projects to one sock, one sweater and one ‘other’ project at one time, with only a couple of UFO’s hidden..don’t tell anyone. I really only returned to knitting big time, like therapy, during the past year and I am slowly working my way through the stash. But the new yarns are just too much fun. (Thanks for suggesting Adamas shawl…I also borrowed Knitting Nature, of course none on the yarn in storage will work for any of the patterns in that book….)

  154. I am completely irresponsible with my (admittedly rather modest) stash. It lives, all piled together haphazardly (quasi sorted by color, of all things – as in, colors that go nicely together live together) in series of square open-topped baskets.
    Not protected in plastic bags or storage bins or anything. Then I have a few (okay six to eight) knit-bags with half-done projects in them. The whole mess is tucked away in a wall unit thing with cubbies, so it doesn’t look tooooo bad, but there are also some scragglers shoved into tiny spaces in the closets. And then there’s the “hot basket, which resides in the shelf under my coffee table.

  155. *note to self* Switch the keyboard back to English when typing in English *end note to self*
    You are not going to believe this, but I have pictures to prove it. I have two dresser drawers in which to put my entire stash. Most everything is balled, but only a few things are in ziploc bags. The only things not in the stash are my bamboo spinning, some yarn I set aside for my plant fiber presentation, a couple skeins leftover from a sweater, and some yarn that’s supposed to be a DNA scarf in the nearish future. The stuff in the drawer is double stacked with the yarn I’m less likely to use but don’t want to throw away at the bottom and the “good stuff” at the top. I’ve placed a small cloth in each drawer scented with patchouli oil. I generally don’t go for the eau du unwashed hippie, but it’s a bug repellent – and not a bad one at that. The spinning fiber is, I am ashamed to say, in a file box in my livingroom next to my beloved rocking chair. It’s supposed to go in the closet. Back to the drawers. Since they are two, they are divided thusly:
    Lace to fingering weight in the left (smaller) drawer. Everything else in the bigger drawer.
    You’d think an obsessive-compulsive would be more organized than that. But alas, no.
    Krimeny, it’s so humid and hot I can’t even think about wool. It’s 22*C (72*F) and really frakking humid. You could spoon the air into a bowl. What I wouldn’t give for a bit of Canadian spring about now.
    Mulberry tree is fruiting, though, and we had a dessert for free. Fruit is candy.

  156. Sharon in AK– How about the basket from a hot air balloon?
    I have 17 large plastic bins, in which the yarns are approximately grouped by intended project. The overflow is stacked about 2 feet high on a card table next to it. My hubby almost cried when I moved my fabric stash in next to it– he uses the same room as an office on the days he gets to work at home, and he couldn’t get to his desk.

  157. I do the same thing with wanting to knit it when I see it, but once it’s in the stash pile, I forget it… But then I say, what happened to that sock yarn blanket? What about that stuff I bought last summer… and then cast on a bunch of stuff to become the year’s ufos, and they get done eventually, and then we start all over again.
    I may have been drinking this evening, so if it makes no sense, disregard it…

  158. I can’t help you at all with prioritizing. I have similar problems.
    However, as to storage…
    All of my yarns are kept in bins on shelves. They’re less prone to beasties like carpet beetles and moths if the bins/boxes are kept off the floor. Not immune, mind you, less prone.
    The other way I discourage beasties is lavender. I buy Yardley’s lavender soap at about $1 per bar and put 1-2 bars in with each box/bag. Those are replaced once or twice a year as the scent faces. Yarn-eating beasties do not like lavender and tend to stay away. It also keeps the yarn from getting a musty smell from having been stored.
    If you want to go to the trouble, sachets of dried rosemary and/or lavender work well, as do cedar chips.
    And tossing the stash once or twice a year is a good idea. That’s something I try to remember to do.

  159. I love stash diving. It is so inspirational! As for organizing, I took pics of most of my stash and loaded them on Flickr, then Ravelry, but I must admit I use the paper notes that I made to organize it more than I use Ravelry “my stash.” I have 6 clear totes, and yarn is currently organized by weight, with all the cottons together, and everything sorted in plastic bags w/in the totes. I also have a bag of left-overs, and a large bag of Lamb’s Pride. All my ufos are in bags that hang from hangers in my closet, and wips are out where I can get to them. The only problem is new yarn… it doesn’t get incorporated very well, but that’s what the semi-annual stash dive is for, right?

  160. I have to admit our three kids have left the nest leaving us with three spare bedrooms! So I bought bookshelves and organized my stash by weight. Looks like I have my own wool shop. I lay on the bed and admire it. I love it. I guess I should be thinking about putting it in ziplock bags though.

  161. I ran across some of the clear plastic tubs with the locks on the ends at a local CVS Pharmacy on sale. They are 16 qt./15L. I can store two or three sweaters worth of yarn in each one. I bought thirty (all they had. It is easier to handle as the zip lock bags were always sliding around and hiding whatever I was looking for. I now have my stash stored according to type/weight. I can see thru the sides to know what is inside. I don’t have to open them to find what I am wanting. They also stay where I put them!LOL I still have renegate skeins from time to time! But it has made it easier and they are mothproof.

  162. I love dumping out my stash and wading (rolling) through it. Yum. I keep it (mostly) in a hanging IKEA toy holder ( in white). I’ve sorted it by weight and/or purpose: sock yarns together, worsteds together, handspun together, stuff I like that doesn’t fit into the above categories, etc. It has recently migrated out into a bookshelf behind my knitting/spinning chair, but I forgive it, because it is my two sweaters-worth sets. I don’t have a lot of yarn. I’m about to go to college, so it has to come with me somehow.

  163. I’ve recently discovered the internet knitting community, and I’ve been feeling liberated to embrace the joys of stash building, rather than feeling guilty over not completing a project before starting the next. So while stash is in it’s infancy, so to speak, it’s increasing rapidly. And I’m buying more yarn just because I like it rather than doing the whole ‘find a pattern, then buy the exact wool recommended’ thing.
    I’m going to be laid up after surgery, so that was a great excuse to go to lettuce knit and get four projects worth of beautiful wool. this is in addition to six sock projects, so I just might have some left over for future stash.
    Per your suggestion I’ve started keeping my wool in ziploc bags, then in clear rubbermaid boxes. Not too large, I like to be able to see the wool.
    I do have some old weird yarns from the 80’s that probably should move on to Good Will, such as rust chennile, some blue acrylic fluffy and some very bulky orange blend stuff (it is Italian, but still, what was I thinking?!)

  164. I will have to find a new way to store my stash tomorrow. Mine currently resides in a big plastic tub but it won’t be able to hold anymore after I go tearing through my LYS in the morning! They are closing for the entire month of June for renovation and everything in stock goes on a 50 percent sale tomorrow! I fully intend on picking up the sockweight beaded silk that I have been coveting for months now.:)

  165. It’s a potpourri, my stash storage. In addition to plastic bins , tubs, and bags the zip lock, I have two large clear plastic zip carrying cases that origninally held horse blankets! Each holds about 40 skeins of yarn that are fully visible. I got tired of paying so much for cedar blocks so now I use cotton cosmetic pads that have been drizzled with lavender essential oil. Seems to be working.

  166. Regarding your #2 at the top, do you really believe that you’re “saving for retirement”, that once you retire you’ll never buy another skein of yarn again. Puh-leez! I’ve been retired now for @ 14 years, and the truth is, now I have more time to shop for yarm. I go online, and I drive. (Well, maybe the high price of gas will help cut down driving to faraway LYS’s.)
    My advice is: don’t save yarn for your retirement. You will ignore it even more than you’re ignoring it now!

  167. I have a very small stash as i have just been knitting since this past holiday season and have only recently seriously been getting into knitting especially with my continuing employment search, so i keep my yarn in a cardboard box that is not organized that sits outside the closet that if i ever really reorganized i would fit the box in there. I also have a beach tote bag that keeps a few skeins in it, but my cat has the habit of trying to attack this bag.

  168. I too have everything in zip locks. I store the baggies in my IKEA Expedit bookcase. 4 shelves have those plastic cube bins that fit perfectly in the bookcase. I sorted the yarn itself by weight. I also have a couple auxiliary baskets. They are pretty well packed. Especially the one labeled fingering /DK….
    Just remember you want to leave enough room for all that retirement yarn.

  169. Um. I store mine in several places.
    a) a 3 gallon popcorn tin
    b) another approximately 3 gallon zippered clear bag (once home to sleeping bag)
    c) a basket beside the couch
    d) a backpack for current projects that I carry around
    There’s no order whatsoever, except for current projects being in the backpack.
    Yeah, small stash, completely disorganized, no help whatsoever. Sorry.

  170. I consider my stash to be a Fiber IRA – Individual Retirement Account. If I live to 90 like my Mom did, I just might run out, though. Much of it lives in those humongous zip lock bags. I’ve heard that dryer sheets repel moths, so I’m trying that. Smells better than moth balls, anyway.

  171. I have everything in a Rubbermaid drawer thing. Except that I’m running out of room so must buy a new one soon.
    I don’t have any of my stash in ziplocks. Am I inviting disaster?

  172. My stash is grouped in ziplocks also, and then stored in 2 large cedar chests. Except for the sock yarn, which is sealed in ziplocks, organized by brand (alphabetically, of course), and stored in those hanging-sweater-thingies in a closet.
    Luckily, I have a spare bedroom that accomodates all yarn, work tables, and other knitting necessities.

  173. I think this:
    “everything in here was, when it came into my possession, something that was so brilliant that it was going to be next”
    is about to be printed on banner paper and draped gaily around the upper shelves of my stash closet.

  174. I have stacked a couple of 3 drawer plastic drawer setups in a closet – that’s where the yarn is, divided by type and stuffed into the drawers. I bought a pretty wood toy chest, made a cushion for it, and have my fiber in it. In this part of Alaska we don’t have a bug problem, so everything is safe.
    I go through every once in a while, pull out things that haven’t inspired me in over a year, skeins that aren’t enough to make anything but a dog sweater. I give them to the Guild, or to friends, or send them to another friend who knits chemo caps as her carry-around projects.
    Everything gets stuffed up again pretty soon, though!

  175. I don’t even know if I can call it a stash – there’s probably not enough fibre in this apartment to knit an adult sweater out of.
    Nevertheless, I keep it in Ikea cloth “storage containers”, and the really good stuff is ziplocked to prevent cats or husband from wreaking havoc. Active projects just follow me from room to room until completed, usually with piteous needle-squeaks if I haven’t hit the 50% mark.

  176. Stash the stash? I don’t think so. It’s everywhere. In the closet, outside of the closet, in the armoir, in the basket(s) in front of the armoir, in every room in the condominium.
    I have a rule of thumb by which I live. The closet is not full until, when I with great force push the door closed, it pops back open again.
    I believe in going S.A.B.L.E. That stands for “Stash Aquired Bigger than Life Expectancy.” I may be there.

  177. I store my yarn in rubbermaid, but I have recently thought that keeping them in hanging sweater holders, the kind with different compartments, would be a really good idea.

  178. Wow, EVERYONE comes out when you talk about stash!! A couple of years ago, I found some plastic storage containers with domed clear lids that had cedar in the plastic of the container. I keep my animal fibers in them and so far, despite moths in the house on occasion, they have left the yarn alone. and I am proud to say that I have 3 of them, and only one has yarn in it. Of the animal fiber kind, that is. One is full to the top of cottons, the third has acrylics in it that I use for baby sweaters. And I have 3 little videotape boxes (like a small shoebox) with funky fancy yarns in them. I got the cedar boxes at Home Depot. They aren’t airtight, but they close tightly.

  179. Save your sanity: take photos of your stash as you put it back. Or even better, of the bag contents. Try to get label info in the pic. I label mine as bin 1, bin 2, above the bookcase, under the desk, etc. Now I just look at the photos when I seek the elusive ball and ask fiberguy to deliver this green ball, right here in this picture, from bin 11. I also put all the shetland jumperweight into a database, but that is pretty geeky. I do it to save money since I always want to buy buttercup and sphagnum again and again. I can carry my list in my palm device or my phone so I know what I have and what I am lacking. But shetland yarn is special because you just need so many shades. The photos work well on the rest of the stash. I also take pics of the spinning fibers. I only have a few areas to finish up. And you know what? Once you have the pics, you really never need to do it again. It frees so much time and I end up using a lot more stash than buying yarn. You know, shop the stash first.

  180. Mine is a very modest stash. They are zip locked, then a good chunk is placed in two small Tennessee Red Cedar chests my brother made me. The rest moves between knitting bag, bed, and freezer.

  181. Have you checked out the group called “Stash Knitdown 2008” on Ravelry? Earlier posts/topics have some really good exchanges about stash control and project planning . . and support to knit from stash!

  182. I find that vacuum seal bags are a miracle. Not only do they protect from the wee pesties, but it minimizes the space your stash takes up (meaning there’s more room for stash!) They also tend to be a bit thicker and durable than regular ziplocks.
    As for prioritizing your stash…you could try using ravelry to pair up your stash to certain projects, and then decide what to knit based on your interest in a project. If you have a lot of WIPs you could have Tuesday as your spinning day, Wedensday/public for sock day, Thursdays for sweaters etc. Give yourself a free pass on the weekend if you need. I know a lot of people who manage their WIPs this way and really enjoy the rotation.

  183. Prioritizing? I don’t know.
    Stashing? I keep mine in see-through plastic drawers and bins. SO much easier when I can see in from the outside without rummaging! We don’t have *as many* bug-problems here in Flagstaff because of the altitude (over 7000 ft.), but I include muslin bags with lavender in several of my yarn containers. Easy and cheap to refill — as long as I think of it.

  184. Oh, I hear you on oh so many points! In January due to three closing-down sales in as many months my stash grew monstrously (half-price Rowan; who could resist that!?)so I decided not to buy any more until my birthday (September) as I felt overwhelmed with my plans.
    I live in a 19th century flat in Edinburgh and I’ve had a (shudder) infestation (*before* I became a knitter), so everything is kept in airtight plastic boxes with moth repellent. It isn’t green (and I try to be) and the yarn doesn’t always smell that nice when it comes out, but it has worked so far. Hoovering frequently is also good.(You probably didn’t want to hear that).
    I also have my queue on Ravelry but I have limited it to what I actually *have* yarn for. I find that easier to prioritize as I find it easier to think about yarn in terms of projects (product knitter). Hope that helps. I’ve found knitting from the stash for a bit quite liberating.

  185. Whew…I was worried when I saw the title of this post! πŸ™‚
    I keep my stash with about 80% in ziplock bags (because I keep running out of bags!) in the coffee table in the living room…it opens up, revealing a beautifully cavernous location for wool.
    I should go and look at it for awhile…it’s been a rough day!

  186. My very random stash is in clear plastic storage boxes mainly, apart from stuff in current usage which is in various carry-bags. I’m slowly using up the odds-and-ends stash to replace gradually with more “sweater’s-worth” quantities, which I generally keep in the mill bags. It’s sort-of organised, and as the oddballs get used it’s slowly getting better. Except now I’m getting divorced, everything has been schlepped over to Mum’s house…gulp

  187. I’m nowhere near as organized as you. My stash resides in one drawer and two under the bed storage bags. The drawer loosely contains all the soft & suitable for babies stuff and the bags contain the rest, but there are definitely some things which are unidentified. I agree that there aren’t enough knitting hours in the day, though. Since joining Ravelry, I keep spotting even more things I want to knit. I think I’m going to have to enter a secret pact with Doctor Who or something.

  188. I also store my GOOD yarn in ziploc storage bags. The XL ones. I only use them for my wool. I have an enormous amount of acrylic yarn that my sister in law had that I inherited when she passed away. My brother cleaned out her closet and brought them to me and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I don’t use acrylic yarn any more b/c I am now a wool snob. Oh well, I am teaching a young girl (14) how to knit at our knit night on Mondays. She is doing fantastic. She wants to knit socks like the rest of us now. I also use the larger gallon sized for my wound sock yarn. They stack nice on my shelves that I bought years ago.
    I love to look in my stash to see what I forgot I had. It is like Christmas all over again.

  189. I recently did a little inventory and I have sock yarn for more than 50 pairs and 8 on needles. Plus projects and yarn for possible projects numbering 60 or so. I’m getting old, and my granddaughter hasn’t quite the dexterity to knit yet. She’s only 4 but not a prodigy like you, Stephanie!
    My yarn is everywhere: baskets, closets, bookshelves, plastic bags, knitting totes, suitcases,drawers, etc.
    I have a theory that the purse/tote/knitting bag collection compulsion goes along with the fiber obsession. How about a survey on numbers of bags, and a review of the best bags?!
    Wish I could get up to Toronto for the picture day. πŸ™ Have fun!

  190. well I have learned a lot about stash storage this morning. I’ve been knitting about eighteen months and I have 4 shelves (36 ” wide) full of baskets stuffed with wool as well as one shelf of knitting books. I also have the large basket of sock yarn, enough for 35 pairs of socks, and a humongous basket by my chair in the den that holds the current WIP. If I am not out of control I am approaching at the speed of light. I keep a list of future projects (about 29 currently) so I can at least remember what I bought THAT yarn for AND keep moving up a future to a WIP. It is fun and you are the ringmaster.

  191. Mine is stored in an end-table that was bought specifically for the purpose (it’s like a chest thing). Any overflow gets shuffled to a plastic rubbermaid-type bin and any leftover from that gets relegated to the other end-table, which is like a cupboard of sorts. Only once have I reached capacity in all of those and had to box some up and put it in my son’s closet (this is not as awful for him as it sounds since he is a toddler and doesn’t understand closet space!). I live in a small house also, therefore, this is how I keep my stash under control. The fact that I have an extremely limited budget helps stash management also. πŸ˜‰

  192. I’m very lucky to have a nice screened in porch where I can stack all the Rubbermaid bins needed (13 at the moment) to hold it all — they would NOT fit tidily INSIDE this little house — truth be told, sometimes they do get stacked in the kitchen! I store my stash (yarns) by weight, in their respective bins, and each bin is labelled on the outside, with stickers/mailing tape. The kind that won’t fall off!
    To my credit, not all the bins are FULL. Yet.
    In the living room, I have one chest of “alpaca”, plus some yarn I consider “really good stuff”… not to mention a couple baskets of yarn… the stuff that gets brought out for whatever purpose, and then stays for awhile… and no, this does not count the WIPs. Sadly. Heehee.
    I do love it all!!

  193. 1. Rubbermaid. The biggest one I could find. But just one. This includes spinning fibre.
    2. At the beginning of the month, I rip back anything I haven’t worked on in the month.
    Now if I could just find a way to make it tax deductible…

  194. I keep all my stash in plastic bins divided between natural and acrylic yarns. The yarn that I actually have an idea for goes into a Ziplock with a copy, or general reminder, of the pattern. I can’t tell you how much frustration that has saved me a few months down the line!

  195. I vacuum seal it. It reduces the size by about 30% in the case of animal fiber, and eliminates the possibility of rodent/beetle/moth infestation. When exposed to air it bounces back nicely. And it gives me 30% more yarn storage space.

  196. Hmm. Storing the stash. I am a teacher and have just 6 more days of school so my first summer project is to organize the stash. I started about a year ago and bought one of those plastic chest things with 7 drawers. I was so proud thinking I was going to organize by drawer and leave the thing in our craft/exercise room. Much to my dismay, everything did not fit. So I organzied by weight as much as I could, with a different type of yarn in each drawer. Then the overflow went into a little 3 tier basket thing. Then the overflow from that went into a wisker hamper (that is filled with cotton dishcloth yarn…I made pretty little cloths for coworkers last Christmas and got carried away.
    Then a coworker gave me 2 huge black plastic garbage bags filled with her deceased mom’s stash. It was mainly acrylic. I took it to my knitting group at church and we divided some of it up and and one member made lovely afghans for our local nursing homes and rehab center. It was hard, but I proudly did not keep anything to add to my stash.
    Everything looked pretty good and organzied. Then I discovered buying yarn on-line from KNitpicks and Elann. O my. I really do like the way they ship things…each type of yarn in it’s tidy little plastic bag. So now I am storing that new yarn by project…shoved into the back of the storage chest where I keep my other craft items…And I’ve been having them deliver it to work instead of home…
    If my husband actually saw how much yarn I had, he would probably have me committed. And really, it’s not THAT much…

  197. well…… some of my stash, I give to you. Like that yarn I spun for you?? If you can’t find time to knit it, I’ll knit it for you. Is that wrong?
    I also have a stash that is just here because you cull your stash. Yes, I have a “Steph. gave it to me stash” There are lots of odd balls in that stash.There is even some sock yarn. Maybe you need that back??
    See you don’t really stir your stash, it’s just on a yarn spa holiday at Dennys.
    It wants to came home now. Kidding, it lives here, but if you need to visit….

  198. Having read most of the comments and marveled at the organization of the stash ,I have decided that I am NOT going there at all this Spring. I have yarn in just about every coceivable place posssible and to disturb it now would be too over whelming. Besides me thinks the stash is still sleeping and REALLY does NOT want to be disturbed and on top of that IF I do face the realality of said stash I would not be going to all the yummy yarn shops anymore . Now THAT would be a disaster

  199. Ziplocks here too! The really big ones (XL, XXL) are great for whole projects worth of wool. A while ago I got some of the blocks of cedar wood (about the size of a deck of cards) that are sold as moth repellents (Vermont Country Store, big discount stores). I usually toss one of these blocks into a storage bag, just for safety and so that the wool smells good when I get to it (I like the smell of cedar). As the cedar blocks age and lose their aroma, I just get out some fine sandpaper and sand them down a bit.

  200. I have a walk-in closet that is dedicated to my yarn & supplies and currently I have sweater hangers with the separate shelves all the way around. I would like to get an actual shelving system like the shelf track system one day & then use see thru baskets.

  201. Hello Stephanie,
    Charity is a big thing here! Let me help STORE YEAHHH STORE your stash.For a few bucks shipping I can pet and care for your stash just as if it were my own.I am always on the search for those bright colors that just scream at you , a few sub dues are fine ,My fav color the rainbow.
    My kids are thinking of moving out so soon I could have 2 more stash rooms,I would rather the kids stay(they could be reading this)
    P.S I will also care for good quality sock needles,DPNS are fine!

  202. A couple years ago, I took my shoe cabinet, wiped it clean, and turned it into a stash cabinet. Works a treat and really pampers my AR side. Here’s a too-big picture of it —
    Each skein of yarn goes in with a cotton ball laced with cedarwood oil, placed far enough back that it doesn’t touch the yarn. Here in New Orleans, the wool moths are TERRIBLE.
    (Of course, my stash has grown bigger than the cabinet can handle, but I have a cedar chest for the overflow.)
    I too go through my stash periodically looking for nasties, and any potentially infected yarn gets the 3-1-3 day freeze treatment.

  203. i have all the wool, cotton and silk in tightly locking rubbermaid tubs, (3 tubs) the acrylics are in plastic milk crates, hmmm 4 crates I think. raw fleece is sealed up in the largest lawn bags imaginable.

  204. my dear you are going to be forty
    put a gps in your stash so you
    can find it in the basement
    now why am i sitting here in florida
    where fry my brains heat and humid
    weather has arrived and june first
    is hurricane prayer day no kidding
    trying to give you advice on your stash
    you are in canada i have never met you
    here i am trying to figure out howto
    store your stash go figure

  205. how to prioritize: keep a stash journal, make a list of what you think you want to make, then go from there. The order can be tentative, but make a list of planned projects for the yarn that you have. Pair them up if they’re not already!
    Organizing the stash: I have two stashes – the real stash and the mini stash. the real stash is in plastic bags based on amount/project or yarn weight. The mini stash is new. I started it for a semester at school because who wants to move the WHOLE stash for only a couple of months? Thus the mini stash was born. It has now become more of a sock stash (really. Only the skeins of sock yarn for in it now. Everything else takes up too much space). Hope that helps! And good luck organizing!

  206. At age 64 I finally became organized. At least where my stash is concerned. I made an excel spreadsheet and listed each yarn by manufacturer, name, color, weight, yardage & number of skeins or hanks (this across the page). There is a column for comments and then I brilliantly snipped off a sample piece of yarn and taped it to the printed list. I have 8 pages – 1 for each bin – and when I need something or want to be inspired, all I do is check the pages and I can find exactly where it is. When I use something, I remove the sample, cross out the yarn and of course update the entire list every couple of months. And don’t anyone say they don’t have time to update. If you play any solitare on the computer you have time to update. Good luck

  207. Re: how many permissible projects to cast on at once? I find that when I’m “in the mood/zone,” the answer is as many as I have needles for. I gotta lotta UFOs right now. Do I care? Yes and no. I mean, it’s knitting. It’s a hobby. It’s a stress-buster. I’m not being paid to finish anything in any given time frame. Does it drive me crazy? Yes and no. I’m learning to live with it. That, and I just ordered a set of Harmony wood needles (the set, not just one pair) because, um, I still need to cast on and I ran out of my favorite needle sizes.

  208. mine’s mostly in drawers and a trunk, but i also have some cool, large glass containers that are pretty and have lids (and were really cheap at home goods) and i put some of the prettiest stuff in there and placed them around the house. i figure i’ve got too much to knit for the next several years so it may as well spruce up the place while it’s waiting.

  209. I do the ziploc bags as well as some of those space bags in some plastic bins. This is mostly to ward off the cat fur. The best bins I have found are called “Really useful boxes”. They are pricey, but the reason I like them is that the lids “lock” and are not flush with the box like a lot of them are. They are more like a jar so it’s pretty tough for wee beasties like mice to get inside – even moths since they’d have to fly under and over to get inside. I have 3 35L ones as they are a good size to hide behind the sofa HAHA or use as end tables next to the sofa when stacked. double HAHA.

  210. IKEA makes really nice under-bed sweater/clothing boxes — I buy them in multiples of six (one for each CYCA yarn weight) and just fill based on gauge. They stack nicely.
    Every so often I go a-hunting to see what I have. I’m very low on lace and sock weights. (HINT HINT)

  211. good gosh you opened up a can of worms here. everyone who reads your blog must have commented, including me (and it’s my first time!)
    I can’t believe people have stashes that are hidden from view or closed away in bins. Stashes should be celebrated! I have my stash(es) on full view. I have convinced the SO that baskets of yarn are part of the decor at our new cohabitation. My old apartment had yarn everywhere, so he got used to it then. Also, if I do not see it, I forget about it and then buy more, so he allows the baskets as a form of stash-control.
    I use the clear heavy plastic bags with zippers that come with a set of sheets or a blanket. They have at least one interior pocket, so that when I finally find the perfect project for the yarn, I stash them together. That way I can justify that I have a project stash and not just yarn. And, I have never *ever* bought a set of sheets just for the plastic bag. Really.

  212. Well, I do have a few (okay, maybe four) plastic bins in varying sizes for overflow … but my favorites are the cedar chests. The first was purchased at JoAnn’s Fabrics (large-ish) with a gift card so it could hold my small stash along with my wool sweaters. That rapidly changed to holding only sock yarns, and is now full to the brim! Less than three months later, I found a gorgeous cedar-lined oak hope chest at the local oak furniture store, and brought it home to add “extra seating (bench style) in the living room” (yes, that was really my excuse to the family). It now is full to the brim, mostly with sock yarn as well, along with a some lace-weight and Aran yarns. I’d get another cedar chest for what’s in the plastic bins if I had enough room in this little house for it, but unless I down-size the house full of furniture, ‘t’aint possible. Did I mention I only returned to knitting, and specifically learned to knit socks two years ago?

  213. I have two stackable two-door pre-fab type cupboards (about 5ft high stacked) full of acrylicand cotton yarn, for those gotta make something quick for a dog, or baby whose mother won’t take care of wool properly situations. Then I have another bookshelf, about three foot high, with sliding glass doors, which is key, because I put my “good” yarn in there, stacked up so I can see every skein thru the glass, and pounce on it when I’m ready. Plus, there’s knitting bags and a funky gypsy/circus cart in my living room for all the “Current” projects…..Oh bother. I thought I was organized….

  214. I have to laugh reading some of these comments. Don’t we sound like the stereo-typical miser who locks the door and pulls out the gold (yarn) and lets it run through her/his fingers? Not that I mean to imply that knitters are miserly, only that we love our stash.

  215. my stash is in gallon-size ziplocs haphazardly shoved under the bed… i need a better system, especially since i homestead in a yome, with pretty high chances of bugs/mice/mildew

  216. I have 2 stashes…upstairs and downstairs. Usually the downstairs stash lives in a cloth box i bought at michaels (and its not a small box). It holds mostly small projects, socks, hats, dishcloths. The upstairs stash is under my bed in the box my mothers bed set came in. Split in half this box makes for perfect storage. My minimal collection of acrylic baby yarn is in one half and my worseted weight wool is in the other. And my sock yarn is in a hanging shoe rack on the back of my door…

  217. I agree with the majority, ziplocs and plastic bins. What would you do if a moth came flying out of one those bags? That is my worse, worse nightmare. Yes, let’s see pictures of your stash!! Pretty please???

  218. Are you sure that you’re fully disclosing? I can’t believe that’s it. The shock and shame is paralyzing. My stash is embarassingly bigger and part of the decor… I love it. I can’t imagine parting with a single skein. Must run to LYS for a project to soothe.
    950 sq. ft, 2 cats and another person. And yarn. No space for a spinning wheel-don’t spin yet. New yarns that are one or two skeins go into a punch bowl to be stirred and observed.

  219. All I can say after reading today’s comments is just–wow. You guys have a lot of yarn. I guess I need to hang around with more knitters and see how it’s really done, and then go shopping. All my yarn (mostly sock yarn) fits in 2 large Ikea wicker baskets. The cheap Zellers and Walmart stuff is in my closet and in a few bags. And that’s it. Somehow though, even that small amount of yarn manages to spread itself around my house and cover most available surfaces.

  220. Until this past week, everything was in ziploc bags and then in drawers in an armoire. Everything, that is, except what wouldn’t fit because the drawers were too full and I couldn’t open them anymore. I called that my “extra stash”, and it was sitting around in shopping bags.
    I have the Best Dad in the World, though, and he came to my rescue. Now all of my sock yarn is proudly organzied and on display, and all the non-sock yarn is in ziploc bags and stuffed back into that armoire. (It almost all fits, too!)
    I blogged about it (with pictures!) last week at I will shamelessly beg for comments on that post, as my dad has taken to reading my blog and has taken great pride in the comments on his handiwork!

  221. I found a skein of Vesper sock yarn in the fridge this morning. Right beside a bottle of champagne.
    Clearly my organizational skills need work.

  222. There is a Ravelry group dedicated to stash organization and they have some great ideas. For my little stash I have 2 3-drawer plastic containers. In there I have my yarn in ziploc baggies. πŸ™‚ I even have 1 drawer left! Heh

  223. You won’t believe this- but my stash fits into three plastic grocery bags at the moment. Because of a yarn thief that live with (a long haired cat named Pepe), all three bags are hanging from the top of the spare room door, safely out of his reach. If I put any on the floor, he will pull out a skein and carry it all over the house. Often more than one. He’s sneaky.
    And yes, I know my stash is tiny.

  224. My stash is larger than I care to really get into. But I love all my skeins like my theoretical children. So letting go is always hard.
    I store in Ziplocks in plastic tubs with small pieces of Irish Spring soap in each bag. Keeps the stash fresh and “allegedly” moth free.

  225. My stash is organized by project in ziploc bags. The bags are then stored inside my cedar Hope Chest. The stash has only recently outgrown the chest, however, and so some of it hangs out in its plastic bags in a woven basket almost the size of the cedar chest. Theoretically, these are the “up next” projects, but in all honestly there are plenty of new things mixed in there as well.

  226. I have so many WIP!! I get bored and start something new. Or, I see a cool project/pattern and have to start it immediately. My stash is so huge that it has invaded a closet, a spare bedroom in plastic tubs, and additional tubs in the garage. I keep new stash in the trunk of the car until my husband is at work, then I bring it in. I am a big stash collector and having trouble getting through it!

  227. Last year, when I went stash “culling”, I tried to organize it by type of fiber…I love those flip top, stackable containers from the Container Store. I get cedar blocks, or balls and put them in on top of the yarn. This works really well….for a while. But when the stash goes wild, it can get scary. I have a tower of bins inside the doorway of my bedroom (which means I have to suck in the gut to get in the room) which is all the way to the trayed ceiling. There is the one of only “Blue Moon Sock Yarn”. There is the “Indie dyer sock yarns”. There is the one for “Non handdyed socks yarns.” There is one for roving…(but it’s full) There are two for sweaters (one for eldest and one for youngest daughters). This doesn’t count the WIP one over by the window, or the six in the closet with titles such as “sleeping projects”, “sale yarn”, “WTF was I thinking when I bought this?”, etc. Oh, I almost forgot the kitchen cotton bin and the alpaca fleece bins in the garage! Clearly, this has to stop! πŸ™‚

  228. I’ve read ’em all. WOW! I guess I’m not the least-organized (but I’m painfully near!) My stash is in clear-ish rubber bins with tight lids labelled things like “Good for Toques” and “cotton stuff” and “lumpy but pretty” and “oddments and leftovers”. I also have some baskets in the spare room with yarn in, waiting to go into a bin; some are WIPs. Also I have some new yarn – I tend to buy three skeins of each yarn because…uhm…er…{whispering: “quick someone, tell me why I buy three skeins?”} But soon I’ll tidy it all up and make sure everything’s in its proper bin. I’ll be doing that soon. Shortly. Yuppers.

  229. In answer to your questions…
    1. 47. It is wrong to cast on more than 47 pairs of socks in one 24 hour period.
    2. Priorities? Usually by what I think I may want to cast on next. This usually changes at least 26 times a day.
    3. Organization…tomato boxes. My dad, who does model trains, got me hooked on these precious babies. They’re special tomato boxes though. I’ve walked into certain grocery stores, and asked the produce guy if they have any tomato boxes, and the ones they show me aren’t it. These are rectangular, have reinforced corners, a nice lid, cut-out handles in the side, and most importantly, they stack. Because of the lid. I’ve even, gasp, used them as my kid’s suitcases when we go visit him in the summer. I give each of the 3 boys a box, tell them to put in shorts, t-shirts, and underwear, and write their name on the side with a Sharpie. Seriously, several people have commented on them, as yarn storage, and I will try to get a picture up on my blog or Ravelry later on this weekend.

  230. I can’t believe you chose that day to go through your stash…I took several days off work this week -and was about to buy some yarn yesterday when I said – STOP! and decided to go through the house and put all of the stash together. I couldn’t believe how much I had – and don’t even want to think about the money spent…the nice part is, most of it has some projects paired with it – and there was very little “OMG – what was I thinking!!!”

  231. Could you please, please neverspeakofthisagain? I have moved from Texas to New York and I am really, really trying to ignore my stash. The whole idea that it might NEED attention was something I was trying ignore and now, well, it’s clear that I will never, NEVER be unpacked.
    If you ever figure out how many pairs of socks are too many to have cast on, let me know.

  232. Dale-Harriet @ 4:49 — Why, you buy three skeins because, at the very least, that’s what it takes to make a satisfactory scarf (if it’s finer, then lace stole/shawl — but scarf for sure.)
    Temporary internet — yes!

  233. My yarn stash is quite small (compared to most) because I buy yarn with projects in mind. Right now it fills one Rubbermaid storage bin with 3 leftover large ziploc bags in the closet.
    The giant stash is my quilt fabric: one good-sized trunk, two chests of drawers, 6 stacking bins, an under-the-bed bin, and two old laundry baskets lined with sheets. I’m a scrap quilter and that means that for years I bought any fabric that appealed to me. Horrible mistake. Some of that fabric is so old that it’s actually valuable. I have more than a lifetime of fabric. I need to become a project-based quilter, and dispose of most of this, and I have no idea how …

  234. Stephanie, go directly to Ram Wools dot com in Winnipeg. Order their zipped project bags that they ship your yarn in. Their prices are very reasonable, and the bags come in three sizes. Then you can pack yarns by project, or type, or whatever.

  235. Well, I too live in an old house and last year FOUND carpet beetles IN the stash. Bad. Very bad. So I too have ziplocks galore now. Right now the stash is in two places. One, all sock yarns in their ziplocks reside in a trunk by my bed. And now, sadly, the rest of my yarns reside in ziplocks in a garbage bag on the top shelf of my closet. They used to be in the trunk and the sock yarns were all displayed prettily on top of the trunk in a basket. Darn beetles ruined it all for me. There is a matching trunk on the other side of the bed that my husband has filled with shoes. I’m hoping to commander it at some point for the bag in the closet.

  236. Uh maybe MY stash is a bit on the large size. I didn’t really think that until I read these posts.
    I keep my roving and sock yarn in Space Bags (large zipper bags that you vacuum the air from). Other yarn is in very large plastic bins, 6 or 7 at least, or for smaller collections sorted by dyer/vendor, in smaller plastic bins. I’ve long since out grown the closet so much of my yarn is in bins on the shelves near my computer, where it taunts when I order more.

  237. I have a knitting nest for the stash. It’s an otherwise useless space in the house on a funny little landing over the staircase. I moved in FIVE bookscases. (I just got a little dizzy when I realized that there are really FIVE in there…) I put an old rocking chair in the center and piled the yarn on the shelves. There are bottom shelf yarns that the kids are free to frolic with. My discontinued favorites are proudly displayed. My knitting books live there too. It’s lovely. The best part was pulling it out of the rubber bins for private display. Once I put it on the shelves, I realized that I really didn’t have very much yarn… Not really.

  238. I now store my yarn in plastic rubbermaid containers. I used to store my yarn in attractive wicker baskets in an Ikea bookshelf. Decorative, and useful. Until I was looking for something one day and discovered a small moth infestation in some wool in one of the baskets. None of the other baskets seem to have been contaminated, but I remain vigilant. Now my stash is less attractively stored, but I feel better about it–I think it’s better protected now. And there are plenty of books that could go on the bookshelf instead.
    I have read that moths (or rather, moth larvae) can eat through even sturdy plastic bags, so I might be hesitant to use ziploc bags alone, especially after having to throw out some (formerly) nice stash. I’m still bitter about that.

  239. moi stash is in a couple of ancient cedar chests. Tossing the caber at the local highland games might be easier…

  240. Taking your questions in order…
    1. I am wondering this as well. Just bought another sock yarn today after swearing I was “just going to look”. Must cast on immediately, but all available dpn’s seem to be in service already. Oops!
    2. Is there a way to prioritize? Really, really prioritize for more than a few days at a time? It’s better to say that my creativity is evolving than that I am weak-willed or suck at setting priorities.
    3. “There has got to be a better way to store all this…” Yes, that is what I am always thinking when I try to unsuccessfully to find something, only to turn up something else long lost. You have described an excellent way to store stash–I think I’ll try it.

  241. I store the stash in about 10 large rubbermaid bins (sized somewhere between 44 and 66 quarts – I think 66 quarts = 53 litres? Pull them out about once a year and organize them but they don’t stay that way for long! Some of it ziplocked, especially the better yarns (silk, camel, yak, etc.) I’m a slow knitter so this should last me for the next 20 years if the bugs dont’ get it first. I keep promising myself I’ll not buy new yarn but it’s hopeless, I tell you, hopeless!

  242. I keep mine in those huge storage bags, loosely arranged by type and then those are thrown in a Rubbermaid tote. I have 53 skeins of yarn including eight skeins of Opal sock yarn and I don’t knit socks. It’s dreamy stuff. I have another tote just for wool, which isn’t bagged because I’m out of bags and it hampers fondling. Both totes have a square cedar drawer/closet block ($6 for a dozen at Target) just to be safe. I also have a wicker basket with forgotten WIP’s and a coffee table that I throw my current project on when I’m not actively knitting.
    I have an extra pair of totes, one with holes and one without that I use for soaking/blocking large items. I’d fill them with yarn too but I know I’d be annoyed if I had to empty them every time I finish a project.
    My mom used to have a walk-in cedar closet the size of a small bathroom. Can you imagine?

  243. IKEA’s hanging organizers. Go here to see what I mean.
    They hang off the bar in your closet. The holes are just big enough to get things into & out of w/out things getting out by themselves. It’s see-through, so you actually know what you have and they’re slim, so (if you can devote a whole closet to them) you can have a bunch of them hanging in your closet to the floor. I organize mine by types of yarn & then the different baskets are for a type of fiber or color.

  244. Please consider visiting/joining my group on ravelry, called the great Stash Knit Down of 2008. In the beginning, we discussed stash size a lot, and storage, too.
    Everyone is allowed (encouraged!) to buy more yarn, as it is not a yarn diet we’re on. We’re just there to knit from stash as much as possible, and have fun doing it.
    Please tell us how many pairs of socks you started?

  245. woman, you are way more organized than I am. and you commented at a signing in brooklyn a few years ago about the tabs I put on yardage or something. *sigh* these days it’s ravelry that gives me some hope of organization out of chaos. not that i have all stash input or the whole queue stash-sorted. but i’m trying. i try to use up two skeins for every one new one I bring home. you can get up off the floor.. i “owe” about 20 at this point… and consider it a lost cause, but a great idea. πŸ˜‰

  246. Okay,
    clearly it’s time for a stash toss around here too.
    But mine are in plastic drawer units that I got from the container store. The drawers are translucent, so I can at least see the colours in them. But I found that bins meant I never got to the yarn.. it was too hard to get into any but the top bin.
    I have the drawers theoretically sorted by yarn type — sock yarn, lace weight, cotton… but that’s just a theory, really.

  247. Why are so many people pleased about knitting from stash so they don’t have to buy new yarn? I don’t get it! I love new yarn, and I always want to start knitting it as soon as I get it, (just as soon as I finish my current project, of course) but then I fall in love with another new (usually sock) yarn, and I have to have that. Just a knitter who can’t say no to beautiful wool….

  248. Bins! We definitely use plastic storage bins (tubs) with assorted things in Ziploc bags. My husband is the Tub King stash sorter. (Yes you read that right, he knows all about my stash and sorts it for me LOL!) The first time I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool, I came home to find that my whole stash had been put into plastic tubs and he even had bought an extra tub for my Maryland purchases! What a guy! I keep lavender in all my bins to ward off critters. I have to confess though, my spinning stash is slightly larger than my knitting stash LOL!

  249. I’m still in the “wow, I love all this stash, I probably still don’t have enough” stage. I do have about 4-5 plastic/other storage bins that house my acrylic crochet afghan yarn (where the yarn fetish started), and also one plastic storage bin (this one filled up fast) with sock yarn, one with dk/sport weight yarn, one full of Patons Merino (this stuff is so cheap, I can’t help trying to get all the colors), 2-3 with worsted weight yarn, and one big bag of bulky. I try to put everything away once I get it to keep it organized and away from those terrible beasties (I live on a farm with lots of beasties outside), but sometimes I just throw bags in the “craft room” to store later. Like yesterday, I bought STUFF at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival which still needs to be sorted and put away. OH, I also have one (soon to be two as of yesterday) bins of fiber for spinning, and three bags of raw fleece to wash, card, etc. Did I mention that I have sheep too? I am starting to branch out in the house though (I have to do this quietly so my husband doesn’t see whats happening — “Oh, you are cleaning that room? How nice……”) It was either that or seriously worry about the craft room ending up in the basement. It is TOO much fun going through everything and seeing what you have that you forgot about. Enjoy the process, it’s part of loving what you have! Thanks for sharing!

  250. Stash storage: I learned my lesson the hard way – after being invaded by carpet beetles. Now I store all yarn in Nature Value “ziplock” type bags – they don’t have the really bad plastic. I have tall metal tins with lids that fit fairly tight in which I put the ziplock bags. I routinely put all new yarn in a freezer for a couple of weeks, or longer if I’m out of room in the tins. I tell you, I think when I’m finally able to find a house, I plan on buying a small upright freezer to store my yarn in – the engineers tell me that the heat transfer/mechanics of it all doesn’t harm the wool. Carpet beetles are one hungry little critter and love the non-dyed, natural wool! Hmmm, I thought you wouldn’t have as many bugs in Toronto given how cold it gets…. there goes the option of moving to Canada!

  251. I store my wools in cotton pillowcases or brown paper bags (folded over and stapled) and then packed into Rubbermade bins. Plant fibers are in Ziplock bags and in bins. Don’t forget that M–hs can eat through thin plastic but not cellulose while silverfish can eat through cellulose but not plastic. Also dirty little moths like dirty wool better than clean wool.

  252. I have 2 big plastic totes with stash stored in Ziplocks in the basement. My closet is full and now my DH knows just how much is in the closet as I had to empty it out since we are laying laminate flooring in the bedroom. I placed all the bags in the bathtub. The tub is full and almost overflowing! I don’t know how it all fit in there! DH just hung his head!

  253. I currently have a personal goal to reduce the amount of plastic in my life, particularly shopping bags. I am making great progress and confusing many a cashier by refusing bags or bringing my own cloth bags. So buying a stash worth of ziplock bags seems wildly hypocritical. I like the glass jars idea and have already placed my woolest and most expensive yarns in them but the bulky and the acrylic are naked at the moment. They should be fine without being encased in impervious plastic that will remain on this earth long after I am gone…. um… was that a moth?
    No really i have seen moths in my house lately and i am in a quandary.
    How does a tree hugger who previously thought of moths as night-time butterflies reconcile my plastic reducing / catch-and-release bug sensibilities with my desire to have bug-free wool. The moths also desire wool and I cannot blame them for wanting it. I just don’t want to share mine.

  254. I just have baskets stored willy-nilly throughout the house with overflowing amounts of yarn. All of the comments have inspired a plastic bin and ziploc bag shopping spree. I’m pretty sure I can fit it all in 2-32 qt under-the-bed bins (I realize I’m a lightweight). Of course, I’ll find the truth when I actually try to stuff it all in those bins. The stash photographed on Ravelry all has projects in mind for it, but I know I have a lot more that doesn’t.

  255. Thank you…I am not alone!
    I have no organization – totally random. Some in bags, some in baskets, some in ziplocs. I do keep my spinning fiber separate. I have cubbies that my husband picked up at the Habitat store, but they are so deep that generally only my least-desirable yarns have ended up there.

  256. For “smaller” stashes, I use the hanging shoe bag things for the closet. I store by color, and fiber. For larger stashes, I use those “free” bags that you get when you buy make-up at the department store. Most of the time, I can find what items:)

  257. My stash is kept in a shelving unit from Ikea: shelves with doors on top, drawers on the bottom.
    Wool goes in the top. Cotton,linen, bamboo, other machine washables in one drawer.
    The Wool is organized by color, stuffed into cardboard boxes or fabric lined woven baskets. Superwash wool in it’s own box, regardless of color.
    Of course, then there’s a drawer of random yarn that I have yet to organize, and the bag of yarn sitting next to the Ikea cabinet because I haven’t put away the yarn yet.

  258. I’m with you–ziplocks first! I sort by weight and (I am a bit anal) then it’s into labeled bins (11 gallon clear plastic bins with snap lids that seal tight–I used to use Rubbermaid blue bins but I think the lids are a bit loose). I didn’t intends to put every but of my stash on Ravelry, but in the end I did, and I really love it. Now I can shop my stash online (really, it feels more like buying new yarn if I am seeing online pix), and when I find what I’m looking for, its location is on there too, by bin number. I decided I like having the smaller clear plastic bins so I can see the yarn and can reach the bottom more easily.
    Until recently, I suffered from severe stash envy. When I would read about how much you love your stash, I’d feel a bit jealous because my stash was crappy. But I allowed some stash building over the last two years, and I can now say that my stash and I are happier together.

  259. I have mine in several rubbermaid style boxes, some within plastic bags. However, the majority also reside in a cedar lined closet that my husband did for me, specifically to help hinder the presence of said bugs. The use of diotomacious earth under flooring/carpeting and behind trim is also incredibly useful against bedbugs and other critters (just don’t breath it or let your cat breath/eat it). Cedar can be quite expensive, but then I sew as well and use almost exclusively natural fibres, so my stack of yarn and textiles is likely worth more than the cedar we used. I figure its money well spent.

  260. Those clear, zippered plastic packages that sheet sets come in are great for yarn storage. I like them better than ziplocks because they don’t slide around on each other.

  261. I also use ziplock baggies. Then into plastic totes. I actually bought a label maker to label all my bins…
    Green Mt. Spinnery, Shetland, Acrylics…
    Up to 19 bins( varying sizes, 15quart to over 30 quart) and still going strong. Started because of tax season. Bought over $300 in one day, and had to buy like 6 bins, and still ran out of room.

  262. Ditto to pictures! Or are you trying to keep that Harlot stash mystique going? πŸ™‚
    I love how my stash is stored: in three of those hanging sweater holders in a closet. I open the door and there is my own personal little yarn shop. I also lock it to keep the little people out. Although now that I think about it, that was about the only way my stash had a toss (literally). Now I’m worried about critters. Better take a peak! (Or just let my 2yo in the closet….)

  263. literally today: all yarn out of its ‘storage’, put into piles: 1. donate 2. yarn for a specific project 3. leftovers, separated into: a. baby socks b. doll hats c. doll sweaters
    yarn is put into plastic bags, into a very large bin that slides under my bed, which is several feet off the ground. at this point, there is too much yarn for the bin to go under the bed. i am at a loss.

  264. I too, thought your stash was bigger than mine. You have been more restrained in retail therapy than I have been of late.
    My main stash is in Rubbermaid tubs. (yes, plural) Upstairs. Usually behind a closed door. Not because people would talk, but because my Bubbacat thinks that those bundles of string are the only toys mama likes to play with. Obviously, mama spends too much time playing with the balls of yarn and not enough with the furballs! If the door is open, which it sometimes is in the summer, and I leave for several hours, I come home to find four of five gently mouthed skeins or balls of yarn lying at the bottom of the steps in front of the door. He does have good color sense, though, as the skeins often would combine well! He and the other three kitties do NOT play with the yarn – much – they simply bring mama’s toys downstairs to show her how much they love and missed her!
    Unfortunately, the toys mama is currently playing with are usually in the bags and baskets beside the knitting chair (okay, I have K/CADD – knit/crochet attention deficit disorder), or they were along WITH mama if a waiting room was involved in my absence. Knitting chair stash is made up of WIPs and socks, and sometimes has some sort of deadline involved. That baby blanket does need to be finished before the “baby” graduates from high school, right?

  265. Two stacks of clear rubbermaid totes in the corner of my bedroom (many skeins are ziplocked inside those too). And some in the wicker basket next to my easy chair. Um, a handled craft tote filled with needles. It still leaks out everywhere!Drawers, shopping bags, old purses – all have yarns, needles, crochet hooks and various notions – a vase on the kitchen pass-through has grown a bouquet of needles – how’d that happen? Yeah, I’ll put that stuff away some day πŸ˜‰

  266. I keep my stash in clear plastic rubbermaid tubs, stackable, 2 of them, in my apartment living room right next to the couch, so I can see them all the time – as motivation to knit faster & better πŸ™‚ The top one has my WIP, while the bottom one stores my stash, oh and I also have another small rubbermaid container under the couch for waste yarn. (I am a new knitter so definitely a lightweight in terms of stash amount)
    I keep cedar balls in the tubs to keep out the moths. With reading all the comments, I am now worried becuase I do not have the yarn in ziploc bags. Will someone please let me know why the double protection system is needed? Can moths get through a rubbermaid tub that has a locking lid?

  267. We had wool moths in CA bigtime, and my stash was invaded. After reading the UC Davis website on woolmoths, I became an mini-expert.
    Freezing for 24 hours is adequate to kill moths and eggs. You don’t need 2 weeks, as one post suggests.
    Also, moths like dark, enclosed areas better than well-lit areas.
    So I store my yarn in plastic bins that are shoe box or so sized, per project or type of yarn. I only put the most resistant wool (treated superwash) in baskets. My wool moths attacked from the carpet and into a basket bottom. Right now, I only have yarn in two of these baskets–one is holding the damaged yarn that I froze, and hope to salvage someday.
    I also believe in a good pest control service–we lived in an ant zone in CA and of course in Florida where it is very buggy, we have good pest control. Knowing your propensity to be natural, this may not be an option.
    When my moth outbreak was the worst, I had no option but to have the room sprayed (treats carpet eggs too).
    I know of some yarn shops that routinely “bomb” the store to treat wool moths even though most yarn that is not hand-dyed/spun is treated at the “factory.”
    So I keep it out of the dark, in clear plastic bins, look at my yarn, maintain good pest control and say prayers and incantations. I find be able to see the balls/skeins of yarn increases my chances of knitting from my stash.

  268. I am lucky enough to be the recipient of two very old cedar chests – one from each side of the family. WIP’s go into one (at least the ones that will fit…) and single balls, leftovers from finished projects, and the like go on the second. Then, I have basksets and bins filled with the project yarns that aren’t cast one yet. I kind of try to keep the sock yarn seperate from the lace weight, and so on (usually to no avail).
    Then there is the art yarn – skeins that are out on tabletops, grouped in bowls, and generally on display, either beccause they are too beautiful to put away or because I have not yet gotten around to finding a space for them.
    Then there is the scattered about the house, never to be *easily* located again yarn. That is the project yarn that no longer fits in the baskets and bins, or was taken out for some reason or another and never made it back in again. This is what makes the stash size so deceptive. There is so much of this yarn roaming freely throughout the house that I no longer am quite sure what there is or where it is located…
    Clearly I am neither an inspiration nor a source of useful advice in your organization project.

  269. We just moved from a big house into a two-bedroom apartment, so I had to do some serious stash reduction. I donated five trash bags to the local thrift store and another four bags to a church that makes prayer shawls. The rest I fit into a small chest I keep in my computer room closet. I am determined to get it down to one drawer before I buy more. Maybe.

  270. Late to post, but have had to think seriously about the stash “luxury”…refuse to call it a problem. I have almost 50 years of stash, plus some inherited from my mother and grandmother. The only way to “toss” my stash would be to find a machine that can pick up my house and shake it thoroughly. The bright side of this is that I very often have “yarn Christmas” when not even looking for yarn.
    I have always been a stash over-achiever and an enthusiastic fiber buyer…not to mention pack rat. I’m the one who still has her 40-year old first sock. LOL! Since none of my descendants have yet shown an interest in knitting, should I take applications for a yarn heir?

  271. My dh is an enabler, so my stash is prominently displayed on bookshelves, for all the world to see. I only have to be careful around other knitters and hide the good stuff. πŸ™‚

  272. Space Bags. You know, the bags you see on T.V.? I bought the extra large ones, stuffed my not overly large stash into it, sucked out the air with my vacuum cleaner, and voila, I was done! It is waterproof, and, most importantly, BUG PROOF. But, here’s the best part: when I put the Space Bag into my stash closet, I HAD MORE ROOM. You know what that means, right? Yup. I went out and bought more yarn.
    On another note, the travel Space Bags are good stuff, too. Knitting needles don’t get lost in the suitcase.

  273. For those commenters who weren’t going through their stash – please heed a warning before it’s too late – I got invaded by carpet beetles at my friend’s house where I’m staying. And I’m telling you – it is one big, sad project to clean up and deal with. As one sensitive to chemicals (and one who really doesn’t believe in them), I can’t use chemicals – and you have to clean up anyway). PLEASE, PLEASE go through the stash, store in sealed bags and then in something that has a tight seal – I use a metal tin (and a galvanized trash can too!), but the freezer is good too! You will so regret it if you ever get invaded – they move beyond the stash and you end up with the cleanest closets, basements, etc. in town!
    I am amazed at the organization out there!

  274. Doesn’t all this stash info make you believe that ziplock bags were invented by a knitter? I would be hard pressed to live with out them. I recycle them multiple times. All yarn goes into ziplock bags, and then in clear containers. I would like to find a different storage option than plastic, hardsided containers though.

  275. I have never worried about critters (guess they don’t thrive in this climate) so I bought a BIG shelf, one of those room-dividers that consists of 20 square shelves. In there I can fit (most of) my yarn, magazines and books and it looks really nice.
    The shelf is in my guestroom and all my guests walk in, drop their jaw and say “wow, you have a lot of yarn”. Except my mom who is a previous owner of a LYS and said, almost with pity, “you don’t really have that much yarn, dear”. She uses the shelf approach too and I believe her stash will last both her and my lifetime.

  276. Since I haven’t been knitting for long, my stash is small, but I keep an index card box for pattern info, project info, yarn info, and stash info. I make a card for what I have with all info and then make a label for the zip lock bag the yarn is in. I will now do as the rest of you advocate – put in in a plastic bin.

  277. we don’t seem to have a problem with moths, but I do store wound skeins in Sterlite containers and take the un-wound skeins and hang them over clothes hangers in my daughter’s clothes closet

  278. For Indian meal moths,or other little moths, here is one thing that works to catch/prevent, a little cardboard trap soaked with phernomes or something, and then they get caught in the sticky paper, from BioCare, and available in Canada from Ont Growers SupplyFanshawe park Rd, London, 519-641-3992. And no, I am not a saleman, I am a nurse who has fibre!!

  279. Oh, great! Thanks a lot!! I was planning on cleaning out dresser drawers today. Looks like I will be stash organizing. I am now dying to know what fabulous fiber I have that I have completely forgot about…and anyway, I would rather play with my fiber stash than the kiddos’ socks! πŸ™‚
    Oh, and since you asked. Most of it is in Ziploc bags and plastic totes but some gets to live near me in baskets so I can look at it and pet it when I walk by.

  280. One of the selling points for me of our current home was the cedar lined storage area under the bay window in our master suite. My dh thinks there are blankets stored there. Yeah. Right. I also have a cedar lined walk in closet. Both areas contain multiple ziplocked bags of yarn and fiber, but I REALLY need to buckle down and organize it. I didn’t use to have a stash, honest!! But, these days….wellll… nuff said.

  281. I don’t know about the rest of you but living in the older houses or in the great white north like myself, mice can be more of an issue. The little guys got into bird seed last fall and decided to hide it all around my basement including in the cubbies where I store the stash. Everytime I go stash diving, I find more bird seed!

  282. I store mine, having learned the hard way, in a wooden toy chest which my husband has lined in cedar planks. I love the smell. So far I’ve been safe.

  283. toss a sheet of bounce fabric softner in with the yarn. it deters bugs that eat fiber. and repells mosquitos and does dozens of other things, like rub a wet dog with one and they are soft and smell better.

  284. I use Ziplock bags (all sizes) inside plastic bins, because the bins don’t seal perfectly and the beetles and moisture in this old house could get in. Also the bins deter mice. I have pretty much stopped buying yarn until I use up or give away half of it.

  285. I have 2 ‘stashes’. One is for ‘way future’ projects. That is in my basement mostly in clear totes that arw stacked in wire cube storage units that I buy every time Target has them on sale. Stash 2 is a corner of my living room in 2 huge wicker baskets. That has mostly lace and sock yarn with just a hint of worsted weight for a couple of sweaters that I have ‘planned’.
    No one has mentioned Needle Stash. The last time I pawed through Stash 2, I found that I had enough needles of all sorts to cast on dozens of projects. I had a set of 11″ circulars (sizes 0 – 7) that I picked up at a rummage sale, Addi turbos of various sizes and lengths that I bought from a store that was changing focus to all beads from beads and yarn, double points ( 6 sets of size 2!) both metal and wood. And much, much more. Of course, I have the Knits Picks Options, too. Do I have a sufficiency of needles? I think not! I need the Knit Picks Harmony set, right?

  286. The stash goes in vacuum sealed bags then under the bed, although it doesn’t all make it there-some is waiting in the living room cleverly hidden in a knitting suitcase.

  287. My stash is stored in the Tower of Rubbermaid, which is mostly hidden behind my bedroom door. It’s also under my bed and in various WIP bags that have long since ceased to be WIPs. It’s beginning to overwhelm me, so I’m knitting a blanket out of handspun in an effort to BREATHE.

  288. You know…
    but in terms of wanting to knit everything at once, it is a little frustrating
    We’re moving right now, and it’s forcing me to collect the little stash-lets I’ve accumulated all over the house, and this little sentence fragment is the most perfect thing ever. I am, apparently, miserable at prioritization.
    I have all of the stash (except the display stash) in ziplocs much like you describe, stored in a closet. I’m much happier with it now that I’ve also got it all photographed and cataloged in Ravelry–the only huge downside of the storage system we employ, I think, is that it’s hard to remember exactly what one has.

  289. I keep my spinning stash separate from my knitting yarns too! Neat. I keep my yarns in clear underbed plastic boxes, not for bug protection, as we don’t really have moths here in Dallas, but so I can see it. I also have my spinning fiber in a clear plastic tub. The yarns bought ‘by the bag’ are left in their bags, but most other yarns are arranged by planned project. I have one underbed box dedicated only to sock yarns, and the rest are mixed together, and ‘organized’ only by ‘these three balls of silk garden are their own project’. That’s as organized as I get, which is not much, but I know what’s there and that’s all I really need. I usually pull it out once I finish a project, only to decide what’s next for that very moment, but I have such a magpie-mind that until I cast on something, anything could take my fancy at any time, and I have no power against it. Mine is a whim of steel.

  290. I sort my stash by spinning/knitting, and I have big project bins and small project bins and random assortments of single skeins.
    That’s the official stash. Then there’s the yarn in the baskets and the coffee table in the living room, in the storage bins under the couch and in the cedar chest in my bedroom… but that’s not really stash because … because… because it’s not in the craft room, yeah, that’s the ticket.
    (And lets not talk about the weaving yarn in the attic, along with the loom.)

  291. My organization method is loose, and while it works for me I doubt abyone else could figure it out. Catagories are vague at best, but I have baskets of yarn in my sewing room for stuff that I delude myself into thinking I will use “soon” and also for my handspun yarns and spinning fibres. Long-term storage is in an antique trunk that, due to lack of space, is shoved in a closet instead of being out somewhere where it can be seen.
    The most helpful thing I have done in a long time is utilize Ravelry’s Stash feature. Over the space of many weekends, I took photos of all my yarn and uploaded all of the information I had available into Ravelry. I did the same with the handspun that I deemed “project worthy”. It’s great to see it all there, in color, in an orderly list, and I am really, really happy I took the time to do it. And right after looking at the total number of skeins I had listed and thinking that it was a lot more than I expected, a knitter frined commented on my “tiny” stash, pointing out that she had over 500 balls. I think it makes a good excuse for me to go shopping.

  292. I’m collecting those fabulous clear vinyl zippered bags that sheets come in and using those to display my gorgeous yarn. Sure, they’re not *completely* mothproof, but I love love LOVE to see my beautiful stash.

  293. I have a huge cedar chest in which to store my stash. The rule was that I could not buy more yarn than would fit in the cedar chest.
    I never have played by the rules.

  294. I have two cedar chests. One was my mother-in-laws for as long as I can remember (at least 1964) and she passed away before I knew the story of this chest. The second one is what my father gave to my mother as an engagement gift in l935. I love storing my stash in both of them. And in a plastic rubbermaid under my bed. And in a plastic rubbermaid in my attic. And in an old, old,old yarn bowl we got at at auction in 1969. And in plastic bags on the floor in my living room. I think that is all of the places.

  295. Until Global Warming gets worse, I’m lucky to live in a place with no moths and not too many other awful yarn-eating bugs, but plenty of mosquitoes. The biggest threat to the stash is voles making nests, but they seem to prefer spinning fiber. I love to look at the colors, so much of it is in two shelving units that a former husband built me years ago just for stash. Used to be that weaving fit in one, and knitting in the other. No more; it’s all mixed up now. I like to look at all the colors, though, so it’s hard to pack it in tubs. Projects in progress try to live in smaller see-through Rubbermaid container boxes so I can see what each project is at a glance. When those are full, on to filling several knitting bags, then resorting to plastic ones… In the end, surprises are everywhere. I found a well-along Aran-type cardigan in a plastic tub today, still there from having moved two years ago.

  296. I keep my stash in the “California Closets”-style wall that is in my bedroom, where there are supposed to be clothes. I have (had) them separated in the drawers by fiber weight, and the doors have fabric bins in them where I have projects lined up, with the pattern, needles, etc. all in the same bin and ready to go.
    My problem is that the knitting stash is leaking out of my bedroom, and is beginning to inhabit the living room, where the weaving stash usually lives! The spinning stash is in the (dry, heated) basement, in plastic bags inside cloth bags inside a portable closet.
    I guess I’m no help after all!

  297. Other than the plastic bins, I have stashed yarn in a hanging shoe holder. It allows me to see what I have when I’m in the mood, but keeps it off the floor. For the most part, I’m not concerned with moths because most of my stash is acrylic…

  298. When we moved into a townhouse that already had built in shelves in the closets, I immediately filled mine with yarn–chunky yarn at the bottom, worsted next, then fingering/sock yarn above that. I’ve been given a few skeins of novelty yarns that I don’t know what to do with, so they go higher and out of reach, along with a sweater i picked up at a vintage store that I unravelled partly to use, and the dormant stash is in a box–that’s mainly yarn in cones that was a great deal at an estate sale, but that I don’t have a use for right now. How many pairs of blue socks would I want to make?

  299. Storage – I don’t have a great storage system. I have a rubbermaid-ish drawer system stuffed to the gills. In addition to this I have bags of projects – the bag has the yarn, needles, pattern for a specific project. These bags are sometimes ziplock bags, but not necessarily. I don’t have to worry about moths, mice, or carpet beetles thankfully it is too cold where I live for any of these troubles. I also have a beautiful basket for yarn my sister gave me that I outgrew a long time ago but that houses yarn for large projects that I don’t need wound today, but will need in the not too distant future.
    Priority – I generally give 95% or more of my knitting away as gifts. So, priority comes from what it is supposed to be a gift for and how soon is that deadline. I usually have more than one project going at a time, right now I have three. I try to keep it to three or less, my DH can’t understand more than three, then he starts to complain about unfinshed work. I’m not always on time with my deadlines, my mother’s day gift is still unfinished and I’m working on a baby blanket for a baby that is now 18 months old. But, I try.

  300. The dining room buffet is dedicated to knitting. It holds all yarns (kept in shoe boxes and or plastic bags), needles, books, notebooks and knitting bag when not traveling.

  301. I’m playing reading catch up as I was away from the computer for five days (less painful than I thought) so apols if anyone else has mentioned it, but did you know Ziploc is now making uberbags? Click the big bag link. I’m hoping to learn spinning soon, and those just scream batt storage to me.
    Myself, I use recycled popcorn tins for my yarn. My kids sold popcorn for annual fundraisers and I couldn’t think what else to do with the decorative tins. They make my closet look interesting each time I open them and view the stacks, are easy to label w/masking tape and sharpee, and best of all, give strength to the assertion that I don’t have “that” much yarn because 1) they aren’t see through so nobody can see how much I’ve stuffed in and 2) they’re deceptively light, making people think there really isn’t much yarn in them after all.
    They’re not good on being crammed into odd corners, though, given their inflexible nature…

  302. I just read the post about “public” and “private” stash. We were looking at property recently and our realtor mentioned there are people who are into “stealth wealth,” meaning they have money, they just don’t want anybody to know who they are and how much they have, as opposed to the majority of the residents in this particular area who would do anything to get publicity. I submit that what I have lurking in my closet is “stealth stash.” It’s there but I don’t want anybody to know how much there is or how much I paid for it. I have a small amount of obvious stash strewn about, mainly for effect. A slight nod to the fact that yes, there may be some knitting occurring around here at some point. In the future. Maybe. If I get interested. I believe, however, that it fools no one.

  303. I used to stash with just ziploc bags and plastic bins until I found moth remants in my stash. Now everything goes into a ziploc bag, into a paper bag and then into a plastic bin. It’s managed to keep moths, roaches and other lovely fine critters that I hate out of my stash.

  304. Having 4 cats I buy kitty litter in the bucket, voila a yarn stash holder, each project gets its own bucket with they yarn, buttons, etc, and a copy of the pattern posted outside so i know what is in each bucket. You dont want to know how many buckets I have.

  305. I stash it everywhere and in every way imaginable. I’m exaggerating. Its in boxes, bags and bins in one room and in the attic. And maybe on my sweater shelf if you count items that need repairing. And there’s the traveling stash which is what goes with me when I go to my 2nd apartment. (I have a 2nd apartment because my job is very very far from my house. This is a temporary situation and will end in August).
    I do photograph all of it. And put it on ravelry. And tag it very nicely. That way I can look at all my green yarn or blue yarn using some fun tools in flickr. So it is virtually organized (no matter what it looks like in real life).

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