With our annual WIPs (works-in-progress), Chains and Stash Exchange party coming up on Monday, Aug. 29, this is the perfect time to revisit your stash to find treasures to contribute and to get a good idea of what you might want to be on the look-out for.
Here are eight tips for stash management:
- Project versus yarn. Sometimes you buy yarn for a project. Then years pass and the project loses its appeal. If you still like the yarn, keep it -- just ditch the pattern.
- Find an organizing principle. Having an organizing principle -- color, weight, fiber content, suitability for certain projects like yarnbombing, etc. -- makes it easier to know what you have and find it when you need it. How you organize your yarn should reflect how you knit and use your stash.
- To inventory -- or not -- that is the question. If you have a big stash, you may need an inventory to stay on top of what you have. Going through your stash is a perfect time for making a list or adding yarns into the stash feature of your Ravelry.com page (under "My Notebook"). The beauty of having it on Ravelry means that when you run into a pattern you love, you can easily check to see if you have enough of the right yarn to make it. Even a photograph on your phone can help.
- Separate the tools (needles, hooks, scissors and notions) from the yarn. Once you start going through your stash, you will be amazed at how many tools you have buried in your yarn and unfinished projects. It's like getting a windfall when you put the tools back with other tools.
- Pattern storage. After going through several Yarn Crawls buying yarns with a project in mind, only to forget what my intention was when I find the yarn in my stash. These days, I always put the yarn and a copy of the pattern (or a note) in a plastic bag when I put them in the stash. Patterns without yarn for the project go into a three-ring binder or get scanned and kept online.