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Sort All the Yarn! …Sort ALL the Yarn?

The stash, before
The stash, before: sort all the yarn!
I spent a good portion of Sunday organizing my yarn stash. It was so spread out all over the house–some in the project basket in the living room, some in the knitting bag by my bed, most in a giant Ziplock bag in my office closet, and still more in a trash bag buried more deeply in the same closet–that I really didn’t know how much yarn I had. It occurred to me that before I make another run to Hobby Lobby to stock up on supplies, I should probably find out. Once I dragged it all out to the living room and piled it on the couch, I was a little gobsmacked at how much there was. Even though I’ve been making myself knit primarily from my stash for the last two or three years, I still have a small mountain of yarn.

But before you go thinking that I’m rich in yarn and start picturing me trying to swim in it like some kind of knitting-addicted Scrooge McDuck, I should point out that a lot of it is the cheap stuff — acrylic and artificial fiber yarns that either have been given to me over the years or that I bought when I was just a beginner. Most of what’s left are project left-overs, not enough of any single type of yarn to do anything but small projects. More on that in a bit.

So I rolled up my sleeves–metaphorically speaking; I was already wearing short sleeves–and tackled this puppy, picking out one ball or skein (or, in many cases, wad) at a time and stuck them in a one-gallon Ziplock bag, designating one bag (or more where necessary, and let me tell you, I am now aware that I own a LOT of purple yarn) for each color group, and just bagging like colors with like colors until it was done. It was ALMOST that easy, except for the parts where I’d find several balls (or wads) of yarn all tangled together, and then I’d get to settle in for an hour or so of knot unraveling. Thankfully, I still had to catch up on X-Factor USA, so I had that to keep me company. Oh, Simon and Paula. How I missed you.

Thanks to the tangles, the whole job took about three hours, but when I was finished, I had this:

Organized Yarn Stash
All the yarn: sorted!

Which I then stuffed back into my giant Ziplock (and bagged up the overflow separately) that I sat in a corner of my office until I can figure out a better storage solution. But at least now I have a better idea of what’s there (…purple!) and what I’ve got to work with. There’s way too much of it to justify going out and buying new yarn, but that’s okay, because learning how to crochet opened up a whole world of small and fast stash-busting projects–the sort of projects that just might make having a knitting shop on Etsy more sustainable: hair accessories, home accessories, pet accessorires, sleep masks, and, eventually, jewelry. So right now I’m working on building up some inventory, and in the next week or two I hope to have Vanilla Fizz back open for business. And in the mean time, I get to crochet and knit my little heart out, AND I’m busting through that monster stash. It’s a win every way you look at it.

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