Thursday, February 26, 2009

Organizing My Yarn Stash

I have a yarn stash. A really, really big yarn stash! About 12 years ago, when I was expecting baby number one, I got back into working with yarn. I learned how to crochet when I was around 10, but my main hobby in my later teens and 20's was volunteering. Volunteering has many rewards and one of the great side benefits is that there is no accumulation of stuff.

Then came love, marriage and a baby carriage. This meant I could no longer run all over DC any time of the day or night collecting food, working in shelters and driving teenagers safely home to SE at all hours. Well maybe I could have, but it would have been much more difficult and those maternal instincts to nest and protect were freakishly strong in me. So when I found myself heading into my third trimester and feeling my energy draining, I remembered that I knew how to crochet. By the time my first son arrived, he had a collection of booties, caps, sweaters and little shirts. It would have been even better if he were not born on May 22.

So now my baby's almost 12 years old and I have 12 years worth of yarn surplus. It's probably bigger than a normal person's collection because a couple years after my second son was born, I started weaving and felting in addition to the crochet and doing local craft shows. I was creating a pretty significant inventory. Now with Wind Rose Fiber Studio, my focus has shifted again to fiber supplies and hand dyed roving as well as spinning my own yarn. One of my goals for the future is to only work with handspun, but I just can't waste my existing supply.

One solution I've embraced is the creation of Craft Fiber Collections like this one in Brown Tones. I've done enough scrapbooking and stamping to know how handy and fun an eclectic set of fibers can be. Still, I don't want to just trade one stash for another.

So yesterday when I was doing some tidying in my studio, I got an idea. I am going to start making squares. I am going to turn all of my commercial yarn into 4" squares; all kinds of squares. Maybe if I get tired of squares, I'll make circles too. The idea is that they will then be ready made building blocks for other projects. When you think about it, there are endless possibilities starting out with just a square. You can make purses, scarves, shawls, blankets, sweaters, hats and even my muk luk boots are designed using squares. The squares will also be compact and easy to store. I think it will be fun to try to figure out new ways to use the classic square.


Laura said...

Great idea! I meed to make squares too! Well I think I have a bag of squares all ready but they are pretty granny squares that I pull out and add on to every year or so. I think using up all that yarn that I will never use otherwise is a great idea plus the added benefit for me would be being able to buy more fibers to spin with and hand spun yarns since that is all I really want anyway. :)

Jenn said...

I just did a final yarn sort today to separate the high quality yarns from those that I'll be making squares out of. It feels so good to get organized, but it has to be said, I'm going to be crocheting squares FOREVER! I fearlessly predict that at some point I'll crack and start selling collections of them off in one of my shops!

Amy said...

This sounds like a great idea-I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of it!