Spring cleaning, yarn & fiber

April weather is often uncertain (it snowed here on Monday). While I’m eager to get outside whenever possible, I often stay indoors, with windows open if I can. This is when I like to air my stash and make sure it’s ready for me to work. I also decide if I want to keep everything–tastes and project needs change–and make a plan for donation or selling anything I no longer wish to retain.

This regular review is important beyond making sure that it all fits into my storage bins. Not only do desire a stash that reflects my preferences and project needs, I want to make sure it’s healthy. Stash reviews can be overwhelming, so I don’t do it all at once! I store my yarn by weight and review day-by-day as my schedule permits. I also don’t review in size order, I’ll mix it up. There’s not good reason for that other than to keep it a little different each day and it helps me to see if something was misfiled.

My stash lives in plastic bins in an Expedit (Kallax) unit.

What is a healthy stash?

A healthy stash is one that’s free of bugs, free of tangles, and knows what it is. Moths are feared among wool, though I admit they have good taste! Tangles happen to the best of skeins. Ball bands and tags often separate and I dislike spending time hunting for that information when I’d much rather be creating!

Getting started to review the stash. A bin. A notebook. A laptop.

How to maintain a healthy stash

    No stash review is complete without a helpful cat! (This is Poppy, he was our guest this winter.)

  • Bug free. I don’t like bugs in my code, I don’t like them in my yarn either. My stash lives in my basement studio. While bugs of any sort in my domain are rare, I assume they’re always trying to invade. Within each storage bin, I keep yarn in plastic zip-top bags of various sizes. In with special yarns I toss either a small cedar ball or a lavender sachet. In each box I keep a small piece of cedar left over from a home improvement project. As I go through the yarn I take it out of the bags and inspect it.
  • Tangle free. I often believe that my super power is tangling yarn (and messing up sewing machine tension) simply by looking at it! As I go through each yarn I make sure that it’s not a tangled mess, they happen. This allows me to try to keep the frustrations to a minimum and be able to use a yarn when I want to, not after I spend hours straightening it out.
  • Know what it is. While I try to maintain record my stash in the Ravelry database, things slip through. Last year in the midst of the chaos, I re-homed a considerable amount of yarn. Not all of those edits made it into my records. This spring’s organizing of the stash will make sure that my records reflect what I have. I confirm that my notes reflect everything: the yarn and company, fiber content, yardage, date of acquisition, colorway, and any dye lot information. If the ball band is missing, I make a new tag.

Yarn Stash reviews always look chaotic and worse before you’re done!

What about needles, hooks, and notions?

They’ll have their own post soon.

One bin complete!

I hope this brief tour of how I review my stash helps you to keep yours healthy and happy.

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