Anyone who genuinely enjoys yarn crafts inevitably develops a stash– a collection of materials and tools related to their hobby. I began knitting five years ago and took up crocheting seven months ago. I don’t have the stash you might envision given that I’ve been doing this for so long. Mostly, it’s because I took a break from the yarn world for a bit but it also has to do with the simple fact I’ve been determined to use up the previous yarns I have in my possession already. Now, I’m not a super perfect organizer by any stretch of the imagination but I have tried, in varying degrees of success, to bring some sort of organizational elements to my crafts in both the daily and long-term aspects.
Ok there’s a difference between the kind of organization you keep for projects you’re working on and the organization you keep for materials not being used at the moment. At least, for me there is. Let’s do the easy one first– the daily stuff. The number one factor at the moment in any crochet project is portability. Because I spend about 45 minutes to an hour on a train on any given day, I like to bring crochet projects with me. Not all crochet projects are created equal for this sort of thing and I’ve basically determined they must fit my designated crochet bag.
The above Kidrobot purse is my go-to crochet project bag. Why? It’s not too big and it’s not too small. Inside, which I didn’t think of photographing (doh), it has many pockets of different sizes with different closures. It’s the perfect size to hold the yarn you’re working with, the notions you need, and a copy of the pattern. It has a nice snap on the top ensuring everything is nicely kept inside where it belongs. Not to mention it’s made of good dense material so if I have anything sharp in there, I don’t have to worry about it coming through the bag and stabbing me (more of an issue when I was a knitter). This is not the only purse I have repurposed for crafty use.
Above, I’ve taken a picture of my Harajuku Lovers notions purse which houses all of the tools a crocheter needs from small very sharp scissors to paper clip stitch markers to pom pom makers to my hook bag. My hook bag was a lovely pencil/cosmetics pouch I’d received ages ago that nestles cosily into my little purse. This purse, by the way, also fits quite neatly into my project bag if I’m in a rush and embarking on a new project but am unsure exactly what tools I’ll be needing. I just shove the whole purse into my project bag and run out the door. By the way, I also have a small coin purse that houses the needles and stitch markers. It usually nestles in this purse or sits in my project bag which is where it was when I was hurriedly photographing these things this morning. So, now you know how I keep my stuff organized while I work on a project. But what about all of the other stuff I’m not using?
What you see there is the majority of my yarn stash, my box of embroidery and sewing details (sequins, buttons, thread, etc.), and of course the fabulous Polyfill I stuff my little creatures with. The yarn stash pictured here is a chaotic mess. This stash is any yarn that is not a neatly banded ball. This includes any remaining portion of a yarn ball from a previous project as well as those lovely skeins the more luxurious yarns come in. Oh, and of course it has those neatish balls of yarn that have lost their bands somewhere along the road. I’m still struggling to figure out how to organize these guys in a way that’s functional. Specifically, I’m tired of finding the perfect yarn for my project in the throes of a passionate embrace with at least one more yarn if not several more. Naughty yarns! My neatly banded balls of yarn are fewer in quanitity than their looser counterparts.
That is my large plastic container of nice and neat yarn. As you can see, the bin isn’t even close to full. I’m actually proud of that because it means I’m not buying yarn. And between the neat yarns and the not neat yarns, I really do have a good amount of yarn to work with– especially on smaller projects like toys and baby items for instance. Of course, this may very well not be the case much longer with Mother’s Day around the corner. I intend on crocheting most, if not all, of my Mother’s Day gifts this year and in most cases, I don’t have the appropriate yarn for the projects I intend. And while I have purposely selected some projects to use up some of my stash yarn, some of the projects are indeed special and require special yarns. But, they won’t last in the stash yarn and indeed some projects will inevitably use up some my existing yarn so we’ll see how it all ends up.
Oh, regarding patterns and such things. I have a file folder in my desk where I keep all of the patterns I’ve printed. I also have a very beat up folder I use to keep copies of the patterns of projects I’m working on at the moment for quick and easy reference. I don’t really own many books, but keep the ones I loan from the library on a bookshelf by the file box where the patterns are stored.
Generally this system works for me with the exception of the loose and remnant yarn. I’m especially fond of my printed patterns and my organizing methods with projects in progress. What about you? Any neat ideas you might have for me?
Regarding those of you who could care less about my yarny ways, I’m sorry for the general lack of other content. I had fully intended on making posts outside of the crochet world in addition to my contributions to this week but I have been completely exhausted. I am pretty sure it has to do with the fact I’ve had the kids so many days in a row without a break coupled with some stress that’s cropped up at work. There have actually been quite a few things I’ve wanted to discuss in this blog I’ve come across this week but every time I try and gather the strength to vocalize an opinion or reflection, I get internally whiny and pouty. Not to mention I’ve been preoccupying my non-thinking minutes with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. My budget is completely blown in a devastating way. I will have some money to roll over to next month but it looks like it’s just a few hundred dollars. Tonight, I’ll be doing the math as tomorrow is my first day of the fiscal year (holy crap, that JUST dawned on me).