Last July, I gave you all a little peek at the yarns in my stash. I’ve been trying to be good and knit lots of things out of it. Sometimes, I succeed, sometimes I fall in love with something new or see a deal too good to pass up. I think it mostly evens out over time, but that means the stash stays at a pretty stable level. I’m not at SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) level yet, so I’m ok.

One of the problems is that it’s all hiding in plastic containers under the bed, sealed tightly (because I have a fear of moths non-knitters might consider irrational). Every time I take it out I  fall in love all over again with the yarns. I remember why I chose them and what I thought they might be. I don’t feel guilty for having a big stash because I take pleasure in looking at my little yarn library, and I feel like my squirrel-like behaviors with yarn storage make me feel like a wealthy individual when I am not making very much money as a student.  I’ve been building up this collection slowly and steadily over the years, and I’d rather acquire yarn more than almost any other pleasurable thing. It turns out, I’m rather good at that.

Where is this going? Ok, I read Fridica’s post a little while ago, and I’ve been thinking about organizing my stash ever since. She points out the usefulness of knowing your dyelots. That is definitely useful for yarn emergencies. Last Wednesday I decided to take action and started photographing my stash like mad. For about 24 hours I didn’t knit a single stitch, but was wholly absorbed (probably in a flow moment) in cataloging my entire stash on Ravelry. Every time Zooey went down for a nap I was back at the computer, going as quickly as I could.

I did it! There are a few odd bits that I didn’t bother with, but for any partial skein that I cataloged I weighed them to calculate how many yards remained. It’s easy to calculate your remaining yarn if you know what the ball weighs at first and you divide that by what you have left. I always weigh in grams to be more exact. Then you can multiply that number by the total yards in the ball. For example, if I have 37 grams left of a 50 gram ball, I would divide 37 by 50 to get .74. If my ball originally had 230 yards, I just multiply 230 by .74 and I know I have 170.2 yards left.

There are 128 different yarns. This took me awhile. I think it’s well worth it.



Some balls were more of a mystery. I definitely didn’t have tags for a lot of my partial balls, so I couldn’t put in the dye lots, but I tried my best to get in the correct color names or numbers while working quickly.  I had a skein with no label that I was a mystery for years until I did a little weighing and detecting. It’s Alpaca Sox by Classic Elite Yarns in Celadon. It’s a green/grey color that is gorgeous. Now that I know what it is, it’s easier to make something fabulous out of it.

I have also wound many balls thinking I would be knitting with them right away, but they’re still waiting. You can see a couple of items that are partially knit. I plan to rip those out and use the yarn for something else.

Besides knowing the dyelots on as many different balls as possible, I think there are many advantages to having these cataloged. Now, I can search within my stash when I’m looking at patterns on Ravelry. If I start a new project and choose to use a yarn from my stash, when I put in how much I used at the end it automatically subtracts what I used from the amount in my stash. That’s pretty awesome.

Also, I was thinking about bigger disasters. In the case of a fire, I have almost every scrap of yarn and project that I care about, as well as my knitting books (because I added those too) on Ravelry. That would help in a claims process much more than trying to remember everything.

I have a few that I’m willing to sell or trade, so take a look if you feel like enhancing your stash.

Ah, the mental relief of a documented stash.

17 thoughts on “Stash-tastic.

  1. Let me guess…aquas and greens are your favorite? 😉 Good for you to catalogue your stash! It’s a smart idea. Makes planning for projects with yarn you already have much easier. I’m moth/carpet beetle paranoid so my yarn is on high shelves (as we have a lot of carpet) in ziplock bags.

  2. Wow, impressive. Looks totally satisfying. When people started logging stash I always thought that I’d much rather just knit than spend the time uploading pictures and info, but I didn’t realise you can search for patterns within your stash – genius! My yarn is gonna get its own spring cleaning!!

  3. It feels pretty good, doesn’t it, knowing you have your stash at your fingertips! I love knowing what I’ve got without rummaging through all my boxes. It certainly makes it easier to select patterns that work with the yarn you already have. It makes it simpler to shop your stash and actually USE it.

  4. Impressive effort, and impressive collection!The whole weighing thing makes so much sense! I often have no clue about what is left and what I can do with it. I guess a little scale needs to make it onto my shopping list.

  5. Good for you! What a project.

    I’ve been trying to be diligent about documenting my stash on Ravelry too. I realized a little while ago that, if you go to the “yarn ideas” tab for the project it will tell you if you have any of those yarns in your stash. Amazing!

    Also, going through it all has reminded me of how many gorgeous yarns I have in there. The other week I went through a bunch of projects I’d favourited and matched them up with stash yarns. I don’t know if this means I’ll actually knit them that way, but it did get me excited and organized!

  6. This level of organization leaves me in awe. I draw inspiration, but I won’t even hope to attempt this. In my world of “this should’ve been organized a long time ago” … it’s way down the food chain. If anything reading the comment above, I might gut my yarn page for a fresh start. On a plus note, I have donated a bag of craft store yarn, that I was used for crocheting charity throws. I am now being honest. If I’m not using something, why keep it around? I have to do this with some other impulse yarn buys as well.

  7. Awesome! I just had a sneaky peek at your stash page and you have so many beautiful yarns … My stash is not nearly as big as yours, but I think it help immensely for me not to spend much more money on yarn. :mrgreen:

  8. Wow…I am a librarian who has done some big metadata projects, but do do all that on your own is hugely impressive! There are some awesome yarns in there–I look forward to seeing what they become!

  9. Wow! Impressive! I used to photograph and log yarns as I purchased them, but that went out the window some time ago. It’s so much easier to stay organized and tidy if you do, though. Great job! It must be so inspiring to have a visual for your stash right at your fingertips!

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