I may have mentioned before that my WIPs are a sad state of affairs when I’m not working on them. Generally I keep everything in a pile on the couch, shoved into the cushions so that I don’t lose odds and ends. I’ve been known to sit on three or four skeins of yarn while I work.
Here’s the gist:
That’s four skeins of yarn, three swatches, a sleeve, and a cross stitch all on one couch cushion.
That was before the move. Since we’re in our fancy new apartment, I promised that I would keep things here under control. I don’t need to grow a crazy yarn monster. So I plan on getting some type of container for my needlework. But what shall I use?
Right now, I have my faire isle sweater in a tote bag that lives on the floor next to the couch. I can keep all of the yarn and the pattern in there. It’s a pretty slick deal. I’ve also been focused on accomplishing one pattern at a time which helps tame the mess.
It’s also handy that I have my stash nearby. In the old place, my stash was kept above our closets in this little storage nook where we kept boxes and things that we generally didn’t need to get into very often. It was about 6 or 7 feet high which meant that Jon would have to get on a ladder every time we needed something from up there. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled about dragging out boxes of yarn so they stayed put. I started filling my nightstand and bedside table with bags of yarn. It was an unruly mess. Worst of all, it didn’t really encourage me to put excess yarn away after I was finished with it. Now all of my yarn is in a closet about five feet from my favorite knitting spot so I can put things away and (get this!) use yarn I already have in my stash with ease! It’s kind of changing my whole life.
I’ve been searching for a great vessel to keep my WIPs in. I have a yarn bowl but it isn’t really conducive for transportation or colorwork. I’m hoping for something big enough to hold a sweater but not too big as to condone couch-side yarn hoarding. Things that aren’t going to be worked on need to stay in the closet! I do plan on sewing some project bags but I want a box of some sort to live near the couch.
I think I’ve found my new WIP bin. It wasn’t what I was expecting (I was really looking for something with a lid) but I was browsing the Fringe Supply Co site and I kind of fell in love with these gorgeous baskets.
What do you think? Perfect, right? A good size and really handsome. Our apartment has some nice wood pieces so the color will be great. And Jared Flood has them. I’m sold. I can’t wait to buy them and put them next to my spot and fill them with yarny things!
But this all gets me thinking: How do you lovely people store your WIPs from day to day? Do you have a couch full of yarn or are you super organized? (No judgements!) Baskets, bins, or bags?
ps. I made a playlist to craft by for Kollabora. Check it out here.
Last night I was putting all of my laundry away and I started wondering about storing my hand knits. I may not have mentioned it here but you may have guessed that I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment (location, location, location, right?) which means that storage space is hard to come by. Now, I won’t pretend that the closets in this place are tiny. I have to admit that they are larger than the regulation New York City closet size so all is not lost. (We also have overhead storage which is where my stash lives.Which is great because there’s plenty of room for it to grow but not so great because I’d rather go to my LYS than climb a ladder to sort through yarns I might have.)
Somehow Jon has more clothes hanging in the closet than I do. Maybe because he has a more extensive work wardrobe and I wear comfy sweatshirts seven days a week (though I like to pretend I only wear them at work). As I was shoving my gigantic fisherman sweater onto my half of the shelf, I wondered to myself, What the crap am I going to do when I make more clothing?!
Knitted clothing is bulky. My Maxfield cardigan is at least two if not three times thicker than the cabled Polo sweater I bought in a pinch at TJ Maxx. So what do I do with all of it? I just fold them up as neatly as I can, maybe roll them into a ball, and I scrunch them into the little pile on the shelf, usually wedging them between the ones that I don’t really wear but can’t bear to part with and the ceiling of the closet. Or I hang them off of the chair that’s in front of the sewing machine. It’s not really a good system because it’s not a system.
I’ve also got all of these things that I made when I was a novice that I don’t want to get rid of. There is a bright turquoise Ysolda Teague Snow White sweater that I knit with 100% wool Lamb’s Pride worsted in a sad pile at the bottom of the closet. It’s a big itchy, ribbed mess but I can’t frog it. (PS I can’t believe those awful photos of that are still on my Ravelry. I’m so embarrassed!) It was my first sweater!
So that leads me to this post. How do you store your knits? Do you keep them in the closet or in a special drawer? How many hand knit sweaters are in your wardorbe? Do you have any pieces that you just can’t get rid of? Any tips for the spatially deprived?
What are your stash-collecting rules? I’ve been really good recently! To be honest, I read Yarn Harlot and I got a little nervous about my stashing tendancies! I’ve been very careful to only buy yarn that I actually need for projects. So I’m proud of myself.
But when Susie of Juniper Moon Farm tweeted that her friend was having a sale, I couldn’t pass up the Aslan Trends Invernal (50% Angora, 25% Merino Wool) that was $6/skein. I bought 3 skeins of Rouge and Raspberry each. I figured that it was enough yardage to make a striped sweater and the colors go quite well together. I hate stash of an awkward-weight single skein I can’t do anything with. But I might just break down and make six pairs of socks using it..
How much stash do you have? Where do you keep it?
When we started working on our apartment, we made a few rules. No more dirty dishes lingering in the sink. Chairs are not closets, put your clothes away. And tupperware without lids are garbage.
Because, really everyone, what is the point of having an unpaired piece?! There is no leftover storage in just a lid. You cannot carry just the bottom to work in your bag. They are lies and I cannot stand for it any longer! So I threw it all out. Everything that once held lo mein or burritos went into the trash. And it was time for an upgrade.
Look at these beautiful containers. I fell in love with them. We invested in some Oxo Pop Containers and I love them. It made so much more sense to use some well-made and design-friendly containers instead of beaten up, discolored ones that came with cheap take out.
Do yourself a favor and toss your old tupperware! It’s time to get your tupperware under control!
In the end, we must have collected 10 bags that went straight into the garbage. It was quite liberating, I have to say. Vacuuming a floor that hadn’t seen the light of day felt long overdue. But I couldn’t believe I’d collected so many useless things. How had I held onto cards from my Bat Mitzvah? Why did I have fabric paint? Did I think that I would need all of those French notebooks from high school? I’m sharing this with you as a warning to myself. I can’t let things get out of control again. And you are my witness. I hope that you still love me and keep reading. I hope you do not cower and stop making eye contact with me. It was time for a purge. And it’s done.
It took hours but I’m so proud of myself for letting so many things go. After hours of work, Jon built the bed and now it feels like a real room again.
Happily ever after.