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.