StashBusting CAL/KAL: Week 1
Organizing Your Stash
It’s time! Welcome to the Stashbusting CAL/KAL! Have you shared your badges? Joined up on a community page(s)? Then you’re ready, baby!
Before we begin, I’d like to clarify why we’re doing this more general CAL, and not say, a single project. As mostly home makers it’s easy to get distracted, hoard yarn, keep buying, and even forget about what we already have. It’s the beginning of a new year, and it’s just after all the holidays, this means it’s a great time to de-clutter, take stock of our materials, and clean up. We’ll hopefully come out the other end with some innovative and beautiful makes, a cleaner work space, and better focus in the new year! (P.S. Prize prompt is at the end so be sure to read through!)
This week is all about getting organized, and picking our project.
“What?” you say! “I want to get started!” but my dear friends this is the very beginning, so this is where we must start. I want you to clear a (large) space on a (clean) floor. And then I want you to dump all your yarn out on to it. I know! Out of your containers, out of the garbage bags, out of every nook and cranny you can find.
This is what mine looks like when so unceremoniously displayed (yes, I had to stand on the back of my couch to get this shot):
If you’re working with different fiber weights together, the gauges will be different, the stitches may not line up, and connections may be strained. Different fiber types stretch differently and wash differently, so organizing them by weight and by fiber type, makes it easier to grab a pile and start a project.
There are exceptions to both these rules! Knit Collage creates amazing garments using various yarn weights, and I’ve seen beautiful scrap rugs that combine fabric yarn and twine to great results. This is just a warning that it’s harder to mix by both weight and fiber type – you’ve all been warned!
Now it’s time to organize! Here’s my organization hierarchy: yarn weight, then fiber type. That’s it! I know it’s “prettier” to organize by color, but that really doesn’t help us so much. So put on some tunes and your sweatband and lets get to it!
I organized mine from top to bottom in the following order: Lace, Fingering, Sport, DK, Lighter Worsted, Heavier Worsted/Aran, Chunky, Extra Chunky. Each of these weights I then organized left-to-right by fiber: Cotton, Acrylic, Wool, ‘Other’.
Once you have your weight and fiber type piles, then you can start caring about your color palletes and picking a project!
With this visual method I saw that I have far and away the most DK acrylic blend yarn, and cotton DK yarn. So I’ll be choosing my projects from those two categories (more on that later).
So how do we get this back into our storage space? I use shelving from Ikea (the kind everyone has), plus clear snap-lid boxes, and the mesh bags that most yarn comes in. I have so many of these mesh bags and I LOVE them. I can use them as projects bags and storage bags because you can still see what’s inside. All the work you did of organizing by fiber weight and type won’t go to waste, as you can re-package all these little piles. (And if you’d like, now you can sort by color for future projects!). I try to avoid putting my fiber back ‘raw’ because I’m terrified of moths and bugs getting in it. We all must accept our various neuroses lol.
Picking A Project
To help us, I’ve created a big ol’ Pinterest board with scrap projects. This includes knit projects, crochet projects, and even general fiber projects (earrings anyone?). You do not have to pick one of the projects on the board, this is just to inspire you and help expand your project horizons!
Types of projects good for stashbusting:
Hair Accessories – scrunchies, headbands
Home Accessories – Ditty bowls, coasters, shower poufs, tea towels, pan protectors, bookmarks
Winter Accessories - Boot cuffs, dog sweaters, fingerless gloves, colorwork hats, scarves
Patchwork and Stripes – Scarves, sweaters, cardigans, and Blankets
Baby – hoods, sweaters, hats
For this CAL/KAL I’m going to make a BonBon Sweater for my nana, a Baby Granny Square Jumper for my future nephew or niece, a couple knit scrunchies, and then maybe a pillow cover. You can make as few or as many projects as you like! Tell me what you’re going to make in your community groups or on insta!
PRIZE PROMPT Week 1 = SHOW ME THAT STASH
Prize: 20$/€/£ towards LoveCrochet/ LoveKnitting yarn and tools!
How to win: Take before and after pictures of your stash and share it on Instagram! All messy and then once it’s organized! Be creative! Make sure your photos are well-lit! But most importantly, make sure you use the hashtags #StashbustingCAL or #StashbustingKAL (you can just use one, as I’ll be looking through both). You can also tag me @thequeenstitch if you like! I’ll choose the winner next Sunday before the release of the next prompt, when we’ll be starting in on our projects!
Next week when we start our projects, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks to save ends, alter patterns when you think you’ll lose yarn chicken, and utilizing more colors than a pattern calls for.