How do you sort your stash?

my new stash spot. blink and you'll miss it

I’ve culled and reorganized my main floor  stash space.

As I was deciding on what to keep upstairs and what to banish to the basement stash, I realized I have very particular ideas about the sorting of my fiber stash.

For my new upstairs stash I have:

  • a cubby of my own handspun yarn, waiting to be patterns
  • all of my Briar Rose fiber, because I wanted all of something for that feeling of abundance and it’s gorgeous
  • a cubby of new to me fiber, right now it’s Southern Cross fiber
  • a cubby of inspirational fiber, right now it’s Lynne Vogel fiber
  • most of my spinning tools – bobbins, niddys, etc
  • a cone of yarn for core spinning
  • my last round of dyed by me fiber because I like to stare at it

Downstairs I also have:

  • fleeces
  • fiber to dye
  • fiber to card into batts
  • 8oz+ of the same colorway
  • luxury fiber
  • more specific dyers: Spunky Eclectic, Hello Yarn, Lorna’s Laces, Abby Batts, more Lynne Vogel
  • natural colored fiber that will stay natural

I also have a stash for Knittyspin.

So I’m happy that while it may not look, or sometimes feel, like my stash is organized, there is certainly a method to my madness.

How do you organize your fiber?

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website

28 thoughts on “How do you sort your stash?

  1. Amanda

    Wow. A good question. I just redid my stash space when we moved and I could claim a corner of our basement for my “crafty crap” as the DH put it.

    I have 6 fabric bins. They are labeled as follows: Skeins Identified for a Specific Project, Whole Skeins, Partials/Scraps, WIPs, Frog Pond, & Swap/Trade Away

    I also have a couple rubbermaid totes with acrylic or larger lots of yarn (sweater quantities).

    This really keeps my stash organized and tidy.

  2. Seanna Lea

    I don’t really have much non-yarn fiber. It is all in bags on a shelf.

    My yarn is stored willy nilly in a couple of spots, but the stuff I want to use first is in a set of plastic bins by weight.

  3. Alyson

    I’ve played with different ideas over the years. For a while I had my stash sorted into “pedestrian” and “fancy” in those plastic stacking drawer units on wheels. Then i sorted them by use – baby blankets, adult clothes, accessories…

    Now, because my primary focus is sewing, my yarn lives all together, unsorted, in a (very) large bin. My fabric stash is nicely sorted by color and type, though. 🙂

  4. Wool Free and Lovin' Knit

    Most envious of all your shelf-space for stash. Me, I store mine in canvas sweater bags with clear plastic tops. I have the “good stuff” in one bag which includes all my expensive souvenir yarn and other one-skeins I’ve spent a lot of money for.
    Then I have a bag of everyday yarn that has more than one skein –usually this was project yarn for which I’ve now changed my mind and have to think about what else to do with this yarn. Another bag houses my “left overs” of less than a skein and then I have some bags for LARGE projects like a sweater or afghan although those projects tend to find their way to baskets in my knitting corner. Just talking about it is a reminder of how I really need to knit through some of this stash.

  5. Ali

    I have a fibre stash in one box, and a yarn stash in the other. They’re not very sorted, but I do keep track of what I have in there. Handspun yarn lives in the spinning tools box, and there are plastic bags for the leftover yarn from other projects. I have a lot of leftovers and no plan for them.

  6. Alice in the Heartland

    Sock yarn has it’s own bin and BMFA has a whole flock of cubbies (former shoe storage racks). Sock Summit also has it’s own bin. I have a tote for lace weight and more than a couple devoted to sweater amount yarns.
    As I’m new to spinning the fiber all fits in a tall laundry basket with a couple of unwashed fleeces waiting under a bench. All of my stash is starting to take over my empty nest but is fighting with DH’s stereo equipment additions.

  7. Jamie Wang

    I have my stash sorted in several ways. My left overs are in bins by color. My other yarns are grouped by project, but a given bin might have any number of different types of projects/yarns/colors. I also have one bin just for yarns for charity knitting (down from 2!). Unlike the other posters, I have far too much total stash to either have it all (or mostly) on display.

    This year I finally got around to cataloging what I have and where it is located in a multipage Excel spreadsheet. Since I did this, my purchase rate has slowed and my WIP/UFO list has shrunk slightly (to roughly one year’s worth of knitting).

    Thank goodness I don’t spin or I’d be totally out of space! 😉

  8. Sandra A

    What is this word ‘sort’ of which you speak? You mean that keeping everything in a corner is good enough?? lol, actually I *tried* to keep leftovers separate from full skeins, and wools separate from other fibers, sock yarn separate from other weights, buuut my stash is a bit overgrown and I’m short on space! Alas.

  9. kashurst

    I do not sort. Sometimes all my new stuff ends up in the same spot. My scraps and bits of skeins are generally in one spot. All my WIP are in the same basket by my desk. Having to dig through my whole stash to find what I’m looking for is kinda fun and inspirational.

  10. Kathy

    While a bit out of control at the moment, I try to keep the stash sorted. The best yarns and projects on the needles can always be found either in my lingere chest or the top shelf of the closet (aka Siberia). Other yarns are sorted by weight or brand, and stored in the spare room in clear plastic bins. A g

  11. Lori

    Clear plastic bins with locking lids that stack. Some are have only one dyer’s work, others are sorted by weight, all the 2 ply shetland, or all sock yarn. UFOs are sorted by project type, lace, accessories, kits, etc.

  12. Laurie

    My “old stash” is in the basement in rubbermaid containers. I have a separate container for lace through fingering, worsted, and bulky, and the yarn is grouped in individual plastic bags with a tag with all the pertinent info on it.

    My “new stash” is in my studio in various hat boxes and baskets.

  13. PattyC

    I sort, resort and then just stuff! I have some beautiful baskets that I arranged my yarn in so it would show off the yarn colors and be decorative. All of these baskets are now high on top of a dresser due to our Bernese Mtn dog’s love of the “keep away ” game with pretty colors!It once was the babies pulling everything apart, now it is the dog.

  14. Josie

    IKEA has answered the prayers of all fiber artists whose stashes were, like pumpkin vines, perambulating on their own and overtaking vast stretches of floor territory. Behold, the shelf of many cubbies with possible desk attachment:

    Within those cubbies, I have sorted my stash by fiber content. Like Amy, I can’t wear animal fibers, but I can knit with them. Non-animal is one category of bins. 100% wools (feltable) has its own bin. Wool blends are another bin. These foregoing descriptions are ONLY yarn. There is a separate space for WIPs. There’s a bin for FOs and miscellaneous stuff, including but not limited to batting for knitted toys and the three GORGEOUS wads of roving I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I don’t spin. I have no idea what to do with this roving. I spent a great deal of money on this roving. I couldn’t help myself.

    1. Erin

      I have that bookcase but I don’t have that desk attachment…drool, drool, serious drool. In a separate cubby situation I have my stash organized by color (at the moment) with a couple cubbies dedicated to spinning equipment. The spinning fiber doesn’t like staying in the cubbies, actually, and migrates all over the house depending on where I aim my spinning wheel on any given day.

  15. Malika

    Living in a college dorm leaves little room for a crafting stash, no matter how organized! I keep pretty much all of my yarn and needles in a basket under my bed (no sorting, just willy-nilly in shopping bags, etc), with a separate bag for my fiber and drop spindle, and then various WIPs scattered in drawers, on shelves, and in various bags. Thank goodness I’m in a single; my roommate last year got a bit sick of always tripping over yarn!

  16. Gina

    most of mine is by weight….and then there’s the really really special stuff (like mink/cashmere) and then there’s the stuff that was given as a gift that I can only knit for myself and then there’s……

  17. Karen

    My yarn stash is a plastic box in the front closet. I am working not to have it escape that one box. Problem being that I bought my first drop spindle and fiber over the weekend and I have now created a new stashable thing to do. Off the subject, can anyone lead me to a good source for learning to manipulate the drop spindle? I have checked out several videos on U Tube and they are great but is easy to miss the best one.

  18. Kelly

    I have a similar tower as you do and it’s sorted as such:
    Top – misc. overflow
    1st shelf – books, magazines, small project bags, notions I don’t carry with me
    2nd shelf – sock yarns
    3rd shelf – cheap but colourful wool (felting, toy making, etc)
    4th shelf – project specific yarns in bags

    I have a shelf in the kitchen that carries my notions and 3-6 projects on the go, plus my basement stash which is a mess of a bin full of crap acrylic, sock yarn that won’t fit in my main stash and specific-attribute yarns that I don’t know what I want to do with yet.

    I’m hoping to get some clear plastic or colourful fabric bins for my main stash tower so I can have more available at hand without them threatening to topple out and on to the floor.

  19. Betsy

    I used to have bins that I used to sort by weight, although I have now decided to commandeer a closet in the spare bedroom. I purchased hanging shoe organizers and have been trying to figure out the best way to use them, which means I get to handle all the lovelies without really having to do anything with them. Then of course there are the surprise storage around the house, the basket by the chair in the living room (lidded, of course); the chest in the sunroom (used to hold games, but really – what’s more important), and little bags that I can tuck here and there without too much notice from the family. 🙂

  20. Jen

    Some of my stash is in bags in my room waiting for the time to be knit up- it usually has a pattern and/ or needles with it ready to go. The rest is in plastic bags sorted by kind/ amount.

  21. Anne C. Bridge

    I have a whole wall of shelves. Weaving cones on one end next to the loom, Knitting in plastic labeled boxes by type/weight/manufacturer (I have a few favorites) & my handspun, then spinning stash stored next, and at the end, all the clots scraps for quilting.. Oh I am so hoping to retire soon so I can get at all this before I die!

  22. Jennifer

    My stash is hardly stash worthy yet. Until May (and the Maryland Fiber Fest) I didn’t even have what could be called a “stash”. Instead it was called “Merely 8 lbs of yarn, that people keep giving me, that I have no idea what I’m going to do with”. After May (and the Maryland Fiber Fest), it transformed into “More beautiful yarn then I can possibly work with in two years, along with 8 lbs of yarn that people keep giving me that I have no idea what to do with.” For the moment, my stash can fit in a plywood storage chest in our family craft room. My “good” yarn is stored in ziplock bags inside a trash bag on one side of the trunk with that “8lbs of no clue acrylic” just stacked as neatly as possible on the other side. So far I am refusing to call my Yarn trunk a stash. I prefer the term “hoard”. 😀

  23. Carol

    My husband bought me shelves form a knit shoppe that was going out of business. The best present he ever got me. I have the shelf in my guest room closet (it’s huge) and I arrange my yarn by colors. I need another set of shelves because I also have more stash in Rubber Maid storage tubs. Like most avid knitters I have more yarn stash than a small knit shop.

  24. Tabitha

    The photo above makes me cringe. Why? Bugs! I had a moth larvae problem that came in on some garage sale yarn (beware the second hand yarns!) and then had to separately bag and freeze all my yarn for a week to make sure anything in there was killed. Turned out it didn’t spread far and most of the yarn was ok. Now I am safe, all yarns are stored in individual zip lock bags and all of those are in a giant snap-lock plastic bin. It’s now my opinion that it’s better to keep your stash at the yarn store (I know….it’s really hard)

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