Stash Flash Wrap-up: Tools, Bags, and WIPs

Check out the other posts on Stash Flash: Stacie flashed her stash in a mini-episode here, and Steph wrote about hers here and here.

Well, June is coming to a close, which means our first “Stash Flash” will also be formally ending. Although, I imagine many of you are like me and haven’t accomplished everything you wanted to do. No worries! We can continue the discussion for as long as you like over in our Ravelry group.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have slowly started to figure out how I want my tools and project bags organized. Let’s start with tools.

Last time you saw these drawers, they looked like this:

Stash Flash 24  Stash Flash 25

Now they look like this:

1  2

I used plastic shoe boxes that fit nicely in the drawer, so it’s easier to pull out everything at once and dig through. Also, things are easier to see this way vs stacked on top of each other, and they don’t get all jumbled around. Let’s talk about the “Knitting” drawer first:

4

A smaller, clear plastic box houses my sock needles. One cardboard tube is for my size 1s and the other is for my 1.5 needles. If I still had some packages, I went ahead and used them, so they are all resting on the bottom. That way I can remember what brand is what (I’m picky that way!) Quite a few of my sock needles are on projects right now.

I had some plastic pencil boxes lying around, so the pink box is for all of my other DPNs. I bundled them up using small rubber bands according to size. I’m not sure how long that will last, but at least they are all in one box.

The green one is for my miscellaneous circular needles. Luckily, I had saved most of the packages, so I can easily identify sizes and brands.

The pencil boxes fit nicely with my ChiaoGoo interchangeable set resting on the end.

3

Behind that shoe box I have another shoe box for all my notions, stitch markers, extra notions bags, and a few miscellaneous items.

5

The robot bag contains the majority of my stitch marker collection. I like re-using Altoids tins – they are perfect sizes for stitch markers.

6

The hot air balloon notions bag is what I usually carry around in my knitting bag. It has my basic essentials: small scale, WPI card, stitch markers, darning needles, needle gauge, tape measure, crochet hook, scissors, lotion, lip balm, and a pen.

7

The other drawer is for all extraneous spinning stuff.

1

I’ve got empty storage bobbins on one side, again in their own box for easy access. The other box is yet another shoe box and it contains: empty tags for handspun, my spinning wheel bag with oil, string, hooks, etc, string for tying up hanks, extra singles for practicing chain plying, a hole punch (for making tags), and Wood Beams. Also in the box, I have my lazy kate and papers for my wheel.

8

I went ahead and took the brilliant idea from Celestya22, and many others in our group, and decided to hang up some empty project bags. I found an empty space in my closet and used some reusable hooks that stick to the wall.

9

I used to store all my buttons and pins on the outsides of my notions bags, but when I found a pretty bulletin board on clearance, I decided to do this instead:

10

And then, finally, I have some WIPs storage. I’ve got two baskets with knitting WIPs and one basket for my wheel spinning WIPs. This way when I’m going to go to knitting group or to Stacie’s to podcast, I can grab a basket, re-arrange WIPs if necessary, and go!

11

While I haven’t finished yet, I’m pretty happy with everything I did accomplish this month. My yarn stash was in pretty good shape, though it could still use a bit of organizing. Ideally, I’d like to still stash down a bit more and do some “touch-up” organizing as the stash shrinks. I’ll be focusing on that the rest of the year, as well as maintain the current setup I’ve shown you all on the blog.

I hope everyone has accomplished what they wanted to for the month and if not, let’s chat about it on the board. Don’t forget to “Embrace the Stash!”

Shownotes for Episode 47: The Old Off and On Again

On our radar:

Giveaway:

We are letting our current giveaway ride a bit longer due to the delay in uploading the last episode. We asked that new sock knitters who recently completed their first pair of socks post pictures of their finished socks in order to enter to win a special Fox in Rainbow Socks bag donated by Anne of Little Skein in the Big Wool. Remember that WIPs counted — as long as you finished your very first pair of socks during May 2014, it doesn’t matter when you cast them on.

Stitch Surfer KAL:

Our Stitch Surfer KAL runs from May 15 until June 30. Use the hashtag #sskal14 on Ravelry and on social media. Post your FOs in this thread and chatter away in this thread.

Prizes will include: a bag from Diane of The Knotted Bag, 2 bags from Melissa of Ploverbird, a bag from Michelle of Studio in the Green, and yarn from an Anonymous Stasher: Kangaroo Dyer, Three Irish Girls, and Sweet Georgia Yarn. Thank you to all our generous prize donors!

Stash Flash:

Keep on flashing your stash! You can chit chat about your goals and share pictures here in our chat thread. Use the hashtag #stashflash2014 on Ravelry and social media. In addition, Stacie flashed her stash in this video and Steph flashed her stash in this blog post and this blog post.

Knitting:

Stacie is working on:

  • Vanilla Sock in Must Stash Perfect Sock “Martian Rainbow”
  • Vanilla Sock in Must Stash Perfect Sock “Sesame Sock”

Steph is working on:

Spinning:

Steph is spinning:

Steph finished spinning:

Stash Enhancements:

Steph stashed:

Bag Ladies:

This seems to be a re-occurring question, so we’ll try and link to all the project bags we used in the show:

Miscellaneous:

Tour de Fleece

Team Sasquatch

Stash Dash info

The mannequin over Stacie’s shoulder wore Buttony.

Find us at:

Twitter: MustStashSheep & SeeStephKnit

Ravelry: Freeflower & SupaSteph

Facebook: Must Stash Shop

Instagram: MustStashSheep & seestephknit

Ravelry: Must Stash Podcast Group 

iTunes: Must Stash Podcast

Stash Flash: Steph does a wee bit of re-organizing

Last week, I showed you the current state of my stash. As I said before, it was pretty well organized, but it had some trouble spots. One of the trouble spots was the top of the armoire. It was okay, but not ideal. I also didn’t have a dedicated spot for my spindle WIPs or my fiber prep tools.

Stash Flash 17

Now it looks like this:

photo 1a

I went to the store and found an expandable wire shelf, which was meant for a pantry or cabinet. I also found 4 shoe boxes that fit well underneath the shelf.

photo 2a

The jars are the exact same, but now that they are sitting on the shelf, I have room for so much more. It’s become a dedicated spot for some spinning WIPs.

From left to right, we have:

photo 3a  photo 4a  photo 5a  photo 1b

empty spindles and practice fiber, turkish WIP, silk WIP, sweater WIP

I like that each WIP has it’s own space and that the boxes are clear. And rather than have them in open baskets, as they were previously, these boxes have lids to keep out dust, which is important if you are a slow spinner like I am.

I also cleared out the space behind the jars and moved all non-fiber contents out. I re-purposed some baskets for all my fiber prep tools and other things I need to to stay organized.

photo 2b photo 3b

view from the left, view from the right

In the baskets, I have:

photo 2  photo 3  photo 5b  photo 4b

carders and dowels, storage bags and label maker, needle felting and wool leftovers, empty baskets

When I was cleaning out the top of the armoire, I found a pair of handspun socks that I had thrown up there because looking at them hurt my heart. One sock had a washing machine mishap and was felted. I was ready to throw them away, but someone on Instagram suggested I save them for a felting project. And then I found my needle felting kit! So the socks now live with all the extra pieces of random roving and discarded wool that will one day be turned into… something.

photo 1

The socks of doom. It still hurts a bit.

Now that all of my fiber prep tools are in one spot and I know where all my spindles are, it will be time to tackle my tools soon. Hope everyone is having fun with their stash!

Show Notes for Episode 46: Knitting, Spinning & More

Knitting:

Steph is working on:

Finished Objects:

Stacie finished:

Steph finished:

Spinning:

Steph is spinning:

Steph finished spinning:

Bag Ladies:

This seems to be a re-occurring question, so we’ll try and link to all the project bags we used in the show:

Giveaway:

We are letting our current giveaway ride a bit longer. We asked that new sock knitters who recently completed their first pair of socks post pictures of their finished socks in order to enter to win a special Fox in Rainbow Socks bag donated by Anne of Little Skein in the Big Wool. Remember that WIPs counted — as long as you finished your very first pair of socks during May 2014, it doesn’t matter when you cast them on.

Stitch Surfer KAL:

Our Stitch Surfer KAL runs from May 15 until June 30. Use the hashtag #sskal14 on Ravelry and on social media. Post your FOs in this thread and chatter away in this thread.

Prizes will include: a bag from Diane of The Knotted Bag, 2 bags from Melissa of Ploverbird, a bag from Michelle of Studio in the Green, and yarn from an Anonymous Stasher: Kangaroo Dyer, Three Irish Girls, and Sweet Georgia Yarn.Thank you to all our generous prize donors!

Stash Flash:

Keep on flashing your stash! You can chit chat about your goals and share pictures here in our chat thread. Use the hashtag #stashflash2014 on Ravelry and social media. In addition, Stacie flashed her stash in this video and Steph flashed her stash in this blog post.

Miscellaneous:

“Over the Moon” kits are still available at Little Skein while supplies last.

Stash Dash info

The mannequin over Stacie’s shoulder wore Buttony.

Steph wore her Elizabeth shawl.

Find us at:

Twitter: MustStashSheep & SeeStephKnit

Ravelry: Freeflower & SupaSteph

Facebook: Must Stash Shop

Instagram: MustStashSheep & seestephknit

Ravelry: Must Stash Podcast Group 

iTunes: Must Stash Podcast

Stash Flash: Steph writes about the current state of her stash

Steph's Intro

I, like most knitters and crocheters, have a love/hate relationship with my stash. Well, hate is a very strong word. My stash is comprised of yarn and I find it hard to hate yarn. We’ll call it a love/wariness relationship.

Even when I wasn’t really a “Knitter with a capital K” and my stashing was basically accumulating yarn as needed for a project, it had its problems. Not the size, but the management. Where do I store it? What do I do with leftovers? What was I thinking when I bought Lion Brand Suede?

But at the heart of the matter, I love my stash. I love to feed it new yarn. I love to rummage through it. I love re-discovering deep, deep stash and getting excited when I see it, like it’s a new-to-me acquisition. I love to gaze at the yarn I’ve put on Ravelry and dream about what I’m going to knit out of it.

I also love to organize and re-organize, which is part of what we are doing for Stash Flash month here at Must Stash Podcast.

About a year ago, I migrated my stash to this armoire:

Stash Flash 1

Previously, it was living in large, plastic storage boxes that I kept in random places throughout my bedroom and closet. Having it all in one place has been helpful to me.

I initially had it organized like this:

Stash Flash 2

Wait, did I say organized? I promise that it looked nicer when I first did it. This picture is right before I re-organized yet again.

It was arranged pretty much by weight. But things were actually hard to access, especially those storage bags, and I felt like I wasn’t maximizing the space to its full potential and I was quickly running out of room. I was also noticing something. The “under-the-bed” storage bags that I had some yarn in wasn’t ideal for my situation. I would pull the bag out every time I needed fingering weight yarn and the friction of the yarn all jumbled together was causing some pilling and I was worried I was doing damage. And my fiber shelf was EXPLODING out of its allotted space.

My house is a small house, so expanding my storage space was out of the question. One day I will have a craft room, but until then, I have to make do. I also don’t have room for more furniture. I had to make this particular armoire work if I wanted my yarn all in one place.

My first step was to empty everything out and measure my space. Then I went shopping. I went to several stores. I measured various plastic tubs to see if they would fit. I bought some. I returned some. In the end, I bought from Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco and this is what I wound up with:

Stash Flash 3

I now feel like I have maximized the space without compromising accessibility. My most frequently used yarns are kept up top or on the bottom shelves where I can quickly pull them down. Things I don’t use as often are near the center. I moved (almost) all of my tools out to give me more room and I decided to keep all of my WIPs elsewhere. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Let’s start with the bottoms shelves. There, my sock yarn/fingering weight/sport resides. These are the bins I pull out most often, so they have to be the most accessible. I separated the tonal from the more variegated, since for me, they call for different types of patterns.

Stash Flash 4Stash Flash 5

Look at this yarn:

Stash Flash 6

I can’t wait to use it! I bought it at Stitches Midwest last summer and I’ve had a pattern picked out for ages now. I really should just cast it on.

Self-striping has its own bin. I’ve actually used up quite a bit, don’t you think? There’s certainly room for more! Shopping, yay!

Stash Flash 7

Now, let’s jump up top, to the next most-accessible: my “Sock Bits” and my lace weight.

Stash Flash 8

I actually think it’s a little sad that of all my leftovers, my sock yarn needs its own bin. And it is jam-packed! This is a trouble spot for me, because I don’t use up these bits nearly as fast as I knit socks. That’s something I have to work on this summer. I’m very quickly running out of room and it’s becoming a problem.

Stash Flash 9

Lace weight up top, sock bits on the bottom

Less of a problem is my lace weight. Lots of room there! This is on top of the stash, not for accessibility, but for size reasons. I have quite a bit in relative terms, because yardage is crazy for 50-100 gram skeins, but lace really doesn’t actually take up much room, so a small box up top made sense. All of my significant amounts of lace leftovers also live here in a ziplock bag.

Below that, I have sweater quantities.

Stash Flash 10Stash Flash 11

I don’t actually like to have that many sweater quantities on hand. Sweaters are an investment of time and money, and my taste changes pretty often when it comes to color and sweater types. I prefer to buy sweater quantities as needed, so I can buy colors as I crave them and exact yardage per project, and I’ve deviated away from that more than I would like. This box is too full and I do plan do something about that this summer. You can also see, I have a few projects that need to be frogged.

This sweater yarn is next for me:

Stash Flash 12

Isn’t it divine? Stacie dyed this color just for me and I’m planning on knitting Jackaroo as soon as I get my other sweater off the needles.

Below that, I have my fiber box. This is the biggest box, so that my fiber doesn’t get too compressed.

Stash Flash 13

I thought I might also store handspun here. I tried keeping it in a large bowl as decoration, but I was worried about dust and little, sticky kiddo hands. This box needs to get stashed down to make room for new acquisitions. I’m a fairly slow spinner, so my lovely fiber doesn’t get used as fast as I’d like. (Note: my punis are kept elsewhere, which I’ll get to. This box is for braids and roving. I no longer have batts, but if I did, I would probably find a different way to store them, for compression reasons.)

Stash Flash 14

Below the fiber, I have yarns that I really don’t knit a whole lot of — all my random DK-Bulky that isn’t enough for a sweater quantity. Some of it is yarn for projects for my kids or other smaller projects I thought about doing. Some of it is random. I don’t knit lots of projects that aren’t socks, shawls, or sweaters, so I don’t touch this box very often.

And below that is the bits and bobs from the previous box. Very exciting — haha:

Stash Flash 15

Stash Flash 16

Now, let’s move to the top of my armoire. I like to maximize space and try and make things a little pretty:

Stash Flash 17

Gorgeous, right? Ok, it’s a bit of a mess. I’m trying to keep it real, y’all! Clearly, I need to straighten up a bit and dust.

I have jars of punis:

Stash Flash 18

You’re not supposed to compress punis, even though they are rolled tighter than rolags. They can be a bit delicate, also. I like to keep them in glass jars so that they don’t get jumbled too much and they provide a bit of eye candy for me.

The jars on the end contain some skeins of handspun, handspun bits and bobs, and behind the bits and bobs, I have a jar of hexipuffs:

Stash Flash 19

Now, on to tools. This will be messy. Prepare yourselves.

I moved almost all of my tools out of the armoire to make room, but there are a few that stayed. My niddy noddy, swift, and ball-winder all live on the bottom shelf. First, they are long and I needed the deep shelves for them. Second, my swift and ball-winder are used very frequently, so it made sense to have them right there. I also have my wire blockers in the bag on the top left and my sock blockers hanging top right.

Stash Flash 20  Stash Flash 21  Stash Flash 22

All the rest were moved to this:

Stash Flash 23

This small chest of drawers lives in my bathroom. Yeah, it’s not ideal, but like I said, my house is small and I have to make do with the furniture I have. The top drawer is a HOT MESS full of random papers and junk. It’s my knitting junk drawer. Best not to open that drawer. ;)

The other two drawers hold my needles and other small tools and, shamefully, some spinning. That needs to move the heck out of the humid bathroom, ASAP. What was I thinking??

Stash Flash 24  Stash Flash 25

Honesty, y’all. I have it in spades.

My goals for these drawers are very simple: Straighten up and throw away trash. I keep thinking I should destash my older interchangeable sets, since it turns out I’m totally a ChiaoGoo girl, but I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. Every now and then, I need to grab a pair of KnitPicks when I run out of ChiaoGoos.

And finally, here are my official Stash Flash goals:

  • Update my Ravelry. I’m lacking pictures on some FOs, some spinning, and some stash.
  • Though I recently organized, I could probably do a bit more to get things to fit better. I should re-arrange individual yarns, especially the fuller boxes, and make sure all my sock bits are in plastic bags (easier to manage that way, trust me.)
  • General cleaning: Straighten up that mess on top of the armoire. Maybe figure something better for my handspun. Straighten up my tools.
  • STASH DOWN! I’m doing Stash Dash, hosted by The Knit Girllls, so that will help so much. I need to make room for future acquisitions and use up older stuff before I no longer love it. Plus, all those sock bits need to turn into blanket squares or hexipuffs. It’s ridiculous.

Alright, that’s the current state of my stash. I wish everyone well on their Stash Flash journey and remember, the most important thing is to EMBRACE your stash. Whatever gets you to the point where you can love your stash, do it! And have fun with it!