My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Tales From the Stash

Hey, y’all. So happy to oblige you by being the poster child for sock yarn stash gone wild. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There were a few questions in the comments about my stash containment system.

A few weeks back I was hit by the urge to downsize and de-clutter (try to contain your laughter here) and get rid of stuff. I’ve been working on that — at least two-thirds of my clothes and shoes have been carted off the premises, never to return. And I’ve been working really hard on the de-cluttering.

I am seriously lazy. When I come home from work, I do not feel like going through the mail, sorting it, and shredding the shreddables. So I stack it on a desk. When new sock yarn enters my domain (cough, cough) I pile it on the desk rather than bag it and file it in the stash room.

Up until a few weeks ago, my stash room was full of shopping bags of yarn, willy-nilly, hither and yon. The older stuff was bagged in zip-lock bags, but I hadn’t been keeping up with that.

So I sucked it up and armed with some boxes of gallon-sized zip-lock bags, went in and bagged up the recent acquisitons according to brand.

I already have two rows of shelves built around two walls of the stash room, and a lot of my non-sock-yarn stash is neatly stacked there.

But the sock yarn was hanging out in shopping bags.

So I ordered the cool wire storage cubes that you saw in the last blog entry.

I got mine at, but you get get them elsewhere. Google. I ordered two sets of 6 cubes and set about putting the sock yarn within. I sorted by brand — I’ve got Fleece Artist in one cube, Socks that Rock in another, Cherry Tree Hill in another. And so on. And some doubled up in one cube — Sanguine Gryphon and Neighborhood Fiber Company share a cube, for example.

I did that organization last weekend and was quite delighted with the results. I ordered and received more wire cubes, because all my laceweight yarn was still lying around unorganized. Three guesses what I just finished doing.

There was a comment about the wide range of colors in my sock yarn stash. When it comes to sock yarn, I never met a color I didn’t like. I’ll knit socks in pretty much any color. Because many of my socks are for other people, or are knit to be photographed for the pattern, I knit in a wide range of hues.

Which came first, the yarn of the pattern? Almost always the pattern. I work up a sock design and pick the yarn I think will suit it. Every now and then I get a yarn that inspires a pattern. The Seaweed Socks (free pattern available from my “free patterns” page — see the tab at the top of this page) design is a good example of this — I got the gorgeous Bellamoden tincture-dyed yarn (from The Loopy Ewe but she has an Etsy shop as well) and it reminded me of seaweed.

But usually the pattern comes first. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s Sunday afternoon. Here’s what Lucy is doing:

Hunkering down for a nap!


  1. My God, I’ve been decluttering lately. I have a plan to throw away a box a day (on the weekends) until all the clutter from my apartment is gone. I’ve thrown away two huge boxes of crap. I’m due for a “toss out session” today.

  2. Wow. Looks Great!!
    Do you have some kind of master list that you refer to or do you just pretty much remember what you have? Do you ever buy doubles because you like it so much the 2nd time you see it too? That’s been my new “issue”.

  3. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Look at those teeth!

    I agree with you about sock yarn colors–my sock yarn stash (I shudder to think how large it is) contains colors I’d never be able to wear next to my face. But hey, who cares when bright orange or olive green are on my feet?

    Happy napping, Lucy.

  4. Thanks! I asked that question of you awhile back, pattern or yarn first. I’m amazed by people that have the ability to see beyond, so to speak. Still have stash envy!

  5. Looks awesome! I love your cat pictures-those expressions crack me up! Off to organize in your honor.

  6. Your stash makes my stash look pathetic by comparison! I’ ve used the wire cubes for organizing other things, but never thought about using them to organize stash. Happy napping, Miss Lucy!

  7. Margie from Maryland says:

    Hi Wendy
    I have the same yarn storage system – my wire panels are royal blue. I got them from Target last year.
    Unfortunately, the left side of my “wall o cubes” just collapsed – NOT because I put too much yarn in it, I’m sure.

  8. anne marie in philly says:

    steven and meredith say: “we’ve got your back on that nap thing, cousin lucy!”

  9. It must be a decluttering bug going around. I have been doing that all week. Ugh! I can never find things in my stash/knitting room. So I bit the bullet and am happy now with the results. What a job! Next on the list are closets. Lucy is doing what I would love to do today.

  10. I’m in awe! How about a panoramic video of the stash room?

    Marys last blog post..Yesterday/Today

  11. I’m still on the shopping bag(s) method of stash organization. But, I did re-organize by vendor – and like you, some shopping bags have more than one vendor, so I have a post it stuck to the inside of the bag for when I go back and do the real organizing project. But, I want a cabinet for part of it, I think. Thanks for sharing! : )

    Amys last blog post..Besides Plurking, I have been…

  12. Dear Wendy,
    You sure know a lot more about yarn than I do, but I heard someone
    say once that you shouldn’t keep your yarn in plastic bags. My yarn
    is usually in a zip lock bag also. However, I don’t have 1/10 of the
    yarn that you. I did notice though that when you go into a yarn shop,
    the yarn is always loose in cubes or hanging on hooks. I certainly
    wouldn’t know what to do with mine if it wasn’t for zip lock bags. You
    certainly look very organized for all the yarn you have. I don’t know
    what I have and it’s a very small amount.

  13. I seriously don’t believe you’re lazy. Not getting at things that ‘should be done’ isn’t laziness. You get a great many other things done.

  14. Rest your back this afternoon. Life after work at your house sounds like life after work at mine. I just finished sorting through mail (not a normal Sunday task) and I’ve got 3 yarn shipments and some handspun either on the desk or at the ball winding station (where it usually goes). Ball winding was the lunchtime de-stressor until I had 3 out of 4 days that winding had to stop for detangling. Hope to start that process again this week.

  15. I commend you on getting your stash in order – I really need to work on mine.

    Anyway, your wire shelves , we have these at the yarn shop where I work. FYI: maybe it’s our earthquakes here in California or rough customers but ours tend to come apart. Zip Ties work to keep the shelves together. Medium weight wire cutters will easily cut the Zip Ties when/if you want to change the configuration.

    CCs last blog post..Muggy Weather

  16. LOLcat caption for top Lucy pic:

    “vampyre kitteh 2 tired 2 suk blood 2day”

  17. Thanks for the inspiration Wendy. I’ve contemplating for the last month on how to organize by obsession. It’s so large that I don’t know where to start! I need someone to help me, but I don’t want someone to turn me because they believe I’m “sick” lol
    The cubes look like a great idea. Thank you thank you!

    Carols last blog post..Ever Heard of Hat Attack?

  18. My stash also resides in those metal cube organizers.. I love having my yarn on ‘display’. I like that they are easily taken apart (for moving.. I’m a renter) and reconfigured without the use of tools (though a rubber mallet helps with putting them together solidly). I have about 4 ‘sets’ of those around the house and in the various closets.. very useful.

  19. Lazy????? Lazy is when it takes a couple of weeks to finish stupid little baby booties and you have still neglected your regular chores like bill paying, house cleaning, cooking, exercise, shopping.

    We just decluttered and reorganized too; 20+ bags for Goodwill replete with the photos so we can deduct. Many trips to the Container Store, later it actually feels pretty good. I finally realized that if I ever lose 20 lbs I’d probably prefer new clothes to stuff I bought in 1988. It’s like Triny & Susanah went thru my closet, left nothing, but I don’t get the makeover and shopping spree.

  20. Elizabeth says:


  21. I’m so proud of you! Doesn’t it feel good to get that stuff organized? I just need to move to a bigger house now so I can get more stuff to organize. I’m running out of room and destashing is not my favorite thing to do.

    Pats last blog post..What a beautiful Buzz!

  22. Would you please send someone to organize my craft room? It’s so bad I can barely get to the ironing board or the sewing machine. Too many fun things in there: yarn, quilt fabrics, cross stitch kits, and much more including outgrown clothes.

    Marions last blog post..Trouble with socks

  23. So I never thought I’d meet anyone who needed a closet organizer for all her YARN! That is unbelievable to me! It does look really pretty all stashed away… all the different colorful balls. But can we talk about LUCY! Those are fantastic pictures! I send her kitty hugs! My pup was a rescue too! Ciao!

  24. I have a suggestion on the wire bins. I see that you already have them filled, but you might want to reinforce as many intersections as you can reach. I had to unload mine and wrap a bit of tape around the wire mesh near each “plug” join because it collapsed (it was two sets stacked). I admit that I had shoes and bags in mine, and that most of the bags had projects in them. Yarn by itself is probably not as heavy.

    Tans last blog post..Why is my room the family dump?

  25. Lucy Vampire!

    Susans last blog post..Awesome shoes

  26. Is this called late Summer cleaning? I seemed to have missed the Spring one . I have been organizing and decluttering the past couple of months also. Feels good when you get rid of all the “stuff” you never use any more!!!

  27. What a grand fiber IRA (errr, stash)!
    Applause, applause. it’s truly wonderous.
    and I LOVE that photo of Lucy yawning.

    Teyanis last blog post..A Cabled Month

  28. I am totally impressed with not only your organizing efforts and your stash as well. Mine is literally stashed all over the house, under beds, in cabinets, you get the idea. I would love to do what you did. However I think it would send my husband over the edge and he’d start looking for a 12 step program for me. Great Job! I’ll live vicariously through your organization.

  29. Did the “organizing/purge” bit this summer. Nuh-huh. Surprising how often being a good girl creates more problems! I have a room that is supposed to be book and stash and ironing room. Riiiight. Had to buy more bookcases and I still don’t know how to finish it off!

    Well done Wendy! You inspire me to finish that room and start on the kitchen. later

  30. Theresa in Italy says:

    I desperately need to organize my stash—I’m waiting till either it cools down or they’re all back at school, whichever one comes first—and we’re due for a major decluttering around here, too. The problem is knowing where to start! Congratulations on on a fine job. I don’t think you’re lazy at all.

    Love Lucy the Vampire Cat!

  31. OMG lookit those fearsome fangs!!! Run away, ye catnip mousies!!
    Oh, now she’s asleep. Never mind.

    Carols last blog post..Catch-up Book Report

  32. Sheila in Ohio says:

    I’m a quilter first and a knitter second, so my stash is primarily fabric. The yarn I own would fill a large priority mail box…. maybe… (but when you have $1000s in one addiction, it’s easy to slow down for any subsequent ones).

    So, my question relates to the zip bags as well. Is their purpose for ease of organization? to keep the dust off? Quilters are taught to find a non-plastic, ‘breathable’ way to store their goods due to the chances of rotting or mildew. Do yarn hoarders not worry about this?

    BTW–LOVE the stash. Not envious, but love it. And thank you for all you share about knitting how-to’s and why’s, etc.

  33. Congrads, I am very envious of anyone who is organized with yarn. I try but then starting thinking in terms of what project I should start and there goes organization.cecilia

  34. The yarn looks great! I can’t wait to get mine all organized, I just need to get my house built.

    Jewels last blog post..Spinning has started again!

  35. I’ve got the same wire cubes in black – got mine from Target. They’re great, aren’t they? I don’t have my yarn in ziplock bags, but maybe I should. I suffer from the same laziness – I was quite proud of myself for getting my stash into the cubes, let alone zipping ’em up!

  36. Watch out its a Sabertooth kitty reincarnation ๐Ÿ™‚ HEHE!
    Love the organization of yarns, thankfully I dont have that much yarn to organize…Yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ziplock bags are a wonderful invention arent they!

    Danielle from SW MOs last blog post..Ravelympics Has Officially Started!!

  37. LOVE your organization…I need to do the same! Must as you’re inspiring me, I think it’s gonna have to wait.
    I long for winter and a several-day snowstorm!

    Knitnanas last blog post..And A Very Busy Sunday!

  38. I like your organization system. I keep dreaming of having a craft room (which will have among other things an actual ironing board), but I want the peg board on which to hang up my skeins (at least those amenable to that treatment).

    Seanna Leas last blog post..during the Olympics I am not an athlete

  39. I’m very impressed and extremely jealous!

  40. Wow, a stash room.

    Rachels last blog post..A torso and two wrists

  41. Lazy? well, I wouldn’t know about that myself…

    Only that I took out some of the stash to photograph and my yarn is now resting all over the kitchent table.

    Thank God my stash is not that big or I’d have to move out.

    Your system, here, looks so tidy and well put together.

  42. I have the exact same yarn organization system! Wire cubes, and gallon plastic containers. Again, I say, “great minds think alike” ๐Ÿ˜›

    Monis last blog post..Book Talk Saturday: Little Women