In Which I Attempt Organization

I have a fiber and yarn stash. I’m so lucky that I have a family that’s ok with my collection. The fact is though, that I’ve been spinning and knitting a very long time, and so I have a LOT of stash.

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Into the Whirled – Just Figs

My stash is stored in what is ostensibly my guest room. There’s an Ikea couch that folds out into a bed, my writing desk, and a lovely rocking chair in the room. My drum carder, swift, ball winder, and several shelves worth of books also live in that room. I have a guest coming to stay in a few weeks, and realized that the room is nowhere near guest ready, and frankly isn’t being used for anything but storage of my stash. This needed to change, and change fast.
Gourmet Stash - Colorful Shenanigans Bon bons
Gourmet Stash – Colorful Shenanigans Bon Bons

This project is going to take me a while, probably until just before my guest arrives, but it will be worth it when I have a useable room again. Once the room is cleared out, I’ll be moving my work area from the dining room table up to my writing desk.

I suspect that a lot of us spinners and knitters have a stash, so I want to talk about how I’m slowly getting mine in order, making it something useful to me, where I can find what I need fairly quickly. Organizing isn’t a one day deal. It’s not even a one weekend event.

The first thing I did was to buy a six pack of 66 gallon tubs. I bought mine from Amazon, but I know you can find these at Target, and many of our local big box stores. I also bought myself a new file box and some hanging folders. I have a lot of paperwork, old bills, children’s art, and other miscellaneous paper that needed to be filed.

I needed a way to note what I had… Actually, first I needed to figure out what information I would want to know about what I had. I started with a spreadsheet. I noted:

Dyer Name/Company
Colorway
Dye lot
Yarn or fiber base
Yarn or fiber content
Where the item is stored
Yardage
Weight (in oz)
Yarn weight
Notes

You’ll notice that I didn’t care about where I got the item, or how much I paid for it. I made a note if I the quantity came about because I had more than one hank of a particular base/colorway.

Working in a spreadsheet was fine, but it wanted to be able to put a QR Code on each tub, and bring back everything in the tub when I scanned the code. I couldn’t figure out how to do that with Excel. I turned to Ravelry.

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Ravelry was promising. I could put up a picture of the yarn or fiber. I could record almost all of the information I wanted about my stashed item. I could export my yarn stash. Full stop.

I can’t export my fiber stash. I can’t search my fiber stash by storage location. I can’t import any of the stash I had input to the spreadsheet. This is both better and worse.

Now what?

I’m a data geek. I think I’d rather have a searchable, sortable spreadsheet. I may try putting the spreadsheet into Office 365 or Google Drive, and see if I can QR code a saved search.

Anyone have any ideas?

2 Comments

  1. Christian says:

    If you have a phone or iPad download a free contact management. App. This is just a database. You put a picture organize by groups and include any notes. Can be used for wip which you can then associated to your fiber or yarn.
    Best part it will always be with you.

    • admin says:

      What an interesting idea! I’ll have to give it a shot.

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