Posted by: jinniver | May 27, 2008

Taming the shrewish stash

When I could no longer get to my sewing table without specialized equipment, I knew something had to be done.

Back when I first started knitting–all eight or so months ago–the two bookshelves I cleaned off of my sewing room bookcase seemed more than sufficient. I’d moved all the books to the bottom two shelves, moved the VCR tapes of Simply Quilts to the top, and lowered the top shelf as far as it could go. That left me with a very tall upper opening and a smaller bottom opening.

I didn’t have that much yarn, partly because I didn’t have a good pusher–er, supplier. My choices (that I knew of) were Wal-Mart, Joann’s, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby. I went with the latter for selection and price. After all, my knitting at that time was all for Lexie, and I could get some decent but inexpensive yarns there for outfits my baby girl was going to outgrow every three months–and which were going to be put through the wringer in the meantime. I’ve never been a fun fur hater–I’m not about to knit myself or anyone else a sweater with all novelty yarn, but it’s got a time and place–so I also took advantage of Hobby Lobby’s sales. Every bit of novelty yarn seen above I got at less than $1 apiece.

But just as I was beginning to get bored with the limited selection, three things happened: I discovered the Knitters’ Review forums, where I learned which online sites were the best to buy from; I heard about Ravelry, where I learned a lot about what yarn was out there and was introduced to a number of quality indie dyers (located in my sidebar); and I found Knotty Girl Fiber Arts Studio in Corpus Christi, TX.

That last discovery was the most significant, because for the first time I could see and actually touch a variety of high quality yarns: soft 100% cottons, touchable wool blends, hand-dyed silks, sock yarns in every shade, and more. The allure was nearly irresistible…and then the government had to go and send me a stimulus check. So I started my stimulation of the economy with the yarn industry. And my stash got out of control.

Needless to say, the yarn stuffed in all those boxes and bags was never going to fit on the two bookshelves, even if there was any space left. And I wanted something nicer for my nice yarn, where it would be protected from direct sunlight and a three-year-old. It took some looking to find exactly what I wanted (Home Depot’s supply of storage containers was pathetic, but Lowe’s had it), but I had some definite requirements:

  • drawers for closed storage and easy access
  • plastic, so it’s inexpensive and lightweight (we move too much for something nice or heavy)
  • see through, so I could easily see what I have
  • drawers that are large enough for a sweater’s worth of yarn, but small enough that smaller collections aren’t rattling around in there and to maximize the number of drawers
  • stackable (also to maximize drawer space) and the right size to fit the spot I had

We have a hallway closet upstairs that’s a little strange–it’s L-shaped, with the bottom of the L in front of you when you open the door and the long side of the L extending to the left. There are shelves along that long side, but nothing on the bottom of the L–no shelves or bar (not that the opening is deep enough to hang anything anyway). I had a space 23″ deep and 29 1/2″ wide to fill, and I found the perfect drawers. They’re narrow enough that I could put three 5-drawer units side-by-side, shallow enough that I can open even the drawers tucked behind the door frame, and the right height that I can stack them two units high and still reach the top drawer.

While I was picking out the drawers for the closet, I found 3-drawer units that were wider. Since they were shorter and could hold more yarn in each drawer, two of them became my “current projects” storage, sitting next to my sewing table. And on top of those are now two more units that have three short drawers for all of my needles. The bookcase still looks like it did–that storage is fine for the yarn that is there–but I’m pretty pleased with my new set up for the rest of my stash.



  1. Wow! Your yarn storage looks wonderful! All that yarn and you’ve only been knitting 8 months…I am impressed!

  2. Colour me impressed! You’ve got WAY more organization than I could possibly dream of. My entire apartment looks like those before pictures… ALL THE TIME!

  3. And no mention of how we came to get these? Not the “let’s go look at grills” and then fill the car with your storage devices and leave me to go back to get my grill later?


  4. Dude…did you just publicly complain about getting YOUR FATHER’S DAY PRESENT almost a month early because I didn’t want to watch you suffer with that falling apart piece of junk any longer?

    Your Hawaiian shirts are officially on hold.

  5. I will be much happier next time DH wants a trip to Lowe’s.


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