The Spring / Stash challenge

This is where I will share with you my Spring Challenge which is meant to encourage us and empower us to take a serious look at our stash, be it yarn, needles, beads, other craft supplies or all of the above.

The idea is for us to take stock. Look at what we have and sort and organize. Get a good idea of what we have to better use our precious stash. And to either donate or swap with others those items we no longer want.

We need to come up with tips and tricks to make this an enjoyable process. Cheering each other on should help with that. And maybe we’ll do a big yarn swap in the end! After all, our stash and craft area will be all organized and beautiful and ready to welcome newcomers:)

I am currently working on the preparations for the challenge and trying to get good resources for us all before we really start. For that and just generally for the fun, I have created a little survey I hope you will accept to take. It’s all about our yarn stash and I think the results will be fun to discover for all of us.

If you would like to take part in my survey please click on the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PM8RWRN

I have created a hashtag for this on Instagram and it is #KnittinginFranceSpringChallenge  Please use this when posting about the challenge as well as hashtag #knittinginfrance. This way I can follow your efforts on Instagram as well and of course feel free to tag me if you like.

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April 16th 2018

 

Hi there, I’m back and still getting ready for the heavy lifting so to say. I did a little survey but not many have replied/participated so I’m keeping it open a little longer hoping to get more replies.

The survey is about stash storage, how and where you keep your yarn stash. Now I’m interested in your needle and other knitting related accessories. How do you store your knitting needles?

Currently I have a few boxes and fabric buckets filled with knitting needles. All in one enormous chaos. And when I have to look for a particular size it can sometimes be a headache. And so I sometimes find myself ordering new needles online when I’m pretty sure I already own a set of this particular needle already! This needs to change! I really need to find a new and effective way of storing my needles.

So I’m thinking, should I just get a bigger box so everything fits in one box? Should I maybe find a folder where I can insert plastic sleeves and put my needles into transparent plastic sleeves and organize by numbers/sizes?

Is there a needle organizer out there that could solve all my needle organizing issues?

I’d love to hear what you think and how you store your needles and other supplies.

Also , will you be organizing just your yarn/knitting supplies or do you intend to organize other types of supplies at the same time?

I have  lots of knitting supplies and wips to organize but I also have lots of other types of supplies to organize such as beads, polymer clay + tools, stitch marker supplies to mention a few and of course my fibre/spinning supplies.

I think I will have to make a plan, something like a timetable where I have a designated time to work on each portion of my organizing challenge. I admit I’m somewhat overwhelmed by the task but I said I would do this and you are joining me so I’m not going to let you and myself down! I will persevere and DO THIS!

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27th of April 2018

I’m almost there! I have a few days off next week and I´m thinking I might go to Ikea and get some nice boxes and other supplies and then actually get going and get as much done as I can next week! Would that not be AMAZING?

I´m hoping I can take some time this weekend to prepare mentally for my task and maybe set up some sort of a plan for how I want things to be/look. Have you started?

So since I´m doing this publicly and letting you share as I go, I guess I have to show you some BEFORE pictures. Otherwise you will not realise what an amazing job I have done when I´m finished!

Sharing pictures like this takes courage! But we are friends and I hope you won´t judge me. And maybe you too have piles similar to mine and will be empowered by me to turn things around.

So here goes! Be kind!

Are you still there? I hope so….

So these are my two “corners of shame” as I call them. I admit I do have some yarn and fibres stowed away/hidden in cabinets elsewhere in my room and I do have part of my stash in the garage…. Yes I do have a sizeable stash!

I always want to keep my wips and my latest yarns close to hand. Even if I know I wont be knitting said yarn anytime soon, I still need it close to me. So the yarns I need less, get put in the garage. But now the hubs is asking for more room in the garage and for that to happen I first have to do a serious clean up/organising in my room.

Currently I have my yarns in both plastic boxes and cardboard boxes. Everything is mixed together both commercial yarns and hand dyed, all weights of yarns, all the colours etc.

I´m thinking maybe I will package yarns by weight mostly and maybe put sock yarns together and other fingering weight yarns that I intend for garments or shawls separately.

I´m also going to donate yarn. I´m going to set aside yarns I no longer like or want and I will try to find a charity close to me to them to. And if there are any nice yarns I no longer want I´m thinking I might do a destash on Ravelry. And if I´m not alone in this challenge, maybe you would like to do a yarn destash swap? The idea being I´ll send you a skein of my yarn for a skein of yours. We could create a thread here or on Ravelry with pictures and all the details for the yarns we want to swap and then  just go from there. I think that could be fun.

So anyway, now you have seen my corners of shame, I hope you will still want to follow my progress. I know I will greatly appreciate your support as I work on getting things better.

I just can´t wait for everything to be organised and just look beautiful. I´m sure it will be super motivating for me.

That´s all for today. I´ll be back next week with more news. I hope you will join me in this Spring effort and feel free to comment here and share your own progress.

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May 7th 2018

So it’s been 10 days since I checked in here and boy has there been change! I’m so happy to have gone through with this challenge and to finally have my room look like a room and not a messy attic.

I had a few days off work last week and I decided this was the best time to tackle this one corner at a time. I would never have been able to do this had I not had some days off work as it just takes too much time and energy.

I will say though that the process was surprising in that I did not end up throwing lots away or even making a big “to swap/donate” pile as I had expected. That might be happening though because even if my room is now done, I do have my garage to work through! There I have the rest of my shop inventory but also a lot of yarns that I’m not super happy with and so do not require their presence at all times 🙂

That will have to happen this summer because that will be a joint effort as my husband also has a lot of “junk” to go through in his part of the garage.

But let’s focus on the good news.

So I had told you about my “corners of shame” and so I tackled them individually. I bought some textile boxes (the cheapest kind) from my local supermarket and I also bought some baskets that I’m now using for my wips.

I would empty the space first and then go through the yarns. I tried to sort them into boxes, that is sock yarn with sock yarn and so forth. I also went through my pile of knitting needles and accessories which was very beneficial.

And when it came time to go through the mountain of wips, I did open each project bag and decide if I was ever going to finish. I did rip a few things out to keep the yarn. In some cases I had one sock done and had not started the second and sometimes I would simply throw the sock away and just keep the rest of the yarn.

It sounds horrible but it was actually liberating. I still have a ton of wips and even more as in the last few days I have taken on two more test knits! But I definitely have less than before. A while back I had gone through my wips and already sized them down some and I’m guessing that if I go through them again in say 3 months I most likely will be able to narrow them down even further but this is not an easy task.

Now here are the pictures and please be kind:)

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What you are seeing here is my mountain of wips (as you may have guessed from the number of project bags on display) and 3 large plastic boxes full of yarn. So first I went through my wips and emptied project bags and so forth.

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Then I tackled the yarn.

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This was a mix of all sorts. Lots of my own hand dyed yarns, lots of partially used skeins, lots of handspun.

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And this is the space NAKED! I had to take a picture as I won’t be seing this part again anytime soon:)

So after much sorting and thinking and effort as I listened to my audiobook, here are the results!

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Not perfect but at least organised AND you can see the floor! So on the left you see a glimpse of one of  the baskets I bought to put my wips in. Then there are all the boxes that are full of yarns. On top of the grey boxes you have two plastic boxes that I should work on but they both contain knitting and crochet accessories. The white wooden box in the right corner is full of knitting patterns I have printed out and intend to knit (yes I might be slightly delusional).

Phew that was amazing! On the other corner.

corner of shame one

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This corner was mostly yarn and fibre and then of course other crafting supplies and I have to admit that I did not organise those, I only worked on my yarn and fibre as those were the most urgent.

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As you can see I actually worked this corner first (if you look closely you will see the mess on the other side of the bed).

So most of what you see here was in this little corner but some was in a closet hidden away but not forgotten about:)

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I again tried to put similar things together. One drawer just for sock blanks, one for sock sets, one for sweater quantities etc.

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I had these faux leather baskets I had bought as props for the shop. Now they are housing my mini self striping skeins and I have a third one with some of my handspun yarns.

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Not perfect but oh so much nicer to look at! The little commode used to house my stitch markers for the shop but is now full of yarn. You see the little faux leather baskets with self striping yarns. On the right side you have a ton of plastic boxes filled with yarn and on top you have few textile baskets where I keep knitting needles. Yes there are 4 baskets full of knitting needles of all shapes and sizes!

Amazing! I’m so happy that this is done. I also got a great overview of what I have in my stash and it made me realise that I actually don’t need more yarn! If that is a thing….

I hope you have enjoyed following along with my challenge and that maybe I have in some way inspired you to do the same. I believe I invested about 60 EUR in storage supplies which is not over the top but I’m sure you can do this for less too.

If you are in the middle of your challenge or going to start, I wish you all the best and keep in mind that the effort really is worth it!

13 thoughts on “The Spring / Stash challenge

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  3. Bon courage ! I did this when I moved to my chéri’s flat. Now my stash is in 3 huge trunks, 1 suitcase and a few cardboard boxes. A tip: I only have the projects to finish (UFOs) at home so I’m “obliged” to finish them. It works, after a few months, I only have a lace shawl and a crochet stola to finish… It helps!!!
    If you wish to donate yarn, specially acrylic or non fragile yarns, how about Amis Sans Frontières ? This charity organisation knits “trousseaux de layette” and give them to social workers, hospitals (maternités) who give them to young mothers in need. Their facebook page is here https://www.facebook.com/ASF75/ I’m sure they’ll tell you where is the nearest ASF place for you to bring the yarn to donate.
    A big bravo to your Spring / Stash challenge!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the link I will definitely look into that. Most of the yarn I want to donate is no good for premature babies but it can be used for hats/scarfs/mittens/blankets or yarn bombing. I actually worked on my organizing today and one corner is 80% done and it feels SO good!

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  6. Everything looks AMAZING!! i will definitely not get to do the challenge this month unless my life comes to a standstill and there isn’t a chance in h*eck that will happen. You are giving me some really good ideas, though. You should feel so accomplished. You did such a great job.

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    • Hm just by weight really. That is I grouped the yarns in each box by weight but I did not designate a particular area or boxes for each type of yarn so they are somewhat mixed. But if I open a box all the yarns in that box will be in the same weight. I felt that was more coherent for me. I mostly own fingering weight yarns so my thicker yarns only occupy a few boxes. I felt organizing by color would not be as good as when I go stash diving I usually first look for the right weight and then choose a color from what yarn I have.

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