Thursday, June 21, 2007

Plea for Help from a Student of Chaos Theory

I mentioned my hapless attempts at organization, didn't I? Here I am with my 57th birthday on the horizon (Monday!!) and I'm still struggling with the same basic problem that vexed me at 17: I don't have an orderly bone in my body.

It feels good to say that out loud. I am not an orderly person. I don't live an orderly life. (Maybe that's why I get all itchy whenever I look at a knitting chart: it puts me in mind of uniforms and lights out and no margin for error.) If I had my way (and Goldisox wasn't my polar opposite) I would have everything I own within an arm's length: books and laptops and printers and phones and yarn and needles and magazines and pattern print-outs and cups of tea and ginger-spice cookies and DVDs and CDs and--well, you get the messy picture, right?

So here I am embarking once again on another (destined to be fruitless) quest for order and organization. I am starting small. Currently I'm listing all of my yarns in a little dime store notebook. Of course that means I have to find all of my yarn and that's proving to be a whole lot tougher than it sounds.

Remember when I found my John Adams photos in the soup tureen? Well, that's just the start of it. I have now found yarn in the vanity cabinet in the guest bathroom downstairs, in the basement, in the guest room upstairs, in the wall unit in the living room, hidden in the coffee table in the family room, in the trunk of my ancient Buick, behind the sofa, the china closet, in the other soup tureen, piled up all high and pretty in a giant wooden salad bowl, tucked safely in a wine rack. Oh yeah, and there was the runaway ball of Kureyon tucked inside a pewter vase.

See what I mean? I have a problem and it's not the one you think. I actually find it easier to deal with the chaotic craziness than try to figure out a way to establish order. What happens once I catalog everything? What in the name of EZ am I supposed to do with all of this stuff? Do I separate it according to color? According to fiber? According to weight? Do I try to cram it all into one room, one closet, under one bed? Is it really time for a (gasp) knitting room? (I'm having trouble with that one since I'm not doing half as much knitting right now as I'd like.)

How do you handle your stash? Where do you keep all of your goodies? Do you have a running list of your fiber assets? Do you keep a notebook, put them on computer, hold them close to your greedy little knitter's heart? Do you stuff them in closets or in your basement or in big Rubbermaid bins?

Where do you put it all??????


Labels: ,


Anonymous Trish said...

I wasn't managing my stash until I got into Ravelry. I now know exactly what's in my stash without having to paw through the drawers. I use the plastic jumbo 4 drawer things you can buy from walmart, kmart, etc. My stash hasn't gotten big enough to move up to more space but I'm not far from it. :)
Good Luck!

10:15 PM  
Blogger georg said...

My yarn stash fits into one rather small box. Everything is in there except the sock yarn (which is currently in the bags it came in and just blythely tossed into the spare room- since this is only three separate bags, this is not yet a problem, and if I put it away properly, it could fit in that box). But then, I've only recently become interested in knitting again. I've considered myself more of a Quilter and a costume maker, and um, it's the fabric that is all over the house. I have more embroidery floss than I do yarn. Most of the fabric is in four big tubs, a dresser, and a chest. But there are Piles. And Bags. Given my ratio of completion to acquisition, I've probably already reached SABLE. (Stash acquired beyond life expectancy). And I'm only 38, and gee, I'd like more.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

I'd like to help you with this, but I'm commenting here to tell you that the state of my stash is similar to yours. Sigh.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Ok--here's my take on stash taming. Get the lovely medium-sized clear tubs with the interlocking lids (avaiable everywhere from Wal-Mart to Home Depot). Label the box for types of yarn, such as lace, sock, acrylic, natural, cotton, novelty. (And I have a couple of bigger ones for roving to spin later.) Have a few more for projects, like the sweater I'm planning or the SIL's wedding gift. Put on shelves in a closet with label facing out.

Keep in mind this only works if you keep up with the new purchases, too. Half my fiber room is stash that needs to be sorted and stashed.....

9:48 AM  
Blogger Redford Phyl said...

I am so disorganized that my desk has developed a black hole. Things disappear. It swallowed a big thing of SPF50 sun block 3 weeks ago. I broke down and bought more 2 days ago. That generally makes things reappear, but not this time. I like to have things within reach, too. My stash is in ginormous plastic ziplocks, usually sorted by type — sock, lace, felting, other and fiber — but I have to admit that they sometimes swap places while my back is turned. I'm afraid to start cataloging it on Ravelry. Did I say that I'm on a self-imposed yarn diet? As soon as my latest order arrives? I'm hopeless.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Well, sometimes I make the attempt to organize my stash and I accomplish that mission. Only problem is that once that is accomplished, usually when I'm NOT knitting, I go back to my knitting and decide to start on new projects when others aren't finished yet and yarn chaos erupts again!!
I actually have a small bureau in my spare bedroom, which was supposed to be my craft room but somehow became my husband & son's guitar/music room!!! It is full of my yarn and sort of organized. Then I have a bunch of baskets full of yarn in my living room, in various stages of creation! I have a few tote bags with current works in progress that I'm doing. I see I have two 6 inch M&M containers with my dpn's sitting here on my computer desk for some reason! I did buy a fishing worm bag thing that I put all my circular needles in yesterday. It zips right up and keeps them contained!
And this is just my knitting stash! I have the quiting fabric problem that georg has also. I have the CLOSET in what was to be my craft room, and the bureau is inside the closet and stacked around the bureau is fabric!! Then I have the container full of needle felting supplies and roving.
I look at it this way. When I am old and gray and have no money to support my knitting, or quilting, or whatever, I will have a stash to fall back on!! LOL

11:15 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

How about chaotic organisation? Buy some clear plastic boxes from a DIY store or a dollar store and chuck in whatever fits. Type up a list for each box of whatever you managed to put in it and print two copies - one to tape to each end of the box. That way you can stack the boxes and then just look at the list to see what's in it instead of having to unpack each box and dig through it.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I have yarn in ziploc bags of varying sizes. Some smaller ziplocs are inside larger ones (those XL ziplocs are great!), or in boxes, or tote bags, or stuffed behind the couch, or out in the open.... I think I have a mostly complete listing of what I own, sorted by yarn weight, but I could be delusional on that point. I do maintain my inventory (whether or not it is actually complete) on the computer, so I can edit it easily when I think about it and/or the need arises.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

You guys are scaring me. Will I someday have yarn stashed in various dark corners of my house, possibly spontaneously reproducing itself? (What do you think you'd get if you crossed Noro Kureyon with Cascade Fixation?)

So far my stash is so pathetic that I can fit it into one file box sitting on my office floor. But I'm taking notes...

10:19 PM  
Blogger R a i n said...

My stash fits into a tiny 5 tiered drawer set. Hmm...looks like you've got all the help from big stashers already!

How about swapping stuff you would never use now (after the initial love has faded away) for stuff you'd rather knit....? Just my two cents.

Here's a dandy site that might help:

3:29 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home