How do you organize your yarn stash and keep track of which yarns you own or use for a particular project? Do you have a system? Or do you just tie a piece of the relevant yarn around the yarn band and chuck it into a drawer never to be found again?
My “yarn organization” used to look like this:
A whole bunch of yarn ball bands with lengths of yarn tied around them to help me keep track of what each yarn was. I could show you my first rudimentary efforts at cataloguing them, but I am too embarrassed, frankly.
Once I started designing in earnest, I needed a better way to organize my yarn stash. This is what it looks like now:
Each yarn is attached to a page, by brand, and labelled with the Shade Number and the Shade Name. All these luscious strands of yarn (and a few of my pattern ideas) now live in these two files (with many more to follow):
The Lion and the Elephant pictured above are from my book, Amamani Puzzle Balls (also available as an Electronic Download). The pile of squares is from the Block a Week CAL 2014, and the wavy goodness under the Lion is a WIP that I am calling Lazy Waves (the pattern for which can now be found HERE).
Things You Will Need:
- Lever Arch File
- Mod Podge
- Heart Punch
- Template (for printed sheets)
- Laminator and Lamination pouches (like this Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator)
I wanted my pretty yarn to have a pretty home, so I started off by covering a Lever Arch file with fabric and Mod Podge. You can find an excellent tutorial for Fabric Covered Lever Arch Files here.
I used Shweshwe, which is a traditional South African fabric. The fabric is very stiff and it is often called the denim, or tartan, of South Africa.
I used it because I love the designs, but more importantly, because my mom gave me these pieces of Shweshwe and when I miss her (South Africa is so far away!!), I just look at the bookshelf where the files live and I feel a tiny bit better.
Just look at that beautiful fabric!
Once my files were covered, I printed out some of these templates. I stuck a ball band at the top of each page (some brands needed more than one page, because I have so many shades)…
…and then laminated the pages. This is not strictly necessary. If you print the template out on cardstock, you should be fine. But I like myself some laminating!
I made sure that the care instructions were visible. For some brands, like the Stylecraft above, I had to cut the ball band into segments.
Then I took a Heart Punch (but you can use any punch you fancy), and made a little heart-hole on each of the dots along the side of the template.
Oooh…hearts…and of course my mind was running away with possible uses for the cut-out hearts. And as I write this, I remember that I had actually wanted to take the hearts with to South Africa when we went to visit. They would have made a perfect addition to my sister’s confetti. Blast!
When that was done, I took my ball bands and noted down the Shade Number and Shade Name of each colour.
At first I attached the yarn by just looping it through the hole, like so:
Isn’t that just scrumptious? Unfortunately, all those dangly bits of yarn were very annoying…
…so I took my crochet hook and turned them into shorter, more manageable chains.
I cannot tell you how useful it is to have all my yarns “listed” like this. Whenever I need to reference a yarn I can just open my “catalogue” and flip through until I find it.
No more running around the house rummaging in all sorts of drawers and bags and coat pockets to find a wayward yarn-band and it’s corresponding piece of yarn.
While I was going through the photos for this post, I stumbled upon this one of Kettle the (grumpy) Cat giving me the evil eye. Yes, I fit the stereotype. I own a cat!
Debbie Pribele has made another version of the Yarn Stash Organizer. You can find that HERE.
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Holly Ann Kasprzak says
That’s wonderful! What size hole punch did you use? The link doesn’t work and I’m looking to purchase one like you have.
Jenny Lowman says
I would say Dedri used either a 10 or 15mm heart punch for this project.
Did you laminate the sheets first cause if you did wouldn’t the marker smear?
Dedri Uys says
I did laminate them first and I used a permanent marker and waited a few seconds for it to dry.
Stephanie Santiago says
Me encanta! Gracias por compartir !
Awesome job and I can’t wait to use this as inspiration. I just started to want to organize my yarns because I recently printed out 175 new patterns for Amigurumi, Appliques and other projects. With the intention to actually make things I want to make sure I have the right materials. Upon searching I found your article and I really am excited now to see what I can create from your post. Thank you so much for the inspiration into making a great organizer.