Storage Ideas for All That YARN

I have 12 skeins (6 in a kit for gloves, 6 in a kit for “gifts”). All are different colors, which is one of the reasons I got both kits. I also have 20 skeins of blue in the same dye lot (sweater!).

I didn’t start knitting seriously until 1991 and accumulating stash until later, so the Tapestry is some of my oldest yarn. I have twice received yarn from a non-knitter whose knitting mother passed away. In both cases I knit the giver a scarf from Mom’s yarn and gave away most of what I got, but I kept some of the good stuff which may predate my Tapestry.

I have two under bed bins for permanent storage, one basket with three smallish bags of partial balls: sock, wool, and machine washable. Anything that does not fit there is in one of three bags in my knitting room: last fall’s Rhinebeck yarn because it’s so pretty, current big project in the main knitting bag, and current small project(s).

Lucky you!, now, repeat after me, "i didn’t start COLLECTING til after 1991…":wink:

I live in a one bedroom apartment with my husband and dog, so I have pretty tight constraints on how much I can stash (I have spinning, sewing, needlepoint and cross-stitch to contend with as well). The nice thing about this is that it forces me to mostly put things in bins:

-Two giant ones for fiber and yarn (in the living room which is not optimal).
-One biggish one for fabric (in our storage closet).
-Four small to medium ones for needlepoint and cross-stitch in our hall closet).

The issue I struggle with is the proliferation of UFOs and just-bought yarn in project bags which are in a huge and uninspiring pile next to my crafting chair. I haven’t made any meaningful effort to organize them for easy access. Full disclosure, my therapist thinks I should as regular crafting helps me stay centered.

I do a few different things to keep the yarn/knitting at status quo:

-I frog things ASAP after realizing that they no longer interest me. I wash and either repurpose the yarn or donate. I use my project page on Ravelry to asses candidates for frogging whenever I feel like I have too much on the needles.

-I “air the stash” at least once a year and donate yarn that no longer speaks to my heart. Some of it is value/workhorse yarns and some of it is fancy/expensive and some of it are oddballs. I have no rules about it other than it no longer speaking to me.

-I have two scrappy afghans, one in progress and one planned, one for my worsted leftovers and one for my fingering weight leftovers.

-It’s not frugal, but I rigorously discard scraps that cannot be used for anything. If it is smaller than can be used for mitered squares (i.e., “my scrapghans;” each square uses only two colors which is a decent amount of yarn) or repairs of FOs, it goes.

I haven’t figured out any strategies yet for my other crafts, but they seem contained enough that I am not too worried about it. Helps that my tastes in needlepoint and cross-stitch run to the, ahem, very expensive so I buy very little.


I donate scraps to art teachers. The seem fine with a few yards with kids.

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I bought shoe cubbies from Target, I’m up to four now. I arrange my yarn by color, mixing all the weights together.

When looking for that link I saw this: More expensive and it doesn’t come in white (why?!) but it looks a little more polished and has a shelf for books.

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I began my journey of yarn storage with a huge tote, but it was inconvenient and hard to organize so eventually I branched out to three five gallon storage totes in which I organized my yarn according to a value set of rules: spinning fiber, sweater lots, and charity knitting. As my stash grew I ended up more frustrated with the tote method. However last year I lucked out when our neighbors got rid of a cardboard shoe storage system that was in closed in its own little plastic bag. I keep my single skeins in there sorting them by weight and color, and added two more totes to my collection for handspun yarn and bulky weight yarn which doesn’t fit well in the shoe sized slots.

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I use tubs. Last spring we had the carpet replaced and I had to take everything out of the bookshelves (including hundreds of books) so took the opportunity to get better organized. I’ve got a couple tubs with yarn for specific projects including the patterns so I remember what I bought it for and tubs with yarn sorted by weight. I was ruthless and got rid of small balls but still have quite a bit. I generally don’t buy yarn unless I have a specific project for it. I put my needles in small plastic containers several years ago – one each for straight, DPNs, and circulars. That’s working pretty well.

Though functional the tubs are ugly, but I’m the only one that has to look at them. A funny story about the tubs – I went to a small hardware store to buy a couple more. I told the older gentleman that took them off the top shelf for me what I needed them for and he said “You know, there’s other things you can do with yarn besides put it in tubs.” Too true.


My husband made me a great shelving unit using pvc pipe. I have my yarns stored in clear tubs, sorted by weight of yarn. ``


Well I started with cedar lined drawers :color coded, overflowed to cedar lined boxes in the barn : cones and Sweater amount collections, then began plastic tubs with just sock weight, lace weight etc. Oh, and then there are the color coded boxes of just cotton or mohair… Outta control but I have most of it recorded in my revelry stash and I periodically go through it to keep it current on my head!


The day I have welcome and dreaded simultaneously has arrived. I am renting a storage unit. Not huge and all our infrequently used items like camping gear and Christmas decorations will go in too.

But I think this means I have officially reached SABLE.


Yes, UFOs and WIPs are definitely different!

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