How to store our yarn stash is a much asked question, so I’m going to show you some of the best ideas that I have used myself or seen others use.
There are definitely some dos and don’ts as far as yarn storage is concerned. For one thing, our yarn is precious to us, so we will want to store it in such a way as to keep it safe.
Organising Your WIPS
If you’re anything like me, and most of my other knitting and crochet friends, then you may well have a few WIPS (Works In Progress).
I’m in a few knitting/crochet groups and it is usually quite amusing when someone asks the question… “How many WIPS has everyone got?” We all proudly put our numbers out there as if it were a badge of honour!
Having one or more WIPS can sometimes get confusing if it has been left for any length of time. I often forget which needle/hook size I was using, or the name of the pattern or yarn… And trying to work out which row I was on can be a bit of a pain.
I’ve never claimed to be the most organized person, but I am trying to improve on that, so now when I put the project I’m working on away I put it into a ziplocked bag with all the details written down inside with it. So when I pick it up again (often months later) I can see straight away what I was doing, what hook size and where I was on the pattern.
If it’s a bigger project, such as a blanket, I use a vacuum pack bag, they are great for space saving and keep them dust free.
Can you store yarn in plastic bags?
I have stored my yarn in vacuum bags, (and still do) however, where this is fine for short term storage, I wouldn’t recommend it for long term storage. The reason I say this is because yarn needs to breathe, and although the yarn doesn’t feel wet at all, it can hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture, so being contained inside a plastic bag could cause mould to form.
- Yarn does far better if stored where air can naturally circulate around it, even in a pillowcase.
Can you store yarn in the attic?
It’s not advised to store our yarn in the attic as it can get quite hot… Also not advisable in a damp basement.
- If you have stored your yarn in such a way that you think it may have been compromised, take a length of the yarn and give it a good tug, if it snaps then unfortunately it will be unusable.
Does yarn go bad?
If yarn is stored correctly, out of direct sunlight, away from damp or overly hot conditions, then there is absolutely no reason it can’t last beyond our lifetime.
- Another thing to think about is that sometimes yarn might be wound too tightly. If this is the case then it can damage the yarn by stretching it so it has no further ‘give’ in it.
- I know we all like a bargain, and it is such a great feeling when we find some second hand yarn at a bargain price, or even better, when we are gifted some… But when these yarns come into your home, give them a good check over to make sure they haven’t got any moth/bug/mouse damage, or smell musty… You wouldn’t want to contaminate your existing yarn stash.
- Have your yarn where you can see it. Not only is it pretty to look at with all the lovely mix of colors… but also, if you put it away out of sight, then you are not going to be inspired to actually use it and it will just turn into something else that needs a place in that valuable storage area.
- Keep a record of what yarn you have in your stash so you don’t buy more of what you already have. You can use Ravelry to keep a record of your stash, you can even upload photos of it… and then when you are shopping and aren’t sure how many or what yarn you have, you can check your stash from your phone before you buy even more of ‘that’ color.
- A lesson that I have learnt is… To use my yarn! Now I realise that may sound like an odd thing to say, but my mother and my grandmother were both avid knitters, and they both stored their ‘best’ yarn because they were saving it for something special. They lived through much more difficult times when it wasn’t easy to buy so many beautiful yarns.
They have both passed now, and when they did, they still had that ‘best’ yarn stashed. As far as I’m concerned, every day is special, and every project we make is special, so I use my best yarn!
Have you heard of SABLE?
It stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.
This is used as light hearted humour amongst those of us that have such a large yarn stash that we couldn’t possibly use it all up in our lifetime, even if we were to knit or crochet every waking minute!
Cube Storage For Yarn
I think this has got to be my absolute favourite way to store yarn!
There are some awesome cube storage solutions on the market now, so it’s really easy to find a cube storage system that will easily fit in with the design of your craft space. I personally have the Ikea 5×5 Kallax cube shelving unit in white, because quite simply, it works for me! I love Ikea storage solutions because they have done all the design work for us.
You can have just about any cube configuration you want to fit the space that you have! It is designed in such a way that you could have a whole wall filled with them or just a simple 1 cube or 4 cube option… And what I also love about them is, you can add more cubes later if you acquire more space.
With my 5 x 5 Kallax cubes, I have some added extras… The 2 bottom rows have drawer inserts, each of the cubes has 2 drawers, so a total of 20 drawers.
The next row up has cupboard inserts. The whole unit measure 182 x 182cm and I can store so much in it, including all the little bits and pieces, such as crochet hooks, knitting needles, threads, patterns, WIPS, (Works In Progress) all the part balls of yarn that I don’t necessarily want on display and an array of other must have ‘stuff’… but it still looks neat and tidy.
The top 2 rows of cubes is where I store my yarn so I can see exactly what I have in my stash… I get so much pleasure from just looking at it! (I will admit that I sometimes stroke it too… please don’t judge me J)
Pegboard For Yarn Storage
I love this! If I didn’t already have my cube storage, I would definitely look at having a pegboard for my yarn!
For me, this has got so many plus points in its favour;
- It would fit in a hallway or landing where the space is narrow and possibly wouldn’t have much space for shelving or cupboards
Yarn Storage In Small Spaces
A great way to store yarn if space is limited, is to double up on its use… An ottoman for instance, can be used for seating and also yarn storage, they look pretty good too.
Bookcases are also excellent for yarn storage, and of course they come in all sorts of sizes to suit your space.
Can Plastic Storage Boxes Be Used For Storing Yarn?
The short answer is, yes they can. They are fab for keeping yarn safe from pets, bugs and dust, and they can be stacked to save space.
However, they must be kept out of direct sunlight because it could fade the yarn, and there is also a small risk of the yarn getting mouldy if they are kept in a sealed plastic container (the same as we talked about with storing in plastic bags)
It would help to occasionally leave the lids off so the yarn can breathe whilst the air circulates.
Buying Second Hand
Don’t forget to check out all the places where you can find some fab yarn storage items second hand… I’m constantly looking on Facebook Marketplace for things that are a bit different, and you could save yourself a few $$