It's great to stock up on yarn when it's on sale, but it does take up quite a bit of space. Keeping yarn organized can save you time when working on a project and space in your craft area. This is a guide about organizing yarn.
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For people who knit, crochet, or just need a lot of smaller storage spaces, go to a store that sells liquor and ask if you can have their empty liquor boxes. Depending on the available space, these boxes can be stacked on each other (on their sides) to give perfect little cubbies for your yarn. The colors can be readily seen and there's no tangling.
I use the plastic bags that my newspaper is delivered in when knitting or crocheting. I place a skein or ball of yarn inside to keep it clean and free from snarling. They are clear bags in my locality and easy to see through to choose the color I need. I also use them to save leftover yarn for easy visibility.
I like to store yarn of the same color together. I use those skinny plastic newspaper bags to store yarn that is the same together. I squeeze out all the air and knot the bag. Then I store the yarn sausages in clear plastic bins so that I can see what is in them. This keeps the cats and moths out of my yarn and makes it easy to find.
By Leila B.
I keep my supplies of knitting and crochet yarn in the large click zip bags usually used for food storage. I write the ply and date on the white label, and because they are see through I do not have any trouble seeing what is inside, making it easy to select what I need. The bags sit flat and stack easily on top of one another on shelves of re-purposed bookcases. I also separate plain from variegated to make life simple.
By Leseera from NSW, Australia
When using yarn from a skein, you mostly use it from the center of the skein. That is the "norm". When you are winding yarn into a ball, use any button (with a shank on it or even a regular button) and tie it to the end of the yarn (that becomes the middle of the ball). By doing this, you will not lose the end of the yarn and you can still pull the yarn from the center. This prevents the ball from rolling all over the place, too.
Also a container I find useful for keeping my yarn in it while crocheting or knitting, is a large (empty) oatmeal container. It is a perfect fit. Happy "yarn" to everyone.
By applesauce from Alexandria, VA
I get these wonderful shoe bag hangers for cheap at thrift shops. When I wanted to organize all the bigger skeins of yarn in my craft room, I began to save 2 liter bottles.
I then cut the bottom off, just above the fluting. You stick the skein in, feeding the tail through the soda top, and place the bottle bottom back on. If the skein is a bit too long, a bit of tape helps to keep the bottom on. Then, you simply place the soda bottles in the shoe part. You can keep them there till you need them, or work from the lower ones in the middle, moving the colors up and down that you need.
This is a simple and almost free project that will help you keep your yarn clean, organized, and handy. N-JOY!
Source: My own need to stay organized.
By Poor But Proud from Salem OR
I went to a local bar and asked for three empty liquor boxes all the same size which have dividers right in them. Then I decorated them with contact paper, and placed them on their sides on a top shelf in my craft room. I placed my yarn skeins inside in clear plastic bags and color coordinated them. Now I can see at a glance of what I have for a selection, and they are protected from dust, etc.
By Leah from Lake Andes, SD
I tried to keep my yarn organized and finally after trying umpteen different methods, decided "forget it!" I donated 5 large leaf bags full to the local "old folks home" and still had lots of yarn left. It took me a couple of years, but I finally used it all up.
Now the only time I buy yarn is if I have something specific in mind to make. Then I print out the pattern (I get most of mine off the internet or if it's in a catalog or magazine I copy it on the printer) and get any other things I need for it (buttons, ribbons, elastic, whatever). Then I put everything for that one project into a bin (I went to the dollar store and picked up 10 small bins for small items like hats, scarves; 5 larger bins for things like sweaters, etc; and 2 bigger bins for afghans) and label the bin. This way whether I make the item now or hold off till another time, everything is together and I don't have to go searching for things. Plus by keeping them in these bins and the bins all together, my craft room looks so much neater now.
Source: Tired of walking over skeins!
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
I previously submitted an idea about using oversized shoe bags from thrift shops to store yarn. You can get the kind that are for shoes that are upright and usually clear plastic. Another kind lets the shoes slide in horizontally, so either one can hold either smaller or larger skeins of yarn. The photo I submitted is with fabric, as all of my yarn is in storage right now, but you get the idea.
I find that the under the bed style smaller clear containers are nice too, especially if you prefer rolled balls of yarn rather than skeins, which I do.
Another good way to store yarn is to save the clear bags you get vegetables in at the stores, fill them so they have room to hang on a hanger, and use the bulldog clips to do just that.
And finally, the two for a dollar hanger extenders can let you hang smaller bags of yarn all the way to the floor if you need to. I sure hope this helps.
By Sandi from Salem, OR
I store my yarn in 2 litter soda bottles. Take an empty, clean bottle and remove the lid. Take a knife or large scissors and cut it in half, near the center of the label. Place your skein or ball of yarn inside the bottom half, take the end of the yarn and run it out the mouth of the bottle.
Now take wide clear tape and tape the two halves together again. You can just put the cap back on which keeps the end from fallen back inside. You could also take an ice pick or hot nail and poke a hole in the lid and run the yarn through it. The yarn never gets dirty and you can see what color you need.
By Randa from San Marcos, TX
I find the best way to keep wool skeins together, tidy, and undamaged is to store them in "under the bed" plastic containers. I lay a small length of each yarn in a zip-lock bag, which I tape to the side of the container to show what is inside. The balls can stand or lay side by side and are easy to access and manage. The containers are out of the way, and my wool and yarn are only an arm's length away at any time!
By Sue from Palm Beach, Queensland
Since I am so thrifty that I purchase all my yarn at thrift stores, I don't usually get full skeins. After being disappointed by running out of yarn during a project, I finally pulled out my food scale and now I weigh my yarn to make sure I have enough for my project.
By dcnfamily from Reno, NV
I learned this tip from my mother many years ago. Store your skeins of yarn in 2 liter soda bottles. Cut the bottom off, thread the yarn through the top, and tape the bottle back together. No more tangled yarn!
By nana2jsaxt from Somerset, KY
When making a ball of yarn, secure a button (with a shank) or some other similar item to the end of yarn at the beginning and hold on to it while continuing to wrap the yarn. This allows you to use the yarn from the center (as we all want to do) and not lose the beginning end of the yarn. Now, if someone already knew this, "shame" on you for not sharing it with me before now. (just kidding)
By applesauce from Alexandria, VA
I use the wrappers from rice cakes to store a skein of yarn. It keeps the cats from making a nest out of it, and stuff from spilling on it, while you're working with it, or storing it.
By CrazyLady from Vineland, NJ
I saw something on an HGTV show the other night and it made me think, "Hey what an idea for my yarns!" The people had taken one wall in their living room (or was it the library?) and instead of the normal box shaped shelves, they used the diamond shaped racks like they use to store wine on. They painted the whole thing to match their decor, and stacked magazines and books on it.
I thought, "What a great idea!" I have lots of craft books and one of those racks (although not as big!) would be great! I could organize my books, and by using small bins I can get from the dollar store, I can also organize all the paraphernalia from my crafts, too.
I haven't done this yet but I sure plan on trying it. I want to see if I can find some old wine racks at yard sales or thrift shops first.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
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Here are questions related to Organizing Yarn.
Help. My yarn stash is out of control and I need some ideas on how to store it all. I have tried the clear plastic containers, they are not working for me. We have very limited space in our house so any suggestions would be great.
By Amy from Brazil, IN
Coming from a lifelong pack rat, have you used up the space under the beds yet? There are inexpensive large, flat rectangular plastic storage bins with lids that fit perfectly underneath a bed. I've also seen cheaper cardboard boxes that are meant for under-the-bed storage too.