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This post is part of the Knit & Crochet Blog Week 2011.

Day Three: Tidy mind, tidy stitches Or How a Professional Crochet & Knit Pattern Designer Organizes Her Yarn

Yarn organization? How do you do it? Weight? Color? Fiber? If this was purely a hobby, I’d do it by weight, so that when a project calls for DK, I can find DK. But, you know what? This ain’t a hobby (and, yes, “ain’t” isn’t a real word, but I’m from Texas so bare with me).

I organize my yarn by brand. Why? Because if I’m submitting to Crochet Today, then the swatch yarn has to be in a Coats & Clark brand. That means Red Heart, TLC, Coats threads, and I think they’ll take Nashua too. What if I’m submitting to Interweave? They publish projects using yarns from their advertisers, so I’ll only send them something swatched out in an advertiser’s yarn. There is the (G-d bless them) occasional company that will except swatches in any yarn, but they are more the exception than the rule.

The majority of my yarn resides in my basement. Each brand or type goes in a gallon plastic, ziptop bag, and the plastic bags are sorted into plastic tubs depending on whether it’s a “big box chain store” yarn or a “local yarn store” yarn. Also in the basement is a box of yarns that need to be put back in the tub where they go. I’m not Martha Stewart by any stretch of the imagination.

Photo Key

  • 1 = See! It’s a bag of yarn! In a tub! Kind of. I mean it’s propped on top of the other yarn in the tub.
  • 2 = My jewelry making tools
  • 3 = My toaster oven for crafting. One day I will break out the fimo clay.
  • 4 = Box of yarn to be put away and my yarn swift
  • 5 = The kiddy play mats I use as blocking boards.
  • 6 = A box of thread
  • 7 = Discontinued yarn
  • 8 = My cutting mat
  • 9 = Look. Another tub of yarn is hiding.
  • 10 = THIS IS WHY MY BASEMENT IS A MESS. See that? No real walls and no heating in the basement. It’s freakin’ unlivable 6 months out of the year. I need a coat and shoes just to run down there and drop something off. Forget actually putting it away nicely.

By my desk in my bedroom I have a tub of the yarns I need to work with soon. Lately, I’ve made myself lots of pretty drawstring bags to hold my WIPs. They hang out in the tub, in my Namaste zuma purse, on my desk, everywhere.

I consider myself lucky not yet to be at the level of my good friend, Mary Beth Temple. She had to rent a storage unit for her yarn.