Shaking the Pot
Mix a bunch of marbles or beads of different sizes in a container. Shake it well, and you'll find that they tend to sort themselves by size - the smaller ones sift down to the bottom, with layers of gradually larger beads as you get to the top.
That's sort of what I did with my yarn stash yesterday. I gathered it all in one place, gave it a good shaking, and wound up with the different types sorting into different bins. It was the first time in 20 years (and over a dozen moves) that I had done such a thing with my yarn, and it was high time!
The first job was pulling it all out from its hiding places. There was yarn in my bedroom closet and under the bed; yarn in bags in a corner behind my chair; yarn in two laundry baskets sitting in the living room; yarn and some knitted swatches and an incomplete sweater in a tote under the bed (the sweater parts were finished at least 3 or 4 years ago); a queen-size blanket that I knitted, that is complete except for weaving in ends (I finished this at least two years ago); and several other assorted drawers, crates, and baskets that contained still more...you guessed, yarn.
The photo shows it all spread out in my studio/living room, partially sorted into coherent categories by type. One thing I figured out - I have far more standard acrylic worsted than I thought. I probably shouldn't be surprised, it was the staple of my knitting for decades. I should figure out some stash-busting projects to use it up.
I also have a lot of oddities - several partial balls of mohair, a bunch of novelty yarn from Target, an entire cone of a green polyester fingeringweight yarn that came free from the dump.
I am woefully short of Homespun, the mainstay of my Wearable Hugs projects. My remaining supply includes only two full skeins and a number of partials, all in different colors. If the colors I have went together better, I might consider doing a striped Hug, but looking at them in the pile together...I don't think so.
I located two preemie hats that I once knit from the pattern in The Joy of Knitting, as well as enough appropriate yarn for the hats to fill a mini-tote. I knit the originals as a personal tutorial in knit hats, and didn't have a place to donate them to. Now, a member of the Eats, Knits, & Leaves monthly knitting group at Toadstool Books is a nurse with the right connections, so I may pick up this little charity project again as a no-brainer filler between more complex knit objects.
Otherwise, I don't have much for plans that involve the stash. But I at least now have a better idea of what it includes, and can start to think about what's in stash when I'm considering a new project. Considering that this is the first time in 20 years that the stash has been pulled into a cohesive organizing system, that's a pretty significant improvement!
Coming Tomorrow - 100 Things About Folkcat!
Just wanted to give you a heads' up about that, since it's going to be a long - but hopefully interesting - post.