How to Organize your Crochet Supplies

Here are my tips on how to organize crochet supplies - your stash, your hooks, your mags, your books!

Your Crochet Stash

sunset in SofiaSofia sunset

We live in a small rooftop apartment, and I don't have a lot of space to store my crochet yarns.

When I see pics of beautiful storage units displaying shelf upon shelf of wonderful yarn, I feel quite sorry for myself! Cue the violins...

But no - first of all, I get some fab sunsets :) And those open shelves would be no good to me. Sofia is quite a dusty place; I could spend all day cleaning and never get rid of that thin layer of dust that likes to settle wherever it can.

Living where we do, the other problem is... yuk... insects... well, you know, spiders, the odd little beetle, an ant here and there... 

I'm always on the prowl for any little beasties that may have roamed in from the stairwell or crawled through an invisible hole from the attic!

So storing stash is quite an adventure.

Rule #1 is: everything must be bagged!

Plastic bags, freezer bags, anything that will keep dust, damp, kitchen smells and beasties out:

yarn in freezer bags

I've found that 3 litre freezer bags are quite useful to keep yarn in, particularly for my smaller projects.

Rule #2 - organize by weight!

Most of my yarn is organized into separate storage areas by weight. I do have a nice IKEA unit, but there's no way my yarn is going to be sitting out on an open shelf exposed to the elements. So everything is bagged up and put in its own basket:

The top left basket holds thread, fingering, sport weight. Top right - DK and aran. Bottom right - bulky!

I obviously have yarn in other places around the house ;)

Now - how can you keep track of where all your yarn is? Did you bag it up and put it in the IKEA unit, or did you stash it in the cupboard... or deposit it at the back of the wardrobe?

The answer...

Rule #3 - keep a written record of what is where!

This is vital. In each basket, I pop a yellow index card with scribbles of which yarn is in there:

I also keep a "master list" of all my stash, so I can keep track of it.

This way, I can pretty much keep up with my huge stack of stash.

Hmm... there is one more thing I should mention, but I'm almost ashamed to show you how I organize it.

Still, here it is in all its glory - the bag with the ball bands:

When I start a new ball of yarn, I remove the ball band, snip off a length of yarn, and tie the yarn round the band. Then I stuff the band into the bag ;)

My "archived" ball bands have saved the day on more than one occasion, however. I do sometimes find a ball of yarn, and I can't remember if it is yarn A or B - ever had that happen? Only by hunting through my ball bands is the mystery solved!

Crochet Hooks, Books & Other Supplies

My crochet hooks are organized into two hook cases:

The Boye pink case on the right holds most of my favorite hooks. The polka-dot case, which I think is a pencil case, holds all the other hooks that don't fit in the Boye one.

Now, for the hook or hooks I am using at the moment, I have a little roll up case which I made myself:

This is designed to be a "grab it and go" case, because I just hate searching for the hook I'm using, my scissors, a stitch marker, or a needle to sew in ends. If I've got this and my yarn, I'm good to go and I don't have to get up yet again to fetch something!

The case is a crochet rectangle in sc (UK dc) with the same stitch used to edge, and a button-hole at one end. I folded up the bottom of the other end and sewed those edges together. Then I rolled up the case and sewed the button in the right spot.

It's not the most stylish piece, but it really does a good job!

I have most of my books on a bookshelf, amazingly enough!

However, not all my patterns are there, because many of them are printed out.

So, the printed patterns get filed in plastic boxes, as do materials such as fabric, beads, buttons, etc:

So there we are! Other than these ways of organizing your crochet supplies, there's only one item I haven't mentioned, and that is sorting out all your crochet PDFs, images and so forth on your computer and making a backup of them all. And I guess that's a job for a rainy day :)