My main goal for 2017 is to simplify, de-clutter, and organize my life. One area of big challenge is the craft supply and space organization. If you are a creative type with hobbies like knitting, sewing or painting, you know what I mean. Over the years, yarn/ fabric/canvas collection is getting bigger and out of control. It would be nice to only keep the most cherished collections and donate or use out the rest. Think of all the space I will gain and I can enjoy all the stuff I have in my space.
My first declutter project is my yarn stash
1. clean out the yarns that does not excite you anymore
First, I will clean out/ donate yarns I don't like anymore, or odd colors/ textures that does not match anything I have. Organize the rest into piles by color and yarn weight.
2. Plan your stash busting projects
Plan your stash buster projects. Depending on what you like to knit or machine knit, plan a few projects accordingly that will use the biggest piles of the yarn we just organized. There are many stash busting inspiration from Pinterest or Ravelry. Simple is better so we can get it done without spending extra time learning.
Knit, Crochet, Machine Knit, Loom knitting....?
Depending what you are good at or what you like trying, you can hand knit, machine knit, crochet, or loom knit with your yarn stash. Even mixing up some of techniques will produce interesting results.
Mix up Yarn Colors and Weight
For me, I am going to use similar color yarns of different weight. Put 3 yarns (or how many yarns required to make the similar thickness) together and crochet a blanket. It can be a throw blanket or twin size blanket depending on how much yarn I have. Flexibility is the key here. I start with beige/brown pile I have. Then I might use grey/ black/ white yarns, or red yarns for accents.
I can also knit a double thickness blanket on my knitting machine, like a large scarf. That will work very quickly. I choose crochet with a 8 mm hook for my first blanket/ throw because crochet "eats" yarn quickly and is more portable than a knitting machine, I can carry it from room to room and work on it whenever I have some extra time.
Tips for projects to use out yarn stash ASAP. Mix different colors you have, and mix different yarn weight you have. Pick techniques (knit, crochet, loom....) and stitches you like to create your own unique piece. Keep it simple and flexible. Use big needle or hook. Pick project size according to your stash. Blanket, throw, pillowcase, scarf, hat... are good choices. Schedule the time you will be working on the projects. And just enjoy the process.
My crochet blanket project
Here is my first stash clearing project - a crochet blanket. The pattern is very simple. I think it is called linen stitches. I like the look of linen stitch. It looks like the linen stitch in knitting and it is reversible.
Crochet hook: 8 mm
Yarn: I use 3 strands of yarns in similar colors, and add different colors if needed.
cast on: 110 stitches. It looks a little small but I will add bigger edges later. You can cast on more according to your swatch. For linen stitch, cast on even numbers.
Just crochet until the length you like, and add edge as many rows as you like until the size you desire.
This is a work in progress and I hope to de-stash all my yarn before end of this winter.
Linen/Moss/Granite stitch crochet video
Here is a you tube video I like about crocheting a Linen/Moss/Granite stitch. So many names for a simple stitch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIYwm_6V0IM