Messy Cave

We have a room in our apartment I refer to as The Cave. It started out as my office space, and then mine and Hubby’s office space, and then it just sort of exploded. Between my expanding stash and Hubby’s brewing gear and Hubby’s military gear and all the books that no longer fit on our bookcases, there’s barely room to walk in there anymore. It’s become the cat’s favorite room, but I tend to stay out of it as much as possible.

The problem is, The Cave is where my stash lives. Or lived. It started out innocently enough, in two little boxes like this:

original stash

Not incredibly neat, but organized by fiber type and tucked away out of sight. Then the yarn and pattern books/magazines no longer fit in the same place, so I added this:


Eventually The Cave got to be such a maze than new yarn began to go elsewhere rather than having to navigate it.

stash spread

A friend got me a lovely little “yarning box” as she called it, which I put by my knitting spot on the couch, and that quickly filled with yarn too.

yarning box

Then it filled a little more.

box overflow

Of course, the needles and notions collection bred when I wasn’t looking too. It now requires two very messy boxes as well.

needles nest

Guys, my stash is out of control. Some of it is sweater-quantities for specific projects that are already planned. A few skeins are random pretties I just couldn’t resist bringing home. However, the overwhelming majority are partial skeins leftover from old projects. I can’t bear to waste most of a skein, but I can’t re-sell an open skein either and I just don’t know how to use them myself. I like the thought of a scrap blanket but I know myself well enough to know it’s probably not ever going to happen.

Luckily, I am moving next weekend. Our new home will have more room, and hopefully I can build myself a proper organizational system and start getting this stuff under control! Got any hot tips or suggestions?


34 responses to this post.

  1. I really thank you for sharing. I want you to know that you are not alone. I contemplated blogging this very issue (and still may). I think this is something all yarn/fiber divas go through. As for the small amounts of yarn, I reblogged a post about someone collecting it, deadline early August. I myself am getting my scraps to give. I hope it goes well!


  2. Also, I forgot to add…if you please, you can sell some on Ravelry…that’s what I did.


  3. Posted by caityrosey on July 15, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Erm…use the yarn to cushion your dishes in the move? Does that count as a suggestion?


  4. As for organization, try baskets or bins and separate by weight or fiber. I think it was Lionbrand or Jimmy beans or Interweave with really good destashing and organizing tips. I’m sorry I don’t remember exactly. For needles I would get DellaQ’s (or other brand) to organize. I have a tool trunk that I put my needles and notions in. Keep everything in one place.


    • I think having it sorted by weight would really help me see what can be used together. I forsee a lot of stripes in my future! A needle organizer is a good idea; it’s things like my inexplicable 3 sets of US 4 circulars that throw plans like that for a loop!


  5. The blanket’s the best idea and I keep to that one. Make sure you use yarn of the same size, then; before you start a new project, knit the leftover into the blanket. I use 50 stitches and a medium sized needle and you’d be surprised at how quickly it knits up. I use the length of the settee to measure when I’ve made enough to start a new strip. That way I can measure it along the floor without getting the tape measure out. All for ease and quickness. If you don’t want the blanket yourself, you can give it to a charity, who will be delighted to receive it. If you don’t want a big blanket you can made a smaller one for the local dog and cat sanctuary, who will also be delighted to receive it. Be generous with your time and your stash.


    • In my head I kind of know the blanket’s the best prospect, I just don’t know if I have the willpower!


      • If you are dead set on blankets, try a baby blanket or make rectangles or squares the same size and sew it. If you’re not stuck on blankets, you could check out this years Interweave Knit Accessories magazine. There’s a lot of cute things…some even have stripes! Lol

  6. For moving, after you pack a box, put in big letters the box is to go to, then underneath write a detailed list of what the box contains. It’ll take a little more time now, but when you go to unpack, it will be worth its weight in cashmere yarn. heh heh


  7. I’ve been slowly trying to shove the stash back into it’s rightful place myself. I think your moving method is probably genius in this regard…


  8. Anymore I consider myself an expert at moving, (long story) and I’ve learned a harsh lesson. No matter what it is, if you haven’t used it in 6 months and don’t foresee using it – brace yourself – either sell it or throw it away. You heard me right. Throw it away. When it comes to yarn…I’ve got stashes that are years old and don’t know what to do! They keep moving with me; HOWEVER, I have devised a real simple, yet not elegant or pretty, system of storing my yarn. I doubt it would work for most of you because it takes up a lot of room in the closet. Since I don’t have a whole bunch of clothes, it works. I recommend you figure out something that works for you in your new home before you have another “messy cave” situation!


  9. You are normal! I’d put your stash in stackable see-through plastic boxes. No moth problems and you can see what’s inside.
    And the problem of partial balls of yarn?
    Enter my Make-a-Monster competition! : )


  10. I hope the move goes well but i doubt that it will solve your problem. Your stash will continue to grow to fill the new space! Sorry. Xx


  11. I’m a big advocate for stash busting hats – for charity, for friends, whatever. It almost doesn’t matter how little yarn you have left, even a part of a row in the round works. For some great hat patterns, lots for free, and ideas where to send the finished product, check out, which is the blogger who got me started on this project. I have knit hundreds of hats from left overs, people really appreciate getting them, and it keeps the stash (almost) under control


  12. Posted by MidKnit Owl on July 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award, and the WordPress Family Award, because I really enjoy reading your blog and think it deserves the credit!
    To receive them, just visit MidKnit Owl – I’ve posted all the steps to the awards on there! Congratulations!


  13. […] The post below is a follow up to this one: […]


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