Monday, May 4, 2009

Piggy's a Basket Case

Yes, yes -- we all knew that already. But that's not what I mean this time. Or rather, I do, but in a secondary way; for this post, I mean it in a more literal way.

Check out my latest yarny acquisition:

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It's a fair trade Bolgatanga market basket from Ghana, via the Baba Tree Basket Co., a company run by an expat Canuck and his Ghanian wife in northern Ghana. I picked it out (in true Piggy style, after several minutes of prevarication and a straw poll of everyone in the shop) yesterday at Three Bags Full after the Wranglers meet-up. It joins my first Bolgatanga basket, purchased in Gibsons, as well as the Lantern Moon basket MrsQ and I wrestled over (LOL) at TBF's post-Boxing Day sale.

As regular visitors to the blog will no doubt agree, the ever-growing yarn sprawl chez Piggy necessitated serious action. And given the lack of storage space in such a tiny apartment, giant plastic boxes were not an ideal solution. Plenty of function, not enough form. My yarn storage solution needs to be decorous; baskets fit the bill.

When I got home, I had two choices: I could throw all the yarn that was living on the floor into the new basket and be done; or, I could take the opportunity to organize the stash. I opted for the latter, and enthusiastically set about the job.

First, I dumped carefully emptied the two baskets and two small-ish plastic containers onto the floor. Then, things sort of ground to a halt for a bit as the full extent of the yarnage dawned on me.

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I mean, Piggy's no idiot; my eyes work, and I have a reasonable number of functioning brain cells. I knew I had a fair bit of yarn. And I knew that as a pre-process knitter, my ratio of yarn to finished projects was skewed heavily towards the yarn. But honestly...there was stuff in that pile I could have sworn I'd knitted months ago.

The realization that I'm an even less-productive knitter than I'd believed was sobering. I sat in the middle of that pile for a good 15 minutes, with, I'm sure, a rather glazed expression, as I tried to calculate the total a) yardage; b) amount of dollars used to acquire; and c) years it would take me to knit up, the mountain of yarn before me.

The answer to all three, I reckoned: too, too many. I started to feel a bit sick.

But then I spotted some particularly gorgeous yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk in Guava) that screamed out to be petted. The spell of harsh reality was broken, and Piggy returned to that happy state of blissful denial.

Determined to stay there, I elected to sort the yarn in the quickest way possible: by colour. Purples, pinks and reds -- whether they be cotton or merino, silk or alpaca -- were squeezed into the older Bolgatanga basket. Creams, whites, browns, greys and blacks were packed into the Lantern Moon -- the smallest of the three baskets. And the new addition welcomed the greens and blues.

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The two plastic bins now house the yarns I have in sweater-worthy quantities, regardless of colour, as well as the fingering-weight Cable Due cotton. And the stuff I have immediate (or the Piggy version of immediate) plans for sits on top.

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Stash managed.

Well, except for the stuff in the kitchen closet...

How do you organize your stash? Are you a lucky knitter with loads and loads of storage space, or do you live in a teeny-tiny place like Piggy? Do you group your yarns by fibre content? Colour? Weight? In plastic bins, baskets, drawers? Do you like your current stash organization system, or would you like to change it?

5 comments:

  1. I have a small apartment, and far too many large plastic bins - and we can't fit our plates in the kitchen cupboards because of all the yarn in there. I married a very patient man. LOL!

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  2. I'm a lucky knitter who has half of a large walk in closet (or small den depending on your perspective) dedicated to stash storage. There are two bookcases in there stacked with plastic bins.

    I keep WIPs in a basket next to the couch.

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  3. Beautiful basket! Okay, yarn. I have one word for you and I think you know what it is - Rubbermaids. I try to keep my yarn sorted by fibre type and by weight (fingering/dk/etc). However, that goes by the wayside for certain things. Such as, I have a Noro bin (duh, right?), a handspun bin, a sock yarn bin, and a couple of bins where yarn is specifically set aside for a pattern. In those ones the yarn and pattern are living in sin together. Man, I gotta get out more. My yarn is having more fun than me!

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  4. Colour is better for me for sorting because I am more inclined to work with colour and I mix textures a lot. I adore your baskets and your artful display. The plastic containers are not pretty but a necessary evil.

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  5. Great looking baskets! I used to have more yarn than you do, so I don't think it is extreme. But I destashed earlier this year for a good cause. But not the sock yarn.......or the WIPs.......or the fiber for spinning. lol.

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