Tag Archives: storage

Buttons, Buttons, Who’s Got the Buttons?

I was totally inspired recently by a friend on Ravelry, Saturdays-child, who regularly finds and repurposes thrift items in the most unique and creative ways. Her latest find was a lazy Susan style spice rack to hold her button collection.

“Buttons?!” I may have quietly screeched at the computer. You see, I have a long-held addiction to button collecting. As a child I took the cut-off bottoms from a pair of my mother’s khakis, sewed them into one long ribbon and then sewed tons and tons buttons on them, creating, essentially, a long, long strip of buttons, This, I realized as an adult, was a little useless, since I couldn’t actually see the buttons except when I dragged them out of my closet, and one big long strip of buttons is a little hard to manage unless you are going to wear it as a scarf. So I undid all of the sewed-on buttons and they went into my notions drawer, where they have languished in the dark. So, of course, nothing would do but I get my own spinny button holder, stat.

I went on eBay and immediately fell in love with a $3 vintage spice rack that had brightly colored lids, which thrilled my OCD tendencies to no end. I won the auction (yey!) and the day the rack arrived I immediately dragged out my mess of buttons and started organizing them. My biggest issue is always trying to dig through all of the brown, white and black buttons to find the fun colored ones I need (or simply want to admire like a magpie inspecting it’s strips of bent aluminum and tin), so this was a perfect solution for me. All of my colored buttons are wonderfully segmented and I have a glorious wheel of color now!

buttonsI highly recommend finding or repurposing a spice rack for your button collection. It’s dead easy to do and cute as a button to top it off. And it spins. Whee!

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Stash Storage 2011

I photographed my stash storage situation last January, and thought that this was an appropriate time to repeat the process … and assess the damage. cough Yeah, I’m slightly embarrassed about how much bigger my stash has gotten!

Stash Storage 2011

Left Stack
– The green plaid bag I bought in Mehico is up at the tip-top, and that is full of fiber for spinning, which, since I swapped most of it away, is basically a bunch of little wee bits from Phat Fiber boxes. Below that is a bin about half-full of Manos. That reminds me I should be collecting it more. 😉
– Underneath that is a new bin containing silk and rayon. They used to share a bin with my cotton, but I…collected too much cotton. Anyways, rayon needs to breathe for best preservation, so there’s plenty of space in a bin all to themselves. Half-full.
– Next bin down. Cotton. Cotton, cotton and more cotton. I do like cotton. This bin is packed. No more cotton for me.
– Sweater yarns are on the bottom. I think that large container has my Noro Silk Garden for my shawl and the Misti Alpaca Chunky I have saved for a cardigan. Basically, I keep big lots in the big sweater bins, even if they aren’t technically sweaters. Mostly full.
– My large canvas bag of acrylic, sock scraps, and LYS novelty yarns didn;t make it into the picture. So sad! Half-full.

Center Stack
– My little alpaca bin is on the top. It actually isn’t as full as it should be, in my mind. But that’s only because I have a ton of alpaca that was moved into sweater bins, so these little one-offs hang out here. Also stores my exotics, such camel, llama, and cashmere. Half-full.
– My Big Wool bin is next. This contains any wool yarn that is sportweight or up. I’ve got a nice little corner in it designated for handspuns, and also my Blue Heron merino silk hangs out here. Another one of my most-used bins, which is why it’s in a handy to reach place. Three-fourths full.
– More sweater yarn. Moving on. Mostly full.
– The bottom bin contains my neglected mohair and angora. I keep them there together because they are both sheddy, and I figure that they can shed on each other instead of everything else. 😉 Half full.

Right Stack
– Ah, here we are at my sock and lace yarns. Please note that the top bin lid is not closed. Because it is too full. That bin contains my 100% wool sock yarns. I’ve pared it down and down and down and everything in there I have earmarked for a sock project. Full.
– The next bin is my nylon sock bin. This bin contains sock yarns that are blends. Most have nylon in them, but I think one or two have rayon instead, and since that is a strengthening fiber as well, I keep it together. This bin size actually used to be flip-flopped with the 100% sock bin, but I decided after my hole-y disaster with my Malabrigo socks that I would switch them, in an effort to increase my nylons and decrease my 100s. Half-full.
– The third bin down is smaller and even though it says “Non-Sock” it actually does contain sock yarns. But these are yarns that are either not suitable for socks or have been either designated for non-sock projects. My Queensborough Laurel’s Lofty is stored here, for example, as well as all of my shawl yarns. Mostly full.
– The bottom bin is all laceweight, all the time. Lord knows why I have so much lace! Actually, I do know, it’s because a bunch of it is for my Earth Striped Wrap, so all that Kidsilk Haze takes up a lot of space. Full.

Ok, that’s all! Next time I’ll try to post about some of the projects I’ve finished up lately.

How do you keep the yarn in your stash organized?

Someone on Ravelry asked this question and I thought it was good enough to deserve a blog post answer. Plus, I get to show off my new Rubbermaid containers. Yes, I confess, I have finally upgraded (about a month ago) – no longer do my yarns flop about in canvas bags. Instead, they are all nestled neatly into sealed plastic bins, keeping them fresh and bug free (knock on wood).

So, the Question of the Day is…How do you keep the yarn in your stash organized?

1.) Store your yarn in skeins, not balls/cakes. It will preserve your yarn, being easier to fix into a storage space, and help it retain it’s resell value.

2.) Store your yarn in plastic bins. Especially if you are renting, and don’t have total control over the space. It again, helps preserve the yarn, protects it from outside elements like bugs, and is easy to manage and transport. Rayon is the only yarn that “needs to breath” so I would pack it lightly. The rest can be happily squished.

3.) Consider storing your yarn by fiber. It helps keep your cottons defuzzed and protects your silks from your hairy mohairs. Additionally, many people have specific allergies – if you make them something out of cotton you don’t want them breaking out in hives because it was stored next to a pile of wool. My cotton, rayon and silks are all stored together. Blends are stored by the primary animal yarn in said blend (i.e., 70% wool, 30% alpaca). Sheddy yarns, like mohair and angora, are stored together. And exotic fibers like llama and camel go in with their camelid cousins, alpaca.

Here is my yarn, stored in handy-dandy Rubbermaid tubs from Wally World. Note that I have more sock and laceweight than you can shake a stick at. I separate out those two weights in part because I want to be able to dig in easier, and in part because laceweight is so delicate that I don’t want to store it too tightly and have it get all tangled.

Storing My Stash