This is how I… Un-Organize My Spinning Stash

Last week you learned how Grace and Felicia keep track of their spinning stash. Both of their methods are very neat and organized and systematic (although how much they did some post-crime-scene type of cleaning up before taking the photos, remains a well-kept secret). All the fibre is carefully sorted and contained so that it’s both easily accessed and properly protected. Hooray!

My way is less, uh, exemplary.

It starts with a bag.

Liisa's Stash

And that’s more or less it.

Before fingers are pointed and tut-tut noises are made at my general direction, a few critical points should be considered.

First of all, I don’t really plan my spinning. As you know, I only started spinning with a wheel earlier this year. I’m still at a point where a lot of different fibres and blends are fairly new to me, and I’m not familiar with that many methods for playing with colour. In short, I don’t spin with specific projects or yarn types in mind. I just tend to grab whatever tinkles my drool glands in a visceral, giggle-inducing way, and go at it. That combined with a lovingly nursed negative attention span also means I rarely finish the fibres I’m working on, and never work on just one thing at a time (hence the eleventy half-full bobbins).

Second, I live in a basement unit that I share with three other people. My personal space is exactly 9×6 ft in size, which houses a bed, a bench, and an armchair, and nothing else. There’s no room for shelves to place storage boxes in, and no well-lit corners for inspirational fibre baskets. My Sidekick alone takes up a third of my floorspace when in use.

These two facts combined mean that a sturdy and portable Ikea bag, while not necessarily pleasing to the eye, is, in fact, the perfect way to go.

It is also surprisingly roomy. This particular bag is successfully housing 35 braids of fibre — spinning-wise I may be a novice, but shopping- and hoarding-wise… not so much.

There’s no sorting system, though. It’s all just in there. But I find great pleasure in dumping the entire bag and its contents on my bed and going through everything to find something to work on next. It refreshes my memory of what’s actually there (although I don’t have enough yet to completely and utterly forget what I’ve amassed) and offers delightful colour therapy in the process. Giddiness inevitably ensues.

Giddiness

Giddiness

The only trace of intentional organization in my stash bag is the packaging of the fibre. It’s all individually packed in clear Ziploc bags that I steal ask permission to take from the studio, along with the original label, which I painstakingly place facing out so that I can see what’s inside without taking everything out. My house is devastatingly infested with spiders, so even though I fully assume they couldn’t care less about my fibre, I still find the thought of their gross hairy legs touching my preciouses cringeworthy enough to do my best to prevent them from doing so. Also I tend to not clean up very often, so while nothing else in my room is safe from dust and soot and poop particles, at least the fibre is.

Not pictured: Poop particles

Not pictured: Poop particles

The fibre itself is braided or crocheted into a little spiral before it goes in the bag, which I hear over time can cause a compacting problem. Since even the most ancient part of my stash is less than 10 months old, and knowing that I like to split and pre-draft before spinning anyway, I’m not really worried (yet).

I also don’t use lavender or cedar balls or anything, because I’m cocky and assume moths can’t happen.

So in short, my fibre stash is a fugly plastic bag brutally stuffed to the brim with fluffy things that might be happier in a more free-range type of environment – but it’s worked for me so far, within the constraints of space and experience I have. The bag is the first thing I bump into on my morning obstacle course towards the bathroom, and dozens of times a day I find myself fleetingly touching it and longingly gazing at it, forgetting time and space and any kind of duties, and feeling inspired. Is that not what a stash is all about?

  • Sheryl

    Awesome! I live in a house and can pretty much decide what I want to put where, since I am Mom and my kids are too little to do much about it but I still employ the shopping bag method. My husband does not like the shopping bag line on my side of the bed but I like to look at them every day!