How to Create the Perfect Yarn Room
Stay organized and get to stashbusting with these fun tips and tricks!
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When you’re a knitter, you’re never quite alone. You get to share your space with the items you love, like those ten skeins of extra chunky merino you got on sale (so what if they’re a sickly pea green‚—a deal is a deal), or the probably thousands of number eight circulars you’ve bought throughout the years and lost somewhere around your home.
Okay, so maybe on second thought, your space could use a little organizing (and stashbusting). Setting up a craft room is a good way to get those runaway materials under control, and give yourself an enviable workspace to boot. While every knitter’s dream setup looks different, there are a few considerations to make along the way that will help you get the most out of your space and make sure your yarn collection is neat and manageable.
Step 1: Decide how much space you have to work with
This doesn’t mean you necessarily need to put a limit on your hoard of supplies. It just means that you’ll need to get smarter about organization. If your crafting room is more of a crafting nook, high shelving and clever storage ideas will be your friend, while in a larger room, standing bookcases are more useful.
You can do a lot with a simple IKEA shelving unit fitted with fabric drawers, for instance. Or maybe even makeover a filing cabinet with chalk paint. Or, if floor space is at a premium in your home, some sort of DIY wall hanging project can be promising. The point is, you’ll want to fit your design to your available space.
Step 2: Figure out how you’ll set up the room
Traditionally, craft rooms are organized with a central work table surrounded by walls of storage space. However, if you’re anything like I am, you don’t do most of your knitting sitting in at the table (hello, binge watching). Still, a desk space can be useful for finishing tasks like blocking and ironing.
To that end, I’d recommend going with a workbench or table that can take some wear and tear. So, while a fresh coat of paint in a pretty, fun color works great for your storage cabinets or shelves, for the table, it’s best to go with a natural wood finish or a distressed look — especially for the top.
Ideally, though, no matter what kind of work table you choose, make sure it comes with some extra shelving or drawers so you can maximize your storage space. That’s a great place to house small pieces like buttons, stitch markers and needles, as well as patterns and knitting books.
Step 3: Pick a storage solution
Storage forms the heart of a craft room, of course, and while I’ve already mentioned some ideas, not every skein of yarn will do well sitting on a shelf. Fingerling weights and other small, round balls might be better off stored in drawers or baskets.
You can even make your own — there are plenty of basket patterns out there, especially if you dabble in crochet on the side. I love these jute and cotton stacking baskets, for instance. They look like they would sit pretty elegantly in a simple shelving unit or perched on the floor next to a cozy chair.
You’ll also need a way to store smaller items, as well. I’ve seen fabric hangers that fit over chair backs that look intriguing, and I’ve also heard of crafters storing buttons and other odds and ends in vintage muffin tins, which I love, because there’s nothing better than when function meets charm.
Step 4: Pare down your collection
I know it sounds painful, but ultimately you’ll feel a lot saner if you can weed out some of those extra skeins. Try not to hang onto yarn that doesn’t give you the knitting itch—scratchy, forlorn acrylics might have been fine when you were first learning, but if you’ve graduated to your own craft room, you can let them go. To get through the big purge, sort your stash into three categories: yarn you love, yarn you can lose, and leftovers.
Next, get rid of the stuff! Christen your new space with a yarn swap—your castoffs might be perfectly suited to another knitter’s taste. Or donate your extra stash—think about how much joy that yarn might give a kindergarten art class, for instance. Or, if your biggest pile is leftovers and scraps, there are plenty of mini projects that will help you use it up.
I love these classy lace coasters, for instance, or this cute tea cozy, because we all know there’s nothing us knitters love more than tea paraphernalia. That should downgrade you from Hoarders episode to adorable hobbyist, without throwing anything away!
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