Spring Cleaning = Stash Busters

Spring is here.  Here in the mountains, we are on a roller coaster ride of warm sunny days and heavy wet snowy ones.  However, the days are lengthening and my daffodils are emerging from their winter sleep. The hummingbirds will be arriving in a few weeks and as they begin to build their nests, I feel the urge to tidy up mine.  A spring cleaning usually includes my craft closet.  It feels good to reorganize and cull through my supplies. Although I usually buy yarn or fabric for specific projects, I seem to end up with extra skeins.  However occasionally, I have fallen in love with a yarn and ended up buying it with no specific project in mind.  Those yarns, along with leftover skeins from other projects, have collected in stash gins.  So, while I am in the spring-cleaning mood, it is time to act.  Here are a few organizing tips that have been passed along to me by friends and that I have learned from experience.

  • Store yarn by weight and place a label on the bin, box or shelf.
  • Store yarn in plastic bins with lids. This keeps your yarn away from moths and dust.
  • If you buy yarn for several projects, store the yarn and patterns together. You might change your mind later, but it helps to have an idea of what you were thinking when you purchased the yarn.
  • Organize your notions and needles. If you use interchangeable needles, store them and the cables together.  It will save you time and money if you know exactly what you have.  I have been amazed at the number of stitch markers and cable needles I have collected over the years.  When they are kept together, I can find them easily and have the right marker when I need it.
  • Cull out those wee little balls of yarn or store them together if you plan on using them in a stash buster. Otherwise give them away to someone might like mini skein projects or toss them out.  Be strong!

This gets me to my next point.  Identify and set aside the yarn and patterns for a few stash busters.  Small projects can be fun because you get that terrific feeling of accomplishment.  I also like them because it stimulates my creativity to try color combinations and patterns that will work with the supplies at hand.  It is not unusual for me to have orphan skeins in my stash, so single skein projects are perfect stash busters for me.  I also like finding Fair Isle patterns that use multiple colors for the same reason.  Below, I have listed some stash busters that you might like.  I have included links and some basic information about each.

Sacred Peaks Cowl

Sacred Peaks Cowl Pattern

The Sacred Peaks Cowl reflects the sacred land in Arizona featuring the mountain peaks, ponderosa pines and quaking aspens.
Yarn weight: DK or light weight worsted, such as Cascade 220 superwash.
23 stitches and 25 rows = 4 inches
US 7-4.5 mm
300 - 350 yards (274-320 m)


Crochet Potholders Native American and Southwest Designs

Native American Crochet Pattern Potholders

Native American and Southwest themes.  Each potholder is about 7” square. Pattern booklet includes written instructions as well as optional graphs for seven potholders.
Yarn weight: worsted
G Hook 4mm
4 stitches and 4 rows = 1 inch


Dark Sky Crochet Cowl

Dark Sky Cowl - Free Crochet Pattern by Cascade Yarn Design Team

Crochet a light summer shawl to throw over your shoulders as the evening begins to cool.
Yarn weight: DK
Gauge 13 stitches and 9 rows = 4 inches in double crochet
Hook size 5.0 mm (H)
Yardage 546 yards (499 m). Sizes available


Leftovers Cowl

Leftovers Cowl by Wendy D. Johnson

This is the perfect project for using up those odds and ends in your stash or incorporating mini skeins that you may have collected or want to collect.
Yarn weight: fingering
7 stitches and 7.25 rows = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch
US 3 - 3.25 mm
2600 - 2800 yards