Cleaning House, Knitting Style

For the past couple of days, I’ve been working on wrapping up some projects I have on the needles as well as getting some UFFOs finished and blocked. I have the secret project as well as the wifey’s Quicksilver (at long last) currently blocking, both with all ends woven in. I’ve been slogging away at the Clapotis for my MIL (just started skein #6 out of 7 last night) and that shouldn’t be too hard to finish up and block once the knitting is done. I’ve been using Russian joins the whole way so I’ll just need to weave in the first and last ends and trim up the joins. That will be three projects completely done! I also picked up buttons for my garter yoke baby cardi the other day so will grit my teeth and finish that up so it can be gifted away and off my to do list. Of course, I will attempt to get good photos of all these so I can blog about them properly.

I’ve also been doing a lot of work getting yarn ready to use. Usually this isn’t something I have to deal with but…I received some yarn I’d ordered a couple of weeks ago, and the bag and everything in it reeked of cigarette smoke. While I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s personal liberties, I will say that I really can’t stand cigarettes or tobacco smoke of any kind and to have a stale smoke bomb hit me when opening a bag of otherwise really lovely yarn–yeah, total bummer. I couldn’t just throw it away because, well, malabrigo! Also, while I didn’t buy it at anything close to retail price, I still did pay for it. So I’ve started the task of washing and drying all the yarn in the bag. Of course it was six skeins of non-superwash malabrigo wool and three skeins of hand wash Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece…no superwash in the lot. I’ve washed two of the skeins of malabrigo and am a little concerned that they started to felt. I’m not sure what to do for the remaining four skeins as I was as gentle as I could be with the first two. I’m going to try to wind them into balls today as they’re finally fully dry and see how it goes. As for the cotton fleece, I’m laughing at myself for what I did. I wasn’t really thinking clearly and just submerged two of the skeins without unwinding them. That was fine for washing them as it didn’t seem like the smoke had permeated past the outer layer (I think the malabrigo was the real culprit) but it wasn’t the best plan for drying them! So I washed them, waited until they dried out enough that I could unwind them into loops, and hung them to dry.

You might be wondering where I got yarn that was smoky. I got it from DBNY, which sources their stock from stores that go out of business, overgrown personal stashes and overstock. There’s no guarantees that anything will be in perfect condition since it may not be new or it might have been stored improperly before DBNY got it. However, I did send an email to their customer service department since this was such an ordeal. I’m waiting to hear back on whether or not they will try to make it right.

So I have the rest of that batch of yarn to unskein, wash, dry, ball, photograph and log into ravelry. I also have a small batch of yarn from Goodwill that I haven’t added to ravelry yet, so I’m going to try to knock that out this afternoon. If I have time and energy, I’ll sort through some of the last random stuff from my stash–mostly stuff without ball bands that needs to be identified and added to ravelry. Then, I’ll put any newly categorized yarn away in its proper bin.


my latest Goodwill haul

How do people store their yarn? I used to sort by fiber type, but now my stash has so many different blends that’s not really feasible. I reorganized all my yarn recently (I don’t think I blogged about that, now that I think of it) and decided to sort everything by weight. So, I have separate bins for everything (lace, fingering/sock, sport, DK, worsted, aran, bulky and super bulky). A few categories that don’t take up much space are sharing bins, and a few categories that have a ton of acrylic are further separated that way. It’s all in airtight bags inside bins with lids. I think there are eight or nine large bins, all told, and they’re all full or close to it. Time to get knitting!

Anyone else doing some fall “spring” cleaning? What’s your strategy?



  1. Cathy · September 29, 2015

    Ho no, wool and tobacco is really a nightmare ! Once I bought skeins of merino wool that were packed with splinters, awful, can’t imagine having to smell tobacco each time you open your stash ! I re-organised m stash a couple months ago, and I decided to use clear plastic bags (normally used to freeze food), label them, and put everything in a big vacuum bag. Anf of course, everything listed in ravelry. It helps a lot. I store depending on many things : one bag for yarns I use for babies, one bag for cheap acrylic, expensive skeins are bagged separately… I’ll try to post a picture sometimes

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 29, 2015

      I put some of my yarn in lightly compressed vacuum bags, too. Helped it fit in the bins better!


  2. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · September 29, 2015

    Currently, all of my yarn is sitting in bags or in my crafting closet, taking up a couple of shelves plus a few baskets. I really do need to find a better storage solution. However, it is all (almost) cataloged in Ravelry 🙂 When I need yarn for a project, I just go to my Stash on Ravelry, find what I need, then go through the bags/closet/basket to find it 🙂 Ugh for the smoke smell. I quit almost three years ago and can’t stand the smell now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 29, 2015

      Yeah, I spend a lot of time looking through my stash on rav. That’s such a useful function! Definitely worth all the time it takes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stefanie · September 29, 2015

    I store my yarn by weight. And ew, tobacco smelling yarn? You are very patient to want to have to deal with that and to remedy the sitch. That’s some interesting yarn you found at Goodwill. I have a SF knitting mate who finds some now and then there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 29, 2015

      I really, really don’t want to deal with it, but I don’t know what the alternative is. I’m sure they won’t refund my money. I just wound the two malabrigo skeins I washed into balls, and they were okay. I still want a partial credit/refund though since it’s soooo much work.


  4. MrsKirstyHoll · September 29, 2015

    I have got no idea how to organise my stash. I’m finally in a position to store it ‘in the open’…. but no idea how too….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tamera L · September 30, 2015

    Wow, I want to shop at your goodwill! Nice haul! As for stash, I think that you’re on the right track with the “bagged in bins” thing. Mine are loosely grouped by color, in addition to weight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the desert knitter · October 2, 2015

    Mine are just sorted into gallon-sized Ziploc bags – most of what I have is in sweater quantities, so they get stuffed into one or two bags on their own. Beyond that, they’re all in the same rolling drawer unit, but that’s as organized as it gets! I’m terrible about adding it to Ravelry, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maggienesium · October 2, 2015

    Ugh! Cigarette or any kind of smoke on yarn for that matter is the most wretched thing ever. I think I’d still have the same opinion if I didn’t have asthma.
    I’m kind of where you’re at right now: an almost full bin of yarn to knit down, but I have separated it by weight and fiber. All the tweed is wound up into cakes and on the left side in the waterproof bin. I have the rest of the worsted weight yarn to the right and most of that is acrylic and sitting on top of that is a small box with the cakes of Wool/Nyon/Bamboo fingering weight yarn and that’s pretty much it – well unless I’m using the yarn for a project. That’s all in the Project bin and placed there in order of how I’ll need it.
    All that said, there is a huge sale going on over at KnitPicks and I might have to fill up any space left in that bin…

    Liked by 1 person

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