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Ever since I’ve become a pattern designer I’ve found it increasingly frustrating to not have my yarn properly categorized. I used to put the tags and names of each color in a folder, but that quickly turned into a mess of it’s own. Desperate, I went to my dear friend google to see if someone had a solution I’d love.

After scrolling through various artsy organization techniques (you know the ones, with the giant cork boards covering an entire wall), I found the perfect solution from Look At What I Made. Not only does she share her process, but she includes a free PDF download so you can make your own. I edited mine slightly, but I highly suggest hers!

After huge projects my yarn stash and desk become a mess. It’s a wonder I find anything while I’m working. Typically, 3-4 times a year I go through it all, reorganize, wind, and make it pretty to the eye again. While this process would be content for most, I design crochet patterns and take commissions. Knowing what specific color I use is extremely important.

I was working on a commission recently of Medivh from World of Warcraft (pics will be up soon.) He has a beautiful robe that has various shades of blue. I assumed I had enough of his lighter blue for the robe and the hood, but alas I did not. Of course it wasn’t until I finished the robe, securely attached and began working on his cloak that I realized. I didn’t remember the shade color. I knew it was Red Heart, but I did not save the tag with the color name.

I knew I would recognize it the second I saw it though. So off I went to find the shade. I went to my local Walmart, assured that I would find it there as that’s the only place I buy Red Heart brand yarn. No luck. Luckily there are 2 more in my general area, surely one of them would have it right? No. Ok.. well there’s a Joanns close by too, maybe they’ll have it. No.

Frustrated, I sat in the parking lot going over my options. I could drive 20 miles to the state line, there’s an additional Walmart, Joanns, and a Hobby Lobby there. If I couldn’t find the shade I could just recreate the entire outfit in a similar shade from Hobby Lobby’s brand I Love This Yarn. The other option you’ve probably already thought was to order the shade online. There were some cons to that. I still didn’t know the shade name, it would probably take 3-4 days to get to me, and while I’m confident in recognizing the shade in person online is a completely different ball game. Oi.

Finally I decided to drive to the state line and check everything before finally resigning myself to restarting the outfit in a slightly different shade from Hobby Lobby.

Imagine how much time I could of saved if I had a catalog of the colors I had, the names, the brands. I could of ordered online with confidence I would be getting the right color. Now I have a binder full of yarn names, shade codes, and samples. It’s also aesthetically pleasing too!

Don’t forget to head to her page and get a full walkthrough of how to create your own and to download her free PDF template!

How do you organize your yarn stashes?!

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