Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Let Ravelry help you with your stash organization

Your notebook in Ravelry is a great way to help you keep track of your stash. I wish I could say I take full advantage of it myself, but I promise I have great intentions.

For me, the barrier is in the photo taking. I wish there were stock photos of yarn available that would magically link to the entry. Barring that, in order for the stash area in my notebook to show the beauty of all my yarn, I must take photos. The up side is that it forces me to actually handle each ball of yarn (or at least one of each color in each yarn). And the enormity of the task might help me realize the enormity of my stash.

I asked on Ravelry for input from people who have taken the time to create a full record of their stash in their notebook on Ravelry. I wanted to know how it's been helpful. It's clear from the responses that having a stash inventory at the ready is helpful in making decisions about potential projects. (Note to self: just think, no more pawing through bins of yarn.) A respondent named fiberfreak said that checking her stash inventory on Ravelry gives her a reality check when she's got a hankering to buy yarn. My bank account would appreciate that.

As Christy pointed out in the Ravelry thread, it's easy to make your stash available for trade or sale on Ravelry, which can be a great way to reduce your stash if you're ready to part with some yarn.

One way I foresee using my stash inventory in my notebook is for ease in shopping. When I go to my local LYS, they have a computer with an internet connection running and they let me peek at my Ravelry notebook. Once my inventory is complete, I'll be able to see exactly what I have (same goes for needles), so that I have a better idea of what I need to buy. Alternatively, I can print out my stash when it's viewed as a list and I'll see all the pertinent details in terms of quantity and colors. Then I can just pop the printout into my bag.

You can also easily export your stash to an Excel spreadsheet via the stash page on Ravelry. At the moment, I'm not sure why I'd want to do that, but perhaps one of you can clue me in.

If you're like me and the prospect of inventorying your stash (and especially taking all those pictures) is daunting, do what the folks in the Ravelry thread recommend: break the project down into little bits. Enter a half dozen or a dozen yarns at a time. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition.

Of course, that advice applies to any organizing project. Or most projects or daunting tasks in your life. Break it down into small steps and do just one step at at time.

I'm inspired to really use the wonderful tool that is the Ravelry notebook. I don't know where I'll find the time to upload everything, but it's been something I've wanted to do for some time. If I do a little bit each day, it'll be done before I know it.


Andrea said...

I've asked a few other Raverly users if I could use their pics for my stash and not one has said no!

Less pics to take, and we share the love!

Yay for the knitters!!!

Janine Adams said...

Fabulous idea--that never occurred to me. Thanks for the suggestion, Andrea. You're right--knitters are the best!


cathy jones said...

I made plans with a friend to visit a couple LYSs this weekend, and while I was printing out point-to-point directions, I downloaded the excel file of my stash from ravelry and printed that out too. I enjoyed the shopping more, knowing that I wouldn't be buying duplicate yarn, but if one of the stores had Mission Falls on sale, I could buy the right amount to use with what's in my stash to make a sweater. [Not every LYS has a public computer.]