Wednesday, 19 August 2015

How IKEA saved my sanity

ikea algot six drawer frame system yarn stash

There's a chance I'm being a tad dramatic with that post title.  It sounds good though, right?  I also considered using 'how I store my mighty tower of wool',
'how I spent close to forty quid on a basic looking storage system' or
'how I grew my yarn stash to fit an Algot'.
All good, but using the phrase 'saved my sanity' seemed like more of a grab.  It's totally true though.  A few months ago, my yarn stash outgrew my plastic storage drawers.  Actually, let me revise that.  Over a year ago, my yarn stash outgrew my storage drawers and a few months ago, I decided to do something about it.  (Side note - look at the teeny tiny amount of yarn I had a couple of years ago.  That escalated quickly.)

My mum had a trip to IKEA planned so I tagged along in the hopes of finding something suitable to fit both space of room and volume of wool.  A wander through the store didn't turn up as many options as I expected.  I had finally settled on one of these giant wicker baskets to house the overspill when we reached the warehouse and came across the Algot range.  Seriously, why do they keep all the best stuff to display at the end?  I seem to find more of what I'm looking for in the last few steps of a trip to IKEA than in the rest of the visit.  I really ought to just start there in future.

So Algot was the winner.  After a quick pick up of the frame and drawers, I drove merrily home to get building.  About a day later I realised that the range was much bigger than I originally thought, so off I went again to buy a top shelf and some wheels.  Let me tell you - if I didn't love it before, I sure did after the extra bits went on.  I should point out that the instructions state the wheels should only be used in the four drawer frame and not the six drawer one, but I figured since I wasn't putting anything heavy in there that it was worth skirting around that rule.

Then came the fun bit - filling the drawers!  Here's how I have it arranged...

4ply wool yarn stash fluffy algot

1 - 4ply and 'novelty' yarn - I don't really work much with finer wools so I was surprised to almost fill the top basket with these.  There was a bit of space left to squeeze in the few random balls of fluffy wools I have too.

double knitting DK yarn wool stash algot ikea

2 + 3 - Double Knitting - My creative bread and butter, if you like.  Colourful DK is usually my first choice for anything I make, unless the pattern calls for something radically different.  I went a bit overboard on the organising here so the upper basket has the lighter shades like whites, yellows and pinks, and the lower one is filled with greens, purples and blues.  So many blues.  I like to keep it stocked with a good variety of colours - Stylecraft Special and New Fashion Woolcraft are my weapons of choice, with the odd ball of Robin thrown in.

multi coloured yarn wool stash algot

4 + 5 - Bulk lots - Here we have more DK, this time of the fun, multi-coloured variety, and a bunch of yarns that I have in larger quantities, ie enough for making a sweater or bigger items.  It's mostly DK but there's about ten balls of super chunky that I got to make a scarf last year and didn't get around to.  Fingers crossed it happens this year, if only to clear out some space!

aran wool yarn stash algot

6 - Aran - This yarn comes a close second on my list of the best weight to work with.  Bergere De France Recyclaine is a firm favourite and I have a few colours in the stash that I got on sale recently.  There's also leftovers from Tam's sweater and a few odd balls, and of course some Scottish brands - I have some gorgeous North Ronaldsay wool to make another hat (one can never have too many woolly hats) and some New Lanark that I found on sale in Helensburgh.

wool yarn stash basket

I've not even mentioned the chunky wool...  It lives on the top shelf in a lined basket I picked up on sale in TK Maxx before Christmas.  There's not a lot of it since I really just like it for making hats when I have a few hours to spare.  Also, I've not found an especially lovely brand of chunky yet. Any suggestions?

I feel so much better now that my stash has went from scattered all over the room to being housed all in one place.  It makes me smile to look at everything all neat and plan what I'm going to make next.  The only downside I've noticed is that the baskets aren't quite deep enough for two layers of 100g balls, so a fair bit of squishing goes on in some of them. 

I'd love to know how everyone else stores their craft materials.  Drawers?  Baskets?  Boxes?  Shoved under the sofa? 


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