Monday, August 18, 2008

spring cleaning!

Apologies to those of you who are anxiously waiting for me to finish the lining tutorial I started in my last post... I got a little side-tracked.

Admittedly, I get distracted far too easily. Not ideal, but it always makes life interesting!

Want to know what happened?

Well... I brought out my sewing machine to work on the lining. It was then that I remembered that I had broken the needle the last time I had used it. So I went to my sewing box for a replacement one... NONE THERE!!!!

I knew they had to be around somewhere. I very clearly remember that I had bought a five-pack not long ago, and had only used one out of it. I can clearly recall staring at the rows and rows of needles at the store... trying to decide which ones I was going to need. And then the excitement when I brought them home and they were the right ones!

Obviously I was so excited by the prospect of having purchased correctly... that I was in an ecstatic haze... and didn't put the needles away in the correct spot when I was finished. I mean, I can't think of any other reason for not putting them away properly... Surely not sheer laziness??? or distraction???

So... the needles had to be somewhere. I pulled the place apart looking for them, and then had a giant mess to clean up! Somewhere along the way I decided it would just make so much more sense if I completely re-organised my craft area... and I ended up doing a big spring clean (yes, I know I'm a few weeks early)

august 2008 - boxes

Remember these magazine holders you used to be able to buy? Still can I guess. Well these ones have been lying around at our place for years. I have wanted to throw them out on so many occasions... and Mr Goldfish has insisted on holding onto them... JUST IN CASE THEY COME IN HANDY ONE DAY!

more august yarn

Well, guess what... they did come in handy... but I would never have anticipated that I would store yarn in them. I laid them on their backs, and adjusted the shelving to fit perfectly. They work brilliantly! I've used plastic boxes for storage in the past... with reasonable success. But I want to be able to touch it... pet it... fiddle with it... just be able to see and grab exactly what I want when I want (did I hear someone whisper the words 'instant gratification'?)

So that's part of the job done. Yarn neatly on shelves. the baskets underneath are full of rag balls, and the chest at the very bottom contains felted jumpers. The small trolley is full of recycled bits and bobs... belts, jewellery, tassels, lace, pompoms... all sorts of treasures. And the basket on top of that holds my knitting needles and looms, crochet hooks, circular needles, etc.

And it you're looking for my measuring tapes... they're being used to tie back the curtains... of course!

PS. that stash of yarn is all reclaimed/recycled!

PPS. I didn't ever find those sewing machine needles either


Anonymous said...

Wow ! Ok, I have SEVERAL wows here.
First on how excellent it looks.
Second on putting the magazine boxes on their backs for the yarn and adjusting the bookshelves.
Third for using the measuring tapes as curtain tie backs.
Fourth for the "instant gratification" bit (ROFL!!)
And fifth for IT ALL BEING RECYCLED YARN . . . the whole lot !
A M A Z I N G ! vigorously applauding and cheering

Stramenda (Cristina)

Cats-Rockin-Crochet said...

I'm gobbed smacked! Terrific.

Anonymous said...

That looks fantastic!! Job well done.
Now that you have inspired me I guess I should do somethng about my stash. hmmm....might wait the few weeks till spring though.

Sue said...

My goodness it looks great. Practically like your own little yarn store at home. I cannot believe it is all recyled either. You are doing one great job for the environment using it all too.

Bel said...

I am going into therapy because I am jealous of your yarn stash.

Just... wow.

laughing purple goldfish said...

thanks for the feedback everyone... I'm loving my new set-up, now I just need to maintain it!

I think the really scary part is that I only start this recycling kick about a year ago... and look what I have accumulated already!!!

donna said...

oooh i love it,so organised. i really really must sort out my stash- i think it will have to wait till school restarts.

laughing purple goldfish said...

now if only the rest of the house looked as organised!

Anonymous said...


Going to go to ikea now.

Verona said...

This is sooo neat.. I should try such originality at my yarn shop. We always have "odd balls" lying around with no place to put. Great idea...

Anonymous said...

So cool. It looks wonderful! I love those magazine holders and have made a few of mine from old cereal boxes, you just cut at an angle & have an instant holder you can decorate or paint. Very inspiring!

kelly said...

Found your post via the Craft blog. Your yarn storage photo made me say "Wow" right out loud.

Nice work -- thanks for sharing!

Anya said...

What a simple yet beautiful way to organize your stash!!!
Me like!

laughing purple goldfish said...

thanks for taking the time to leave a comment... so glad that I've been able to inspire others with this storage idea!
enjoy :)

Unknown said...

That is a stunning display! I am amazed that all that yarn is reclaimed. go you!

Julie said...

Can I hire you to help me organize my craft area? Wait, the plane ticket might be more than I can afford. My only problem is that I have this cat that just LOVES wool yarn. I have a sliding glass door cabinet to keep the yarn from her, but somehow she gets her little claws and paws in there anyway. I think she would figure a way up to those shelves. Is it better to reclaim the yarn and save it in balls for later or save the jumper/sheets, then reclaim them when you need them?

laughing purple goldfish said...

julie - I love the organising part... it is the maintenance that is my downfall every time!

with the yarn... I like to reclaim it quickly, and have it in my stash ready to use (although admittedly I have a huge backlog in my frog pond at the moment)

I also have my rag balls ready-to-use... although, that's a bit of an iffy one... some fabrics I have cut into rags and then thought BUGGER I should have saved some for a lining or a different project... also I would cut them to half an inch for bags, BUT one inch for a rug... so it depends if you know what you are planning to do with them really...

hope that helped :)

Julie said...

Ahhhh, that is my problem as well. I've made strips for a rug, then thought I wished I had saved some for a sewing project.
Thanks for your advice. I think my first order of business is to use what I have in my own frog pond before I acquire more.

Geek+Nerd said...

I found this via Craftzine. So clever - thank you!

laughing purple goldfish said...

geek+nerd - you're welcome... thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing. I'll be using my empty mag holders for my yarn starting today! I may need to make a few more too. Love it!!

Anonymous said...

I thought my stash was way too big. Guess I'm wrong and still need to keep adding on. :D Love the idea, a must try. Thanks for sharing!

LolaP said...

You continue to inspire and amaze peoble with this post. 5 years later and all the way to the United States! My reclaimed ( or as I call it, "upcycled") yarn stash is equal to yours so I know that this is a proven idea that will work for my stash. Thank you for your inventive spirit. Now you have reminded me, where are my machine needles...?

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