Deep Dive into Stash
Have you been taking this opportunity to organize your yarn-on-hand? Ravelry offers a rich variety of stash management functions, whether you keep a few skeins on hand for emergency attacks of cast-on-itis or are a serious SABLE* type.
* SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.
There is no one “right” way to organize your stash. Ravelry’s tools allow users to create their own system, as simple or as complex as you choose. This month, we’ll follow the path that I personally use when a new skein of yarn magically appears in my mailbox. In later tips, we’ll explore other Stash tools. (Reminder – click on images to enlarge.)
Let’s start at the top of the Ravelry Stash screen. Five tabs divide your stash into general categories:
- Yarn Stash (usable quantity on hand)
- Fiber Stash (for spinners’ raw materials)
- Used Up (no usable amount remaining after a project)
- Will Trade or Sell (aka what was I thinking when I bought this?)
- Traded/Sold/Gifted (for example, donated to the Stash Sale!)
We are on the Yarn Stash tab, which (if you’ve added any) displays photos of your current stash. Just below the line is a series of buttons and drop-down menus.
- We’ll use the Add to Stash button in a moment, to add my new skein.
- Sort by… is a drop-down menu that allows you to view stash by date added, name, color, and other choices.
- Filter stash… is a quick search function if, for example, you want to see only sock weight yarns or only yarns of a particular fiber.
- The open search box lets you type in a color name, yarn vendor name, etc. to find a specific yarn(s).
- Advanced takes you to the advanced Search screen, which we’ll see in a later Tip of the Month article.
- The 3 grouped icons on the right let you change how you view your stash: large photos, smaller photos, or text list. The text list lets you quickly sort yarns by weight, colorway, etc. and offers a drop-down menu with choices such as go directly to photos, move yarn to another category, or delete the entry completely.
- The final icon downloads your text list to an Excel file.
With my new skein of yarn in hand, let’s choose the Add to Stash button. The first screen gathers basic information such as point of purchase and yarn name.
- You don’t have to enter full purchase information – the amount of detail is up to you. In this case, the yarn was purchased by someone else so I’ll leave store detail fields blank.
- If you select “Other/I don’t know,” the screen changes and forces you to type in the entire yarn brand and name. I find this tiresome, so I try to remember not to click “don’t know”!
- When you begin typing the yarn company brand name, Ravelry offers a list of possible matching brands. Choose from the list, if your yarn’s brand name appears, or continue typing until the full name is shown.
- Then Continue to the next screen.
I entered Jamieson’s brand and Ultra yarn name. Jamieson’s has two yarns with “Ultra” in the name – I’ll confirm that it is the not-cobweb yarn.
My yarn is now in my stash – but only by brand and name.
- I always do a quick check of About This Yarn, lower right, to make sure my skein details (fibers, yards/gram) match the yarn shown. If I’d chosen the cobweb yarn by mistake, here’s my chance to correct the error. That means deleting the entry and starting over.
Then Select Edit Stash in the upper right to enter important details such as color, dye lot, and number of skeins.
- Colorway refers to the maker’s color name (which is not always helpful). Adding “Closest color?” from the drop-down menu allows you to sort stash by general color groups, or to later help identify a yarn that’s missing its label. For example, I came across a cake of yellow fingering weight without its tag. Fortunately, I had used “Closest color?” and was able to quickly identify the cake from my stash photos of all yellowish yarns.
- The Stored in… text field allows you to specify where you are going to hide, err, put the new yarn. Examples include a numbered storage box, “office top bookshelf,” etc. The Stored in… text field is searchable on the Advanced stash search screen – for example, if you find an unlabeled skein on the office bookshelf, search “bookshelf” and identify the yarn from the list of yarns you stored there.
Several of my examples use a photograph of the yarn for later identification. Put on your big girl pants and add a photo at the same time you enter the yarn in stash! I failed to do that at times in the past and have lived to regret it.
The easiest way to enter a photo of a single stash entry is to snap it on your phone and use the “upload a photo now” function on the Ravelry mobile home page. This method is detailed on the Ravelry desktop home page blog entry dated January 10, 2020.
If you’re stashing several skeins at once, the mobile upload function can be confusing – there’s not enough information shown to attach the correct photo to one of several stash entry choices. In that case, I’ll upload/email multiple photos from my phone to my desktop or tablet so I can select the right photo for a specific yarn.
If you prefer to use the yarn company’s photo, which is often closer in color than a phone photo, here’s how:
- In a separate browser window, find the photo you want to use (navigate to seller’s page and find your yarn). Right-click your desktop mouse/tap and hold on tablet screen to get a menu that includes “Copy image address” or similar wording. Select that menu choice, which places the image URL in your device’s temporary memory (“clipboard”).
- On the Edit Stash screen for your specific skein, select either the Photos tab at the top of screen or the Go to Photos button at the bottom.
- On the Photos pop-up, select Slurp from Web or Enter Image URL (these choices vary depending on how you entered the Photos pop-up, but they mean the same thing).
- Paste the image address (from your clipboard) into the text field and click Slurp it!
- Once the photo appears, click Finished with Photos in the lower right (if necessary – one version of photo entry screen will save changes automatically).
Congratulations! Keep it up, entering yarns into Stash as soon as you receive them, and you’ll have a valuable record of your precious fiber finds. Stay tuned for more deep dives into Stash in future Ravelry Tip of the Month articles.
Ravelry Tip of the Month is an ongoing feature of our newsletter. Have a tip suggestion or a Ravelry question you’d like answered? Send your ideas to Sydnie Wauson at VicePresident@SanDiegoKnitters.com.