Crochet Me Contest and Spring Cleaning

 
The free Beaux Jestes Socks by Tracy St. John are a perfect stash busting project. These socks use small amounts of several colors of fingering-weight yarn.  

Flowers buds are beginning to poke their heads above ground and the warm weather is begging me to open the windows and air the house out. I love the newfound invigoration that leads me to jump into organizing closets and dust corners I seldom ever visit.

Spring cleaning! But this year I walked past the laundry room desperately in need of straightening and the overflowing bookshelves. I dove into my yarn stash instead. And yes, it was just a much fun as it sounds like!

 
  Crochet hats, like the Diamonds and Lace Hat by Linda Permann, are a great quick project that uses very little yarn.

While I'm on the subject, and in the middle of the project, I thought I would share a few of my favorite yarn stash cleaning/organizing tips as well as some of my favorite stash busting free patterns. Then stay tuned for a special contest at the end of the blog.

1. Keep sweater quantities of yarn together. Whether you keep them in separate bin, tie them together, or place them in their own bag before storing them in a larger bag or bin. Eliminate the frustration of finding that perfect sweater pattern that requires 6 skeins of yarn and only being able to find 5 skeins. I've been there only to find that sixth skein several months later.

 
The Marigold Headband by Sarah Read is a great project for your leftover thread.  

2. Determine how you are going to categorize your yarn. Do you want to separate them by weight-worsted, DK, sport, lace? Or do you sort them fiber-wool, cotton, acrylic, silk? The method you decide on will depend on how you choose your yarn. When you look at a hat or cowl pattern worked in worsted-weight yarn, how important is fiber content to you or would you rather just have all your worsted-weight yarn in one location? I also know people who sort their yarn according to color because that is what is most important to them.

 
  The Organic Cotton Washcloth by Kim Werker makes a fabulous gift, and you can create several with a couple skeins of soft cotton yarn. These are great for adults too!

I think first about fiber content. Whether I crochet that hat out of acrylic, wool, or alpaca is my first thought. You don't have to choose only one method. While most of my yarn stash is sorted according to fiber type, I keep all of my sport-weight yarn and thread in their own separate bins.

You may not find the right method of storing your yarn right away, but keep fine tuning your storage method until you find what works best for you.

3. Keep a separate bag or bin for yarn that hasn't yet been sorted. We all pick up a new skein or two (or thirty) during the year. Some yarn is left over from projects we finish, and some yarn is picked up on sale or just because we fall in love with it but isn't immediately crocheted.

This helps keep your yarn organized and keeps it from landing all over the house when you don't have time to "put it away" in the correct bin. Then don't forget to revisit that "holding" bin periodically and put the yarn away in the proper place.

Best wishes,

 
 

Crochet Cowl Naming Contest

While I was organizing my yarn, I came across a few skeins of gorgeous charcoal merino blend yarn. You know how a certain yarn can sometimes just inspire you? I had instant visions of a warm, worsted-weight lace cowl (at left). The pattern came easily, and I finished it in less than a week. I am in love with the finished piece, and I have already received several compliments. But I have never been good with naming my designs. I would problem come up with something like "Crochet Lace Cowl."

So I am turning to you. Enter your name suggestions in the comments section below. We will choose a winner on Monday, and that winner will receive a free copy of Join As You Go Crochet DVD and Crochet Accessories. I will post the pattern for this lacy cowl next week.

Enter your Pattern Name suggestions below. Good luck!

We have a WINNER! Congratulations to Fransien and her title, Prairie Lace Cowl.

Contest Rules: To enter the contest, leave a comment below with your cowl name. The Contest begins 12:00 am Eastern Time ("ET") on April 4, 2014 and ends April 7, 2014, 10:59 a.m. ET. Due to the variety of rules regulating contests worldwide, we can only select winners from entrants that are U.S. residents (excluding Puerto Rico), 18 years old or older at the time of entry; and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). The afternoon of April 7, 2014, our panel of judges will pick the winning name. Check back on April 7 to see if you’ve won, approximate prize value is $50. View the full rules here.

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