All About Socks: Your Ravelry Stash

I hope you had a great weekend! Typically on a Monday I would share my family’s latest adventure — and we did have a grand one, but I will save it for later. Socks with Sarah is a mere two days away & I have found these little informational posts I’ve been writing have been like opening a can of words. Every time I write one, 6 more ideas come to mind. Such is life though, right? Always so many ideas, so little time!

Today I want to talk stash. Now as knitters, we pretty much all have a stash. Last year, I finally got mine in order using Ravelry. Now it’s true that if you have already built up a stash as I have, there is a bit of a time investment in getting it all cataloged, but there are some serious advantages to doing so. First, it really helps you to get a handle on exactly what you have — this is an obvious one. If you know what you have, you can effectively knit with it. If it is bagged in a drawer and you don’t see it for months on end, it’s harder to remember to use it.  Also once you have everything updated on Ravelry, you can sort it & filter it a number of ways. When you add a pattern to your queue, you can select and list exactly which yarn you intend to use. This means that if you don’t get to it right away, you won’t forget why you bought the yarn in the first place. When looking at yarn ideas for a pattern, you can even filter the ‘yarn ideas’ to see what stashed yarns you already have that should work for it. It is just so helpful, especially if you are like me & you buy yarn far in advance.

Now the first thing I usually do is snap photos. I am very visual and I like to have a ‘face’ with the name when it comes to my yarn stash. For this, I tend to just use my iPhone because it is quick & easy and I don’t need to use any cords to hook my camera up to my computer. If using a smartphone, just take the photos on a neutral surface in natural light. I might crop the images to make them neat, but that’s about it.  This doesn’t have to be a masterpiece Still Life with Yarn, just a visual so you will recognize it. If you don’t have a smartphone, a camera will be just fine — just snap the photos and upload them to your computer preferably to an easily accessible folder (more than once I’ve uploaded them and then it took me 20 or 30minutes to locate them — I’m awesome that way). Once the photos area taken — whether on camera of smartphone — they can wait until the yarn information synced up onto Ravelry.

About that — there are two ways to get that info into your stash. For fun, let’s use this new beauty as an example:

20140113-162927.jpgString Theory Colorworks Inertia in the Ceres colorway. It is 80% SW Merino / 20% Nylon, 400yds, & fingering weight.

First, you can search for the yarn itself. Be sure you are in the yarn tab & type in the name just as it appears on the tag.Screenshot (32)You can see I typed ‘string theory colorworks inertia’ — you don’t need the colorway just yet.
Screenshot (33)And this screen pops up. Now I don’t have a semi-solid, this is self-striping, you that’s the one I’ll click.

Screenshot (34)And voila — the page. Now in the upper right I have my mouse over add to stash — click that.

Screenshot (35)And you will wind up here. Once again in the upper right, you would then click on edit stash to enter the colorway, number of skeins, etc — all the details.

Now before we get into that, the other way — the method I usually use — to add a yarn to your stash. First I go to my notebook. From here from I select stash from the menu on the left.

Screenshot (36)

Oh hey. Look there’s my stash.Screenshot (37)Now just to the right of the menu on the left side you will see a button that says add to stash. Click on it.

Screenshot (39)And this page will pop up. Fill out out the form — first, where you bought it then its name, the yarn company, and where (exactly) you purchased it — that last one is optional.

Screenshot (40)Like so.

Screenshot (41)And if you typed the name of the yarn exactly, it should pop up like this. If not, try typing it another way. Be careful that you get the correct yarn — check yardage, fiber content, etc if you aren’t sure — or it will kind of defeat the purpose of what you’re doing here. For this yarn the upper one was correct so I clicked on choose this yarn.

Screenshot (42)And then I got this page (if you serached by yarn, this is where you are taken when you click edit stash). From here, fill in any remaining info — ie colorway, number of skeins, dye lot (if applicable), etc. I never enter in how much I paid for my yarn. Maybe I don’t want to be able to add up a total. Maybe it just doesn’t matter anymore. Probably a little of both.

Screenshot (44)You can make notes on the yarn if you like — I don’t usually do much with that unless it is a part of a club, then I denote the club & date. Don’t forget to go to the groups box & share it with Friends of Knitting Sarah, please. This will make a little thumbnail pop up over in our Ravelry group & I for one would love to see your new lovelies — I’m pretty sure I’m not alone!

Screenshot (45)Once you’ve entered all the info you want to enter, click save stash.

Now to add the photo. After you clicked save stash, you will see this page.Screenshot (46)If you are adding photos from your computer, go to the tabs in the upper right and click photos.

If you are adding photos from your smartphone, log in to Ravelry on your phone, go to your stash, and in the drop down menu next to the add to stash button select Sort by date added.

Screenshot (48)That will bring up the last yarn you added to the upper left. Click on the correct yarn —

Screenshot (50)And there it is in the upper left — so sad without a photo! Click on it & you’ll be here:

Screenshot (47)Now you are in the same place as those good folks who are still on their computers adding photos from their cameras. From here you get to choose how you upload — via flickr, photobucket, slurp from web, or upload from your computer. If you are uploading from your computer — well, click on that and then click Browse. Find the folder with your photos (remember I told you to put them somewhere easy to find!) and select the one you want to add. Click upload and….Screenshot (51)Voila! There it is!

For those using a phone, you’ll do the exact same thing, except where it says Browse, yours says Choose a file. The process is the same though.

As you can see, I am pretty rigorous about being sure to add my yarn to my stash. I track my spinning fibers the same way. I love having this info at my fingertips — I think it helps me to really get the most out of my yarns, selecting the best pattern-yarn matches. Most of all though, I love that at any given moment I know exactly what I have. It’s true I have some partial skein updating to do — you can list when you use yarn, how much you use, and what is left, too (that tutorial is for another day) — but overall I have stayed very up-to-date on my yarn stash. Like I said, it is pretty easy to maintain once you have it all set up.

And that’s that — the adding yarns to the Ravelry yarn stash.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with some last minute tips & housekeeping info before the big Socks with Sarah launch on Wednesday, so be sure to check back!

5 thoughts on “All About Socks: Your Ravelry Stash”

  1. Awesome explanation, and I couldn’t agree more! The first part of your post feels like you’re talking about me: buying yarn in advance, forgotten yarn in drawers, choosing phone over camera for “lazy” shots, losing pictures on my computer…all of it!
    I haven’t cataloged my existing stash, but as new yarn comes in, I do stash it. I found that, even if I buy yarn for a specific project, it’s easier to stash the yarn first so it automatically records the leftovers when I’m done.
    Excited for Thursday! Trying to get one more WIP off my needles first, but I don’t think i’ll make it.

    1. LOL! I have to catch up on some of my leftover yarns — with the holidays I didn’t always take the time to weight before I gifted. And then I ordered a new ball winder, so I’ve been waiting to play with that when I rewind what’s left. Excuses, excuses!

      I am working hard to wrap up a test knit I squeezed in here before tomorrow, but I’m not sure I’ll get there! We shall see!

  2. I had no idea this was an option!
    Such a great idea! Now I’ll be able to remember what I knit the items in my Etsy shop with instead of keeping thousands of labels, like I do now. 😀

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