Although I'm relatively new to knitting (I started about a year after our Etsy shop launched in 2012) I have already developed many of the habits of a longtime knitter:
- A closet and dresser in my home are devoted to storing yarn
- There are more finished projects in the house than I could ever use myself (hence the Etsy shop)
- I made a specific furniture purchase (a Martha Washington sewing cabinet) for storing needles and supplies
- Many attempts have been made to organize my stash
Ravelry seems like a good way to stay on top of what I've got and be less tempted by craft store sales. Ravelry is a community for fiber artists. It's got forums, project trackers, inventory tools, and more.
I inventoried my needles last year and thought that was a good place to start. I took the scrap of paper I'd listed the counts on and transferred the information to Ravelry. Now I can see, at a glance, at home or on-the-go, which sizes I've got. And wonder why I have 10+ of certain sizes I've never used! (In my defense, I inherited almost all of my needles from both my grandmothers and a friend.)
Next up was yarn. Again, this wasn't too bad, because I'd started tracking colors in my iPhone as a way to stop shopping. Caron Simply Soft is our staple and even the list hadn't been much of a shopping deterrent. I have more than 50 colors in this brand alone. My excuse? I need them on hand so I don't have to drive 30+ minutes each way to buy yarn for custom orders.
What took longer was going through the brands I don't usually use. Once the yarn inventory was done, it was easy to see that I had 100+ skeins of yarn in more than 80 colors! Yikes.
I've also started using the project tracker in Ravelry. At this point I don't think I'll use it to track every pair I knit. It seems a little tedious and duplicates my efforts of listing in my Etsy shop and in my inventory spreadsheet. I will probably create projects for new colors, sizes, or pattern variations just so I have a record for future use.
Whether I keep up with this system is to be seen, but there is an app (Stash2Go) that makes accessing Ravelry from my iPhone a little easier than navigating the website on Safari. And the forums look like a great resource of information!