Stash Management For Geeks

I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that my stash was starting to get a little bit out of hand, when I realised that I couldn’t really remember much of what was in there. This is a problem for me because if I can’t remember what’s in there, I have little chance of being able to plan projects with it, so I’m never going to actually work through any of it. I’m sure you have probably noticed by now that I am as much a geek as I am a knitter, so there was only one possible solution to this problem: A Spreadsheet

Yes, dear readers, I went straight to Google Drive* and drew up a brand new yarn stash spreadsheet. What information could possibly be needed in such a document? Let me tell you…

  • Brand
  • Colour/Shade
  • Weight
  • Number of balls
  • Metreage per ball
  • Total metreage (calculated automatically from the number of balls and metreage per ball, obviously)
  • Project(s) assigned to the yarn

Now I have my entire stash at my fingertips wherever I am! If I stumble across a pattern in a shop or online that I like the look of, I don’t have to go and rummage through my stash to find out if I have something that might be suitable.

The spreadsheet is sorted with yarns that are already assigned to future projects at the top, followed by yarns for which I haven’t yet chosen a project underneath. Those yarns are also sorted by metreage, highest first, allowing me to see of which yarns I have the most available for new projects.

Lastly, there is a motivating element of shame in this spreadsheet, thanks to the inclusion of a grand total metreage. I now know that I have over 8 km (5 mi) of yarn in my stash. That amount would stretch from Trent Bridge to Radcliffe-On-Trent, and that’s not as the crow flies! So, yes, I definitely need to tip my knitting:acquisition ratio a little further the other way in 2014.


*Naturally the spreadsheet must be available on my mobile devices when I’m on the go, as well as on my laptop at home.



  • Tina

    06 January 2014 at 12:37 Reply

    That’s awesome Sarah. I’ve always used Ravelry for my stash and export my updates via spreadsheet so I can take it with me.

    • Sarah

      07 January 2014 at 16:13 Reply

      I tried using Rav to manage my stash a while back, but I just didn’t get on with it for some reason. It’s good to have it under control, however works :)

  • Hannah Ackroyd

    06 January 2014 at 19:33 Reply

    This is brilliant! I should probably do this… I am hoping to use up lots of my stash this year so i am looking for some small projects to get working on! Time to head to Ravelry/Pinterest I think! I’m in the process of making a spreadsheet for the books that I own too…my life will be ruled by spreadsheets!

    • Sarah

      07 January 2014 at 16:12 Reply

      Spreadsheets are the best, I have no idea how I used to manage without them! I hope it helps you get your stash under control :)

  • Susie Hewer

    08 January 2014 at 14:03 Reply

    I too made a bold statement that I would only knit from my stash this year. You have shamed me into starting a spreadsheet as there is so much hidden away that I couldn’t possibly remember it all!

    • Sarah

      08 January 2014 at 14:20 Reply

      Haha, glad I could help 😉 Honestly, the shame factor can’t be overstated, it really does help that I can’t plead ignorance and pretend not to know what’s in there!

  • dayanaknits

    12 January 2014 at 19:34 Reply

    You should use Ravelry to database your stash. Every yarn can be tracked in ways and linked with projects in ways that no personal database could!

  • dayanaknits

    12 January 2014 at 19:37 Reply

    And to add… all Ravelry stashes can be exported as spreadsheets! Because all yarn is tracked, it will tell you exact yardages, etc, projects… I don’t how else to describe it but STASH TRANSFORMING. When I see a new pattern, I just click on my stash and can filter it to see EXACTLY what yarns I could use for the project… Anyway, you should def. check it out. As you can see, I am a huge fan.

  • Judy

    16 October 2014 at 22:20 Reply

    Hi Sarah!! I think I have enough yarn (all Rowan), in my stash to open my own wool shop!! Trouble is every time I decide that I MUST sell some on ebay, I just can’t do it! Help!!

    • Sarah

      17 October 2014 at 13:49 Reply

      I’m just the same, I can’t ever bear to part with yarn. What if I later need it for something really urgent or exciting?!

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