Keeping track of what's in your stash can be a bit daunting, but listing your stash in Ravelry can help you keep up with it. Plus, once you've got your stash entered, there are a lot of things you can do with it that will help in planning your projects.
If you don't know how to add yarn to your Ravelry stash, I've created a tutorial video for how to do so.
Take the time to add your stash to Ravelry. If you've never done it before and you have a large stash, it could seem overwhelming, but split your yarn into sections and just do a little each day. Before long, you'll have everything entered into Ravelry.
So, what's the benefit of keeping your stash in Ravelry? I've created a top ten list of features you can use once your stash is listed online. (Some of these require that you use other parts of Ravelry, such as the queue or recording yarn usage in a project.)
See at a glance if you have enough yarn for a specific project.
When you look at your stash listings, the yardage in your stash is listed at the bottom of the picture. So, for example, if you know that you need 1250 yards for a sweater project, you can easily see which stash yarns have at least that much yarn. (You can also sort by most and least yardage.)
Sort your stash by date added.
Let's say you're curious about the oldest yarn in your stash. Sort by date added with oldest first and you'll automatically see the yarn that's been sticking around in your stash the longest. (Of course, this only works if you add stash as you get it. So if you're just starting out, this feature won't be useful for another year or two.)
Filter your stash by yarn weight.
Want to do a hat in worsted weight yarn but not sure which worsted weight yarn you have? Just select that filter and get a list of just your worsted weight yarn, which makes choosing a yarn for a project much easier.
Connect your queue to your stash.
When you add a project to your queue and link it to your stash, you can see which yarns have already been set aside for projects and which yarns are still available. When you open a specific yarn entry, you can actually get a link to the pattern page if you have connected a yarn and project, or you can sort your stash by "in queue" or "not in queue" to see available yarn at a glance.
Filter your stash by fiber type.
Do you know that you want to knit something with alpaca but can't remember which yarns in your stash have alpaca? It's super easy to find out by just filtering out anything that doesn't contain alpaca.
Keep track of partially used skeins of yarn.
Do you still have some yarn leftover from another project? Maybe there's enough to use it in a new project. By entering the amount used in a project, Ravelry will keep track of how much you have remaining. (You can also filter your stash by partially used to see all your partially used yarns.)
Keep track of where you physically store the yarn.
Do you have your yarn stored in various boxes? In various rooms? You know you have a skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Ravelry Red, but you have no idea where it is. But if you're tracking your stash in Ravelry, you can easily find out. When entering a stash yarn, one of the data points you can enter is "Stored in"; just type in the room/box number/location in that field, and the next time you're hunting for that particular yarn, you'll know where you put it. Also, the location becomes a clickable link, so you can click the location on a stash entry and see a list of all the other yarn in your stash stored in the same location. (Of course, if you rearrange your stash, you'll need to update the location in Ravelry.)
Remember which dye lot you have.
Do you need another skein of yarn to finish a project? You're at the yarn shop and they have the yarn, but you can't remember which dye lot you have. If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can look it up on Ravelry right there in the yarn shop to see which dye lot your yarn is. That way you'll know for sure it will match the yarn at home.
Destash your yarn.
Sometimes it's time to let a yarn go. But how do you find a new home for it? Ravelry has a system already built in: move the yarn to the Will trade or sell option and when someone searches for that yarn, they'll see that you have some for sale.
Keep track of how much your yarn stash is worth.
One of the fields you can include is how much you paid for the yarn. Then, if you ever want to know how much it would cost to replace your yarn (for insurance purposes, for example), you can export your stash to Excel. (Note: The price came over as text into Excel and had to be converted to a number (which is done through an option in Excel) before I could use the sum formula to add up the value.)
I came up with more ideas than the above list, but I don't want to overwhelm you with all the awesome things you can do just by adding your stash yarns to Ravelry. If you don't already have your stash in Ravelry, what are you waiting for? Go do it!
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