HomeThe CSWD BlogReuseFinding happiness through yarn, plastic bags, and some creative reuse

Finding happiness through yarn, plastic bags, and some creative reuse

This is a guest post. The views and opinions expressed are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect the policy or practice of CSWD.

Until recently, anyone snooping in my hall closet might think I was a hoarder of zippered clear plastic packaging, the kind that sheet sets and comforters and other home textiles come in.

At the risk of sounding like my pack rat father, I knew they had to be good for something.

I had a lot. In myriad sizes. From the purchase not only of bed linens but also curtain panels, electric blankets, and even shower curtains. I simply could not bear to throw them away but had yet to discover a new use for them. At the risk of sounding like my pack rat father, I knew they had to be good for something.

These see-through soft-sided pouches and totes had accumulated in numbers I’m embarrassed to admit, and I was getting tired of defending my position whenever my husband asked me — with only a look — why we had so many.

My eureka moment

While I tackled my craft room over the New Year’s holiday, I did a complete overhaul of my yarn stash (also an embarrassing quantity)—taking inventory, consolidating, and matching yarn to patterns. Balls of yarn had been living willy-nilly in bins, baskets, and bags throughout the room for years. Some were crammed into cubbies. It was utter fiber chaos. I didn’t know where to start; then it hit me.

Those plastic pouches would be perfect for my yarn containment strategy! Why had that never occurred to me before? I couldn’t wait to get started.

As I transferred balls of yarn from floppy canvas bags to the clear encasements, a natural high kicked in. This is hardly unusual when I am handling soft, beautiful fiber in gorgeous colors, but it was augmented by the fact that now, there was no visual barrier between me and my beloved yarn.

I could see everything at a glance, without the need to lift the lid of plastic bins or rummage through tote bags: a yarn-lover’s equivalent of playing with colored blocks.

Added bonuses

Now, the yarn is protected from dust and won’t absorb odors being zipped up this way.

And, in many cases, this plastic packaging has an interior “pocket” that originally held the insert containing the product information. That pocket now holds the pattern for which I bought a particular yarn.

It’s a huge time-saver now that I no longer have to stare at the yarn until I remember what I meant to do with it, then hunt down the pattern among dozens in a binder or a magazine. In those cases where I have assorted yarn but no intended pattern, I simply grouped the skeins by category—weight, fiber content, type—and packaged them together.

It’s a beautiful thing.

There is something inspirational about the visual that this new storage system creates, about seeing the potential in all this glorious fiber no longer hidden from view. I’m not saying it will make me a better knitter, but I know it’s already made me a happier one.

There’s just one downside to this great new use: Resisting the temptation to buy more yarn when I find myself in possession of yet another one of these zippered plastic pouches.

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Beth Glaspie
Beth Glaspie