Thursday, March 14, 2013

Studio Spring Clean

When I show you any scenes of my studio, I'm always careful to show you the looms and the lighter corners of my space. It's a generous space measuring 14' x 26' but with only two natural light sources: a patio door and a window, that are all down at one end of the room. I placed the big loom next to them when we set up shop five years ago. Things like the yarn stash was tucked away in the opposite corner and I relied on portable lights to see into the dark corners. Or, I would take my potential yarn choices over to the window which meant I dug through a lot of yarns. I'm one of those annoying tidy people and so had things organized  and labeled as best I could but it was a hodge-podge of shelving, cobbled together and a large dash of plastic storage tubs.   I knew it had to change so over the past year to eighteen months I have been weeding out some cones and 're-homing' them on various sale pages.  Who bought all this stuff?? It was a slow collection phase of 16 years: friends sell you something,  an estate sale when a weaver leaves us, gifts and impulse buys at a conference, buy an old loom and it comes with do-dads that you keep when the loom movies on....it all just steadily grew! When you are still in those early learning phases of weaving, you just don't know which direction your interests will take you, so you tend to gather it all!  Its hard to let some of it go, but its high time for a purge..... and anything I'm unsure of, I keep until it feels okay to sell it. I've been keeping basket handy and tossing in cast off's.

For the yarn, books and equipment that has moved onto new owners , I must say.... it feels great! Liberating almost!   I sold the little tapestry loom and then some of the tapestry books. I have tapestry yarns to go next...and a host of others! But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

I had a hard time finding any pictures of the ugly stash corner! I found just a couple, so pardon the gloomy pictures:



You can see my labels, and my rough organization, but the shelves are stuffed!  Most of that chenille, centre shelf on right side, has moved onto new homes in BC and Washington.

So, it has to get a lot worse before it gets better. You knew that right? { I have to say, that my Hub is good with my stash and has his own collection of model trains and all the other things that go along with that hobby. He knows I'm in the studio most days working a loom.}



Boxes, cartons and bags of  'good' stuff everywhere all over the studio and even tucked under looms. Calli wasn't impressed with all the upheaval and would lay down across the walk-ways or leave toys under foot.  She's panting in the first picture with the stress of it all and I must admit, so was I!    The overflow even leaked into other rooms....

The laundry room doesn't have much space but we managed to squeak a box or three in there. Once the space was clear and cleaned, the building began. I had some great help:



Bruce had the first shelving unit done by the time I got there the next morning and we built the other two together.  We decided to have them stretched out along the wall to increase a more open feel and better exposure to light. We would have bought a fourth shelf unit but they only had the three at the time.  Then it was time to start reloading and while Bruce offered to help with this, I decided to go it alone and "be one with the stash" and make some decisions along the way....   At the days end at well past dinner time, it looked like this:

I had to find where ever the yarn was shoved during the clear out and schlep it back over and sort, usually stepping over a dog or toy.  I went through every cone or skein of yarn. Twenty four hours later, it looked like this:


Much more organized and open.... but still a bit dark over there (see what I mean?)  So I added this:


 Lighting is still an issue but at least things are more accessible now. I will need a fourth shelf unit and it will go where Madge is now so there is more rearranging to go. I have bits of equipment that need to be stored flat or out from the corners where they were tucked for the time being. I'm really happy with the new look and feel. It will never be 100% as only cupboards with closing doors would help with a clutter free look, and that's too expensive for us. Now I can see the  various colours on hand and  accomplish an inventory along with being inspired for the next project.

The tencel section: both 8/2 and 10/2
So, the hard decisions? They piled up and will be dealt with very quickly in the coming week and be inventoried / photographed for sale.


Knowing I have no room on the new shelves means none of these will worm their way back into my good graces. I like the leaner look and here's hoping that weaving will reduce things further now.  (....That's the plan anyhow...)

I also took the extra step of making small labels for each section of yarn so its all identified clearly. I have helped in the past with reducing and clearing out a weavers studio and stash before, and the best thing you can do is identify and organize so that those who come to help, have an easier time of it.  Yeah, a crummy and serious topic to close on today,  but that's real life... Do you know what's going to happen with your looms and stash when you're gone?  I do...


12 comments:

Dorothy Stewart said...

What a major spring cleaning project !! It all looks great now you have it on the new shelves. The colours really stand out and look gorgeous. You will have fun choosing yarns for new projects, lots of possibilities there.
I think the lesson for me is to keep my stash under control !
D

Acorn to Oak said...

Your studio looks great! I bet it feels good to have everything so organized now. Looks like you had Airedale help. ;-)

ladyoftheloom said...

Wow, I know it is a lot of work because I am doing it myself. What a great looking studio!

wollkisterl said...

Wow, I would like work in your studio. It´s so great!
Elke

msvos said...

Oh, I love those colors on your shelves. My workroom is 8 x 10, but I'm planning on cleaning out the little closet in it and putting my stash there. It will have to stay small, but that's a good thing for me. We moved to a much smaller house, so I have had to change my ways. I have 6 big bins of knitting yarns all stored in the garage! Laurie

barbara said...

Susan - you have done an excellent job in "containing" your stash; now it will be much easier to pick out what yarns you want to work with. A job well done, and great that Bruce is such a help. Gets a lot of us thinking about re-arranging and de-stashing. Food for thought. Thanks for sharing. Weaverly yours ....

Cindie Kitchin said...

Looks great now, wonderful shelving, although the before didn't look all that bad. Every once in a while when we have a garage sale at guild I bring in yarns I bought years ago that I know I won't use.....but there are so many more.....

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

The tencel corner glows! Love the new shelves they contain all your "stuff" nicely.

charlotte said...

This looks great! And the colors are so lovely on that shelf. I find it very hard to keeep the studio tidy, with new yarns arriving, often many kilos. Finished fabrics to be sent, stuff to be hemmed, etc.

Lynnette said...

I know that we were just there last week, but I'm coming over to see if I can liberate some of that good stuff!
I can't believe how wonderful the shelves look and I know that they will be wonderful colour inspirations for you....you two have worked so hard!

DebbieB said...

Looks terrific, Susan! And Happy Birthday!

Peg Cherre said...

I sure hope you'll put up a post when you've got the sale items ready to go - I can't wait to see what you have this time!