Anna Hall is a fiber artist specializing in crochet Amigurumi, hats, scarves, and more. Anna is inspired by her tiny curio cabinet, which is the centerpiece of her art and what she uses to display her Amigurumi creatures. Anna is also a crochet pattern tester and recently started writing her own patterns, which can be found on her website.
What system do you use to organize your yarn?
I organize my yarn by color.
What furniture/storage systems do you use to organize your yarn?
I use a vintage 1930's era Mahogany vanity cabinet to store my yarn. It also serves as my computer desk and workspace for my website.
How do you like to de-stash?
I love to de-stash by gifting small bags of tiny remnant balls to my good friend who also crochets and makes granny square quilts. She uses it up quickly and has now made a lot of squares from what I have given her. I would also love to start making mismatched granny squares to one day make my own quilt.
More often than not, what colors are always in your office/yarn corner?
I am an amigurumist, which means I need to have a rainbow of colors depending on what type of creature I am making. If I run out of a specific color, then I take inventory and buy small amounts at my local Joann's store. I have all colors including various skin tones and a lot of shades that could be used for various projects.
Do you like to work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?
No. I do my best work on the couch with a good audio book or podcast in my headphones. My yarn is about 10 feet away from me at all times so grabbing colors isn't too much trouble. I use my cabinet full of yarn as my computer desk where I manage my website, edit my pictures, and manage my Instagram page. I find my cabinet inspiring but I really have to get cozy and relaxed to do my best work.
When you are working on a project, do you have a specific spot you put it when you aren't working on it, or does it follow you around beyond your space?
When I am working on a project, I carry it with me in an old Powell's books bag, which is stored in my giant Ita purse. I call it my happy bag, because it has my current crochet project, my entire collection of enamel pins, my giant noise cancelling headphones, and my Nintendo Switch. No matter where I go I take that bag with me, which is essentially like bringing a little slice of home wherever I am at.
Was the majority of your yarn bought with a project idea in mind?
Yes, most of my yarn was bought with a project in mind. I do stock up on staple colors when I am running low in case of quick commissions or when impromptu gifts come up.
Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage/organize your yarn?
Yes, in the past it was difficult until I inherited this desk and made more room in my apartment for my art space. You have to want to create a happy space for yourself and your art. It can be inspiring to have things organized and neat, so that when you find you want to start an Amigurumi project or a new scarf or hat, you have your materials ready for you to grab and go. This is especially important for me since I am a busy working mom of two kids with a husband in school. The amount of time that I get to pursue my craft is very regimented, therefore organization is key to efficiency of the craft.
How did you find an organization system that works for you?
I really like vintage and quirky furniture. My mom had this piece in her storage that used to be my grandmother's vanity. Although it is slightly beat up, its really beautiful and exactly what I needed to get organized. I also store a lot of my creatures that I make on top of my sewing cabinet, which contains my Pfaff Creative 1300 series sewing machine, and in various curios around my art space.
How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?
I think being organized in general is important to my wellbeing. I operate on efficiency, and when things aren't efficient, then I get bogged down and stressed out. I like to just be able to flow from one project to the next and usually can when I am organized. I keep a tight to-do list on my phone and keep progressing on the upcoming projects one at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed. I try to keep the correct yarn on hand for upcoming projects and if there is something that I need ahead of time, I order it for curbside pickup. I try not to overbuy or shop too much and I limit myself to the space that my cabinet contains. I live in an apartment with my kids, husband and three cats, and although it's a good sized apartment, I could easily be taken over by too much yarn.
Where did you purchase everything shown in your photos?
All of my furniture and curios were hand-me-downs from my mom and my friends.
Do you have any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash? I
Depending on how big or small your stash is, take it slow. Go color by color if you need to or just skein by skein. Don't let yourself get too overwhelmed and take baby steps. Get creative and use what you already have. I picked old furniture pieces and went rainbow, but you should do what makes you happy. Being happy when you are pursuing your art is going to help you stay motivated to make the best things you can. It's all about inspiration and having fun.
Are there any current projects or promotions you'd like to share?
If you like my creatures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at: www.instagram.com/annascreaturecabinet. Also be sure to check my website for free patterns and my latest pattern tests and designs: https://annaphylaxsis.wixsite.com/annascreaturecabinet.
Photos courtesy of Anna Hall.