Cristina Ayala is a graphic designer and fiber artist. She grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, where she got a BA in Graphic Design from Universidad de Monterrey. After working for several years in local advertising agencies, together with her sister, they founded their own design firm "Stelier" in 2010. That same year, she moved to Dallas, TX. Four years later — while living on the East Coast — with her innate talent, creativity, and curiosity, she started learning weaving and knotting techniques. After discovering this new passion, she has been constantly creating unique pieces ranging from jewelry to wall art and installations, and also continues working on branding projects with her sister. She moved back to Dallas in 2015, where she currently resides with her family.
What system do you use to organize your yarn?
I organize most of it by color and some by fiber content. The yarn of the projects I'm working on is kept in a tote bag.
What furniture/storage systems do you use to organize your yarn?
I use plastic bins and store them in cabinets around my house. I try to keep them organized by color; for example, I'll store the neutrals together, but sometimes I'll store them depending on the fiber (cotton rope, wool roving, etc.)
How do you like to de-stash?
I've done yarn swaps a few times, but I usually donate it - the last couple of bags went to a friend that will use it to make crafts with her kids.
More often than not, what colors are always in your office/yarn corner?
Cream! Also, pink, mustard and turquoise.
Do you like to work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?
Yes, I love being able to see it! Since it's stored in different spots around the house, I'll bring whatever I'm using to my dining table and spread it out.
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?
It follows me wherever I'm working - I usually keep it inside a tote bag. Recently I got a wheeled cart that's been helping a lot with tidiness!
Was the majority of your yarn bought with a project idea in mind?
Hmmm... I don't think so. Most of the time I'll purchase fibers or colors that I tend to use in my work.
Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage/organize your yarn?
Yes. I'd love to have a space where I can store and see all of it. When working on a project, I like to see all the materials I'm working with and not have to put it away every time I'm done for the day, so my dining table tends to be a mess if I have projects going on.
How did you find an organization system that works for you?
This system works because to me it makes sense to have all the neutrals together and the colors together, which I divide into warm tones and cool tones.
How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?
I think it's very important - it's nice to know where to find everything. That said, while I'm working on a project, it will get very messy, very fast.
Where did you purchase everything shown in your photos?
Michaels, Target, IKEA.
Do you have any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash?
Try to think of what goes through your mind when reaching for materials - is it the fiber content, the color? The organization system will work if it makes sense to you. Storage bins help to keep things neat.
Are there any current projects or promotions you'd like to share?
I recently partnered with Michaels and created a tapestry for their fall "Made By You" campaign, which was really fun! Currently, I'm working on pieces for Erin Cluley Gallery's "El Mercado" curated market, which opens on November 21st!
Photos courtesy of Cristina Ayala.