Leah Gordon, aka @iplaywithfiber, is a fiber artist and jewelry maker. Leah has always been an artist. Ballet was her first love, but she also dabbled in gymnastics, ice skating, and competitive cheerleading. Around the age of 12, her mother taught her how to crochet. Since 2017, she has expanded her art into multiple applications. This evolution is built on her foundation of crochet and her process of healing and learning through her survived trauma. Her work reflects her love of texture, tessellation, color exploration, and self discovery.
What system do you use to organize your yarn?
I organized my yarn by color and fiber content. If I have a lot of projects due, I’ll organize my yarn based on priorities.
What furniture/storage systems do you use to organize your yarn?
I utilize drawer carts, baskets, and space saver bags to store my yarn. I prefer transparent containers so I can easily locate my stash/desired yarn.
How do you like to de-stash?
Donating yarn has always been my go to for destashing yarn. Once I learned more about the various quality and blends in fibers, I didn’t think I would be able to sell a lot of the basic acrylics I was looking to get rid of. In the future, I’ll probably consider yarn swaps and giveaways for destashing if my collection gets overwhelming.
More often than not, what colors are always in your office/yarn corner?
I love all colors. As of lately I’ve gravitated towards neutrals and warm tones that reflect the season.
Do you like to work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?
Yes. I like being inspired by my stash, and it helps me separate my work from the rest of my home.
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?
I used to leave wips any and everywhere. Now, I have specific spots on my work tables for wips. This helps me keep track of my progress and keeps my kids from frogging my wips or turning balls of yarn into balls of knots!
Was the majority of your yarn bought with a project idea in mind?
Yes, for my current stash. Before my mass destash, I acquired yarn as gifts from friends, with the hopes of preparing for markets, or simply because it was pretty. My business pivoted away from majority physical makes. That gave me all the more reason to stash down. Now I’m very specific and intentional about what yarn and how much of it I buy. Even with yarn support, I only request the exact amount I feel I’ll need to make a sample. I’ve adopted somewhat of a minimalistic approach to my stash.
Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage/organize your yarn?
Before I moved into my current home, my stash was out of control. I donated 50-60% of my yarn because it gave me anxiety and I knew I wasn’t going to get to most of it.
How did you find an organization system that works for you?
I’ve always had a small space for my work, so it only seemed logical to use storage containers, shelving, or vertical space to keep my supplies organized.
How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?
I believe that our outer world is a direct reflection of our headspace. For me, it’s extremely important to maintain a sense of organization. An organized space keeps my head clear and ideas flowing.
Where did you purchase everything shown in your photos?
- Large 3-drawer cart
- Small 3-drawer cart
- Duck canvas
- 4’ Folding table (hard)
- 4’ Folding table (padded)
Do you have any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash?
My advice is to only hold on to what sparks joy. It’s easy to be impulsive and buy all the pretty things, or to feel guilty for not using the yarn and continue stashing it with a false sense of obligation to it. Lastly, have a designated area for your yarn and only keep what you can reasonably maintain within that space.
Are there any current projects or promotions you'd like to share?
- I’m working on part 2 of my How to: Write and Sell Crochet Patterns blog series. Check out part one to get a preview of what’s to come for parts two and three on my blog.
- As a thank you to the CYC family and readers, save 30% OFF all items in my shop (excluding stickers) with code STASH at checkout in my shop on iplaywithfiber.com.
- My personal wip is the Aeraki Sweater by We Are Knitters. Save $12 on your next kit from We Are Knitters with code MGM4Z42H2.
Photos courtesy of Leah Gordon.