Yarn Shelves

My wife is a knitter. Not unlike many knitters, she loves to browse and buy yarn for projects she is working on, plans on working on, or plans to plan on working on. Her favorite type of purchase is to browse knitting stores when we are traveling, buying yarn that is made or dyed locally in whatever town/region/country we are in. So, this means she has a lot of yarn - enough to open a small store, I think ;-).

Up to now, her collection method had been to pile the yarn in baskets (basic baskets we purchased from Pier 1) on a small shelf. This was the result:

Rather a mess and hard for her to look through and find the yarn she wants.

Most yarn stores have nice shelves to display their wares, so we sought out a shelf-type solution. Doing a Google search showed many possibilities that could be bought, some specifically for yarn (e.g., Diamond Cubes), but most more money than we wanted to spend, or were deep shelves that would lend themselves to another yarn mess.

Our search also found several do-it-yourself yarn-shelf projects, including DIY Yarn Storage, that I used as inspiration for my solution. We had an old baker's rack that was gathering dust in the basement:

I took it outside, cleaned it up and measured the dimensions. From there, I made a plan for diamond shape shelves to fit in each of the three large, equal sized shelf spaces, each 15"x25" and about 12" deep, leaving the top free for books or display:

The above plans show 6 full-sized dividers (the diagonal blue lines) and 4 half-sized dividers (the diagonal red lines). Given the shelf dimensions, the full-sized dividers needed to be 18", with the half-sized dividers 9.5". This would make a diamond-lattice structure that was 13"x26" when fully assembled. Since there were three shelves, I needed (6 + 4*(0.5)) * 3 = 24 full-sized sheets.

There are many possibilities for construction materials for the dividers - I even considered plain old cardboard - but chose corrugated plastic since it is relatively cheap and easy to work with. Basic hardware stores, like Home Depot or Lowes, sell corrugated plastic in large sheets, but I found Corrugated Plastics that sells corrugated plastic in a variety of thicknesses, sizes and colors for just a bit more money. Since the sheets only came in packs of 10, I bought thirty 12"x18" 4mm yellow corrugated plastic sheets:

In order to make the sheets inter-lock, I used a razor-blade exacto knife (just the cheap, disposable kind) to cut groves in each, about 5mm thick, spaced out equally in quarters on each full-sized sheet and in the middle on each half-sized sheet.

Once I had cut groves in 6 full-sized sheets and 4 half-sized sheets, I assembled one lattice. The moment of truth had arrived - were my measurements and cuttings correct such that it would it fit inside the baker's shelf? I tried it, fingers crossed, sliding it gently into the top shelf ... taa daa, a perfect fit! I repeated the cutting and assembly for the other two shelves and slid them all into place.

The last, fun part was putting in the yarn. I don't know anything about it, so I just put the skeins helter skelter, in arbitrary slots, so my wife will probably have to re-arrange them, but here is the final result:

Maybe this project will be an inspiration for someone making their own variant.

Happy knitting!

-- Mark Claypool