:River Colors Journal: Stashbusting, or, "What do I do with all these little balls of leftover yarn?" - Knitting Tips Blog
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River Colors Journal

Monday, May 23, 2016

Stashbusting, or, "What do I do with all these little balls of leftover yarn?"
There are lots of reasons why you might have random balls of yarn stuffed in odd places around your house:
  • You made a pair of socks and had almost 1/4 of the skein leftover
  • You bought an extra ball of yarn when making a sweater
  • You bought souvenir yarn ... in every town you've visited for the past decade
Even if you've gone through and organized your main stash (have you seen how the Yarn Harlot does it?), it's inevitable that you'll be left with a some orphans.  Sure, you can stick them in bowls and use them to decorate your house, but wouldn't it be nice to find a crafty use for them?


Crochet is the perfect way to use up those precious little bits I can't bear to throw away.  For example, you can make:
  • Embellishments - sew them on a hat or bag, or attach to a pin and use as an accent on many different outfits.
And finally, my recent favorite method of using up stash yarns ... holding several yarns together and using a big hook to crochet a blanket, rug, or shawl in record time.  Check out what three strands of fingering weight yarns look like when you crochet them with a hook the size of your pinkie finger (that's a 9.0 mm, or US M/N hook in the picture):

My obsession started with the yarns in the "grab bags" we had in the shop, and when I ran out of them I moved on to raiding my leftover yarns.  Seven shawls and three blankets later, I still love the look of it!  Almost any pattern for worsted weight (or larger) yarn will work, so have fun poking around on Ravelry to find a pattern that looks like fun to you.

And by the way ... if you try this technique, don't be afraid to join yarns in the middle of a row.  There's a great way to do it almost invisibly called the "magic knot."  Check out this tutorial for more information on how to do this crazy-useful technique, which also comes in handy when you're making a lacy fabric where it would be difficult to hide the yarn tails.

- Gretchen

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