What to do with single skeins of yarn
Sheri over at The Loopy Ewe got me thinking with a recent post to her blog. Like most knitters, I often encounter a yarn that is new to me, a fabulous color, or somehow otherwise too great to pass up. So I buy a single skein. Unless that single skein is lace weight or sock yarn, chances are there isn’t enough yarn to really do anything with. Okay. As a designer, I am at an advantage. I can use the skein to swatch new ideas, then procure a full project’s worth of yarn once I have an idea. But as a knitter in general, those single skeins seem to pile up unused. The question becomes what do I do with these great (or after the passage of time, maybe not-so-great) skeins of yarn? Well, I have lots of ideas for total stash buster projects, and I will share a few here.
One of the most obvious suggestions is to knit something with stripes. I don’t necessarily mean a simple striped sweater using different colors of the same yarn, although that is a often perfect. Instead, consider combining different yarns, weights of yarn, fiber contents, textures, etc. Mix it up! The results can be striking. This is a fantastic way to use up novelty yarn that might not be your favorite any more. Just a little goes a long way toward adding something special. And the project doesn’t have to be in a sweater. Try knitting a simple garter stitch scarf lengthwise using many different textures in the same color family or in a gradient series of colors. Create a designer throw. Knit throw pillows.
Make toys or other clothing for babies and children. These projects use small amounts of yarn and can be a great way to use colors and textures you may not consider for yourself. There are whole pattern books based on one skein projects for adults, too. Think accessories!
Modular knitting, like mitered squares, log cabin style blocks, or other fun shapes, is even more fun when mixing yarns. Combining texture and color in this way can lead to amazing results. Like this Colinette pattern I knit a few years back, or the kimono project I am slowly working my way through.
While it is not knitting, fabric collages can be a great way to make a dent in both fabric scraps and your novelty yarn stash. You can use the finished collage as a wall hanging or turn it into a fantastic tote bag. See the little bits of yarn?
What stash buster idea am I going to use next? I am going to pull together an afghan using this pile of yarn. Notice that the colors don’t have to match exactly. The overall appearance works. I hope to get this done some time soon. I may even write up a pattern for it!