Sunday, July 20, 2008

odds and ends

What do you do with the little odd bits of yarn that you have leftover from projects? A few months ago I tested out a bunch of free bootie patterns as a way to use up leftover sock yarn. It did a good job on the sock leftovers, but that's just a drop in the bucket.

Saturday was hot and muggy, so I spent part of the afternoon cleaning out my workspace at home (YES!), including the yarn stash. I think I am a pretty restrained yarn buyer, and was pleased to find that I really have been living out my resolve to only buy yarn for specific projects, and for the most part, I've been knitting those projects before buying more yarn (Sock yarn is the obscene exception that proves this rule in my stash).

I found a couple of bags of a sweater's worth of yarn that won't ever be knitted, and decided to sell them on eBay. One bag sold in about fifteen minutes. The other may be sitting there for a while, since it's an unusual brand, but if it doesn't sell I suppose I can always gift it. I bagged up a big bag of odd skeins of easy-care yarn for the Girls' Club, and I made a pile of single skeins that I can use for small projects like felted critters. But what do I do with all these little leftover bits? I have three little bins of less-than-one-skein odds and ends, two wooly and one cottony:

leftovers

Do people throw these away? Use them for wrapping presents? I can imagine embroidering some little embellishments with some of it... but I think I could embroider til retirement age and still have plenty leftover. What to do with it all?

Cleaning out the stash is such a productive activity. It created so much space and made me feel so virtuous that I decided to order some yarn from kPixie (I really need it, I swear). I'll show you why I need it in a few weeks. Something cool is happening in town. I'm also working on a pattern for a fun kids' summer pattern -- I just need to borrow my friend's daughter for a photo shoot first, and then I'll have it up here as a Friday treat.

13 comments:

  1. Striped hats are always a good option. I bet the cotton would be good for chemo caps.

    I've also thought about using my leftovers to make little mitered squares that could someday become an afghan.

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  2. I use my leftovers for striped items as well as little toys or squares (washcloths of cotton, blanket squares with wool). You can aslo stuff your toys with cut up bits of yarn. A friend of mine knit a huge felted bowl with all of her wool scraps...
    There's also a group on Ravelry called Yarncycle where you can offer up your odds and ends for free and the taker pays shipping. I hear things go fast...congrats on the organization spree!

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  3. i'm thinking of knitting mine into little squares sewing them into a quilt. i might not ever get around to doing that, but its a thought.

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  4. I saw some patterns recently that might be a good use for your odds and ends...if you like knitting scarves Sophie's Rainbow scarf might be a good option.

    Also, brooklyntweed is going to release a free pattern for a really cute striped hat that doesn't take much.

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  5. Oooh, can't wait to see what you've got cookin'!

    Toys are good for odds and ends. I don't know, I keep a bunch around and tend to use them every once in a while. It does come in handy for random things.

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  6. I use my left overs as accents for hats and sweaters that I make for my daughter or for charity, oh, and for baby socks and booties.

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  7. I use my leftover yarn for toy stuffing. They work great!

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  8. i always save them figuring i'll use them when i make all the toys that are in my ravelry queue. you know, after i finish the other 100 things in my ravelry queue. :)

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  9. you could try making a scrap hat - i'm just trying to get organised enough to publish my scrap hat pattern on my blog, you can see a pic of one I'm making at the moment in my latest post (www.knittinglessen.blogspot.com) - it's very satisfying when you get to the end of a ball!

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  10. i'm making a log cabin blanket a la mason dixon knitting with scraps and odd balls right now.
    it's nice because i'm able to put it down for long periods of time and it can just sit there. it's easy to pick back up again when i need something good + mindless.

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  11. I make what I call "rag-tag" afghans for charity. They're just double crochet and when I run out of one color, I add in another and keep going. Some are planned for colors, others are random. There are photos both on my blog & on my Ravelry page.

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  12. There's a great listing of patterns for using scraps with 1-285 yds of scraps on Simple Knits blog:

    http://simpleknits.blogspot.com/2008/03/500-patterns-to-knit-with-1-285-yards.html

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  13. All of those organized people! I still have all of my small balls sitting around waiting for something. I'm not sure what, but I will know it when it happens.

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