A gift of yarn? Why thank you! A bit of yarn found in the thrift store? Why of course I’ll get that.A few scraps found at the bottom of the craft bag? They must be good for something.
I’m not a yarn hoarder, but I certainly seem to have a lot of random scraps of yarn hanging around. I’m a rather liberal crocheter, content to work without a pattern and create all sorts of oddball items. If you have a similar mishmash of yarn, here’s my guide to working with those bits and pieces.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a selection of needle or crochet hooks in different sizes. It’s not necessarily important to get the perfect size, although it will be easier if you do.
If you’ll be washing the items, see if you can find the label on your yarn and determine what it’s made of. Can’t find a label or a history? You’ll need to guess. To me, acrylic yarn feels slippery, wool feels a little rough, and cotton is quite rough and light. However, the texture varies depending on how the yarn has been processed.
You’ll also need an idea! Here are some of my favorite things to do with bits of yarn.
Blankets: If you have a lot of acrylic yarn, make a baby blanket or a pet bed or blanket. Make sure it’s acrylic, as both items need to be washed often. Create these for your friend’s children, for local charities, or for the homeless shelter if you don’t need more blankets yourself.
Scarves: Scarves are another easy to knit item. I like to choose one big and one small batch of yarn and create a single-color scarf with multicolored other yarn as an accent. Winter is the time to create these wild scarves as gifts and to donate to those in need.
Hats: I crochet a fair number of hats, and hats seem to be forgiving. If you have many scraps of yarn, you can make a crazy multicoloured hat. If the yarn is different sizes, it’s easier to knit or crochet this in strips.
Doll clothes: Random scraps of yarn may not be large enough for a real sweater, but they’re perfect for doll clothes and blankets. My daughter’s dolls have nice soft blankets and odd-looking dresses and jumpers all made out of scraps of yarn.
Doll Toys: Dolls need accessories too, of course. My daughter’s dolls are well-outfitted for camping in a crocheted tent with sleeping bags.
Pet toys: Again, these require very little yarn. Go as complicated or as basic as you’d like. Even a tube that’s filled with catnip and sealed at the ends will satisfy a cat.
Yarn Bombing: Feeling a little wacky? Join a yarn bombing group. Yarn bombers make funky projects like the frog above, creating public art by using yarn.
God’s Eyes: Although this is not a knitting craft, making God’s Eyes is a fun way to connect kids and yarn.
Craft Kits: Do your children want to learn how to knit or crochet? Make them a “taster” kit with some small amounts of yarn and needles in different sizes.
How do you use up your yarn scraps?