During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!
Introducing Abby and Stacey for the month of March. The theme for their month here together is the notion of making something from nothing.
Stacey Trock: blog :: twitter: @freshstitches
Do you have lots of leftover bits of yarn lying around? Maybe you made a project that only used up half of a skein… what do you do with the other half? Or maybe you bought a ball of yarn because it was a pretty color… but what are you going to do with just one ball?
Today, I’m going to share some ideas with you for using up those leftovers in creative ways… using patterns that are already available! If you’re willing to play around with color, you’ll find that there are oodles of patterns that you can use!
Idea 1: Find a colorwork pattern… but don’t buy whole skeins!
Here’s a scenario… you find a beautiful pattern that uses 4 different colors. So you want to make it… but hold up! Don’t go to the store and buy new skeins… check your stash!
If a pattern calls for only a little yardage of a particular color, chances are that you have it in your stash, and it’s a chance to use up a fraction of a ball.
I used this technique when I knit Stephen West’s Earth & Sky shawl. The pattern calls for 3 colors of yarn in fairly small quantities (less than 180 yards each). I did a little stash-diving and came up with the yarns!
For one color, I didn’t have enough… so I threw in another color — I used the same principle on the pattern ‘To Norway with Love’:
Each row of hearts needed so little yarn… I found enough in my ‘leftovers’ pile!
When looking for patterns, keep an eye out for how you can tweak it to use what you already have.
Idea 2: Use leftovers instead of a gradient yarn
Gradient yarns (yarns that change color) are beautiful, and they’re often used in patterns. If you see a gradient yarn being used, keep in mind that you can make your own gradient using leftovers!
The Wingspan shawl is shown (on the pattern) in a gradient yarn… but I had a whole bunch of leftover bits of sock yarn. Do you know what I did?
I arranged my leftovers into a rainbow array… and started knitting! I just switched to a new color when the old one ran out! Now I have a beautiful shawl, and fewer leftover pieces of sock yarn!
Idea 3: Add stripes to a solid pattern
Just because a pattern is shown in the sample in a solid color… it doesn’t mean that you have to do it that way! This may take an adventurous spirit, but you can do it!
If you find a pattern that is made in a solid color, think about whether it would look alright in stripes. Adding stripes is a fabulous way to use up odd quantities of yarn!
With these three ideas, I hope you’re convinced that you can do a little stash-diving and use up your leftovers!