I can’t imagine any fiber artist out there that doesn’t have leftovers in there stash. Am I wrong?
I think a lot of people set out to use up their leftovers or knit from stash as a way to alleviate guilt in buying yarn. I want to say flat out here, I full on encourage buying yarn. In fact, it’s the main driver in what I’m about to talk about.
I’m a minimalist in a way that I don’t hoard, I’m just fine with donating and throwing away items and I’m really cautious about all of my purchases. I really can’t stand ‘stuff.’ It stresses me out way too much and I love an empty clean look over a cluttered ‘homey’ feel.
Over time, I’ve acquired a stash, but it’s probably not the type that you are thinking of. I don’t purchase yarn on a whim and really plan my projects out ahead of time. I try not to buy anything without a purpose and this applies to my yarn purchases as well. The stash that I have is due to all the leftovers I have with the projects that I have worked on over time. This really helped drive me to open up my Etsy shop, where you choose the size of your skein. I only use about half of a skein of yarn to make a pair of socks. This means that I have a half skein for every pair of socks that I’ve knit. That number is not small.
I have a giant tote bag where I throw all of my sock leftovers in. In 2020, I set out to use up a lot of these balls of yarn. I’m not kidding myself, there’s no way I would ever be able to knit all of it up, but I’d love to make some sort of dent. I’ve decided that I’m using the leftovers to knit up all kinds of charity projects.
I’ve already started on this and so below is a picture of a pair of socks I made out of Hedgehog Fibres in the Shiver colorway. This is one of the first pairs of socks I have ever made, which means that these leftovers have moved around with me a lot. It was time to turn it into something else. With the leftovers, I started a crochet scrap blanket and I knit a Newborn Vertebrae sweater and a preemie hat.
My plans for the leftovers go like this:
1. Pull a ball of yarn out of the tote bag. (This is easier said than done. That bag is a giant tangle of yarn.)
2. Crochet a stripe (there and back) into my Neat Ripple blanket.
3. Figure out how much yarn is left and decide what to make next.
4. Use the yarn to its entirety.
The items that are knit after the scrap blanket will be charity items. I’ll be honest, if I have a birthday or baby shower coming up that one of these items would be good for, they might also be used for that. However, for the most part, it will be charity items.
I know there are lots of preemie hat patterns out there, which is an amazing idea because you can make a hat out of a small quantity of yarn. I’d love to hear other great ideas for patterns that are good to donate but also have lots of sizes so that you can make something based on what you have left. Let me know what you think and I’ll be keeping you all up to date throughout the year. I may devote one FO Friday of the month to these projects.