How to use up your yarn stash and all those yarn scraps
Posted on January 17, 2020
I know a lot of people go on “yarn diets” as a resolution at the start of the New Year, so today we are talking scrappy stash busting! Cause let’s be honest, we probably all have more yarn than we really need or can use in a realistic amount of time! So let’s down-size and save some money (AND make cool stuff!). I’ve gathered up a bunch of inspiring projects to help you use up all the scraps and leftover bits of yarns you’ve been hanging on to!
I try to not keep too much of a “stash” of yarns, especially if I don’t have a project or design planned for a specific yarn, but I do tend to accumulate a lot of yarn “scraps.”
Now, you must know, I don’t throw away yarn ever. Like even if it’s a weency little ball I save it for a tiny stripe in something, or maybe for some amigurumi ear or something (like it pains me to throw away the yarn that comes tied around hanks to keep them from untangling). I DON’T THROW AWAY YARN, you guys.
So over 12+ years of crochet, I have accumulated a LOT (a. lot.) of scraps. Especially in worsted weight acrylics! I have a whole dresser of them, balled up and organized by color, ready to be worked into scrappy projects when a time arises. I don’t typically use them for inventory items, but they are great for gifts and personal projects!
I thought as we are all trying to use up some of the stuff we already have in our stash I do a round-up of some awesome scrappy yarn /stash busting crochet projects. I am looking at most of these pattern suggestions with worsted weight in mind, but a lot of these can be customized to other weights of yarn. Another very popular scrappy project concept right now, especially after the Christmas season, is using mini skeins or advent calendars from indie dyers! The whole point is just to use yarn, no matter how much or how little, you already have! The only limit is your creativity!
But…what about the ENDS!?
The only real down side to scrappy projects is ALL. THOSE. ENDS. But there are a few solutions to that. Here’s a little inspo on combining your yarns without ends to get you started!
Check out this post from the Projectarian on how to make one big giant ball of “frankenyarn” for all your stash busting project needs. If you just want to crochet without stopping, with fun and random variegation, this is a great trick!
Heart Hook Home has a tutorial on how to make your own gradient yarn cakes, with no ends to sew in. Whattt???! I NEED to try this!
I feel like a good ol’ granny square project is everyone’s go to. Just a classic! If you’ve never made a granny square before, there are probably 1,987,456,320 or so free patterns out there if you dive into pinterest or ravelry, but here’s just one suggestion (in fingering weight) from Knitty Natty. But once you have the basic stitches down, you can definitely do any hook or yarn size!
Blankets in general make amazing scrappy projects! Here’s just a fewwww more to inspire you:
The super simple Granny Stripe Blanket from Attic 24 has gained insane popularity (and it’s even caught the attention of knitters!) as a great project to stash bust or use minis and advent skeins on. With a little tweaking you can use any weight or amount of yarn And if you’re familiar with crochet and granny squares, it should be totally mindless!
Also from Attic 24, the Little Square Blanket can be made using the tinnnniest little scraps, and again could be adjusted for different yarn weights!
Hooked on Homemade Happiness has some great scrappy sampler blankets- double win cause you use up that stash andddd get to learn a load of new stitches and techniques while you’re at it (plus, how brilliant is turning all those pesky ends into FRINGE!) And she’s running a scrapgan crochet along for 2020!
The Noreasterly Blanket by Harbour Crochet is probably top of my list for a scrappy blanket project. It’s based on a popular knit blanket pattern. It’s written for DK but it would be easily adjusted! And it’s beginner friendly!
While not exactly scrappy at the moment, I love the idea of making my Dandelion Dreams Baby Blanket into a scrappy project! If you used a different color for each of the stripes, or even added more stripes to the larger solid bands? Yes please! You can find more about that blanket design and it’s fundraising efforts here.
Scrappy blankets of any kind are awesome for all kiddos! I have a scrappy Corner to Corner blanket I made out of a ball of “frankenyarn” for my daughter and it’s so fun and playful with all those colors in there! A search for scrapgans, scrappy blankets, or scrap buster afghans will yield you so many more options in whatever size or style you want! Have fun in that rabbit hole!
Scrappy Sweater Projects:
Or really, any sort of wearable you can add stripes into. You can take any ol’ regular sweater pattern, be it knit or crochet, and add in stripes as you please. Maybe do a little math or maybe just go wild!?
This Stash to Treasure Batwing from Dora Does you could definitely go as tame, or as wild as you want!
We’ve established that I’m a sucker for a granny square project. I love this Oversized Granny Sweater from Frank & Olive!
Scrappy Scarves and Shawls:
My personal go-to scrappy wearable is my Granny Isosceles Triangle Scarf -which is available free for you here! It can easily be made in any size, any amount of colors, and any weight of yarn! These have actually even been popular at my winter markets!
There is something so nostalgic about that granny square look, but this scarf, especially with the addition of some fun tassels (check out my tassel tutorial too!), has a stylish and modern look!
I also love the construction of this Happy Scrappy scarf from Mobius girl!
Need a quick cowl? This chunky double button cowl from Lyubava Crochet Designs is perfect! And you can use up some fun finds from your button stash too!
Great for yarn storage for all the scraps you haven’t used up, or for a big carry-all bag, this unique Ropey Rainbow Basket tote from the Little Bee is stunning! And since it’s yarn crocheted over rope, it is super sturdy too!
These insanely popular (and ridiculously easy) Crafty Loop Earrings from A Crafty Concept are a great way to use up just a tiny bit of lace, fingering or weight yarn that you might not be able to work into another project!
Pom Poms for Hats!
Pom poms can be made in all sorts of different sizes with many different techniques. Here’s some ideas from Heart Hook Home (with videos too!) on how to make some of your own to add to all your hat projects (or wherever!). Personally I use the Clover Pom Pom makers.
This wall hanging from MegMadeWithLove is a great crochet play on those trendy woven wall hangings (or hey, you can learn to weave to use up scraps too!).
And here’s another wall hanging, with a slightly different vibe from Crochet Pretty!
Or maybe something a little more playful? I love this pom pom and tassel garland from Sweet Red Poppy for a kid’s room or a craft room.
And lastly, this crochet basket from Poppy and Bliss. You really could take any crochet basket or bowl pattern and convert it to a colorful scrappy project! Another great spot to store yarn!
I hope this post has provided you with some stash bustin’ inspiration! I just love the bright and cheery, vibrant vibe (or whatever combo you like really!) that comes from a scrappy project. I’d love to know what some of your favorites are, or what scrappy stash busters you’re working on in 2020!