Patterns, Tips, Yarn

Top tips: Using up your scrap yarn

Many of us have a bag or box in our stash full of oddments of yarn that we are saving because it is a pity to waste the yarn but which we never quite find a use for. And the more we knit the more oddments we accumulate so the scrap box takes up more and more space that could be used for new yarn.

So we thought that one good new year’s resolution would be to find uses for our oddments.

Teddy bear pattern by ;
Patchwork teddy bear pattern by Sirdar; Stylecraft Merry Go Round bunnies could be adapted for stripes; Turn your scraps into a striped pouf like this one from Rico; Crochet corsage; a Hexipuff quilt can be a long term oddment project; turn scraps into braided cords or pompoms; Granny square blankets can look great even if every square is different such as the one we found here.
  • Pompoms. Why not embellish a hat or scarf with a colourful pompom? Mixing the yarn you used to make the item with a contrasting yarn from your scrap box can create a sophisticated look to the simple pompom. There is a great tutorial on two colour pompoms here.
  • Contrasting edging. Casting on (or casting off) in a contrasting yarn can add interest to a plain hat or garment. Make sure your scrap yarn is as close to your main yarn as possible in weight and fibre and that you have enough for all edges. The same approach can be taken to the heels and toes of socks.
  • Create a quilt. The hexipuff quilt is a popular option for using up scraps as is a granny square blanket. I’m thinking about using all my left over DK to create a crochet sample quilt. I have a book of 100 crochet square patterns so my ambition is to make one of each and create a blanket.
  • Toys. If you know any small folks, using up the scraps to make toys is very popular and you will find that the average toddler doesn’t mind that their new dinosaur or teddy is stripped or has a different coloured head. Scraps of yarn are also an option for stuffing your toys – chop it up into small lengths first. [LINKS]
  • Crochet corsages and other embellishments. Crochet flowers only need a small amount of yarn and can be added to brooch backs or hair clips or stitched to sweaters or hats. Plus you can use up odd buttons to make the centres.
  • Kumihimo braids. Kumihimo is the Japanese style of weaving braids. You’ll see the foam discs for this in craft shops but you can download a template for a disc to cut out of cardboard and find lots of online tutorials. It is an easy technique to use and you can turn a few metres of scrap yarns into the draw string for a new project back or use the cords to tie packages when you give woolly gifts.

How do you use your scrap yarn? Share your tips in the comments



1 thought on “Top tips: Using up your scrap yarn”

  1. I knit squares with my leftovers. Mind you, they aren’t all the same size because of the different weights and types of yarn. I try out different stitch patterns or techniques. I have been referring to Japanese books for inspiration as they have the most exquisite patterns. Don’t think I would like to knit an entire garment with one of those complex patterns but I find a square is big enough to keep me committed to finishing it. I plan to use the squares to make a patchwork blanket and since they are different sizes, I am thinking of crocheting borders or using a log cabin technique to make them more uniform.


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