Join our stashbusting summer

There are so many lovely yarns coming out for Autumn, but we know some of you are saying that you don’t have room in your stash.

With this in mind, it is time for a session of summer stashbusting – that way you can make some room. Here are a few ideas and some pics to give you inspiration.

Stripe it

We’ve all had the frustration of not quite having enough yarn in the stash for a whole garment, hat or scarf. But as we know stripes and even colour blocks are very fashionable right now. Check your stash again to see if you have enough yarn in two or three colours to make a whole garment. Then pick a pattern you like and work out how your stripes or colour blocks are going to work. This is a chance to be adventurous with colour.

Inspiration from top left: Striped T-shirt from Wendy; Stripey accessories from James C Brett; C+B Lolli colour block sweater; Stylecraft Wondersoft baby sweater; Rico Essentials Super Kid Mohair Loves Silk stripes scarf

Stripes are something you can really go for in kids’ hats and mitts. Collect up all your odd balls of DK yarn, for example, and pick out simple beanie and mitten patterns. Then randomly pull out yarns work a few rows in each to create fun rainbow effects.

Sock heels and toes

If you have odd amounts of sock yarns to use up you could go down the stripe route or you could make socks with contrasting cuff ribs, heels and toes. A great choice for contrast heels is to use a sock pattern with an afterthought heel

You can also take a similar approach to the bands and cuffs of a sweater, think vintage sweaters and cricket jumpers for inspiration.

Inspiration from left: Hayfield baby cardigans with a contrast edge; Socks with contrast heels knitted by JuJu Vail; Wendy cricket slip over

Granny squares

Crochet squares are a great use of stash yarn and another opportunity to get creative with colour. You could go all out and feed as much of your stash as possible into a blanket but there are lots of smaller projects to contemplate – cushions, tote bags, pencil cases, scarves and gadget covers. Remember that if you go for a more lacy square pattern like the traditional granny square you may need to line your project.

Inspirations from left: Wendy Serenity blanket; Debbie Bliss Rachel bag; Sirdar Harrap Tweed DK blanket

Toys

If there are youngsters in the family why not turn your left over yarn into some fun friends for them, Toy patterns range from simple squares to elaborate families of costumed animals, there is something for everyone. And they are no reason not to have fun with colour – there are some very well loved multi-coloured dinosaurs and pink cats out there.

Stylecraft Crochet Dragon Heads; King Cole tortoises 

Charity knits

And if none of the above appeals, why not check out our charity pages on the website. There are free patterns and links to charities who use knitting in their fund raising appeals  – from helping refuges or the Grenfell Tower families to protecting animals and raising awareness of various health conditions.

And if you do decide to join in with a sport of summer stashbusting let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages (tag #summerstashbusting ) and share pictures of what you make.

 

Time for some summer stashbusting?

One thing that unites knitters and crocheters the world over is the stash. Your personal yarn collection might vary in size but we all have them. It maybe that you can’t pass a basket of hand-dyed laceweight or that you love a bargain but there is always room for a little bit more yarn. Plus there is the bag of oddments and half-finished balls that will come in useful some time.

yarn stash

Most knitters have a box or three like this

Some people go on yarn diets but these can be a temporary solution. We know of one knitter who recently visited a yarn shop but didn’t acquire any more yarn. She was very proud of this but then admitted that she did come away with recommendations for a number of yarn shops she might come across during an upcoming overseas trip.

So in the spirit of public service, here are a few thoughts on ways to reduce your stash.

Charity projects

Lots of charities look for small knits to raise money, help people or raise awareness of their cause. We regularly feature these in the UKHKA newsletter – for example dementia projects such as Archie the Scarecrow  and Twiddlemuffs – and we love to hear about great initiatives we can share with the knitting community. We’ll be adding new projects once we launch the revamped UKHKA webste.

There is even a charity initiative where you can knit for yourself or others and still raise money. P/hop, Pennies per Hours of Pleasure, raises money for the medical humanitarian charity Médecins Sans Frontières and has a range of great stashbusting and one skein projects. Knitters can choose from patterns donated by designers and pay what they think they are worth (ie how much pleasure they’ll gain from knitting the item). There are hats, socks and shawls as well as a gloves and fingerless mitts including the very popular Cranfords which use under 50g of 4-ply.

Toys

Toys are a great way to use up oddments and are great for gifts or for selling for a spot on fundraising. Lots of the knitting magazines carry toy patterns and a Ravelry search will bring up loads of options. You can have a lot of fun with colour choices for monsters, dinosaurs, fish etc.

toys

Experiment with colourwork

Look out for small fair isle or other multicolour projects like kid’s hats, coasters and mug cosies. If you are nervous about using more than one colour or trying a new technique like double knitting a small project is a great way to learn before you buy all the yarn for a full sweater.

Check out other people’s recommendations

The great thing about Ravelry and Pinterest  is that someone else has already started compiling stashbusting lists and recommendations. For example this Pinterest board from Melodie Dustin is full of colourful stashbusting ideas.

If you have a stashbuster list or Pinterest board please share it with us below. And if you are planning a Stashbust Summer tell us how you get on.