match marvelous scraps to fabulous projects (and donate the rest)

May 20, 2022

 


Hello knitting friends! Today I have some solutions on how you can turn your scraps into something you'll truly love--something you'll love knitting and also love having. This post is important because I'm sure that you, like me, have drawers and bins of leftover yarn. Sure you do! And no matter how well you try to maintain the oddball situation in your yarn storage, it ends up a mess. Yes? Well, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the jumble and tired of storing and sorting and then rarely using those precious scraps. I had to fix this. 

Problem: Five drawers of tangled oddballs, loosely organized into weights.

Goal: Find projects for the best scraps and donate the rest. 

First things first: I dumped the drawers, all five of them, onto the floor. I thought if I saw it all in one place I'd have a better chance with being honest about what I would use and what would never get used. I wish I had taken a picture of that holy mess; it covered the entire floor of my knitting room. One by one I picked up each ball, gave it a good hard look and decided, worthy or unworthy? This is where I had to be honest with myself, but I kept in mind my last years of decluttering and how great it felt going through my house and removing the excess of the first world problem of having too much. I dropped the unloved balls into a large bag for donation, then organized the rest into projects. I promised myself I would start on the projects right away and honestly, I'm loving knitting through memory lane. 

Projects Number One and Two: I picked out the primo pieces and squirreled away two bags for future stripy sweaters for my grandson. One bag is wool and one is cotton. He adores his yearly striped sweaters from Grammy and this brings me much joy! Status: not started.



Project Number Three: The Hudson & West Weld, Rosie Green Wool Manx Merino Fine, Brooklyn Tweed Peerie, Quince and Co Chickadee and a few other of the loveliest fingering and sport weights in my collection are in a basket with the fun and free Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits. In my queue forever, my goal is to make one a week to have it finished by December 1. No problem, I love making them so much, I'll be finished long before then. The wood advent buttons are from Katrinkles and finish the project beautifully. Status: 25% finished.  Click here for my project page.




Project Number Four: Bunting! I used a free pattern, Trellis Bunting, using dk and worsted weights as is, plus fingering weights doubled. The pattern is easily memorized and a great travel or car knit. This is a project for my patio and I think I need about 100! Gulp. But the thing is, I don't even know if I will like the look of bunting on my patio, so I'll stop soon and hang a few strands up and decide. I hope I love the look because these are super fun to knit and they're gobbling up yarn. Each one takes approximately 23 yards dk or worsted weight, double that amount if using fingering doubled, and 30 minutes to complete. Status: 30 finished. My project page is here.



Block as you go, and commit to using up even your tiniest bits.


Below is my basket of oddballs that I'm using for the bunting, but I confess I had to purchase a yellow and a purple to round out my colors. 


Project Number Five: I'm picking yarn from the same basket above to make the new Painting Bricks afghan from Stephen West. Love making this one too, totally addictive, as in, just one more color then I'll stop! You'll have the pattern memorized after a few rows. The pattern comes in two sizes but you can easily customize your size and my project page tells all. Status: half finished.




In the end I have moved from five drawers of oddballs to two and I have a growing bag of donation yarn. Plus I'm making some projects that I love. Win win! Here's the big thing to take away, don't let any yarn you don't absolutely love stay with you. You know in your heart that you don't need it and it's doing no one any good sitting in that bin. Give it away, now. FYI, I have turned into my grandson's preschool principal's favorite grandma, just by donating unused yarn and craft supplies. The school goes up to 8th grade and she says the teachers have numerous yarn projects for all ages. She'll take anything I give her. Yay!


I took this picture just before dusk. My feet were up and I was knitting a tiny stocking and thinking how much I love to combine knitting and gardening. You can often find me in this spot all spring and summer. Sometimes I'll listen to an audio book but often I just listen to the quiet--the birds, the rustle of the leaves, and the click of my needles. My husband often joins me and it's a pleasant way to end the day and a good place to sit and admire our hard work, which reminds me, garden post soon!

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12 Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful post. I've been so inspired by your year long cleaning and I love the idea of using all of those wonderful leftovers. The stockings are darling. What size dpns did you use? I have a nifty set of wooden ones in all sizes that I think will work out just perfectly.
    Thanks for all of your inspiration.

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    1. Thank you! I used size 3mm (2.5 US size) for the wee stockings. I didn't have to use dpns (although I did because you have to push the stitches from one side to the other to work when you make the heel) because it is not knit in the round. The pattern is flat and seamed although you could easily adapt it to knitting in the round. It's such a cutie.

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  2. This is such a timely post. Next week I'll be home alone for a whole week and I've been thinking of all the projects I want to do. I could declutter a few closets, organize my photo albums, and clean under some beds, but this project sounds like more fun! Thank you for the inspiration. I have enjoyed your blog for many years and often forget to comment to let you know! Cindy from Nashville

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    1. You are just like me! Whenever I have a week alone I think of what big project I can do--paint, clean carpets, go through my stash? All that stuff is right up my alley.

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  3. I bet that is still a very lovely donation bag! I love using up oddballs, it's so rewarding to come up with creative solutions! Your projects are great!

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    1. Thanks Ginni. I just looked at the growing donation bag and it does look pretty fun.

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  4. What does the bunting project look like when completed? Photo please.

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    1. Yes! I will post a progress picture of a few strands in the next post or two. I think the entire project will take me some time, but at least I can get a progress picture.

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  5. Thanks for sharing several ideas for utilizing yarn bits-n- pieces. Two questions: how will you display the mini stockings and where will you put the bunting when completed?

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    1. Thank you. Ok, so the mini stockings are going to hang from the fireplace mantle in our family room. I have an idea to put treats inside for marking off the days until Christmas. Our grandson will enjoy the treats when he is here and maybe my husband will want the treats when his little grandson isn't here? LOL

      As for the bunting, that will be swagged along with our lights on our backyard patio. But only if I like the look. I'll post a follow up post about that and take some photos. Hoping I will love it.

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  6. I will try your triangle project, Kristen! If something is both small AND fun I am more likely to repeat it. Love the image of you with your feet up knitting in your garden. So peaceful. Chloe

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Chloe. Gosh, I am loving making bunting! Who knew? Something so satisfying about using up loved yarn that has no other purpose. I think you will love it too.

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