The bottom drawer of my yarn organizer, like the neglected shelf space at the back of the refrigerator, is reserved for leftovers. It’s a multicolored cubic foot of tangled scraps of yarn. If I’m lucky, the socks I made last spring will wear through, and I can go straight to that drawer and find the exact same yarn for darning, justifying my hoard of leftovers. But most of the time, the tangle sits untouched. Even if I find a few amigurumi or knitted flower patterns to use up some of the scraps, these well-meaning knitting project plans inevitably give way to more exciting endeavors requiring miles upon miles of pristine yarn.
If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to work on stashbusters, this post is for you! My first bit of advice is to stop buying yarn until you really need it. You have a list of projects to do, you have an entire spare bedroom full of yarn, and it’s time to get knitting. This strategy will seem simple as you busily click your needles along for the first week or two and start burning through that stash. But when you get within a mile of your LYS, the closest Hobby Lobby, or eventually even the local Wal-Mart, you will begin to experience yarn-shopping withdrawal. I’ve been doing this challenge since October, and I often find myself standing in front of yarn displays and dreaming of new projects, with no recollection of how I got to the store.
This brings us to my second piece of advice: find some stashbusting projects you are truly enthusiastic about. Don’t even try to knit knick-knacks you’ll never use. Find projects that make you smile or patterns that seem functional, and your stashbusting projects will become just as exciting as the lacy, cabled masterpiece you spent the past 3 months on. As an added bonus, you can often complete stashbusters in just an evening. They’ll provide a welcome break from time consuming or repetitive larger patterns. Here are just a few of the easy knitting projects I’m planning for leftover yarn:
This fashionable cuff can be made with different yarns or beads to vary the style and match with different outfits.
The stripes and polka dots make these especially useful for very small scraps of yarn. Hang them on an arrangement of pussy willow branches for a cheery Easter decoration.
3. Baby Mitts
These mitts are a fast and easy knitting project because you don’t have to deal with tricky thumbs. The adorable striping also lends itself to creative stashbusting.
Washcloths are a great way to use leftover yarn, especially if you have scraps of cotton. Plus, you’re guaranteed to use something as practical as a washcloth!
This knitting project is a little bigger than the others, so you might want to use a ball of nicer yarn leftover from a bigger project. The buttons let you fasten this neck warmer snugly without adding extra fabric.
Now it’s your turn! I’m challenging you to pull out your drawer of yarn scraps and get creative. What are your favorite patterns for stashbusting?