Purple flower bracelet made from scrap yarn.

Ideas for Leftover Project Yarn

Purple flower bracelet made from scrap yarn.

Many times when you finish a project you have leftover yarn. I really don’t like to add to my yarn stash (which is already big enough) so I try to think of creative ways to use up the leftover yarn. And if you are making something wearable and add another wearable item, it can give you a level of coordination that you just don’t get with store-bought items.

Knowing How Much Yarn is Left

Well that can take a bit of math. But most yarn skein include not only the yardage, but the weight. Find out how much your yarn weighs per yard and then weigh your remaining yarn on a kitchen scale. This will give you an idea of how much you have left. If you don’t have enough left for the project that most interests you, consider adding another color yarn from your stash and making the item more than one color!

Finding a Pattern

One of my favorite ways to find a pattern, once I know how much yarn I have, is to search on Ravelry. If you aren’t on there, sign up NOW! It’s an awesome site. They have a fantastic pattern search that will allow you to put in the type of yarn you have, the amount, and the type of craft (knitting or crocheting) you want to do. You can search for free or paid patterns and with or without pictures. I do recommend selecting your language as well – its an international site. Once you find a pattern you like, you can add it to your favorites or your queue and see notes from others who have done the pattern before you. VERY helpful.

Wearable Ideas for Leftover Yarn

  • Make Jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, anklets, and slave bracelets can all be made with leftover yarn. And it usually doesn’t take very much yarn at all.
  • Wristers/Gloves/Mittens – fingerless gloves can be a great way to use up yarn but they take a lot more yarn than jewelry.
  • Scarves – You can base the thickness and length of your scarf on the yarn amount you have left.
  • Sock edging made with leftover yarn - I used the same pattern as I had used to add a border to my knitted poncho.

    Sock Edging – crochet a little edging to a pair of socks you plan to wear with the new piece. Just be sure you use lots of stitches to give it enough give to get it on your foot!

  • Headband
  • Hair decoration – you can attach a crocheted flower to a barrette or comb.
  • Brooch – attach a crocheted flower to a pin.

Household Ideas for Leftover Yarn

If you made something for the house – like a pillow or afghan – you might want to coordinate with an additional item in a matching color. Here are some ideas:

  • Pillows – it can be whatever size makes sense for the amount of yarn you have left.
  • Curtain Tie Backs – A big crochet flower or “scarf” can serve as a curtain tie back.
  • Curtain Edging – Add a bit of lacy edging to a curtain.
  • Cup Cosy – keep hot beverages in flimsy paper cups from burning your hands
  • Yarn for birds nests – You can put small bits of yarn out for birds to incorporate into their nests, adding color.

For some more great ideas, check Scrap Yarn Ideas.

Do you have other ideas for leftover project yarn? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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