This month I asked the Guelph Yarn Club members to come armed with their best yarn stash-busting ideas in 6 different categories. As usual, they didn't disappoint! The following are the results of our brainstorming session, and there are so many great ideas that I'm itching to try out myself. Look out, stash! I'm coming for you.
1. Using up scraps
I've created a bundle in the Guelph Yarn Club's Ravelry group of knitting & crochet patterns that use up scraps, including the patterns suggested by the Club (note that if you're a member of the Yarn Club's group on Ravelry, you have the ability to add pattern ideas to these bundles).
Recently, YC Member Lisa of Sewing Shenanigans let me know that North Bound Knitting has been featuring lots of mini-skein pattern inspiration on Instagram lately.
A couple of non-pattern ideas that came up:
- Making felted balls from yarn scraps
- Making a braided rug with knit i-cords (here's the i-cord machine I use)
- Making scrap yarn (particularly silk yarns) into crocheted beaded necklaces (here's a pattern idea if you love a pattern!)
- Rug Hooking. For a starting point check out Deanne Fitzpatrick's site.
- Gloves with fingers each a different colour
YC member, Patricia, modified a version of a rug hooking pattern by Deanne Fitzpatrick from her book East Coast Rug Hooking Designs.
2. One Skein Wonders
Here is the bundle of one-skein pattern ideas from the Yarn Club's Ravelry group. A couple of other ideas that came up:
- Overdye a leftover skein so that you can work with a new colour. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Use a shawl chart like this one to figure out how large a shawl you can make with a single skein.
Patricia overdyed this leftover skein of handspun to make her Stone Roots cowl
3. Baby Patterns
Here's our bundle for baby patterns.
Members love Debbie Bliss for baby patterns, as well as Froginette, and Susie Sparkles.
Baby knitting & crochet patterns are great ways to use up leftovers or single skeins. If you're in the Guelph area, you can donate handmade baby items to the Yarn Club in aid of True North Aid's Maamiikiwe and Hearts & Hands Knit & Crochet Projects. You can contact Alexis for more information about these initiatives.
4. Quick Gifts
Need a last minute handmade gift? Here are our ideas. Plus, consider:
- Knitted or crocheted cotton "dish" cloths make wonderful, gentle face & body cloths too.
- Getting your crafty friends kits of yarn + pattern is a great quick option as well (gifting treasures from your stash is a totally acceptable stashbusting solution).
5. Ways to Give
Finally, I asked the members to list some of their favourite knitting & crochet related charitable projects. There is always an outlet for the work of our hands to help others, whether it is by donating handmade items, or purchasing a pattern to support a cause financially. I've created another Ravelry bundle of patterns that support causes. Here's a list of ways you can give back with your craft.
- In Canada, True North Aid's Maamiikiwe and Hearts & Hands Knit & Crochet Projects. If you're in the Guelph area, you can drop off your donations at a Guelph Yarn Club meeting.
- MRI Makers, of Shetland UK, Harriet's Hat Pattern
- Hibiscus for Haiti is a sock knitting pattern available to Doctor's Without Borders donors.
- You can see all of Phibersmith Designs' fundraising patterns here.
- Humane Societies often accept small knitted blankets. Contact your local organization for specifics.
- Knitted Knockers supplies breast cancer survivors with hand-knit prosthetics
I'd love to hear other ideas that fit into any of these categories in comments! (Also if I've missed anything we talked about in person at the meeting please let me know!) Happy stashbusting, yarn lovers!