Monday, April 16, 2012

More Yarn Scrap Ideas

I am on several lists that deal with knitting, crocheting, and all kinds of needleart. Lately my groups have been putting out lots of ideas for using scraps of yarn. Every now and then, I see an email posting from someone that I want to repost in my blog. This one is from Ruth Matthews from the Antique Patterns Library list. Ruth is from Oxon Hill, MD (isn't that a great name for a town?). So thanks, Ruth.

I use all my yarn scraps. Maybe some of you have ideas about using leftovers. Below are some ways I use them.
If the leftover is a synthetic fiber-- which is generally too strong for me to break with my hands-- I use them to tie things up instead of using twine. I.e. they are great for staking tall plants--tomatoes, vines, and so on . Since this yarn doesn't decompose, these ties last for a season (or more.) They can be used for tying bundles of twigs that you might have pruned, and other such outside uses, wrapping packages or tying them instead of using ribbon, and so on. Wherever one may have used twine, this sort of leftover yarn has been a good substitute for me. And, if I have enough of similar weights of leftover yarn, I might make a multicolor child's knitted cap and donate it.
I use leftover natural fiber yarns--most of mine is wool--to embellish knits and felts, or to make ornaments. A short length of yarn can be embroidered onto a hat or scarf, for example. If you are felting it, the wool "melts"--or felts--right into the fabric. I don't really make socks to wear--but have made dozens of tiny little sock ornaments out of leftover yarns. Most are striped--according to how long the scrap is. The socks (or whatever shape you might make) can be attached to bookmark ends, tied onto gift boxes, or hung on Christmas trees.
If you have enough small balls or short lengths, you could knit them all up into a multicolor full-sized item. Best to keep similar fibers in a project but the multicolor, variegated stripes are interesting in hats, scarves, even sweaters. If my yarns have different weights, I blend the weights. That is, if I have baby weight strands and worsted weight, using two strands of fine together might work well with a strand of sport or worsted weight, and look tweedy, to boot. I love to see how the colors mix and meld.
You can find a lot of uses for these little leftover yarns that are nifty, fun or useful. I hope to hear how others use theirs.
 Ruth Matthews, Oxon Hill, MD

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