If you are an avid knitter or crocheter like I am, you will inevitably at some point end up with a stash of scrap yarn, left over from various projects, which you cannot bear to throw away. Fear not, however - those little odds and ends can be used in a variety of creative ways which will leave your craft cabinet looking a lot more orderly.
The obvious way to use small quantities of yarn would be to make little things like dishcloths, pot holders, doilies, baby booties and hats, but sometimes you don't even have enough yarn of one kind for that. So what next?
Dolls and doll clothes - There are lots of cute patterns online for adorable tiny dolls that the children in your life will love. You can also make clothes for old beloved dolls.
Pompoms and tassels - Nothing can be easier than making a pompom. Just wind your yarn around your fingers (or an assistant's fingers - one of my kids is always happy to volunteer for this) until you have a thick full yarn ring. Gently slip the yarn ring off, tie in the middle with a bit of same yarn, cut the edges, trim and fluff.
Gift wrapping - Bow-tied pieces of yarn go great with rustic-style paper packaging and handmade gifts such as natural body care products, spice blend bags, or mason jars full of baked goodies.
Bookmarks - A knitted or crocheted bookmark is a thoughtful, personal gift that can be whipped up in a flash. It's basically just a long rectangle made in any pattern you like.
Hair bands - Knitted or crocheted hair bands are an accessory that will add a touch of individuality to the plainest outfit. Bonus points if you make them to match your favorite sweater.
Crocheted flowers - These are super quick and easy to make, take up very little yarn, and can be used to decorate pretty much anything, such as hats, hair accessories, bags, and clothes. There are many beautiful patterns online which you will never get tired of making (I always add new ones to my Pinterest board to try later).
Pincushions - These can be made in a variety of shapes and stuffed with extra bits of scrap yarn.
Colorful collage - Use yarn scraps for a quiet, low-mess activity with your kids. All you need is a piece of art paper, glue stick, and yarn. Create shapes with glue, stick yarn onto them, and display the artwork. This is great for really tiny scraps that you can't think of using in any other way.
Yarn leftovers are perfect for exercising your inner artist and having fun. I sometimes find that I look forward to using up my scrap stash almost more than working on a big project, and challenge myself to put it all to use before I buy any new yarn.
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna, her husband and their four children live on the outskirts of a small town in northern Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna's Mother Earth News posts here.
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