Crocheting Blog

Ways to Mix Yarn: A Brilliant Solution for Stash Busting

If you're ever going to use up those little scraps of yarn — yes, including that three yards of luxurious silk you're saving in your stash — then you'll probably want to think about ways to mix yarn together in one project.

When we talk about mixing stash yarn, we're not just talking about using different colors. We're also talking about mixing different textures, fibers, brands, weights — there's no limit to what you can combine.

Ready to say buh-bye to that stash yarn that's taking over your home? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you mix yarn.

Knitted patchwork recipe blanket pattern

Photo via Craftsy member iMake

Yarn weights unite

The Knitted Patchwork Recipe pictured above it's free to download!) was created using sock-weight yarn of various colors, fibers, and brands. If you want your mix of yarns to result in a similar gauge, then matching weights is a great place to start. This patchwork can be created using any weight of yarn you'd like, so dig in that stash and see what you can find.

Decode Your Yarn Stash!

types of yarn guide

Learn everything you need to know about yarn weight, fiber types, how to identify stash yarn and how to mix yarn with our free fiber guide.Get My FREE Guide »

Swatch until you're happy

The key to mixing yarns is to work up swatches. Trying out the combination is the only way you'll ever know if the mix makes you happy or has the effect you're going for. Sometimes I even pin my swatches to a bulletin board and consider the options for a few days before making a decision.

Try double stranded

Mixing yarns doesn't just mean alternating yarn every couple of rows. It can also mean that you knit two different types of yarn held together at the same time. Who needs a variegated yarn when you have two complementary yarns in your stash that would look amazing together?

Try double-stranded to make a cool color combo, or pair a bulky yarn with a beaded yarn to see what kind of texture results.

Stash Eater Sampler Scarf knitting pattern

Stash Eater Sampler Scarf photo via Craftsy member Carolyn Doe

Color palettes matter

You can get as creative as you want when you're mixing yarns, but keep color in mind when you're playing around. Check out the Stash Eater Sampler Scarf pictured above. This scarf was created using several different yarns of the same weight, and the color palette has an autumn feel.

Not feeling confident about creating your own color palette? Learn about how a color wheel can help guide your choices.

Try multiple gauges

Knitting with yarns of different gauges can create gorgeous textures and colors. I especially love using multiple gauge yarns when I'm creating freeform wall art. Check out more tips and inspiration for knitting with multiple gauges in one project.

Lieblingsschal knitted shawl

Photo via Craftsy member extremhaeklerin

Wool meets mohair

I love how Craftsy member extremhaeklerin combined sock yarn with mohair to create the shawl pictured above. The mohair ruffle gives the shawl a nice lofty edge that softens up the look of the entire piece.

Don't be afraid to combine different fibers. Using a different fiber as a border, like extremhaeklerin did in the shawl above, is a simple no-risk way to experiment. Once you're comfortable, think about alternating fibers in a striped project or even knitting with two fibers at the same time.

Caring for the finished project

Something else to keep in mind as you mix different fibers is care. For instance, are you mixing a superwash wool with a regular wool? If so, you won't be able to take advantage of the superwash yarn's easy care instructions.

No matter what you're blending together, you'll have to follow the care instructions for the most delicate yarn.

Need more advice on mixing yarns? This yarn on mixing different yarn gauges will give you some inspiration.

Decode Your Yarn Stash!

types of yarn guide

Learn everything you need to know about yarn weight, fiber types, how to identify stash yarn and how to mix yarn with our free fiber guide.Get My FREE Guide »

17 Comments

Emilia Wake

This mixing wool and textures is an amazing idea please send me other simple patterns for free.

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nami

the best idea . i would like to get your other patterms and if it is possible pl sed videoes

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Carolyn Bethel

Love your site and loved meeting all of you at last years yarn show in Phoenix. Still have my T shirt.

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Velma Green

I love the idea of mixing different yarns…colors…& textures!! In fact I do it quite often!! Right now I’m working on a ten stitch blanket using worsted weight & boucle yarn!! It’s turning out beautifully!!!! I loom knit…I’ve never knitted using knitting needles…& I do very little crocheting… Do you have any patterns for loom knitting??

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Sandra Cunningham

I would like the directions for the squares in the afghan shown above. Have a lot of scrap yarn. Thank you

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Theresa

Sandra Cunningham—Very unlikely, but do you happen to live in Alabama? Have a friend there named Sandra Cunningham.

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Elizabeth Starkie

I would like to have the directions for the squares shown above too thank you

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Pamela

I would love the pattern for the on-point squares project pictured, too!

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Jzm

In the early ’80s, I worked in a small exclusive yarn shop. A customer would come in with an idea for a sweater and the owner not only wrote the pattern, but would pull together 2 to 4 or 5 different yarns to make it. There were no prices on her skeins of yarn and if someone asked the price, she would tell them they couldn’t afford to be in her shop!
She was fabulous and I learned so much from her.

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Debra Forest

The link for the patchwork does not work. It brings up an error message. I have been trying to download this pattern for some time and always with the same results.

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Eva

I was making hat and scarf sets to sell, and I love all kinds of colors. With all the extra yarn (and yes, even a piece a foot long) I crocheted these beautiful hats and donated them to the cancer hospital where my husband was being treated so that patients had beautiful, colorful hats. There was no exact pattern, and I just chose color combinations as I went along.

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Mary Lake

Could you please send me some more info and pattern and ideas, I love the Afghan colorful. Thank you

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Margie

I love the Knitted Patchwork Recipe but I can’t knit …Do you have this in a crochet pattern ?

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virginia lee

I am like Margie I don’t knit.I would like to have this pattern in crochet.

Reply
12 Signs You Totally Mastered Holiday Gift Knitting

[…] you still have some skeins hanging around that you'd like to use, check out our post on How to Mix Yarn or our collection of patterns that put leftover yarn to work. Both will help you reduce that stash […]

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