Knitting Blog

11 Ways to Use Even the Smallest Scraps of Yarn

We all have those small yardages of leftover yarn buried in our stash, and it’s difficult to throw them away when we love them so much!

When organizing and de-stashing, it’s sometimes tempting to get rid of those little 3- and 4-yard lengths. But they can actually be used for more little tasks than you realize.

11 ways to use up even the smallest scraps of yarn

Read on to discover just a few of the many uses for those small amounts of yarn.

1. Seaming

Seaming White Knit Cabled Fabric With Red Yarn

It’s not always necessary to match your seaming yarn with a color that’s totally identical to the project. If you have a smooth yarn that’s around the same weight as the project, you can probably use it for seaming. This comes in very handy if you think you might run out of yarn for the project.

2. Edgings

Girls Bolero Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Oge Knitwear Designs

Sometimes a row or two of contrasting color can add that little something extra that your project needs. Depending on the size of your project, even a yard or two of extra yarn can add a lot of visual interest.

The Girls Bolero pictured above, for example, has a subtle contrasting purple color on the edges of the ribbing.

3. Amigurumi

Eddie Lizzard Amigurumi Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Cheezombie Patterns

Amigurumi has such small parts, whether it’s eyes, a nose or a pair of ears. Use those small yardages to add those little pieces. It might even save you money in the end, since you won’t need to purchase an entire skein of yarn for just one small feature.

Little scraps of black and white yarn, for instance, would work great for Eddie Lizzard Amigurumi‘s eyes (pictured above).

4. Stuffing

Not enough stuffing on hand to finish filling your amigurumi? Just add small bits of scrap yarn to the mix to help fill it out.

5. Pom poms

Yellow and Gray Pom Pom

Even the smallest amount of yarn can be turned into a tiny pom pom. Embellishments like the one on the striped hat pictured above are perfect for those short lengths.

6. Repairs

Did your favorite pair of socks or go-to hand knit sweater get a hole in it? Those tiny yardages are perfect for mending and repairing well-worn knits.

7. Lifelines

Lifeline on a knitted sleeve

Lifelines are useful for anything from lace work to sweaters. In the photo above, I used a little scrap of yarn to hold the sleeve stitches in place while I knit the rest of the sleeve. That way, if I’m unhappy with how the sleeve fits or looks, I can just rip it out and start over without dropping any stitches.

8. Embroidery

Embroidered fingerless gloves knitting pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Designs by Melody

Little bits of color are so useful for projects like the Embroidered Fingerless Gloves pattern pictured above. Even just one yard of yarn can create a pretty, simple design.

9. Stitch holders

Yarn as a stitch holder

Using rigid stitch holders on in-the-round projects like sleeves can be complicated. Replace those inflexible stitch holders with a little scrap of yarn, like in the photo above, to avoid stretching out your stitches or getting your project caught on the stitch holders.

10. Flowers

Simple Knit Flowers Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Knot Enuf Knitting

Projects like the free Simple Knit Flowers pattern pictured above only require about 10 yards of yarn. If you’re working with lengths shorter than 10 yards, you can even combine colors to make a multi-color or ombré flower.

11. Freeform knitting

Freeform knitting doesn’t have any rules, so it’s a great opportunity to experiment with stitches, shaping, and color. Use those small yardages in whatever way you’d like. Let your creativity take the lead.

How do you use up those small amounts of yarn in your stash? Share your tips with us in the comments!

13 Comments

Wendy

I use my leftover yarn to make tiny bunnies (see the Tiny Bunny Movement). These bunnies are then given away anonymously, by leaving them for others to find. My favorite place is the local hospital, where I leave bunnies in waiting rooms and hallways.

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Michelle

Wow ..how nice of you to do that ….I should do this with the toys I make …thanks for idea 🙂

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jannah

rug hooking!

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Catherine Lewis

Baby Booties are used from my leftover scrapts, esp Micro-Preemie to Preemie / Doll options

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Patricia Stanczyc

Small bits are greathe for practicing a new stitch or technique.

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lenora

I make headbands or ponytail holders.

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Nancy

Granny squares into afghans. Afghans. I had a pattern that you just tied ends together and then left the strings hanging.

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Jeanette Berger

I put my yarn bits into a suet holder and hang it outside for birds to use for their nests. Yarn is cut into 3″ pieces!

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Julie Duncan

Jeanette I commend your thought. I even thought to do it myself. Until I saw an article that it is recommended by those in authority to not leave yarn out for birds. The yarn becomes tangled around them. Even small pieces.

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Christie

I use pieces of yarn to attach care instructions to gifts I’ve made from that yarn. I also keep my yarns separated by brand n style so that my scrap items are all the same yarn and have the same care needs.

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Sheila

bookmarks!

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Anne Hamilton

I use leftover yarn to wrap gifts, instead of using ribbon. And, as my mother used to do, I try not to use Scotch tape on the paper – just wrap it around the gift, and tie it all together with the yarn – rainbow variegated looks really good. I just end the tying with a simple bow.

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Adell

1. I use my leftover yarn on my spinning bobbins as my lead
2. I also use leftover yarn to tie up the yarn I spun after it is off my bobbin
3. When I dye yarn, I use leftover yarn to tie up sections of the yarn to make sure it is secure
4. I use spare yarn for provisional cast ons and as life lines
5. I have also used spare yarn to seam and would also use it to do the kitchener stitch if I was running short on the yarn I am using for a sock

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