Finished Friday: Knitting Socks from Leftover Yarn

Between the holidays and my new drawing class, I’ve been rather distracted, so my latest knitting project was understandably simple. I figured my best bet was to make yet another pair of socks from the pattern I know so well. The only problem: I didn’t have enough of any one sock yarn for a whole pair. My solution: combine the tag ends of yarn from socks I’d already made into a single pair.

These socks show the different yarns I used. My campaign to use up my leftovers was so successful that I haven't got any yarn left from the first three pairs.
These socks show the different yarns I used. (My campaign to use up my leftovers was so successful that I haven’t got any yarn left to photograph.)

To make the socks look like they belong together, I did my best to mix the yarns up as I went. I alternated two yarns throughout the body of the socks, knitting stripes two rows wide. I made several mistakes, knitting an extra row occasionally. I also ran out of yarn in the middle of a stripe and would just change it. I think the stray errors help keep the striping on the socks from being too predictable. The color changes in the yarns also helped with that.

If you look closely, you'll see that not all the stripes are the same width.
If you look closely, you’ll see that not all the stripes are the same width.
Socks made using four different self-striping yarns.
Socks made using four different self-striping yarns.

I didn’t bother to change yarns when knitting a toe or heel. I did carry the yarn into the body of the sock to help tie the toe and heel colors to the rest of the sock.

These were fun to knit, more interesting that working with just one yarn, and I like the narrow stripes I got. They look like they were made from leftovers, but I like that about them, too. No one is going to think I got these from a store!

What do you do with leftover yarn from a knitting or crochet project?

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

11 thoughts on “Finished Friday: Knitting Socks from Leftover Yarn”

  1. Most of my recent knitting is with wool worsted. I have a pattern for a felted potholder I want to try when the kid mittens are finished…they still need to be felted too…only 3 more to go!

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    1. My few experiments with felting didn’t go well. Most of the yarn I own is for socks, so it’s machine-washable and won’t felt! Some day I’ll have to try it again with the right kind of yarn. Pot holders sound like a great starter project for felting.

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  2. How clever! My yarn stash is languishing in boxes. When I feel inspired I crochet them up into squares to make rugs. I then donate the rug to the local old folk’s home.

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    1. Thanks. I like your idea, too. I keep thinking I need to find charities to knit for. I only need so many pairs of socks. 😉 Granny square afghans seem like they would be a good way to use up scrap yarn, too.

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