Scrap Inspirations: Great Projects For Leftover Yarns

Ever since I made striped socks from leftover yarns, I’ve been thinking about other ways to use up the odds and ends in my yarn stash. Here are some fabulous projects I found poking around online. They are mostly knitted although the ideas could easily be adapted for crochet fans.

The project that reminded me the most of my own was Wool and Chocolate’s pair of striped “longies” for her toddler. I love the rainbow of colors she used for these cute pants. They came out a little large, but not to worry. The kid is sure to grow.

Scrap longies (Wool and Chocolate)

Blankets broken into smaller blocks are an obvious choice for using up scraps. The traditional granny square block can be made into afghans of any size, and they look great when they are made with lots of different colors of yarn. (Confession: I love granny square afghans.) But you don’t have to crochet your blankets. Completely Cauchy’s knit blanket is made one small square at a time.

Blanket from little squares (Completely Cauchy)

Jesse Breytenbach of Jezze Prints also makes one block at a time, knitting two yarns together with half linen stitch to get a beautiful mix of color and pattern.

Half Linen Stitch Knit Blocks (Jezze Prints)
Half linen stitch knit blocks (Jezze Prints)

If you don’t like the random look that can result from using up scraps, check out Dorien’s tutorial at Just Do. She shows how to sort the yarns and mix them in the knitting to get a graded look that is elegant and artsy.

Graded knitting from scrap yarns (Dorien of Just Do)
Graded knitting from scrap yarns (Dorien of Just Do)

Don’t have enough yarn for a big project? Then go small. You can knit an army of tiny bunnies using Mochimochi Land’s free pattern or fill your forest with colorful crocheted owls by following Bunny Mummy’s step-by-step instructions.

Tiny Baby Bunnies from Mochimochi Land
Tiny baby bunnies from Mochimochi Land
Crocheted Owls by Bunny Mummy
Crocheted owls by Bunny Mummy

What’s your favorite way to use up your yarn scraps?


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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

8 thoughts on “Scrap Inspirations: Great Projects For Leftover Yarns”

    1. I’m curious about the blanket made from small knit squares. I think you knit each square right on the blanket as you go which gets around lots of sewing.


  1. My problem is I have so many different weights of scraps! Not sure how to put them all together. I make flower appliques and baby hats and what not but I still seem to have tiny balls floating around


    1. I have this problem, too. Sometimes, I mix yarns that are only sort of the same weight in a single project (like making a toy — example: Alan Dart princess mouse) and I can still get a decent result.

      I can think of two different things you might try. One is “improv” or abstract/texture work that uses both knitting and crochet. There’s a great discussion of how to do this in Wool’n’Magic by Jan Messent (see p. 47 on). The idea is to use as many different sizes of yarns as possible, so the mixture we have from leftovers is perfect for this. Another idea to consider is to combine light yarns (by using multiple strands) to get the weight to match the heavier yarns.

      Also, a striped scarf made of yarns of various weights could be really cool. Just go with the biggest needle and plan on having some airy sections where the yarn is thinnner.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It should work just as well with crocheting. I mostly knit, so I always say that by default. Can’t wait to see what you make!


    1. Aren’t they? I think they are the first things from this list that I am going to try (even though I’m not the best crocheter ever).


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