I am convinced that every knitter is a bit of a pack-rat. Or at least has some pack-rat-ish tenancies. I catch myself doing it all the time, and have to consciously make myself stop it when I go to far.
I’m not talking about buying more yarn than you could ever knit (which would be a problem, but I’m not convinced that it is possible. At least, I haven’t reached a critical mass of unknit skeins yet). I’m talking about those little bits of leftover yarn that you end up with at the end of every project that you are sure you can use for something else. You can’t just throw away 50 feet of merino hand-spun. That would be heresy!
So, when those little bits of yarn get ready to overflow your craft bin/closet/room, what to do?
I organize my scraps by weight (worsted together, sock yarn together, etc), then i pick a project.
I am a big fan of scrappy afghans to use up my little leftover bits. My Call the Midwife-inspired blanket sits on my couch, and used up approximately a metric ton of sock yarn scraps.
I’m in the midst of making a great big Yo Yo Lapghan with all my worsted weight scraps. I can make a handful of yo-yos during a rerun of Law and Order. And, once I have about 2000 (no joke… they’re pretty small), I’ll crochet them together. I like this pattern especially because, even though I’m making thousands of little circles, if you do it right, you have no ends to weave in.
Another afghan that people are going head over heels for is the Beekeeper’s quilt. I’ve never made one; I think knitting that much at such a tiny gauge without ending up with a pair of socks (or ten) would give me an aneurism, but if that’s your jam, I say: Go for it! It looks like a super cozy blanket when it’s done.Don’t want to make a blanket? Think about stripes. Match up your scraps of a similar weight, and make a cool abstract striped sweater, or a pair of fraternal twin socks.
Whatever you do, just don’t let the yarn just languish on your shelf. Yarn is for knitting (and crocheting) and keeping you cozy and warm, so let it do what it wants to do!