I’ve been making a lot of socks lately, which means I’ve been ending up with a lot of little balls of scrap yarn. You know, the 10 or 20 grams of sock yarn that’s left over after you’ve finished your socks. It’s not enough to make another pair (or anything else really), but it’s enough that you can’t bear to throw it away. When I have leftover bits of worsted yarn, they go into my Mother Bear stash, but when it’s sock yarn… I just kind of hold onto it “just in case.”
So, let’s take a look at some gorgeous pattern ideas about what to do with those last little bits of sock yarn.
I love this simple blanket- it’s nothing more complicated than a mitered stockinette square, but the combination of all those sumptuous colors of leftover sock yarn… gorgeous!
Giant Square Scrap Blanket by Laura PetersOf course, this quilt is the new standard “using up all my lovely bits of yarn” pattern. I’ve seen lots of knitters making the little hexipuffs, but I’ve never actually seen a finished one in person. Maybe that’s a sign that I need to make one for myself. (Or maybe it’s a warning that if I start it, I’ll never finish it. It could go either way, really.)
I really love this blanket, too. I love the seashell pattern, and the fact that it’s all knit in a single piece- no seaming! I imagine the short rows might get a bit tiring after a while, but the finished product is so pretty, they might be worth it.
I want to introduce you to my friend, the provisional cast-on. It’s a nifty little technique that can be completely invaluable. It lets you cast on (and knit), then come back and knit in the other direction. The finished product is insanely stretchy and totally unnoticeable. It’s perfect for top-down sweaters (so you can knit the entire sweater, then knit the collar). It’s also great for lace shawls and scarves, where you don’t want an unsightly cast-on edge.
So, how do you do it?
Grab some scrap yarn and a largeish crochet hook and chain several stitches more than you want to cast on. Don’t worry about making the crochet look pretty, it’s all going to be removed before you finish the garment.
Keep going until you have the number of stitches that your pattern calls for.
Then, just knit your pattern as you normally would. Ignore the ugly neon green crochet stitches at the collar of your sweater, they will be gone soon enough.Here comes the cool part. Carefully undo the crocheted chain one stitch at a time (or a few stitches at a time).
And slip your needle into the newly freed stitches. (In knitter’s lingo, these are now “live stitches.”)Keep going, until you’ve picked up all the live stitches.Now you’re ready to keep going. Join your yarn and start knitting the other direction!
Chichester the Pig by Helen Apocalypse (FYI, this little piglet is knit in the round
with no seaming! No arms or legs to sew on! That means you have
time to make a whole drift (Drift is the technical term for a group of pigs. Now you know!).)
If the sun’s out in Seattle, you’re pretty much required by law to spend your day outside. So, I decided to sit out in the yard with a nice iced coffee and a pile of granny squares and sew them together. Not a bad afternoon.
After an hour or two of work and a few chapters of my most recent audiobook…
They’re nowhere near an entire blanket yet, but they’re a start. It’s going to end up being possibly the tackiest blanket ever (since I’m using up all my sock leftovers from over the years, and I tend to knit brightly colored socks), but I’m kind of OK with that. It’ll be a nice project to work on a little at a time, whenever my bowl of sock yarn leftovers gets too full.
Want to make your own blanket like Chummy’s? It’s super easy (and satisfying) to make granny squares from your scrap yarn.
I made you a video! (I even figured out how to and sound and a title! I’m still not sure about editing and stuff yet. Next time, I’m thinking special effects, background music and unicorns. Some day, I will become the Steven Spielberg of knitting/crochet videos.)