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Stash-Busting Projects

Easy Ways to Pare Down Your Stash


Most knitters who have a stash eventually will feel the need to get rid of some of it, either by selling or giving some yarn away or by working on stash-reducing projects.
Here are some great ideas for projects that can use just one or two skeins of yarn or that use up the little leftover bits of yarn you might have from other projects.

Scarf Knitting Patterns

garter stitch scarf
(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.
One great way to use up stash is knitting scarves. Any yarn from medium to super-bulky weight can be used, and stripes are always a welcome addition. These simple scarf patterns can be knit in one color or yarn type if you have enough, but they'll also look great in a more patchwork style.

Washcloth Knitting Patterns

feather fan dishcloth
(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Another great choice, if you happen to have kitchen cotton in your stash, is a cute washcloth, dishcloth or hand towel. They can be made of any pattern and just about any size you like, so it's a great way to try out new stitch patterns.

Knit Accessories

trinity stitch headband
(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Little accessories like headbands, ear and arm warmers, belts, coffee cozies and even small bits of holiday decor are great ways to use up small bits of yarn. Many of the projects here take less than a skein of yarn and could be done in stripes if needed to pare down the stash.

Knit Toy Patterns

knit teddy bear
(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Knit toys are great ways to use up little bits of stash because they often don't take a whole lot of yarn and can be knit in any color you like, even stripes. A teddy bear or snake knit from scraps would be really cute and put a nice dent in your leftovers.

Stash Afghan

stash afghan
(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A classic way to use up too much stash, whether in the form or partial balls or full skeins, is the stash afghan. There are no rules to making a stashaghan, just cast on stitches for the width you'd like, pick a pattern stitch and go to town, changing yarn when you want. These guidelines will give you a little more instruction.

Stashbuster Knits

Stashbuster Knits
Potter Craft.
This book by Melissa Leapman is designed to incorporate your knitting stash into projects that are pretty and wearable or usable. I don't think any of these projects really came out of someone's stash, but there are plenty of patterns here that would look pretty with a scrappier look.

One Ball Knits Accessories

one ball accessories
Watson-Guptill Publications
If you didn't get enough accessory ideas from the link above, here's a book full of very cool one-skein accessories, including many with a bit of Eastern flair. Most of these patterns are pretty accessible for new knitters as well.

One Skein

one skein patterns
Interweave Press
One Skein is probably my favorite of the books in the one skein genre, because of the great pictures and wide variety of pattern options. If you really need to get rid of a lot of yarn, check out the rug pattern in this book.

One-Skein Wonders

one-skein knitting
Storey Publishing
This book is great for the knitter who wants to get rid of some stash, fast, thanks to the huge number of patterns involved: 101. Though the book isn't all that pretty, the patterns are simply arranged by weight of yarn, making it easy to find the perfect project for whatever yarn you happen to want to work with.

Special Little Knits from Just One Skein

Martingale & Company
Special Little Knits offers options for skeins both large and small. While the patterns all feature Cherry Tree Hill Yarns, if you aren't afraid of a little yarn substitution you can use these pretty patterns with the yarn of your choice.
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