I cannot be the only one to have a sad bin filled with left over sock yarn, those odds and ends that remain after a project, in assorted colours and yardages. Ok, maybe ‘sad bin’ isn’t a fair categorization of this left over yarn. A bin full of potential, perhaps?
For me, my bin continues to grow, despite finding ways to creatively use up the stash. Here are my top five suggestions on how to use up that Left Over Sock Yarn
The LOSY hat
That stands for the ‘Left Over Sock Yarn’ hat. I’ve made two of them, a quick and satisfying way to use up quite a few balls of yarn. The pattern is available on Ravelry (RAV LINK – if it’s available off, I wasn’t able to find it). Any DK weight hat pattern (or project, really) could be a LOSY project. The hat is made by holding two strands of yarn together. Once one runs out, you pick up a new colour. Thanks to this, you end up with a lovely faded effect with the finished object.
As mentioned, I’ve made two, and with both, I tried to stick to the same colour family when making them – the first was made with purples and the second with greens/greys.
Cowls or other patterns meant for minis
Really, when you think about it, your left over balls of yarn are really just mini skeins waiting for the right project. Minis are a fun way to play with colour, to try different yarns without investing in a whole skein, and they are great for accents, colourwork, or perhaps a cuff/heel/toe for a sock.
There are lots of patterns that cater to minis. A pattern I have earmarked for using up some left over yarn is the Wandering Thoughts Cowl by The Knitting Artist (RAV LINK). I adore triangular shawl like cowls. This isn’t new information. This cowl, like the one I reverse engineered in the summer, has different colours and stitch patterns used throughout, and the designer used five colours, estimating she used 6g to 20g of each colour. In the pattern write up, she encourages knitters to play with colours, and, “there is a coloring page at the end to help you sketch out ideas before starting.” Love this. I haven’t made this cowl yet, but I figure it’s only a matter of time before I pull out the yarn bin, find my colour combo, and cast on.
Sock Yarn Blanket
I’ve written about my sock yarn blanket before – It’s a simple blanket with mitered squares made from different skeins of sock yarn. Any time I finish a project, I add a new square to my blanket.
I opted to make mine with only one square from each yarn, but if you were wanting to finish a blanket faster and really use up your sock yarn, you could make lots of squares from the yarn until the yarn is used up.
There are lots of patterns you could use for a blanket like this. The pattern I’m following for mine is memory blanket (RAV LINK) by Georgie Nicolson – off rav link: https://www.tikkiknits.com/blog/knitting-blankets
This is the latest sock yarn blanket update. This blanket has been on my needles for YEARS, so posting these progress photos help me see that yes, indeed, it is slowly but surely growing.
I ADORE my skimmer socks. I’ve made three pairs through the years. These simple socks are awesome to wear with running shoes on a summer’s day, you know the ones where you’re wearing cropped pants, and having a sock popping out from your shoe would just ruin what you’re going for with your outfit.
The pair I recorded on Ravelry notes that I used about 100 yards for the pair – and every pair I’ve made, I’ve done so with a main colour and contrast for the heel/toe/edging. The pattern I’ve followed is Skimmer Socks Revisited by Sheila Toy Stromberg.
Ok. Maybe the nickname needs work. I call these my ‘ugly socks’ because they are just a smattering of left over self patterning yarn made into a pair of socks They really are just a pair of scrappy socks. I was methodical with mine – I took each left over ball I was going to use and divided in half by winding and weighing. I would then end up with two almost identically weighed balls that could be used for each sock. And then I knit. I’ve made two pairs of this, and both I’ve made using a toe-up pattern (Vanilla Sock with Gusset & Choice of Heel RAV LINK by Jo Torr). I liked the idea of basically knitting until I ran out of yarn, that way I’ve used up as much of the yarn as possible.
Any sock pattern would work. Any sock yarn would work. You don’t even need to be as particular as I was with the weighing of the yarn.
These are just my ideas for using up some of your left over sock yarn. What is your favourite way to use up left overs?