Stashbusting Knits to Reduce Your Knittin Yarn Remnants
There comes a point in nearly every knitter’s life when they look around and realize that they have too much yarn. It’s typically a sudden epiphany. Sometimes it happens right after returning from a local yarn store with a new addition to their stash. Sometimes it just happens that they are looking around their house for something non-knitting related and they realize that there is knitting yarn stuffed in nearly every nook and cranny.
Of course, no one meant for things to get out of control in this way. There was a time when all of these knitting yarns were meant for something. Perhaps they were even used for something. What is currently taking up precious space are the remnants of projects past. There are bits and pieces of skeins lying around hoping that someone will love them. Knitters want to believe that there is a place for these knitting yarns, even when they know that there usually isn’t. As the years progress, knitters get better about figuring out what to do with little bits and pieces of knitting yarn. These projects are typically called “stashbusters.”
Stashbusting projects take tiny bits of knitting yarn and put them into something bigger than themselves. There is an entire book dedicated to stashbusting. It’s called Stashbusters Knits and it’s definitely worth considering if you’re overwhelmed with yarn, but it’s not necessary.
Stashbusting projects can be inspired by anything. It’s usually a good idea to start with something small. If you find a simple project, you can turn it into a stashbusting project by changing the pattern so that, instead of using one kind of yarn, you use the bits and pieces of yarn that you have left over. A simple hat pattern can quickly be turned into a stashbuster. You can start with something like the Sockhead Hat from Bohoknits. This easy to knit hat can easily be transformed into a colorful project that uses remnants of your sock yarn stash.
Photo Credit: Bohoknits
Another good, simple pattern is Toast/toasty from A Friend to Knit With. When you’re looking a knitting pattern that is mostly stockinette stitch, it will be easy to turn it from something that only requires one yarn to something that requires a lot of different yarns.
Photo Credit: A Friend To Knit With
Of course, some people have a little bit more stash to bust than others. In this case, you might want to go for a bigger project. Unless you want a sweater reminiscent of The Cosby Show, I would stay away from sweaters for a stashbuster (the exception being if you have enough for a great Fair Isle sweater). It would be best to stick with something warm and comfy that perhaps won’t be seen by most. In this case, I suggest taking a look at the Nether Garments from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac. This pattern has taken off as a stashbuster due to it’s simplicity and the fact that the finished project is more suitable for sitting around the house than it is for going out and being seen. Take a cue from Ravelry user knittingnelli and make your Nether Garments as scrappy as possible.
Photo Credit: knittingnelli
It’s not a requirement of stashbusting that you make something completely wearable. There are plenty of small softies on the market that should help you get through your stash in style. Retro Lemon Studio has created cute little Owl Puffs as a stashbusting alternative to something worn. These sweet softies make great gifts for little ones and add a fun element to a special knitting nook.
Photo Credit: Retro Lemon Studio
However you plan on reducing your stash, it’s best that you get to it now. After all, tomorrow you could find out about a great new sale at your local knitting yarn store and you need a place to store all the new yarn that’s coming in.
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