If you’re like me, you definitely have some yarn in your stash that isn’t…you. Whether it’s from before you really knew what you were doing (or what Indie Dyers were), from a Fibre Share partner that just didn’t quite get it right, or from a subscription box (Knit Crate or otherwise) where you don’t actually have a say, it’s there and you can’t ignore it forever. So! What’s a knitter (or crocheter etc) to do?
Design & Donate
I decided early this year while looking at my collection of bulky yarn – and knowing there are only so many hats one person needs – that I should just design a bunch of hat patterns and then donate the finished product.
I’m not losing out on anything, I still design a pattern but someone else, someone who really needs it, gets the physical piece. Originally I was going to donate to the YYC Longest Night of the Year but then we moved to the Fraser Valley so I have to do some research into what my town has. My first pattern is the Not so Basic Ribbed Beanie.
Make & Give or Donate
Maybe you don’t design, you could still take the above idea and make for someone else. Know someone that loves an orange? Make them a lil something.
Want to donate to a local shelter but don’t have the funds to do so? Check out Ravelry and pick a few hat patterns from there. Or ear warmers, mittens, scarves, etc. We have this amazing gift so why not spread the love?
Donate your yarn
I KNOW it sounds scary, what!? Donate my yarn!? Hear me out. School’s have started offering knitting or crochet as an elective course and from my experience knowing the teachers, they have to provide the supplies (as in the school doesn’t). I honestly don’t even know if they get a budget for the needles.
So, go through your stash. Pick out the stuff that’s leftover (like half a ball at least, you shouldn’t be donating two yards of something), stuff you will NEVER use and contact your local school or if you know teachers ask them.
Also, I’ve heard Senior Homes might take yarn donations as well. You could maybe even start a club at one.
“Pump out a hat, you’ll feel better after.” – Chantal of Knitatude
Whenever I’m in a knitting funk, I recall these wise words. She’s not wrong either. If you have a number of wips happening but don’t have the drive to work on any of them, make a hat. Or a headband. Just piece that is going to give you pretty instant gratification so you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
And that is where the idea for the Double Swirl Beanie came from. I always have multiple wips but I was feeling bleh about knitting and felt a need to stash bust and just work something up. I grabbed my skein of Briar Rose from Handmade Home Fibers and a random tonal pink that matched and looked through one of my stitch books.
Upon finding a texture pattern that would look good with solid or variegated yarn I got to work.
Also in my collection was the most perfect deep magenta pom from Rose and Purl.
It was named the Double Swirl because of the double stranding and the texture creates a swirl design. I also did a double brim because they are just so much more cozy.
You can find the pattern here.
Whoo boy, this pattern. First off the pattern is written well, that wasn’t my issue with these socks.
But it did take me over a year to complete both socks (the first took significantly longer than the second).
What started as a fun colourwork adventure quickly turned into a dreaded “ugh that’s still on my wip list” memory.
On the first sock my brain didn’t pick up on the actually pretty easy to remember repeat. The second sock went MUCH more smoothly.
I used Sweet Georgia in Hush (colour no longer available) and a tonal grey from We Love Knitting.
So…should you try out this pattern? Absolutely. However bear in mind that it is a taller sock so keep that colourwork loose friends. It is a free pattern on Ravelry though so if you want to give colourwork socks a try, this is a good one to start with.
As for myself, I don’t know that colourwork socks are my jam. I like to not have to focus too much when I make socks. So I prefer Vanilla-esque or an easy to remember texture pattern. They are mighty pretty though.