50+ Stash Busters To Use Up Those Bits Of Yarn
If you crochet or knit, chances are you have accumulated a large stash of yarn with partially used skeins in a variety of colors, many too small to use for most projects.
Instead of gathering dust in your craft cupboard, here’s a list of free projects you can make featuring a variety items, some useful while others are more decorative or just for fun.
If your skills are at the beginner level, small items like these are great for practicing new stitches or techniques (and reading patterns too).
So far there are just over 30 projects listed below, I’ve separated them into two groups (crochet, knitting) for easier browsing.
I’ll be adding more goodies to this collection as I find them so you may want to bookmark this page for future reference. Have fun!
PS: Interested in thread projects? You’ll find a few vintage patterns at the bottom of the page (for a bread tray ruffle and a bun warmer).
Chair Socks: Helps protect floors, these are made with two different colors and a size 3.75 hook, begins with a magic circle.
Jar Covers: Here’s another design for jars, this has a straight rather than scalloped top rim.
Keyboard Duster: A handy little guy, this can be used to clean keyboards and small spaces around the home.
Curtain Tie-Backs: Pretty flowers in assorted colors are scattered along ties.
Knob Covers: Three different designs available (mushroom, flower and cat), uses the Bosnial technique so they’re nice and tight.
Felted Door Knob Organizer: Pattern via free pdf download, this features a little pocket to hold keys or other small items.
Baskets: Made with worsted weight cotton with stripe in a different color or hemp twine.
Boot Cuffs: If you like the look of socks or legwarmers peeking above your boots but find they’re too warm to wear, these cuffs are a great solution.
Flask Carrier: A simple project that can be easily adjusted to fit any size thermos, features a handle for easy toting.
Granny Bottle Cozy: Made with 4-ply worsted weight acrylic or cotton, sized to fit a small 8 oz. water bottle.
Facial Scrubbies: Nice for washing face or removing makeup, made with 100% cotton yarn and a size J or 6.00mm hook.
Treasure Bags: Small drawstring bags that can be used for a variety of things.
Boot Cuffs: Has a lovely scalloped border around the top and embellished with a wooden button.
Wristlet / Clutch: Large enough to stash your cell phone, sunglasses and keys. Has a small strap for carrying.
Mug Rug: Finished size measures 4″ square, uses leftover sock yarn and features a fun fringe on either end.
Playing Card Holder: Nice little buttoned case to hold standard playing cards or collectible card sets.
Balls: Made with bits of worsted weight, stuffing material (scraps, batting, plastic grocery bags) and worked on DPNs.
Punchinello Caps: Two tiny pom-pom caps are made with fingering-weight wool on DPNs and connected with a braided cord, these fit snugly over corks as needle protectors.
Cabbage Rose: A sweet little item that you can use to embellish hair accessories and any other items you wish.
Mason Jar Cozy: Giving a gift of homemade jam or preserves? Here’s a nice idea to dress up the jar a bit.
Drawstring Pouches: Ties closed with ribbon, worked on DPNs and finished size measures about 4″ x 6″.
These are not only a great way to use up your stash, the items you create are actually useful .
Bun Warmer Linen: Vintage Crochet Edging
- J.& P. COATS BIG BALL BEST SIX CORD MERCERIZED CROCHET, Size 30: 1 ball of White; or
- CLARK’S BIG BALL MERCERIZED CROCHET, Size 30: 1 ball of White
- Milwards Steel Hook No. 10
- 1 piece of linen (14×14 inches square)
Gauge: 5 sps or bls make 1 inch; 5 rows make 1 inch.
Starting at “A” on chart, ch 69.
- 1st row: DC in 4th ch from hook and in each ch across (22 bls made). Ch 5, turn.
- 2nd row: Skip first 3 dc, dc in next dc (sp made over bl), (ch 2, skip next 2 dc, dc in next dc) 20 times; dc in next 2 dc and in top of turning chain (bl made over bl). Ch 3, turn.
- 3rd row: Skip first dc, dc in next 3 dc, ch 2, dc in next dc (sp made over sp), 2 dc in next sp, dc in next dc (bl made over sp), make 9 more bls, 1 sp and 8 bls, 2 dc in next sp, dc in 3rd ch of turning chain. Ch 3, turn.
- 4th row: Follow chart across. Ch 3, turn.
- 5th row: Follow chart across, ending with a bl over last sp (1 bl decreased at end of row). Ch 1, turn.
- 6th row: Sl st in first 4 dc, ch 3, 2 dc in next sp, dc in next dc (1 bl decreased at beginning of row), follow chart across. Ch 3, turn. Follow chart to “B”. Now repeat last row of chart 26 times more. Break off. Sew 4 corners together to form a square.
- 1st rnd: Attach thread to any corner, ch 8, dc in same place, * ch 2 and, working along side, dc at base of next dc. Repeat from * across side to within next corner piece, (ch 2, skip 2 ch, dc in next ch) 21 times; ch 2, make dc, ch 5 and dc in next corner and complete other sides and corners the same way. Join to 3rd ch of ch-8.
- 2nd rnd: Sl st in next sp, in same sp make sc, ch 2 (dc, ch 2) twice and sc; * ch 2, in next sp make (dc, ch 2) twice; sc in next sp. Repeat from * around, working corners as before. Join and break off.
Pin edging in place on linen. Cut out material in back of corners and edge, leaving 1/4 inch for hem. Sew neatly in place. Starch lightly and press.
Source: Vintage pattern sheet from J. & P. Coats
Bread Tray Ruffle
Here’s a pattern for a bread tray ruffle (and ruffly it is!) from a vintage pattern magazine (1948):
I’ve uploaded it in a pdf file for anyone who’d like to have it: Bread Tray Ruffle (pdf file).
For starching doily instructions, here’s what they advised:
Directions for Starching Doilies
Starch: Dissolve 1/4 cup starch in 1/2 cup cold water. Boil slowly over a low flame, as it thickens stir in gradually about 1 1/4 cups of cold water. Boil, stirring constantly until starch clears. This makes a thick pasty mixture.
As soon as starch is cool enough to handle, dip doily and squeeze starch through it thoroughly. Wring out extra starch. The doily should be wet with starch but there should be none in the spaces. Pin center of doily in position according to size and leave until thoroughly dry. If steam iron is used iron ruffle after it is dry. If regular iron is used dampen ruffle slightly before pressing. Pin folds of ruffle in position and leave until thoroughly dry.