Creative Knitting Newsletter
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Many Ways to Use Leftover Yarn
In the last issue of this newsletter I wrote about my seemingly endless supply of yarn. Wondering what to do with it all, I posed this question: How do you deal with your yarn stash? Do you keep it even if you can't possibly knit it all? And what about the little bits? Here are some of the responses:
Ria from Pretoria, South Africa, writes: "I have the same problem, but I am moving to a retirement home and that means I have to get rid of really nice usable yarn. The big lots I am giving or selling to friends (at a laughable price), and the bits and pieces that are too small to knit a whole project with, I gave to a group of knitters who are knitting squares for blankets. At the end, I will have to use some myself when my stash gets finished. It is an awful feeling to get rid of all these nice yarns!"
Ria, I can totally relate -- it's difficult saying goodbye to the yarn you obviously loved enough to buy in the first place. But don't worry -- I'm sure the South African Post Office will deliver to retirement homes, so you can always order more when you run out!
Marie writes: "Those little bits that are left we sometimes share with our birds. We hang them in the trees (mostly pine trees where I live), and the birds use them in their nests – they're very colorful!"
What a lovely idea, one which was shared by at least one other respondent! I think this is great -- as long as the yarn you hang out for the birds is biodegradable (i.e., not 100 percent acrylic). What with humans roaming the earth and leaving everything from trash to buildings lying around, we don't want our bad habits crossing over to the avian world.
Carol writes: "I make sweaters and baby blankets for my grandchildren with leftover yarn. I make each of them a new sweater every year for Christmas and other items throughout the year. With the leftovers from these, I knit the same pattern into a 6 x 6-inch square (if possible, if not a 4 x 4-inch). I plan on weaving them all together into a patchwork afghan and giving it to them as a present when they are older. This should remind them of their sweaters, scarves, etc., from their youth."
Wow! You're ambitious -- and your grandchildren are lucky.
Charlene writes: "I make baby blankets -- out of granny squares -- and donate them to Catholic Charities; they give them to people in need. I have a friend who makes hats and scarves for the homeless. Again, it doesn't take much yarn for multicolored stripes."
Darla writes: "I make up 8 x 8-inch squares and donate them to a charitable organization that makes them into afghans and lap throws for homeless and others in need."
Joyce writes: "Are you kidding? Preemie beanies! I knit preemie beanies for several charities, especially those in Third-World countries."
Jenny writes: "I use leftovers to make Trauma Teddies for the Red Cross here in Australia. I've made over 1,000."
Thank you Charlene, Darla, Joyce and Jenny. These are all very worthwhile activities, and I only wish I had the time to follow your lead. Next time I'm clearing out, I'll try to find a person or a group that knits for charity and can use my extras.
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