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How to Use Waste Yarn

How to Use Waste Yarn

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How do you use waste yarn? What is it for? Keep reading to find out!

One of the best things about yarn is that it’s versatile. Not only does it make a great sweater, but it can also work as a tool while you’re working on your project. You’ll often hear it referred to as “waste yarn” when it’s used as a tool because it will most likely be wasted after the fact. Don’t worry, though, you’ll find that only a little bit of yarn is necessary - and the flexibility of using it is well worth it. 


What do we do with waste yarn? The sweater shown in the image with this post shows waste yarn being used to hold the sleeve stitches while we knit the lower body. Sure, you can also use a stitch holder to save those stitches until you need them, but using waste yarn allows you to actually try on the sweater and fit your arms through the sleeves to make sure you’re happy with the fit. We like to make sure to use a strand of yarn that’s long enough to leave lots of extra room to test the fit. 


Which yarn should you use for waste yarn? The best waste yarn comes from the leftover bits from other projects. We usually save those bits in a basket and bring them out when we need them for a project. Ideally you’ll want to use yarn that is similar in weight to the yarn in your project; meaning, you don’t want to try to use chunky yarn to hold stitches in a fingering weight yarn sweater. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but we like to keep them relatively close to each other in weight to make sure we don’t stress the stitches. Using yarn that’s a similar weight helps the stitches stay even until you get back to them. 


More ways to use waste yarn: You can also use waste yarn to create a lifeline in your project or work a provisional cast-on (topics we’ll explore in later blog posts - stay tuned!). You can even use waste yarn to fiix a dropped stitch by threading an extra piece of matching yarn through the stitch, then weave the strands through the neighboring stitches (ideally on the inside of your project where you won’t see it). 


Download the Bellish App for free (currently available for iOS) and starting knitting your next sweater right away!

Side view sweater in progress on a mannequin
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