What to Do with Leftover Yarn Ends

knitting project stuffed with yarn ends

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I’m a knitter and yarn crafter, so I end up with a lot of little bits of yarn. Not just odd balls left over from projects, though I have a lot of those, too. I’m talking about the little bits that are left when you weave in ends on a project, or when you trim up a pom pom, or when you almost use all the yarn if a project, or whatever.

And because I’m kind of thrifty I hate to just throw these away. So I end up with bags full of little ends from a couple of inches to a couple of feet long.uses for leftover yarn ends

What to do with all these leftover yarn ends? I have come up with a few things that might be helpful for you if you have yarn end leftovers, too. And if you don’t keep your little yarn bits maybe this will inspire you to start.

Use as stuffing for a knitting project. I have knit a ton of these hearts, and I love to stuff them with yarn ends instead of stuffing. Little toys, tiny pillows and other wee projects are great with a layer of extra yarn inside.knitting project stuffed with yarn ends

Donate to a preschool or use in art projects. I’ve given bags of yarn ends to my daughter’s schools a couple of times and they use them for hair (one time they made pet rocks with it!), as embellishments on other art projects and in lots of other ways. It’s fun to go into the room and see my old yarn used in new ways.

Leave some for the birds. My friend Melissa suggests using short lengths of yarn in a suet bird feeder for birds to find when they are building their nests. She recommends using lengths from 3 to 8 inches for this purpose, because shorter ones aren’t helpful and longer ones can cause strangulation or other injuries for the birds.making a magic ball out of leftover yarn

Tie pieces together into a long string. In the knitting world, this is sometimes called a magic ball. If they’re of similar weights, you can knit with them (join with a fisherman’s knot or do a Russian join for longer pieces, or tie with a regular knot and knit the ends in as you go), or use them for a yarn-wrapping project like letters or a funky cone tree.

What do you do with leftover yarn ends? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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  1. I’d definitely use yarn ends for art projects, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. But awwww … what a sweet idea for the birds to use in their nests too! I wonder if you leave out a lot if you’ll end up seeing a very colorful birds nest in the summer. That would be quite a sight! 🙂

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