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Last Minute Gems: Single Skein Project Ideas by Yarn Weight

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Maybe you’re on a budget. Maybe you splurged on one skein of luxury yarn. Maybe you have a leftover hank from that sweater you crocheted last winter. Maybe someone bought you some yarn, but there was only one ball of each type or color. Maybe you want to make something for someone who is only borderline-knitworthy and you don’t want to make anything big or complicated. (No judgment here!)

Whatever the reason, every stash has the odd single skein. We’re here to help with some great single skein project ideas based on the weight of the yarn. Use these projects to try a new skill, make a project out of your comfort zone, or whip up a pattern you can create in a short amount of time! If you’re finding yourself inspired, we’ve got single skein project kits too!

Projects by Weight

Lace: While lace weight yarn may sound a bit intimidating, a skein has a lot of yards to work with. Combining lace weights with other yarns can create unique and beautiful fabrics, but if you’re looking for a stand alone project, you’re going to find beautiful gauzy shawls, feather-weight hats, luscious cowls, and decadent socks.

Fluff ! by Susan Ashcroft | Ravelry Pattern

Fluff! by Susan Ashcroft

PATTERN SUGGESTIONS: Flowers in the Air by Sachiko Uemura, Fluff! by Susan Ashcroft, Weightless Turban by Aniela Pickles, Crocheted Moebius Cowl by Carol Lansinger, Watashi no Yume Socks by Sachiko Burgin

Fingering/Sport: Fingering weight and sport weight yarns may be some of the most common single skein purchases because there are so many stunning hand-dyed options to choose from. There are innumerable awe-inspiring patterns available for socks, shawls, hats, youth sweaters, you name it! If the options seem overwhelming and you want to find that perfect pattern for your single skein, try starting with whether you want to highlight color or texture with your yarn. This may help you narrow down the options and select a project that you’ll treasure!

Sunnyside Baby Sweater Pattern  | Tanis Fiber Arts

Sunnyside Baby Sweater by Tanis Lavallee

Venezia Shawl Pattern | Joji Knits

 Venezia Shawl by Joji Locatelli

PATTERN SUGGESTIONS: Pebbles & Pathways Socks by Marceline Smith, Hermione’s Everday Socks by Erica Lueder, Stormy Sky Shawl by Ksenia Naidyon, Venezia Shawl by Joji Locatelli, Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure, Sunnyside Baby Sweater by Tanis Lavallee

DK/Worsted: These mid-weight yarns still have a lot of versatility, even with only one skein. Use a solid color for a textured cowl or try a shawl with variegated yarn. Mittens, fingerless gloves, and any number of baby or child-sized items are also great options for that lonely skein!

Waves of Winter | Tif Neilan Pattern

 Waves of Winter by Tif Neilan

Tinsel Mitts | Andrea Mowry Patterns

Tinsel Mitts by Andrea Mowry

PATTERN SUGGESTIONS: Namu Cowl by Yu Ra (@knitboop), Noro 1 Skein Triangle Shawl by Swaran Dhaliwal, Tinsel Mitts by Andrea Mowry, Waves of Winter by Tif Neilan, Granny’s Favourite by Georgie Nicolson

Bulky: Heavier, bulky yarns are very popular right now for all kinds of different projects. If you have just a single skein, you can still enjoy this trend with a new hat or cowl, some sturdy baskets, or house slippers for cozy feet!

Northward Pattern | Tin Can Knits

Northward by Tin Can Knits

PATTERN SUGGESTIONS: Northward by Tin Can Knits, Bandana Cowl from Purl Soho, Mini Nesting Baskets by Rebecca Langford,  Woodland Loafers by Claire Slade

Super Bulky/Jumbo: Super bulky and jumbo stitches cover a lot of area, but a skein doesn’t usually have many yards to work with. A beautiful woven wall hanging is a great place to mix in odd skeins of these thick yarns, but if you’re looking for crochet or knit ideas, try a quick headband/ear warmer, home decor items, or if yardage allows, a stunning throw pillow.

Garibaldi Earwarmer Pattern | Kyleagh Dobson

Garibaldi Earwarmer by Kyleagh Dobson

PATTERN SUGGESTIONS: Garibaldi Earwarmer by Kyleagh Dobson, Easiest Crochet Pumpkins by knitandnot, Bolster Pillow from Modern Crochet by DeBrosse (Teresa Carter).

Whether you’re looking for a quick, instant gratification type project or are simply using a solo skein from your stash, there are lots of options for making your limited yardage sing! Look at that ball of yarn and think “Oooo the possibilities” and avoid the “I only have this much…” mentality. You’ll be amazed at what you can create!

What is your favorite single skein project? There are so many ideas, we’d love to hear yours in the comments below!

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