What to do With All That Clearance Yarn?

Tis the season when the Big Box stores run their yarn clearance sales. We’re all enticed with clearance sales notices popping up in our emails and texts, letting us know of the 70% off sales we likely won’t be able to resist.

So more than a few of us head off (or sneak off) to the yarn store and stock up. If we’re lucky, we pick up that yarn we found too pricey a couple of months ago and get to work on that sweater we envisioned. Or we might find some colors that will work for the fall and winter, and we happily get to work on Christmas gifts.

But what about that yarn at the unbelievable price, in bright summer colors? Well, some of us buy it anyway and figure out what to do with it later. If you’re like me, you can’t just pass it up.

You’ve got a problem on your hands: what to do with all that clearance yarn? I’ve found myself in this dilemma lately. In knitting through my stash, I’ve come up against a plethora of bright, happy colored yarns – bought on clearance in years past – and no discernable plan for any of it. Here’s what I’m doing with it:

  • A Sampler Shawl. I’ve got six skeins of pastel colored cake-type yarn that looked good in the store but turned out scratchy and not-so-nice. I’m using it to try out some new stitches. This shawl may look okay when it’s finished; it might not. That’s okay.  I’ve tried out lots of new techniques and stitches I’ll use in other projects.
  • Mini Prayer Shawls. I’ve used up the Caron x Pantone mini-skeins to make small, coaster-sized squares to hand out as “thank you” gifts. I’ve been asked to speak at a local Book Club, and I’m planning to hand out these mini Prayer Shawls to those lovely ladies who bought and read my latest book. They could probably be used as coasters, phone charging pads, or some other household use.
  • Something wonderful and unexpected. Several years ago, I bought a huge plastic bag full of blue, green, and white yarn at a big box sale of manufacturer rejects and remainders. Just for kicks, I made a long and skinny shawl that’s become my favorite go-to early morning wrap. The yarn tuned out super soft, and the shawl is vibrant and looks terrific. Who knew?

I know you creative knitters will have many other uses for clearance yarn. Feel free to drop a comment to share your ideas with me and other readers!

Happy Knitting, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. Available in e-book for US $4.99 and in paperback for $14.99. Read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited! 

Psssst! The e-book edition of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles will soon be on sale! On Tuesday and Wednesday, August 13 & 14, The Prayer Shawl Chronicles will be on sale for only $1.99 at this link from 8 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday until 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. Give it a try and help me out by reviewing it on Amazon!

The Perils of Knitting the Stash

Some say buying yarn is as much of a hobby as actually knitting yarn. I’m guilty of that myself.

You go to the yarn store and see those lovely skeins calling your name. You only have a vague idea of what you will realistically do with that lovely yarn. You buy it on faith…or maybe hope…or maybe just sheer avarice. You take it home and maybe leave it in your “to do” basket of planned or unplanned knitting projects.

But there those lovely skeins of yarn sit for weeks. Or months. Or even years. 

My longest running member of my yarn stash is a bag of undyed cotton yarn I bought on vacation in Monserrat years ago. Who has yarn purchased on a Caribbean island?! I had to have it. I had misty plans of making a summer sweater from that yarn. After the island was nearly obliterated by a volcano, I kept that yarn around just to remember a wonderful place I had once visited. I now have a more solid plan to knit a shawl with it.  We’ll see.

The perils of keeping a stash is that you, ultimately and inevitably, have more yarn that you’ll probably use. If you completely knit through your stash on a regular basis, you’re a better person than I. But most of us over-buy yarn with nothing more than hopes and dreams. If we do use skeins from the stash, we often have too much yarn and skeins left over, too little to use for something else. Or worse, we haven’t bought enough for a project, finding that out long after the yarn is available. 

So what’s a knitter to do? Keep feeding the stash? Put yourself on a yarn diet? 

I’m challenging myself to donate unused yarn to schools or children’s summer programs. I’ve got a big bag for some lucky organization! But in the meantime, I’m eyeing that lovely new yarn I just spotted in the craft store….

Happy Knitting (and Stashing!), Cindy

Cynthia Coe is a writer, book reviewer, and avid knitter. Her books and blog posts can be found on her Amazon Author Page.