Scrap Yarn: Out with the Old?

Happy New Year! As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new… right? With your yarn stash, it’s easy enough to say that and have an excuse to buy more yarn – I mean, who wouldn’t love that? But then, what do you do with your old yarn? You could keep it stashed away, behind all the new yarn that you’ll be buying to celebrate the new year, or you could also donate it to a needy friend or charity. My favorite thing to do, though, is to find some great stashbuster projects to use up all of my extra odds and ends.

I love stashbusters and scrap yarn projects. When you commit to that type of design, know that it won’t necessarily have the same look or feel as the photographed sample project, and you might even be working with colors you wouldn’t necessarily have picked to go together, but you’ll still create something uniquely yours. Most scrap projects use small amounts of various colors, so you don’t need to have a lot on hand to complete the project!

Smaller projects, like hats, cowls and mittens, are ideal for these types of stashbusters. They don’t require a lot of yarn as a whole, and if you want to use up multiple colors within the same hat, for instance, you’ll use even less. You don’t have to use multiple colors in those types of projects, of course. Many of them call for less than a skein of yarn, so they’ll be perfect for an almost-complete skein of yarn. You’re also free to modify patterns on your own, of course, and switch up the colors. Even if the project photo is all one color, you’re still welcome to switch things up and add stripes or make it a two-toned hat. Try modifying the Any Day Beret, below, from Red Heart! The possibilities are truly endless!

Any Day Beret

Pattern by Red HeartAny Day Beret

Skill Level: Easy

Size: 21″ circumference

Gauge: 20 sts = 4″ (10.0 cm); 24 rows = 4″ (10.0 cm) in pattern stitch using larger needles


Yarn: Red Heart Soft (100% acrylic; 256 yards [234 meters]/141 grams): #9779 Berry (1 ball)
Needles: US size 5 (3.75 mm) and US size 8 (5.0 mm) 16″ circular needles; US size 8 (5.0 mm) DPNs
Notions: Yarn needle

Special Stitches

Diagonal Stitch (Multiple of 4 sts)
Left Diagonal:
Rnd 1: * P1, ssk, yo, k1; repeat from * around.
Rnd 2: * P1, k3; repeat from * around.

Right Diagonal:
Rnd 1: * P1, k1, yo, k2tog; repeat from * around.
Rnd 2: * P1, k3; repeat from * around.

Pattern Notes

Hat is worked in the round. As stitches are decreased and no longer fit on circular needles, divide them among 3 double pointed needles to complete.


With smaller needles, cast on 104 sts. Place marker for beginning of round and join, being careful not to twist sts.

Brim Ribbing

Rnd 1: *P2, k2; repeat from * around.
Repeat Rnd 1 until piece measures 1” (2.5 cm).
Next rnd: Change to larger needles and begin Left Diagonal Stitch Pattern. Work until piece measures 4” from beginning, ending with Round 2.
Next rnd: Begin Right Diagonal Stitch Pattern. Work until piece measures 6½” (17 cm) from beginning, ending with Round 2.
Next rnd: Repeat Left Diagonal Stitch Pattern until piece measures 8½” (22 cm) from beginning, ending with Round 2.

Shape Crown

Rnd 1 (dec): * P1, ssk, k1; repeat from * around. (78 sts)
Rnd 2: * P1, k2; repeat from * around.
Rnd 3 (dec): * P1, ssk; repeat from * around. (52 sts)
Rnd 4: * P1, k1; repeat from * around.
Rnd 5 (dec): * Slip 1 purlwise, p1, psso; repeat from * around. (26 sts)
Rnd 6: Purl.
Rnd 7 (dec): P2tog around. Cut yarn leaving long tail. Thread yarn through remaining 13 sts to secure. Turn hat inside out. Weave in ends.


If you’re looking for some more stashbuster and scrap projects, try these fantastic pattern from I Like Knitting!

  • I would like to make this hat for cancer patineces that I knit hats for. Could you send me this pattern on my email. THANK YOU

  • I made some typo ‘s in the message I just sent. I was unable to correct the words that were misspelled. Sorry.

  • Thee is a how to do ssk on you tube. just go to your New tab and type in : How to do ssk in knitting and you should be able to bring up several sites to browse. What ssk means slip next two stitches from left needle to right needle then put the left needle into these two stitches and knit them off. another way to do this is to knit into the back of the twoo stotches and remove the two stitches as one stitch. I hope I haven’t confused you. Just watch on You Tube. It explains it very good.


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