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Yarn Liberation: Unlock the Creativity Hidden in Your Stash

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There are many different types of crafters. From those who buy the recommended yardage of their chosen yarn (plus one skein) for every project, and those who love to shop for yarn and choose the project later. But, no matter which type of crafter you are, we all end up with extra skeins of yarn in the house, aka, your yarn stash. How do we make the most of our stash without it getting overwhelming? Read on for my complete guide to loving (and managing) your precious stash.

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From Overwhelmed to Overjoyed with Your Yarn Stash!

Using up your yarn stash!

Have you found the balance between buying yarn and casting on? Do you struggle to find the perfect project…or maybe you’ve got a few WIPs that haven’t been finished because you ran out of yarn and don’t know what to do next? Let’s explore the possibilities together!

Using Your Yarn Stash More

For many crafters, inspiration for a new pattern strikes when we see someone else’s finished project. Maybe you want to try a new pattern by your favorite designer, or maybe one of your stitch buddies just finished something gorgeous and you’d like to make your own. Feeling inspired to start a new WIP is a great feeling, but don’t stop there!

What inspired you about the finished object you saw? Write down a few things that you love about the project and use that as a north star. Consider if there are other patterns or objects that you’d also be thrilled with based on the original idea. 

More options means more chances to use yarn that you already have on hand. You’ll also take your original idea so much further by spending a little more time in the planning phase. The extra time you take means you’ll be that much happier with your final results.

Take Your Creativity Further

Yarn stash project for the win!

Are you limited by having smaller quantities in your stash? There are so many beautiful ways to use smaller quantities of yarn together to make a bigger project. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

Combining Different Yarns

Different fibers will have different textures when crocheted, and sometimes different gauges, too. Explore different combinations of colors and fibers in your stash. Swatch to see how they play together, and allow yourself to get carried away with possibilities.

You can use a simple base pattern as a starting point and combine yarns by holding them together, striping, or color blocking. Any pattern will do – you are the visionary!

Many patterns work very well for combining yarns already. Patterns that don’t require a perfect gauge match will work best, like shawls, bags, or household items. Look for patterns with fades, stripes, or color blocking built in. Here are some of my favorites:

Repurpose Your WIPs

No one wants to carry around extra baggage. That includes unfinished projects. It’s a good idea to review your WIPs regularly and decide whether to frog or finish them. We aren’t talking about projects that you may be working on slowly. Slow progress is still progress. But, if a WIP has been taking up energetic and physical space in your life without progress, it might be time to let it go.

Reclaim the yarn lying in wait and give it a better purpose. Pro Tip: For best results, you may wish to unwind the yarn into hanks and steam them before you reuse them. This will relax the yarn out of the ramen noodle kinks you get when you frog!

Overdying to the Rescue

Repurposing your projects with overdying
Photo credit: OurLegacy.com

Another tip that can help you use your stash further is to overdye your finished project. Using any dye appropriate for clothing, you can overdye your finished object. A dark color like black or deep blue will generally cover the original color of the yarn. This is a great way to use multiple dye lots or colors of the same yarn in a larger project and still end up with a solid color finished objects. Just make sure the original colors aren’t extremely different (like pale pink and dark brown) so that the dye will take more smoothly.

Let’s Stash Down, Together

Chevron Tassle Temperature Blanket

Community support creates success. With long term goals, having support from friends and other folks working towards the same goal is critical for success. Together, we can support each other in achieving more!

Let’s use the Chevron Tassel Temperature Blanket as a chance to work through yarns in your stash. This project will allow you to combine colors using fingering weight yarn (a weight often in excess in many crocheters’ stashes) – creating something unique to you that will tell the story of the year. Check out this link for the free pattern and helpful tutorial video.

Use the hashtag #TLYCMakers to share your progress – even if you choose a different pattern to work on. We can’t wait to see how you combine yarns you have to make a special blanket for your home.

More Ways to Stash Down in Community

Give back to our global community while you work through your stash with these incredible charities. Knitted Knockers seeks next-to-skin-soft breast prosthetics for cancer survivors. Knots of Love offers baby blankets and hats to hospital patients, especially NICU babies. Hats 4 the Homeless is just what they sound like, the provide warmth to houseless people who appreciate every stitch. 

If one of these causes doesn’t speak to you, we are sure you can find one that does. Many organizations provide free patterns, while others offer specifics for what they’re looking for.

Your local community may also offer yarn swaps, or second hand craft shops where you can exchange your old yarn for credits towards something you’ll use. Finally, many schools, art programs, boys and girls clubs, nursing homes, and similar organizations often accept yarn as a donation. If you don’t see yourself using your yarn, offer it to someone who gladly will and create new space in your own home and life.

The Sustainability of Yarn

According to the BBC, the textile industry produces 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, including yarn manufacturing. Not all yarn is created equally – some is far more sustainable than the rest (and you can find some great resources on sustainable yarn choices here and here).

Still, the most sustainable yarn choice is the one that’s already on your shelf. Not only does that choice help the environment, but it also helps your own wallet. As the saying goes, waste not want not. You purchased the yarn you have because you enjoy it and can see yourself making something you love with it. Rekindle that love by organizing your stash and reimagining what you could make with the yarn you have. We know it will feel amazing.

Yarn Stash: Stitching Your Way to Freedom

Using your yarn stash

Ultimately, the weight of your yarn stash is on your shoulders. If your stash feels out of control, we know that can be a stifling feeling. Regain control of your creative materials and feel the creative freedom that comes with it. You may choose to keep only a few skeins of yarn on hand for swatching new projects, or you may know that having several blankets worth of yarn on your shelves feels perfectly right for you. However much you keep on hand, we hope you find your inspiration on your shelves. The yarn you have on hand is a gift from your past to your present self. Let it inspire your creative journey!


Crochet Stash Busting Ideas

Have some extra skeins that you’re itching to crochet with? Try out any of these stash busting projects to make your yarn stash shine!

Blankets & Afghans

Saltwater Afghan by TL Yarn Crafts

SALTWATER AFGHAN

Dive into tranquility with the Saltwater Afghan – a soothing, beginner-friendly blanket crafted from Pima cotton-blend yarn. With 7 lively hues and the captivating clawfoot stitch, it’s your perfect companion for beach outings, ball games, or snug evenings at home.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

MOCHA RIPPLE AFGHAN

Indulge in the Mocha Ripple Afghan – a modern twist on the timeless crochet ripple stitch using Lion Brand Skein Tones yarn. With 8 carefully curated shades transitioning seamlessly from rich to soft tones, customize yours for a lively chevron blanket.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Mocha Ripple Afghan by TL Yarn Crafts
Pilson Blanket by TL Yarn Crafts

PILSON BLANKET

The Pilson Blanket – a delightful blend of contemporary flair and coziness. Craft your cherished blanket using yarn from your stash or explore new hues at your nearby yarn shop, all without needing special Tunisian crochet hooks.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

DAPHNE AFGHAN

Here’s a fresh beginner-friendly crochet baby blanket pattern showcasing lively colors and a distinct construction, topped with an easy textured border. Whip it up swiftly for those spontaneous gifting moments!

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Daphne Afghan

GOOD VIBES THROW

Elevate your cozy vibes with the Beginner-Friendly Good Vibes Throw, a vibrant and modern crochet blanket perfect for chilly days at home.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

BRADLEY AFGHAN

Cocoon yourself in the soothing geometry of the Bradley Afghan, blending three cozy colors in a chevron linen stitch pattern. It’s your go-to for a snug Netflix session—simply grab your favorite treat and nestle beneath your new beloved afghan.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Bradley Afghan Chevron Pattern by TL Yarn Crafts

Quick Crochet Projects

Timber Duo by TL Yarn Crafts

TIMBER DUO

Embrace the woodland charm with the Timber Earwarmer and Cowl, weaving a tapestry of textured crochet stitches inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests. Ease into the rhythm with the ear warmer’s basketweave stitch before delving into the cowl’s dynamic internal shaping. This cozy duo is ideal for coffee shop jaunts or a thoughtful gift for your adventurous besties.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

TOBAGO BAG

Crafted from vibrant crochet motifs, this cross-body purse is designed to hold all your essentials in style, from sunglasses to sunscreen, making it a must-have for your warm-weather escapades. Create a personalized Tobago Bag collection by experimenting with different color combinations, ensuring you’re always ready for a stylish getaway.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Mega Pom Beanie by TL Yarn Crafts

MEGA POM BEANIE

Elevate your crochet game with the slouchy, wide-brimmed Mega Pom Beanie. This autumn staple pattern boasts six sizes from Newborn to Adult. Explore solid, color-blocking, and variegated yarns to unleash endless possibilities of texture and visual allure.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

LAMIA WRAP

Unlock the world of Tunisian Crochet with the Lamia Wrap! Starting with just 3 stitches, this project blossoms into a tapestry of cozy textures, complemented by a beginner-friendly tutorial video. Raid your stash for tonal or solid yarns to highlight the intricate stitches, perfect for adding a touch of chic to your wardrobe or gifting to a fashionable friend.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Lamia Wrap by TL Yarn Crafts
Ginger Cowl by TL Yarn Crafts

GINGER COWL

Emerge from winter and embrace spring with the Ginger Cowl, perfect for those breezy patio meetups with friends. Stay stylish and cozy while enjoying refreshing mimosas without the chill nipping at your neck.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

PARTY PUNCH SHAWL

On the hunt for a single-skein masterpiece to showcase your yarn collection? Meet the Party Punch Shawl, a pattern tailored for adventurous beginners, challenging your Tunisian crochet abilities to craft a boomerang triangle wrap with just one skein of yarn.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Party Punch Shawl by TL Yarn Crafts

Try Tunisian Crochet

BLISS BRAIDED EAR WARMER

This Tunisian design combines cozy warmth with a stylish twist, featuring a unique braided texture that’s perfect for chilly days. Whether crafting it for yourself or as a thoughtful gift, this pattern will surely impress with its simplicity and flair.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Bias Tunisian Baby Blanket

BIAS TUNISIAN BABY BLANKET

‘Tis the season for crafting joy with the Bias Tunisian Baby Blanket! This fast and beginner-friendly project, made with color-changing cake yarn, promises cozy cuddles and snuggles aplenty.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

BAHAMA BLANKET

Explore the wonders of Tunisian crochet with the Bahama Blanket, a delightful pattern perfect for beginners. This cozy afghan showcases a captivating chevron pattern, adding a touch of charm to any space. Craft a gentle fading color palette and enjoy the soothing rhythm of creating something beautiful and functional.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Bahama Blanket by TL Yarn Crafts
Daydream Shawl by TL Yarn Crafts

DAYDREAM SHAWL

Refresh your closet for the new season by updating your accessories with the Tunisian crochet Daydream Shawl. This versatile piece strikes the perfect balance between trendy and practical, adding a touch of boho chic style and warmth to combat the lingering winter blues.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

HOT COCOA SHAWL

Embrace the art of Tunisian crochet with the Hot Cocoa Poncho – a cozy, lightweight design that’s perfect for chilly days. Unlike bulky wraps or blankets, this pattern combines warmth with freedom of movement, making it a must-have addition to your wardrobe.

Blog post with free pattern HERE
PDF for Print Version HERE

Hot Cocoa Shawl by TL Yarn Crafts

LOVELAND SHAWL

Delve into the artistry of Tunisian crochet with the captivating Loveland Shawl. Starting with a sea of stitches resembling knitwork, it transitions into stripes before evolving into a delicate lacy mesh section, all culminating in a beautifully textured border.

PDF for Print Version HERE


Join Me In My Destash!

Want to join me on my destash adventure? Let’s rummage through my yarn stash together and figure out what treasures I’ll keep and what needs to go!

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