My Top 10 Favorite Mini-Skein Uses and Patterns
Stumped on what to do with your mini skeins of yarn? Well, fear not! Maybe one of these will catch your eye..
Knitting Pattern Ideas
Stephen West offers several ideas for using a contrasting solid along with your minis to make them go farther . Painting Bricks is my current fave, and it admittedly takes a bit of math if you want to be SURE you have enough of your mini skeins to be as consistent as the original. But if you embrace the craziness and creativity of the pattern, you can start at the beginning with your smallest skeins, then work toward your largest ones, being a little flexible along the way.
Instead of contrasting a yarn, try a neutral solid in the background. For their Muhuroosa Blanket, Purl Soho holds a single skein of color with a single skein of natural yarn throughout most of the blanket. This helps tone down the contrast between each of your mini skein colors, too.
Bonus tip: you can use this idea on more than just a blanket. Hold a neutral together with a colorful yarn as you work your way through a hat, mittens, or a scarf.
This is one of my favorite mitten patterns! I use the scraps from recent projects along with a solid/semi-solid neutral, and these knit up SOO quickly. Do they have a lot of ends I have to weave in at the end? Uh, well, yeah. BUT, there are a zillion ways to weave or knit your ends in as you go, too. So pick your favorite method, and knit away! This pattern calls for fingering weight yarn, but feel free to try your hand at a different weight, too. Do a gauge swatch in the round and adjust your pattern accordingly.
OMG, I SOOOO want to make these little guys! I keep forgetting to do it, so this is the year! The pattern below is by accordionpie on Ravelry, using leftover yarn from her Sipalu Bag Kit by Knit Picks. On their Ravelry page, accordionpie gives details and a chart you can use to plan out your colors and gauge. Don't want to deal with increases? Try applying the zig zag pattern to a hat instead.
OK, so this one technically calls for worsted weight yarn, but I LOVE it, and it can totally be adjusted to whatever yarn you're using. Doubling your fingering weight yarn shoudl give you approximately the same weight as worsted, but be sure to play around with a swatch first. On lighter fingering weights, I like to triple them instead.
Super simple for just about anyone!
Crochet Pattern Ideas
Um, can we just stop to appreciate this colorful and creative crocheted blanket? It's originally part of a CAL (crochet along) from 2020 and spans a few blog entries, but the pattern is now available on Ravelry.
You could very easily use any weight of yarn and create a scarf or cowl instead if you'd prefer. Just chain fewer stitches at the beginning and make sure you have the right multiple of stitches according to the pattern.
Snuggle Up by Rosina Plane
Be still, my beating heart. Apparently, I'll be crocheting a lot in 2024! This is an awesome way to include a full skein of a coordinating neutral and make your yarn go farther. Try picking your mini skeins randomly for a funky look, or create a rainbow effect by laying out your colors ROYGBIV style before you get going.
Advent Cowl by Potter and Bloom
I'm. In. Love. And I'm pretty sure I've found my Temperature Blanket pattern for the year.
Again, you can easily make this considerably narrower and create a scarf or cowl instead.
Mosaic Crochet Blanket Pattern by Lilla Bjorn Crochet
Want more ideas from Lilla Bjorn Crochet? Check out her Etsy shop here.
fLast but not least is the good old Granny stitch. Pick any Granny Stripe or Granny Square pattern you like and just use a new color for each row. Here's a quick and easy version, but you can get super crazy with any Granny stitch pattern out there!
Granny Stripe crochet pattern by Attic 24
OK, so this one isn't exactly a tenth pattern, as much as it's a portal to more. Need more ideas? Pinterest has a zillion ideas on using up Advent yarns in both crafts!
Ultimately, have fun with your mini skeins. Practically any pattern can be modified to use them, especially ones that already account for striping. Have multiple weights of yarn that you want to combine? Either use a larger needle or hook than usual and create a blanket or scarf with a varied gauge and texture; or hold your lighter-weight yarns together to approximate your heavier ones and end up with a fairly cohesive gauge.