Anyone who has done a knitting project or two will know that you almost inevitably end up stockpiling lots of small quantities of left-over yarn – often not enough to use for a new project on their own.
As a knitter, spinner and weaver, I have a lot of these mini balls and skeins saved up. Every so often, I like to pull them out and see which ones play nicely together. When it feels like I have a great colour and texture scheme, I decide what kind of project I’d like to make.
I’m planning on doing a few posts each showing a way to use these odds and ends – some with lots of little bits on their own, and some combining them with other yarns that you might have a skein or two of. There will be knitting, some weaving, and even a bit of spinning! Sound good? Great!
So today we’re talking jumbo knitting. Jumbo yarn has been – do forgive me – big for quite a while now. To the extent that the Craft Yarn Council added a whole new category for it! But we’re not going to be using jumbo yarn; we’re simply going to work with a lot of lighter-weight yarns held together for some large-scale texture.
As with any project, the amount of yarn you have will dictate what kind of item you can make – I'm going to assume you'll be able to judge this yourself. For small amounts you could make a hat or cowl, or if you have years' worth of scraps you could make a big chunky blanket!
Start with a number of yarn strands and make a ball; you can use as few as two strands, or combine six, or ten, or twenty! Generally the more strands you use, the thicker and warmer your knitted fabric will be – you just need to make sure you'll have the correct size needles (or knitting loom, or crochet hook, or arms) for the combined yarn you're making. When deciding how many strands I need, I like to very quickly knit a swatch of literally a few stitches and rows to check how the multi-yarn works up, then unravel it and carry on.
Keep winding your ball until you have run out of yarn or you have enough for whatever you're planning to make! This isn't an exact science; we're all about freestyling here. Once you've got your giant ball of combined yarn, you can work it up into your item of choice. I loom-knitted a couple of very quick cowls with my combo-yarn, and love the warmth and depth of texture!
Are you inspired to start combining your yarns to make chunky projects? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
Also, keep an eye out for more posts in the upcoming weeks showing different ways you can put your scraps to good use.