Top Ten Uses for Leftover Sock Yarns

We knit socks. We have leftovers. We must do something with the leftovers in order to make more room for new sock yarn. What to do?

DSC01030.JPG1. Sock balls. Every time I finish a pair of socks, I roll the extra yarn up into a ball and plunk it in this glass jar. Obviously I need a larger glass jar. I also think this is handy because if I ever need to mend a pair of socks (and you know, I’d ONLY ever mend hand-knit socks), then I just come to this jar and find the right yarn. I like it.

2. Toe rings. It’s summertime and we’re all walking around in sandals …. and not wearing our wonderfully handknit socks. Why not match yarn to your outfit for the day, and tie on a toe ring? It’s the next best thing to wearing a handknit sock, I’m sure.

3. Blankets. True, it would take close to forever to knit a whole blanket out of your leftover sock yarn, but if you do a bit every time you finish your socks, one day you’ll be done. Won’t the end result be beautiful?

DSC01024.JPG4. Cat toys. While Zoe is wonderful about leaving skeined and balled yarn completely alone, heaven forbid that a tail of yarn might dangle out to catch her attention. She’d love her own yarn-ball cat toys. Of course she’d eat the yarn and then there would be trouble. But maybe your cats are better behaved.

5. Face cloths. If the thought of a whole sock yarn blanket is intimidating, why not make up some face cloths with it? They’d be soft, machine washable, and beautiful.

DSC01025.JPG6. Tying the stash cupboard shut. Of course I’m speaking of the cupboard where your yarn stash lives. No one needs to go in there except for you, right? (No one SHOULD go in there except for you, right?) Tie it shut and tell everyone that you’re working on things for Christmas and it’s not to be opened or disturbed.

7. Baby socks. One can never have too many pairs of socks for babies. Baby socks make nice gifts (they are great to keep on hand) and they take little yarn, depending on the size of those cute tiny feet. Maybe your next baby gift ought to be a “sock wardrobe” – different colors for the multiple wardrobe changes that babies seem to go through. 🙂

DSC01028.JPG8. Reminders. Maybe you’re like me. Maybe not. But oftentimes I’d rather be knitting than … doing household chores, for example. And have you ever forgotten to do something because you became so involved in what you were knitting? Leftover sock yarn is great for tying a string around your finger so you don’t forget. Or tying several strings around several fingers, if there are many things you are putting off while knitting. This might apply to me.

9. Chevron scarf. You all know that I’m having fun with my Chevron scarf. 🙂 Why not make a “scarf of many colors” and make it in all different sock yarns? The dip-and-weave pattern in the Chevron scarf mixes it all up very colorfully.

DSC01027.JPG10. Save your seat. Have you ever wandered into the tv room to knit, only to find “your knitting seat” occupied? Annoying, isn’t it? Now you can use your leftover sock yarn to tie up an effective road block. Just loop a long tail of yarn across it to keep people out. Depending on your family and how likely they are to obey that, you might also need to add a sign to further dissuade them. Mine would not be dissuaded by yarn. Come to think of it, they probably wouldn’t be fooled by the note either. Maybe I need to resort to just leaving a bunch of yarn balls in the chair.

Those are a few ideas, but I’m sure you have more. What have you done with your leftover sock yarn?

Sheri no,I’mnotseriousaboutallofthese,butI’llleaveittoyoutofigureoutwhicharemeantinjest!


  1. I plan on knitting mini socks (like the ones on the key chain) with the left over yarn and then tie onto a grapevine wreath and hang on my front door. For Chirstmas, I will use the red and green yearns.

    then change for the seasons with the appropriate colors.

    When I am not at work I’ll read the rest of the comments and get some other ideas.


  2. Your Zoe looks just like my Jenny! Jenny is also quite good with skeined or balled yarn – she is above such menial pursuits. Just ask her.

  3. Sally Melville discussed this very thing in a class in St. Louis last week. Knit socks using all/any of them, and then overdye so that they are a subtle difference.

  4. You know the mitre-square pattern from Mason-Dixon?
    I’m using up all my extra superwash wool sock yarn to make a lounging blanket/afghan thingy. Just solids, no stripes — except for self striping sock yarn. I’m averaging about 3 – 4 blocks per left over ball of yarn — and I have huge feet.

  5. Heck, I have yarn all over my house in baskets…I LOVE THIS! I’m going to start putting mine in a sealed jar that I have been keeping that had cherries in it~


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