Spinning Tuesdays: What Do You Do with All of It?

A whole bunch of yarn

I’m starting to drown in handspun yarn. The photo above is just a portion of what I have squirreled away around my house.


I was never going to keep more than what the basket beneath that pile of yarn could hold, but, clever me, I positioned the basket in a corner so the yarn could climb the wall and still be technically in the basket.

I’m thinking I should just sort by weight and start knitting. All of my finished things will find their way to someone, right?

What do you do with all of your handspun?



(482 Posts)

42 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: What Do You Do with All of It?

  1. Diane

    Smaller amounts have been getting knit into mittens for the neighbor kids. Recently, a rigid heddle loom camy into my life and I’m enjoying stash busting regularly on it (4 skeins of homespun and some misc. commercial yarn so far).

  2. Beth

    I don’t know what to do with all of the handspun. I am still new enough that I want to use my own yarn for me but finding things to knit to use the yardage I have been producing (4 oz braid giving an average of 175 yards of 2 ply) is a difficulty.

    Weaving on the rigid heddle will be one of my possibilities and if my handspun gets a little better I have a knitting daughter.

    Good luck with such a lovely problem.

  3. Rita

    I typically spin with a project in mind, so my handspun always gets used up! Unless i don’t actually do the project I intended. Have a handful of skeins like that.

  4. Denny knows what to do with all the yarn.

    Weave with it, Make things with woven fabric.
    Things like containers for holding handspun yarn.

  5. Sue James

    Jillian, the lastest “craze” at Gauge Knits in Austin is a feather & fan afgan knit on size 15 needles, like the Absolutely Fabulous Afgan by Colinette.
    It’s a great stash buster……..I took in a bag of stash yarns, and they helped me put yarns/colors together for 3 afgans!!

  6. Tanis

    Ha! I’m starting to have the same problem! I love my handpsun, but I cherish each precious skein and want to make sure that whatever project I chose for it is worthy. I don’t see anything wrong with just admiring that gorgeous basket for a little while longer!

  7. Seanna Lea

    I love your pile. I would happily take a skein or two off of your hands. Unfortunately, my spinning is poor (lack of practice), so I don’t have a handspun stash to work from.

  8. JJ

    I don’t spin, so you could gift that lovely light teal near the basket to me ;D. Lovely work, I can’t wait to see what you make of it.

  9. Jen V.

    If you’re not super attached to your handspun and want to “clean out” the stash (as if!) you could hold a charity silent auction here for it. Then wonderful knitters would have your handmade yarn and you would be benefitting others.

    1. Nancy

      Jen V. – What an brilliant idea…maybe even have others contribute who have an embarrassment of handspun hanging about? *guilty glance at large butterbowl of assorted single skeins* I like to knit small projects for others and have recently started weaving… and yet the handspun stash seems to regrow every winter. 🙂

  10. Monica

    May I suggest a giveaway? 🙂

    I don’t have any other ideas…but I’m sure whatever you knit it will be beautiful. Love the colors.

  11. Ana Huron

    Wow…it really is all so pretty. I’ve been looking at ear warmer/head bands for Christmas presents! Shawls, of course, too. I wish I knew how to spin……

  12. Elizabeth

    I usually spin with a project in mind. That said, I usually spin a good bit more than I think I’ll need, just in case. This leaves me with lots of leftovers, most not big enough for a project. For now they are stashed about the house, but I do need to come up with ways to use or re-home them. My RH looms do see a bit of them, but I need to use those more. I’m also thinking that the “Lizard Ridge” (Knitty Fall 2006) blanket might be a good use

  13. Kimberly Burnette

    I finally made myself start SELLING some of it! It was the hardest thing that I have ever done, but now, when I sell my handspun, I go buy more fiber! I have discovered that I am much more a spinner than a knitter or a weaver

  14. Rachelle

    Much of mine joins the rather large knitting stash, some then gets knit up. I’m currently working on stash busting, translating fibre into yarn (which takes up less room) and then yarn into useable objects.

  15. Melissa Elsworth

    Well I turned some of my 1st 200g into a mat for my cats. They still love it.

    I probably going to cave and turn the hankies I spun at your class in London into hexipuffs. I’ve been resisting that addiction for a while.

    Being a spindle spinner I really haven’t done a lot of yardage/meterage which limits me. I have hopes of doing better.

    Right now Ravely’s advance search is my friend.

  16. Esther

    I have used my less well thought out handspun to make warm things for afghans4afghans, sold it to someone who liked it, contributed it to a yarn swap my food coop had and, I admit, I keep some of it just to look at for dreaming.

  17. BeKKnits

    I’m sure someone else has mentioned it, but I could take some off your hands. But, seriously, it all looks quite lovely!

    BTW, I do agree with Melissa Elsworth, Ravelry’s advanced search is one of my best friends.

  18. Maureen J

    I have a sister who knits loads of hats, scarves, etc. for charity, and she’s kept my stash under control, mostly. But there have been some “special” yarns that just turned out too nice to give away, and that pile is growing.

    I find myself getting interested in weaving, but i can’t spend the money for a loom. No room for it, either.

  19. Miss Bunt

    I’ve been gifted some wonderful homespun and have made hats, shawls, a funky art yarn scarf and socks. I have a cardigan in my library just waiting to get on my needles. I’d happily help you knit it up!

  20. Michelle Harrison

    I have several cuff to cuff sweater patterns floating around. Right now the one on the top of the stack is by Spincraft. There is also a vest by Catherine Ham I am considering. I like the mitten idea as above but I am more likely to add cuff stripes to socks or accent to a hat.

  21. c8h10n4o2

    I have some stash-busting patterns that I keep around: afghans (like the Colinette mentioned above), vertical-knit sweaters, and mitered pieces.

    I also knit brioche, which is a great way of using up multiple colors and showing them all off. A 2 color brioche scarf pattern could use those up beautifully!

  22. Lisha Collins

    I love the charity auction idea. Our LYS did a charity auction with the stash of 2 ladies who died of cancer. Proceeds went to our cancer council. Great turn out and fund raiser for a cause that hit out knitting community. Now the knitted pieces mean even more to me. I think some will be made into chemo caps to keep the love going.

  23. Tami

    Find special projects for them on Ravelry. I also gift it to others if something doesn’t speak to me for a project.

  24. Linda

    Although I almost always spin it with the intention of knitting it, I almost always wind up weaving it, instead. In fact, right now I’m weaving scarves on my cricket, warped with handspun I made several years ago and put in the closet. Larger batches have become woven shawls, bags, or just yardage to be made into something later.

  25. Linda

    Oh, and some of the thicker handspun in small quantities loves to become knitted coffee press cozies and cup cozies.

  26. Miss Knotty

    I just own it. I spin it, then I put it in a bowl on the coffee table and look at it. I kid myself that the finished work of one becomes the raw material of another, but in the cold hard light of morning, the truth is that I just like making it and looking at it, and I knit with commercial yarns. And there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as it’s in a bowl and not covering the coffee table and surrounding floor space.

    I made one (Urchin) beret out of my very first ever handspun (almost 4 years ago now) and I’ve started a scarf this year with some yarn I made in June, but facts are I’ve been knitting for 7 years, spinning for 5 and I’ve knit with my handspun twice in all that time.

    If there are complementary colors in there or if there are colors that correspond (or contrast) nicely to commercial yarns in your stash (both in gauge and color), you might make a striped cardigan a la Noro-type cardis…

    Good luck in any case. But know this, there’s no shame in winding it into a ball and putting it into a bowl on the coffee table. Because sometimes it’s nice to just admire it.

  27. Caroline

    Depending on how much yardage I have got I have made gloves, hats, and scarfs out of handspun yarn. I keep the odds and ends in a box for a sampler afghan.

  28. AndreaW

    I don’t spin so if you find yourself in the most uusual situation of having too much…send it to me! I promise it a good home!

  29. Tara

    I knit a lot of baby/toddler hats for a local charity that visits new parents in the home and gives them parenting tips/advice/resources. They like to bring little gifts for the home visits and hats always go over well!

  30. Natalie

    I started with a small bin for my handspun & it’s now been switched to a larger bin. I think I’m reaching the point where I’ll have to sell it periodically. I can’t knit it as fast as I spin it, and spinning it makes me happy.

  31. Pam

    Odd how spinning yarn and using it are seemingly unrelated. Non-spinners really don’t understand the whole concept! I’m planning on making Kay Gardiner’s Mitered Crosses Blanket using my various handspuns for the crosses and Noro for the background. I haven’t started yet and so it’s all perfect in my head!

  32. Celinda

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

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