small ideas

Here it is – as promised! Things to do with Mini Skeins!

Perhaps the most talked about project of the last year is The Beekeeper’s Quilt.  It is made out of knit hexagons that are stuffed and joined together.  This cat seems to enjoy it very much.  One skein = one hexagon.

This Fair Isle Hat from the Purl Bee was made to use Koigu Skeinettes.  Pick several colours that gradate to make this hat.  This same technique could be applied to other fair isle projects. Fiddlehead Mittens anyone?

I like these mittens.   Choose a different colour mini skein for each “pearl chain” for these Pearl Chain Mittens. Other fair isle projects from mittens to sweaters will no doubt be happy to employ a skeinette or two as accent colours.

If you are making the adorable Love Socks choose your favorite mini skein for the heart heels.

Elbow patches- not just for professors anymore! There is a fine tutorial here on how to make patches with duplicate stitch.  Apply this technique to add embellishments to other knitted goods.  Monogramming could be fun. Little skeins of Koigu are definitely up for this task!

If you have actual holes to cover over, say -some sock heels have worn from too much stepping, or a sweaters comes home wounded from a Moth War. Then, a little darning might be in order.  Pick a pretty skeinette and go to work.  Here is a how-to.

More yarn decorating can be done with embroidery techniques. Felted goods by Dadaya with beautiful embroidered details are something to aspire to.

“Koigu Needlepoint Yarn”- it says so clearly on the packaging.  Although I do not think we should be limited to this decree, let us not discount it either.  Check out these sweet coasters  by Cresus Artisant.  FYI – The Knit Cafe has a needlepoint class coming up in August!

Another needlepoint project – the Purl Bee Clutch.  Those bright embellishments come courtesy of Koigu.

Making little critters always involves a dab of this and a touch of that, for ear-innards, eyeballs, paws and manes, or in this case ↑ belts and hair-buns! These Star Wars figures come care of Lucy Raven. She sells patterns too.

Mini skeins will also come in handy if you are making these Toadstool Rattles! Add extra colour-oomph with a skein or two for the toadstool cap’s polkadots or the mushroom’s gills.

Speaking of colour-oomph – these Saarte Bootees have it in spades.  Use mini skeins to add details to your knitting projects.  Straps for booties, stripes on sweater yokes, boarders on cuffs and sock tops etc.

Mystery Monkey Socks could really take advantage of mini skeins too!

I love hidden details on garments.  Pocket linings in contrast colours, are hidden treasures and a great thing to add to hand knits to make them totally unique.  There is a tutorial for this technique here.

Here is another wonderful example of pocket highlighting from this clever knitter.  A few skeinettes could make some pocket-dreams come true!

Intarsia projects might also benefit from a skeinette intervention.  Intarsia always seems to call for small amounts of this colour and an even smaller amount of another.  Skeinettes might make for fewer leftovers in these cases.  Here are a few examples to illustrate this point. Traditional Icelandic Mittens on the left and a perfect pair of dog-walking mittens from Studio Morran on the right.

More hidden gems in hems! A hat or a sweater’s inside hem will be more fun made with something colourful.  I found this lovely example on the Quantum Tea Blog.

Here is another blanket that does not shy away from colour, or from using up extras in the yarn stash.  In such projects fresh mini skeins can be helpful for rounding out your colour pallet, augmenting your leftovers, and melding all the hues together. This wonderful crocheted blanket is called Babettes Blanket.

Got mini skeins? Make Pompoms!
The picture above is from the Knit Cafe’s Nuit Blanche Event from 2007.  Does anyone remember the Late Great Pom Pom Exchange? Folks were making pompoms all night long!  If only we had had mini skeins then.  A multi coloured pompom like the one on this team spirit hat might also need a mini skein!

Other small embellishments like crocheted or knitted flowers need mini skeins too!

The Purl Bee loves Koigu Skeinettes almost as much as we do.  Here is another project where they put them to good use. Find the pattern for these crocheted arm warmers here.

Last – but certainly not least, use your Koigu mini skeins to make Chair Socks! The Knit Cafe has posted details on how to make both knit and crocheted versions of these floor protectors here.

Please, please – if you have any other ideas about how to make use of mini skeins, then pass them along.  I would love to here them.
Craftily yours

50 responses to “small ideas

  1. I do! I remember the late great pompom exchange! good times 🙂

  2. kristinledgett

    Someone just came in to get mini skeins for acorns. That’s a good one!

  3. This post is so awesome Kristin! I’m stash busting, so I have lots and lots of little bits and bobs to get through. Those pearl chain mittens are calling my name!

  4. I just finished a pair of socks using blocks of 10g-30g leftover sock yarn scraps. I bet they would look great with mini-skeins!

  5. Toys? Crochet flowers? Tiny bunnies?

  6. Oooh, with these mini skeins I would make cute little amigurumi hearts for those I love and pretty little baby things for my new niece!

  7. How about a set of stripey mitts, toque & booties for a wee baby!
    Or wrist warmers!
    Or ankle warmers!
    Or a mug cozy!
    Or a phone cozy!

  8. I love the idea of a wildly colored blanket, full of little squares knit from all the many scraps (and mini-skeins too)!

  9. I’m lovin’ the hidden pocket stripes and really want to try it out! (I’m also traveling to Toronto this summer and would love the extra nudge to splurge in your shop with a gift card!) 😀

  10. I would use miniskeins for hexis and striping patterns. The tutorial on pockets posted here is wonderfully helpful! Definitly going to try it on my current sweater with mini skeins 🙂

  11. i love mini skeins! i’d make a pair of swedish fish mittens — so cute!

    or maybe a hat in the same style… 🙂

  12. I just found out that my younger brother (soon to be 53) is having his first child in December … baby needs some of Auntie’s hand-knit socks! And booties, and a layette and … Koigu is light & warm and a dream to knit with!

  13. these minis would inspire me to tackle my first fair isle project. that little fair isle hat or the fair isle sweater from the purl bee have been on my mind for ages! and how sweet would those skeins be for a little hand-drawn crewel project?

    LOVE this collections of project ideas!!!

  14. I think minis would be awesome for Mochimochi Land patterns:

    Or just amigirumi in general – where the colors can be as imaginative as the creatures.

  15. Just had an idea: they would be perfect for this hat and gloves set!

  16. Carla kindermsn

    I would start with 1 color and easy pattern for sweaters and just start to knit. I would make it very bright and that would be my happy sweater. Whenever I was feeling down and out I would put it on and start to knit.

  17. I love the idea of chair socks! It’s a little bit of yarn bombing in your life 🙂

  18. Linda in Waterloo

    A wildly colourful Baktus scarf.

  19. Since i started using Koigu for my Beekeeper’s, i want to use nothing else! I kept the skeins for a while to look at before winding them then knitting them into the loveliest puffs. I have a long way to go with the puffing, so more and more and more puffs

  20. Miniskeins! I saw pockets. Lots of pockets! Ones for garments. Ones for wrists and ankles and belts. Pockets on strings like tiny soft mini-purses. They’re meant to be pockets!

  21. Laurie A Leclair

    I would use these colourful skeins to make 1,000 cranes as in—knitting-pattern
    put them together into a fabulous mobile and donate it to Sick Kids. Beautiful, Colourful and Karmically terrific.

  22. Michelle Chan

    I would make amigurumi or knitted monsters from this book! – so much fun!

  23. As a new knitter I would love to make those baby booties for my nephew that will be born this fall. So far I’v made a hat and I’m half way through a cowl.

  24. Wow! So many wonderful ideas here! I am a doula and I was thinking that I would make baby booties for all of my clients’ new arrivals. I could make them while I was on-call and then pop them into my doula bag to have them handy for when the labour and birth was over.

    • Hi
      I think that is a great idea to make booties for the new babies.
      Hats would also be needed. I feel that a hat is knitted quicker than booties.

  25. Patti Waterfield

    I would knit squares in shades of lavender and cream and grey-green to make a throw or a bunch of cushion covers for my new living room that looks out onto the Owen Sound Bay!!!

  26. Chriscatsknits

    Ruffles for my fingerless gloves, in different colours so I can tell left from right.

  27. Hi Knit Cafe:
    I’m a weaver and I make multi coloured pillows – see my web site – and I use scraps like this all the time (esp Koigu) to weave some of the stripes in each pillow

  28. I would use them for squares for THE 2nd WeddingBlanket for my dear Friends Jon and Roy….We had a dreadfull and very sad experience: the lady who offered to sew the blanket together made a mess of it and….. even after 2 years the blanket hasn’t turned up. The blanket and squares have disappeared and she is not replying to one of us……Squares were send to her from all over the world…so…for not turning this into Negativity but into a Positive thing….We are organizing and NEW Blaket in Bright colours for those 2 lovely men….and those colours would be AWSOME!!
    More info at and fele free to join 🙂 happy with the announcement of Obama about Same-Sex marriages

  29. Carol-ann Casselman

    Embroider your favourite blanket with monograms/initials, rude messages, love notes, etc. My favourite ideas above are the heart heeled socks, coloured pockets and chair socks.


  30. I’ve got four babies to make toadstool rattles for by July! They would definitely get used for them.

  31. I’d love to use them to learn embroidery, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages! I’d start by embroidering the Christmas stocking that I am making for my fifth nephew, who is coming in August.

  32. I like mini skeins to make little crocheted pincushions – with fabric tops.

  33. I love to use bits and bobs of various colours. I like to blend them into my own colour combinations by twining them together.. I love knitting colour and creating interesting colour combos. It would be really fun to knit some vintage Barbie patterns from the 60’s with lovely yarn in great funky colours.

  34. oh my gosh, that’s me in the pompom pic. weird! i would use mini skeins to make striped baby sweaters.

  35. I and volunteers (anyone welcome to join me) knit baby booties and donate them to a third world country. Or anything I have not learned to knit – good learning experience.

  36. I and volunteers (anyone is welcome to join) would knit baby booties, hats, scarfts, ect… and donate to an aboriginal community in need. Donating in my country is just as important as anywhere else in the world.

  37. I’m making the Barn Raising Quilt blanket – I think these mini-skeins would have enough yarn for a square each

  38. I would knit football hats and make matching mitts. I would make 10 different fruitcaps

  39. Another great idea is jesterhats

  40. I’m very excited for their potential to make knitted jewelry! A small amount of fingering weight yarn (one or two miniskeins) and some beads knit up into some darling cuffs or necklaces I have on my to-do list!

  41. Megan Harrison

    OMG, I cannot WAIT to get started on my beekeeper’s quilt!! I haven’t been this excited about a project in a long time. I could also use some Koigu to get started on these beauties, which I’ve been putting off for quite some time:

  42. Laurie Rodney

    I would knit lots of baby hats for friends, family and Sick Kids hospital (my son spent the month of March there, he’s much better now)

  43. I would use them to knit swatches of cool stitch designs from Barbara Walker’s Treasury books which I’m drooling over. And then sew up the swatches to make a pillow or mini-blanket. Love your blog – always full of great and inspirational ideas.

  44. Mini is the best size, always. These would be great to make little knitted zippered pouches (striped!) or a small cross-body bag, just big enough for my wallet and phone (again — striped!). Basically, small striped things to hold other things.

  45. I would use them to make the Zig zag baby blanket and stripped socks.

  46. My grand idea for baby skeins is to make a bunch of small amigirumi critters to go in a diorama.

  47. Sandy–I would use the mini skeins to knit preemie hats and donate to a local hospital. I would also use them to embroidery on a knitted garmet.

  48. I would use them to finally start my beekeeper’s quilt.

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