What do you do with the ends of yarn that you cut off your knitting or the little bits left at the end of a project? Do you tend to throw them out, or maybe you compost them (depending on the fibre content)? Or perhaps you collect them but aren’t sure what you can do with them? Whatever you currently do, here are eleven handy ideas for how to use them.

a jar with yarn ends inside

Longer lengths and shorter ends are useful for different things and if you’re interested in using them, you might find it helpful to organise them into two groups, for example I’ve started keeping smaller ones in a jar, and longer ones in a zip-lock bag.


Tie longer pieces together into a magic ball (joined with a magic knot, as demonstrated in the linked video, or using a Russian join) and knit something! With 60g of 4ply/fingering-weight yarn you could make a Choose Colour! Cowl, with 100g a Patience Cowl is possible, or 150g would make a gorgeous Only Connect Shawl.

Longer lengths could be used as scrap yarn for putting stitches on hold (for example, sleeve stitches or thumb stitches) or they could be used for working a provisional cast on.

Alternatively, long enough lengths are worth saving for when you might need to mend a finished project in the future.

Yarn also makes great decoration for gifts – either for gift tags or even to tie around the package itself.

Longer lengths could be tied together and used for finger knitting, which is a great first way to get kids interested in knitting.


Collected together, there are numerous things that you could use even the smallest piece of yarn for:

Tied in a loop, small scraps make great stitch markers.

If you collect enough, use your yarn ends as stuffing for small knitting or crochet projects. If you haven’t got enough collected for this and you’d like some more, Eden Cottage Yarns are giving them away for free (less P&P).

Did you know that little yarn ends can be re-made into new yarn! Either in hand spinning (here’s someone in Canada offering this service) or Hedgehog Fibres also collect yarn ends which they recycle into their beautiful Tweedy Yarn.

If your yarn ends are non-superwash, you could felt them and make a ball – great for a cat toy or for tumble-dryer balls.

Lately, you could use little ends for art projects, especially with any kids in your life. I’m sure they’ll come up with hundreds of more ways to use the ends!

Huge thanks to those followers on Instagram who suggested many of these ideas – find my original social media post here.

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