There comes a time when the stash of yarn leftover from other projects can be a bit overwhelming. Are your leftovers an embarrassment? Are you drowning under mismatched part balls? Having a clear out now and then does feel good (and makes room for buying more!!!)
First of all, I sort the yarns into colours. I have blue, red and neutral families and I also keep to the side anything that I may use as Christmas colours. (There’s always something red or green needed then).
You can see I have many types of yarns from 4ply to chunky, novelty, knobbly, tape, chenille, fluffy, eyelash, acrylic, pure wool, silk and most combinations you can think of in any length from full orphan balls to the last few metres.
This method absolutely does not have any preference.
What we are after making is a Super Chunky yarn of our own. If you have mostly 4 plys as you have been fiendishly sock knitting for years then try 5, 6 or even 7 strands. If you have a couple of chunky yarns add just 3 of DK to each. Play around with the mix and thickness of novelty yarns until you are happy.
Roughly choose about 4 DK yarns or a chunky and 3 DK yarns or a chunky and 2 DK and 2 4ply yarns.
I’m going to use this selection in the brown neutral shades.
I’ve selected four of the yarns and have put them together to make my super chunky.
UK double crochet, dc (US single crochet, sc) throughout.
I use an 8mm hook for a firm fabric but you can go up or down a size depending how you like the feel.
Row 1: In second chain from hook start your dc (US sc) and work back along the cast on chain for 26 sts.
Row 2: Ch 1, dc 26
Crochet about 7 rows for your base with chain 1 at each turn.
(I am using words like ‘about’ and ‘roughly’ as this pattern is flexible and can be made to the size you want. It’s not set in stone!!)
This version of base should measure about 11 x 3 inches.
When you have done the last DC rather than chain 1 make a second DC in the same stitch.
We will now go down along the edge of the piece about 5 dc, (depending on how deep you made the base).
2 dc in corner stitch
25 dc along the bottom
2 dc in corner
5 dc up edge
1 dc in last corner
You have now gone right the way around the rectangle.
There is no step up we are just going to go in rounds. No increases either as this then draws up the sides. Just keep going around the whole thing in dc.
When one of your yarns is about to run out, or you have a huge amount and just fancy a change, join in the new one to the old. I use a magic knot and trim close but you can use an overhand and use a needle to finish off the ends.
Try not to control the colours. Let them flow and run out naturally if small balls and oddments. Just think of all those unused bits you are now actually using! The more variety of yarns the more the colour blending happens. Try and stagger the joining so they flow too.
Even the weird stuff you thought was a good idea at the time like this tape! See how the colours are merging and making one whole block of colour?
Here I have done about 25 rounds and it measures 11 inches high by 15 inches wide. I have stopped at a side.
As an idea this is an A4 envelope on top, about the size of the average knitting/crochet pattern or book. This means it’s a great size for projects and everything fits in easily with its flat bottom.
For the handles, find and mark the centre of the front then mark the 6th stitch on either side of the marker.
Repeat on the other side.
Dc up to, but not into, the first marker.
Chain 16. (You can chain as many as you like for the length of the handle even to over the shoulder length.)
Dc into first stitch after the second marker.
Dc around to the stitch before the third marker.
Chain 16 (or however many you did for the first handle).
Dc into first stitch after fourth marker.
You now have the foundation for the two handles. Dc around the top of the bag going into the chain stitches as you come up to them. I find it easier to look for the single loop underneath the stitch rather than sort out the two on the top. If you are at this point you will know what I mean.
Depending on the thickness of your made-up yarn, and the look you want, crochet around the top 2 or three times.
When you are happy with the depth of the handles, I find the neatest way of finishing off is to leave out a strand of yarn every couple of stitches until the last one and then slip stitch to leave a smooth edge.
Finish off your yarn ends.
These make great project bags, gift bags or charity bags and really clear out those leftovers!!