How To Use Yarn Minis

Submitted by Regev on Sun, 09/05/2021 - 18:00 CEST

There's something about mini hanks, skeins and cakes of yarn that's just so super cute and makes us all want to buy them. Maybe it is the illusion, that if we give them a warm and loving home they will grow to be beautiful big hanks of yarn? Well, we all know THAT isn't really going to happen... So what CAN we do with them, other than collect them endlessly in hopes they might one day spontaneously evolve into something? I am here today to answer just that!

Anything "Granny"
For some reason the granny stitch and all various granny motifs work great with minis. You can make a whole bunch of granny squares (or hexagons, or triangles), each made of a different mini, and in the end put them all together into a blanket, pillow cover, cardigan or even a maxi skirt.
Another option is make something using the granny stitch, and use a different mini for each row. In this way you can create a very large number of wearables - sweaters, tunics, dresses and cardigans - as well as accessories such as scarves, beanies, legwarmers, shawls and more!
The granny stitch is pretty basic, easy to do and works up quickly. In addition, it is one of those stitches that let the yarn shine - It looks good in all yarns and you can use it with any yarn weight.
You don't always have to have the project in mind right from the beginning when using minis this way. You can just start by turning them all into granny motifs and decide what to do with them later. Or you can start a scarf but decide it is actually going to be a blanket. That is one of the beauties of using the granny stitch.

Use minis to form granny squares - Mini Granny squares made into a blanket

Use the Moss Stitch
Another great stitch for projects made with minis is the moss stitch. Something about the form this stitch makes gives the illusion of the colors blending into each other. This is a perfect stitch to use with your Advent minis. It is a simple and easy to do stitch, which is also beginner friendly. The fabric it creates is a bit thicker, because of the "double" rows the stitch creates - which means even if the yarn is thin, you can still make a beanie or scarf out of it and it will keep you warm.
Just like the granny stitch, the moss stitch creates a nice pattern while still letting the yarn and the colors shine. It isn't too busy, so even speckled yarn or yarn with short color changes looks good in it.
Using the moss stitch you can create anything - Socks, sweaters, fingerless gloves, scarves, shawls, blankets and other home decor. Also, much like with the granny stitch, you can start a project with it without deciding right away what it will be when you're done, so you can just start using up the minis and see where the color combo they create take you.

Here is an example for a sock pattern made in the moss stitch. This will be great for minis. Check out the pattern here.

The moss stitch looks great in socks - Pattern: Chester's Mill Socks

Contrast color
Many patterns require small amounts of contrast color to make a certain color effect. Depending on the kind of minis you have, this could be a great opportunity to use them up! Typically, hand dyed yarn minis are 20g, but there are also 50g and sometimes 75-80g minis. If your pattern requires such small amounts of contrast color, use the minis instead of breaking into a large skein.
You can find such requirements in shawl and sweater patterns, but also in amigurumi and sometimes graph projects. Of course, the best example for such projects is socks - where you can use a contrast color to do the toe, heel and brim of the sock.

Check out this hat pattern with a thin stripe of contrast color or this shawl with thin stripes of contrasting colors.

This stripes of contrast color - good way to use your minis

Stripy or fade patterns
Much like the previous option, only now you use only minis to create a stripy pattern, rather than combining minis with full skeins.
There are plenty of pattern out there for different stripy items, or ones with a fade effect - each could be perfect to make with minis. You can also always take any regular pattern and make it into a striped or fade pattern using your selected yarns.
It is just important to remember, that when using several minis together, the striping effect makes the design busy, so choose a pattern with simple stitches, which won't take away from the color or make the whole design too busy or "noisy".
Another thing to consider, especially when it comes to shawls, if the pattern is uneven and requires increases or decreases, the thickness of the stripes might change, and you might also come to a point where the length in one hank isn't enough to make a whole row. When working on such patterns, you should consider doing a certain amount of rows with each color rather than using each skein until it runs out.

Try the Coastal Waves Cowl and Beanie patterns, or this lace scarf.

Take any striped pattern and make it in minis for a colorful design - crochet legwarmers

Small project and amigurumi
There are plenty of small projects, which require very smalls amounts of yarn - mug rugs, coasters and mug cosies, key hangers, jewelry, garlands, coin purses, Christmas ornaments, small decorations etc. These are great for using minis of all sorts. Most of these are also items which don't need to be washed or carefully cared for, so the fiber content doesn't matter.
Amigurumi fall under this category as well. In fact, some yarn companies market their mini-skein sets as "amigurumi sets" (also referred to as "bonbons").

One of my favorite go-to amigurumi designer is Mispeltoy Crochet.

Crochet garland and holiday decorations are a great way to use up those mini skeins and spread cheer around your home

Borders and embellishments
Want to add an interesting border to a shawl to give it a twist? Or maybe you like to add elements in cross-stitch or embroidery to your finished items? The small yarn amounts found in mini-skeins are just what you need!

Check out this awesome tutorial on how to cross stitch on crochet.

Any Advent or scrappy project pattern
Finally, perhaps the best and easiest way to use your mini skeins, is using a pattern which was originally designed for just such yarns.
Patterns which are written to use the 24 mini-skeins included in a yarn Advent-Calendar or patterns which are written as scarps-projects are the perfect patterns for you!
Each year, thousands of designers include their designs in specially curated Advent or countdown boxes, or release special CALs around the holiday season. All one has to do is open the Google search bar, and an endless selection of possibilities appear.
The number one most common item for Advent patterns is a shawl, but you can also find table runners, scarf and beanie sets, tree skirts and even sweaters.

Try the AdventUrous Scarf, the Advent Fringe Shawl or the all-time-favorite - the Just Feel Festive Shawl.

The perfect combination of Advent pattern and the Granny Stitch - Just Feel Festive Shawl

And of course, if none of these ideas strike your interest, and you still want to use your yarn minis in a creative way - remember they look beautiful even in skein form. Stick them in a vase and display them like flowers - done!

The kind of bouquet I would love to get!

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