Mini skeins are a huge thing in knitting. Whether you buy a collection of coordinating colors from an indie dyer, get a bunch of samples through a knitting subscription box or just have lots of oddballs left over from your own projects, these little bits of yarn are lovely to look at.
And that's as far as a lot of people get when it comes to mini skeins. They love looking at them and might be, in a way, inspired by them, but they're at a loss what to knit with mini skeins.
Any stash-busting projects can be used with mini skeins, but if you're looking for more ideas, read on.
What Are Mini Skeins?
Just as it sounds, mini skeins are little lengths of yarn that include much less yardage than a traditional skein, though the amount of yarn can vary from as little as 30 yards to as much as 100 or so. (Sample skeins picked up at trade shows and elsewhere can be even smaller.)
Knitters love them because they allow them to try a lot of different yarns -- or several colors of the same yarn -- without having to buy a huge yardage. It's like taking yarn on a test drive, and it can be a lot of fun.
More and more dyers are selling packs of mini skeins, whether in gradients to form an ombre look when knit in the same project to coordinating colors, rainbow colorways and more.
What to Knit with Mini Skeins
As I mentioned, you can do anything with mini skeins that you would do with other odd bits of yarn, such as:
- add stripes to an otherwise solid-color project
- knit the fingers of gloves different colors than the hand
- work socks in odd stripes (or keep some stripes consistent across the socks to make them look more like a pair)
- make tiny toys
- make swathes you sew together into a blanket or another project
- make little projects like cuffs, knit hearts, or other embellishments that can stand alone or be used as appliques on other projects
- add a band of colorwork to an otherwise plain project
- work a scarf, shawl, hat or sweater, changing colors randomly throughout
- make a magic ball out of your skeins and use them in a project
Projects to Knit with Mini Skeins
The Beekeeper's Quilt from tiny owl knits is a classic use of mini skeins. There are lots of other hexipuff patterns on Ravelry you can use to work those tiny bits of yarn, then sew them together into a great, impressive quilt.
Whether you're using mini skeins or bits of yarn from your stash or both, Sarah Core's Mini Mania Scarf and her Manic Panic Cowl are both great options. Worked in Linen Stitch, they look great in a riot of colors and are super easy to knit.
Check out this post from Space Cadet Knits with ideas on different ways to use mini skeins, including as stripes, as a gradient, with a solid color and more.
Mini Skein Knits
There's actually at least one book devoted to uses for mini skeins, too. Mini Skein Knits: 25 Knitting Patterns Using Small Skeins and Leftovers includes patterns for hats, mittens, headbands, scarves, shawls, socks, mitts, sweaters and more using collections of little skeins.
The projects outline the particular yarns that were used by also list the fiber content and yardage of the skeins in question so that you can use the mini skeins you have or any oddballs from your stash that might work. Though you'll certainly be tempted by the color combinations used in some of the projects to supplement your stash.
The Infinite Rainbow Cowl (designed by Connie Santisteban), for instance, makes me want to run out and by a rainbow's worth of mini skeins and some great gray yarn to go with it.
Other projects I love include the gradient triangle Rainy Day Shawl by Deborah Stack, the dotty Matrix Mitts from Jess Kallberg, the super colorful and stripey Rainbow Cardi by Yelena M. Dasher ( as well as her darker striped pullover, called A Mermaid Darkly), and the adorable little chevron coffee cup cozies stitched by Claire Cromwell.
This book is a lot of fun for giving you ideas for projects big and small you can knit with mini skeins, whether you're using your own leftovers or working through a subscription box or a mini skein club membership.
About the Book: 128 pages, 25 patterns (no skill levels given; sweater patterns have 6 or 8 sizes), paperback. Published by Lark Crafts, Oct. 2015. Suggested retail $14.95.