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Knitting Socks with Leftover Yarn


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Using every scarp of your supplies. Being a good steward of your resources. Living frugally without extravagance. These are all very Amish traits. I have been putting these ideas to use while attacking my yarn stash. Time to knit with what I have!

As a sock knitter, I am forever trying to come out even with yarn. If I knit socks for my son, I have to use two skeins and dip into a third to make it all the way to the toes of his long feet. If I make socks for my sister-in-law’s tiny feet, I can make three socks from one skein and still have a little bit leftover. Knowing one skein usually makes a pair, sock yarn is my favorite impulse buy of choice when I visit a new yarn shop. My stash of sock yarn also grows when I find new “flavors” I like. So many beautiful colors to “taste” and so many cold feet to knit for! To try and use up yarn I have started knitting accessories out of sock yarn too. It uses up bits and pieces. Yet, even with all this frugal knitting, I end up with small amounts of sock yarn and little idea of what to do with it. And yet . . .beginnings

Many sock knitters are in the same situation. I discovered the idea of Frankensocks. Named after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster made from pieces and parts, these socks are meant to eat up leftover yarn. (I’ve also seen them called blender socks) The idea is simple, you start with your basic sock pattern of choice (Here is a pattern for a plain pair). You look through your stash and select an assortment of yarns that go together in some way (or let it clash, the choice is yours). Then using a kitchen scale I weight the yarns I’ve chosen. I divide each color into two balls, one for each sock. Then I cast on and go for it changing yarns as they run out. I like to work in the magic loop style of knitting.

The pair I am working on pictured here is for my father-in-law. Happily he has very large feet I can use up a lot of leftovers. And his birthday is coming up. This bit of silliness should cheer up his winter blues. There are yarns from my green socks, my son’s Valentine socks, my husband’s Christmas socks, my sister-in-law’s birthday cowl, and my brother’s fingerless gloves. How nice to wrap his feet in love. And I knit with what I had in my stash.


What frugal ways are you using up the supplies in your stash?

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Lisa Bogart (64 Posts)

Lisa Bogart. Lisa is a movie-loving, book-reading, sweater-knitting, cookie-baking, world-traveling woman. She is also the author of Knit With Love, Stories to Warm a Knitters Heart. She won the Guideposts Writers Workshop in 2010. These days Lisa works part time at Piedmont Yarn in Oakland, CA. And she loves nothing better than writing all morning, knitting all afternoon, and watching a movie with hubby in the evening. You can find Lisa online at LisaBogart.com.


  1. Great idea. Google Stashbuster patterns and find many other ideas for using up extra bits of yarn.I’m just beginning to learn how to crochet so I plan to do this too but probably not with socks LOL.

  2. I haven’t crocheted for years, but you make me want to start!

    • Tis the season for having fiber fun. It’s so cold everywhere (okay not at my house but everywhere else) this is the perfect time to rediscover crochet. Go for it! You could even teach your kidlets to finger knit!

  3. I have used wool to make felted coffee cup cozies and put a gift card form the local coffee shop with it for a gift. and I use cotton scraps to knit ‘soap bags’ and give with handmade soaps I pick up at craft show. My next scrap buster will be to make unmatched socks for my daughter in law who wears them that way as a fashion statement…I made her a pair with different colors of heels and toes and now will just make a ‘batch of socks’ from my self-striping yarn leftovers that she can pick from to suit her mood!

    • You are really in the spirit of stash busting! Bravo! Fun to hear what you have been up to. I’m knitting coffee cozy gift these days too. It is so satisfying to make something start to finish in an evening.

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  5. Marcelle says:

    Hi, how do you join your wool when knitting leftover yarn – thanks in advance

    • Lisa Bogart says:

      I usually join yarns by making one stitch with both the old and the new ball. Then when I get round to that stitch again, I treat those two threads as one so I don’t increase. Doing it this way means I don’t get a hole there and you really can’t see the change much. Good luck!

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