Playing with Scraps

As you probably already know, I enjoy finding a use for every last scrap of a yarn.

Scrap balls the size of a tennis ball or larger end up in scrappy ripples, while smaller balls go into scrap grannies. As you can imagine, it takes a looong time to gather enough small scrap balls to make a granny afghan. And it takes even longer if you decide to limit the range of colors, like I did for last year’s “SweeTarts” granny.

600 on bench










Eight months and more than 30 ripples later I’m not really surprised to find that I’ve only collected enough tiny pastel scraps to make two-round granny squares equal to about half a small afghan.


But, having seen this unattributed Perler bead piece,


which I happened to come across on someone’s Pinterest page, I’ve decided that the rest of this granny’s squares can be any and every shade of white! I’ve already crocheted a few dozen.


Soon I’ll hit up the box of bigger scraps for more whites.

Looking at the rest of my small scrap balls, I thought there might be enough darks to make a second granny blanket. . . as long as I used the term “darks” loosely, including reds, rusty oranges and grassy greens.

I made as many three-round granny squares I could, which Emily assures me are not enough.


Luckily, I have plenty of larger “dark” scrap balls, and a partial skein of a grassy green from Sandi, with which to fill gaps in this granny’s developing color scheme.


Boy, those colors don’t look very good together but, trust me, they’re just what this particular blanket needs.

My dark one and two-round squares are going back to the attic for now,


as will my pastel onsies – all starters for future grannies.


That brings us down to scraps of less than 2 yards, too short for even a one-round granny.


I used to give these yarn bits to my sister, who passed them on to someone in her church who used them in tassels to decorate bookmarks, which eventually got sent on to a mission. Unfortunately that project has ended, which left me pondering what to do with all future bits.

Then I remembered having read somewhere in Ravelry about ‘Magic Balls.’ A Google search brought up this photo tutorial, which shows how to make a Magic Ball with Russian Joins. – far too time-consuming for me! While this one recommends square knots with closely clipped tails – too close, I think.

I’ve decided to use simple square knots and let the tails fly! lol.


Well, if you’re going to crochet a blanket with obvious yarn tufts, I say, the more the merrier! So, instead of following the trend of using yarn bits that are at least a yard long, I’m including everything one foot or longer. – On second thought, I could neaten the yarn tails by adding a second knot, like on this Out of the Box shawl.

I’ll think I’ll use my Magic Yarn along with a solid-colored strand. Traditionally it would be black, but I may try bright RED! as I have so much of it in stash.

Oh. My. I’m about to have THREE scrap blankets going at once: one pastel, one “dark” and one magical!

This entry was posted in Afghans, Granny Afghans, Inspiration, Yarn Stash and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Playing with Scraps

  1. Eboo says:

    I’m excited to see what your ‘magical’ blanket will look like. I’m currently amassing odds & ends for a magic ball of my own. 🙂

  2. Jane Mullinax says:

    As always, thanks for the inspiration! What to do with scraps can be a quandary. I’ve made many magic balls using Russian join and you are exactly right that about that technique being time consuming. I like the idea of tying scraps together and adding a second knot to the tails. Thanks for sharing the shawl pattern with that idea!

  3. sillia says:

    Really fun post, thank you! I like the idea of crocheting little granny starts and saving them for a future blanket. I have been tossing my clippings (ends 1 to 2 ” up to 4 or 5 inches) into a ziplock bag as I go and eventually plan to stuff a pillow with them! I’ll just sew them into a gauzy pouch to insert into the pillow. That way I can still see all those fun colors if I want to!

    • No. . . thank you! lol.

      Think I might be tempted to use the color-filled gauzy pouch itself as a pillow!

      My short clippings go into a large glass bubble, when I remember not to toss them, that is. Fun to see each project’s colorful clipped ends create another very thin layer, like sedimentary rock.

  4. yarnchick40 says:

    Very nice! They will all turn out lovely! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Have you tried the “Magic Join”? I use it all the time and it’s never failed me, even after laundering my work. Here’s a video link demonstrating how it’s done. As you can see, tugging on the two strands only tightens the knot.

  6. Becky says:

    I love your inspiration from the Perler bead piece and can’t wait to see the finished afghan.

    As for the Russian join, I love it. It is so much easier and neater than traditional joins where you have to weave in ends. I really don’t like weaving ends and will do most anything to avoid it. I think you’ll find that while it might be more a little more time consuming up front, you have no work to do later.

    • It’s always fun to try and translate an idea from one craft to another!

      You make a good point, Becky.
      I could always time myself to test the theory. . . do a dozen Russian joins and then weave in a dozen ends. But for the competition to be at all fair I need to get practiced at the Russian join first.

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