Are You Working With Your ABS?* February 13, 2014 – Posted in: How to, Thursday This and That

In case you were horrified and suspected that I am going to make you do sit-ups, relax. (I could use them, I should do them, however…huh? what was I saying?….never mind.) I am not talking about a workout for your, well, abs, I am talking about using up left-over yarn in a fun way.
The rule is: *Anything But Stockinette


Since most left-overs are smaller quantities, you are going to have to combine them to have enough for a larger project, maybe even for any project you had in mind. And thus what comes to mind first are Stockinette stripes. *yawn* (Sorry, stockinette and stripes, I know there is a time and place when you are great. For this blog post you just won’t do.)
Disclaimer: These are not instructions for a finished garment. These are stitch patterns for using up left-over yarns. What you have to remember also, is that most patterns are NOT written for left-overs. There is, however, no reason to find a suitable project – just swatch in your preferred pattern and look for a pattern with the same. Then get creative!
Now, since knitting is worked row by row, the essential way to create the following patterns is also knitting stripes. They just look less like stripes.


First up two patterns that consist of 2-row-stripes:

On top, the dot-pattern.

Row 1 (RS): with MC knit.

Row 2: with MC purl

Row 3: with CC, sl1wyib, k1, rep to end of row

Row 4: with CC, slip the slipped stitches with yarn in front, knit the sts in CC

Row 5 and 6; as row 1 and 2.

Row 7: with CC, k1, sl1wyib, rep to end of row

Row 8: with CC, slip the slipped sts wyif, knit the knit sts in CC

Bottom: a variation of a seed stitch pattern, with a knit row

Row 1 (WS): k1, p1 with CC

Row 2: knit with CC

Row 3: p1, k1 with MC

Row 4: knit with MC

Both patterns look more complicated than they actually are, and I have used them successfully.

IMG_9395This is all leftover sock yarn – and the whole project is a sweater for my daughter. It was quite fun to knit.

Now here are two one-row patterns that are also good for using up small amounts of yarn:


Above the dot pattern you see Seed titch. Yes, indeed, that is Seed Stitch. The trick is to use a different color every row. Easy when knit in the round, but also do-able flat, though you have to use a circular needle since some sliding is necessary as you will see:

Row 1 (RS): k1, p1 in MC, repeat to end of row, slide knitting back to other side of needle

Row 2 (RS): p1, k1 in CC, repeat to end of row

Row 3 (WS): p1, k1 in MC, repeat to end of row, slide knitting back

Row 4 (WS): k1, p1 in CC, repeat to end of row.

What follows next is, believe it or not, simple garter, however it almost looks like a weave. Again, changing colors every row when knitting in the round is easy, for the flat knitted version you have to use a circular needle.

Row 1 (RS): knit with MC, slide knitting back

Row 2 (RS): purl with CC

Row 3 (WS): purl with MC, slide knitting back

Row 4 (WS): knit with CC

These are just four examples for ABS, you can find many more in stitch dictionaries – and only brain muscles for creativity necessary.

Happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona