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If you have a bit of a sock yarn (or fingering weight yarn) collection (and by collection I mean a hoard) you are in good company. Most of us are guilty of picking up something pretty on a whim but never getting around to using it. And then somehow that skein multiplies, and somehow you find yourself with a very large collection of pretty skeins. How many small shawls can a person wear? Do you really see yourself making that many pairs of socks? There are certainly people who can and will made those socks and shawls, but for the rest of us, we need an alternative.
The option I propose – a project that will utterly deplete your sock yarn stash and rid you of stash-shame – is a scrappy crocheted blanket. It’s simple, mostly brainless, and satisfying. The granny stripe version has been very popular on Instagram lately and I think it is a brilliant idea (plus, the people making them seem to be very happy and satisfied with their projects). You can also find ideas under the following hashtags:
How Much Yarn?
A lap blanket uses approximately 1000g (1kg) of yarn (the average skein of handpainted yarn is usually 100g, so you would need about 10 skeins).
Stash Busting Protocol
This type of project will use up a large portion of your sock/fingering weight stash, and banish stash-shame. That said, many people (including myself) usually end up coming into the store for an extra skein or two of yarn to complete their project. Don’t feel bad, it’s very normal, your stash probably won’t have the full spectrum of colours you want to use, or you might not have quite enough yarn – whatever, it doesn’t matter because you get a gold star for using up your stash!
For sock weight yarn use a 3.5mm/E crochet hook.
Crochet vs Knit
I prefer crochet because it is faster, you weave in the ends as you go, it doesn’t require any seaming, and the aesthetic is well suited to a scrappy aesthetic. That said, you can certainly knit your blanket too … see our Easy Baby Blanket Pattern (a Corner to Corner style blanket) for an easy knitted option. To expedite the project I would hold 2 strands together and work with a 5mm/US8-36″ (or longer) needle.
Granny Stripe Blanket
Attic24’s Granny Stripe Blanket is a great way to use up sock stash. If you have a really, really big stash you can group the colours before starting and create something in an ombre or chromatic style (above right, Scrappy Granny Stripe Blanket by louisap).
If you like a totally random, cottagey aesthetic, just go with the flow and grab whichever colour you like (above left,Molly Weasley Cozy Scrappy Granny Blanket by StitchingPlaza). When I do things like this I usually put colours together that have a high contrast, in both colour and intensity.
Corner to Corner Blanket (C2C)
A Corner to Corner type blanket is a great alternative to the Granny Stipe, especially if you don’t know how large you want your blanket to be. Like the Granny Stripe, you can organise your stash ahead of time and create a chromatic look (above left, Gradients C2C by GameCakes), or make it a bit more random (above right, Corner to Corner Stashbuster by coxabey).