January 12th, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized: How to Get Rid of Unwanted Yarn

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Earlier this week we began the process of organizing our yarn stash by first going through it and pulling out the yarn we no longer want. Most of your unwanted yarn probably ended up in the giveaway pile, rather than the trash. Here’s a list of ideas of how and where to get rid of destashed yarn.


Sell It

  • One reason it might be hard to get of yarn we know we’ll never use is because we might have paid a lot of money for it. It’s easier to get rid of this kind of yarn if you can sell it and get some of that money back (to buy more yarn of course!). Try selling your yarn online at places like ebay, yarnfind.com, Ravelry, and Etsy.
  • To keep things simple, you can also sell it in a garage or yard sale, though you probably won’t be able to get as much money for it.

Trade It

  • One of my favorite ways to get rid of yarn is by having a yarn swap with some fiber friends. It’s a lot of fun going through other people’s unwanted yarn finding your next treasure. Later this month, some of the WEBS employees will be getting together for an evening of yarn-swapping fun.
  • In addition to being able to sell your yarn on Ravelry, you can trade your yarn with someone else on Ravelry too.

Give It Away

  • If you’re tired of your unwanted yarn taking up space or need to get rid of it fast for fear of it creeping back into your stash, drop it off at a nearby thrift store like Goodwill, post it on Freecycle, or leave it in a box at the end of your driveway with a FREE sign on the box.
  • Donate your yarn to a worthy cause or charity. There are a ton of knitting and crochet charities out there that accept yarn donations.
  • Give the yarn to someone you know who wants to learn to knit or crochet. Bonus points if you help teach them!
  • Give it to another knitter or crocheter. Bring the yarn to your next knitting group. Or ask a friend or family member if they want first dibs on the yarn you’re getting rid of.
  • Find somewhere locally that could use your yarn like a school, art department, knitting club, or nursing home.

Keep It

  • Yes, that’s right. I just told you to keep yarn I told you to get rid of. I like to keep a little yarn in a basket to use for testing new stitch patterns and trying out new techniques. I also use this same yarn when someone comes over and wants me to teach them how to knit.
  • If you were getting rid of yarn just because you hate the color, consider over-dyeing it. You can make an ugly duckling into something you love. If you’ve never dyed yarn before it’s a lot of fun. Check out Gail Callahan’s Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece book.

When you need to find a new home for yarn, what do you do with it? Do you have a favorite person or charity you like to give yarn to?

– Dena

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15 Responses to “31 Days to Get Organized: How to Get Rid of Unwanted Yarn”

  1. Catbus Says:

    I have donated several boxes of yarn to a local residential program for young women suffering from depression and other mental illnesses. Crocheting and knitting helps them be calm, centered, and makes it easier for them to have conversations . There is a real gift in knowing that your yarn is helping to heal! Here locally there is also a shelter for homeless youth – and they will be getting my next dose of stashdown.

  2. sanfitch Says:

    I’ve cleaned out my stash (more than once) to take to my church for my own ministry “Blankets of Hope”. We ask folks to knit or crochet blankets for children & homeless shelters – boy do they! Since most of my knitter/crocheters are older ladies – I have no problem supplying them with the yarn – and they love that a child or homeless person will be wrapped in something they’ve made with love and prayers.

  3. RosarioCabrera Says:

    I would like to know how could I get some of those unwanted yarns. I am a volunteer knitting instructor for the first time I was given this opportunity. We need yarns, knitting needles to be donated to the center I volunteer. Please let me know how could I receive donated yarns to our center. Please contact me on Facebook: Rosario Rosebud Rosie Rodriguez. It will be so helpful.

  4. Venice Smith Says:

    I don’t know any of the “ton of knitting and crochet charities” and I have quite a surplus of yarn I’d like to donate.

  5. Elaine Says:

    I donate to my local Senior Citizen center knitting group. They were very appreciative, and left the building smiling. Two and a half kitchen bags gone, 30 bins to go!

  6. Carol Sulcoski Says:

    Sally Melville has a wonderful book — it’s a few years old now, but it talks a lot about how to combine different yarns and includes patterns. It’s called “Sally Melville Styles.”

  7. Dena Childs Says:

    Here’s a list of a lot of knitting charities. Start by contacting a few to see if they take donated yarn.

  8. Donna Says:

    Ii knit and crochet for charity with a group called sunrise knitters we accept all yarns big or small. We. Mostly make blankets for hospice. Àlso for a charity called for children’s sake. W are in sunrise ,Florida . Contact me at craftsbydonna@aol.com. Thanks, Donna

  9. Venice Smith Says:

    Sorry, I don’t see where to access the list.

  10. LindaH Says:

    I just gave a ton of Berroco Weekend to my aunt because I didn’t like the colorway. I still have lots of this line of yarn because I DO like the colorways. 🙂

  11. washmuth Says:

    Have 4 hanks of beautiful handpainted mohair by mountain colors if anyone is interested. color is Alpine (shades of deep blue)

  12. Nik Says:

    You could also post it on reuseitnetwork I like that site much better than free cycle also a lot of women’s prisons teach the ladies how to crochet and they make things to send overseas to under privileged children.

  13. Deanna Bailey Says:

    Our ministry is looking for (medium weight/4) worsting yarn to make animals and dolls for children with cancer and other sick children in Kansas Hospitals. They are really the cutest little critters. The state has approved the ministry but they will not fund it and it must be all by donation. We also need felt and buttons for the eyes and noses if they are available.
    This Crochet ministry will serve
    children with cancer by knitting homemade animals & dolls for the
    kids throughout Kansas hospitals. It really is a cool ministry of
    compassion, straight from the heart, and though the state will allow it,
    they will not fund it. It will have to be run strictly on a donations
    For questions please contact Beauty for Ashes Prison Ministry the sister ministry to Brothers In Blue at Lansing Correctional Facility. This is a great way for them to give back something from the heart to the community. Or please contact Minister Bailey at :sleepyminister@yahoo.com

  14. Deanna bailey Says:

    I received a beautiful purple heart afghan from the “Heartmade Blessings” ladies when I lost my daughter KIA Afghanistan, July 17, 2012. It was truly a beautiful and thoughtful gift of comfort at a particularly difficult time.

  15. Taresa Minton Says:

    I just started a faith based organization to help people in drug rehabs. I need to get yarn and crochet hooks so that I can teach people how to crochet and then we are going to make lap blankets for people in recovery. I am doing this all because my son died of a drug overdose and I want to give something back to the onexx so that feel they have nothing to go back to.

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