There are times I like to dive into a long term knitting project that I know will take at minimum a month to knit. But there is also a time when I want an instant gratification project.

And I am not talking a cowl or hat…I want a sweater. Fat needles, big yarn, something I can have done in 3-5 days. Enter the instant gratification sweaters.

Oh, No! I must buy more yarn!!

You may or may not have a sweater’s worth of any given yarn on hand. I know I usually do not. It is not that I do not love heading to the yarn shop for a little stash enhancement. I do. But when browsing a yarn shop, am am not one to plop down $200 or more on one kind of yarn.

I want to buy ALL THE YARNS, but not have to sell a kidney to do so. I’d rather buy a skein or two of the ones I absolutely LOVE

So I have a gigantic collection of fabulous yarn, its just that I have a skein or two of each kind. I guess I could go to the yarn shop (or fire up the dyepots) for a sweaters worth of one kind of yarn. But if the urge for NEWSWEATERNOWWWW!™ hit at 10pm like it often does for me, I am stuck working with what I’ve got. It’s all good, because this is my absolute favorite kind of knitting.

What?!? Actually knit my precious yarn collection?

Yep. I dare to knit the most sacred of the yarn stash. Now granted I fully believe in  having a special stash just for yarn petting. That is okay, I even encourage a petting stash you will never knit (Hey I know I am not alone here…). I am also all about knitting yarns I love. Watching an awesome yarn transform into it’s next incarnation guided by my creativity. Like chrysalis to butterfly, like watching my babies grow up.

Grab a glass of wine Girlfriend, Let’s do some stash busting with easy knits…

Pull out that stash. Make a stash buster sweater. Here are some tips you should know about stash combining for a sweater:


There are so many other possibilities. There are quite a few sweater patterns on Ravelry that will be awesome for stash busting. Here are a couple of my faves:

The Klaralund

A basic raglan formula

The Einstien Coat

The Ripenings Shrug

  • You do not always have to use yarn that is same color. Add some contrast, play with unusual color combinations (think Noro, there is alway one wild card color that adds an extreme contrast)
  • The yarn also does not have to be all the same weight. Consider holding 2-3 smaller strands together. You can knit the lighter stuff with fat needles for a “lacy” effect( just know it my stretch under the weight of the heavier yarns).
  • Chose a needle that works with your thickest yarn
  • Go for a patchwork style sweater. Just use a bunch of random colors (hint: in patchwork the more colors the better) Especially awesome for crochet. Try this hoodie pattern, for busting those tons of sock yarn left overs, not really an instant gratification knit, but super cute and easy.
  • You will need somewhere between 1.25 and 2lbs of yarn (the more the better)

Technically all you really need is 4-6 rectangles.

It is really that simple. Two rectangles for sleeves, and one each for the front and back. Two for the front if you want a cardigan. Yes it will be boxy, but in some styles that is an awesome thing.

  • Add a super loose cowl at the neckline
  • Make it 3/4 sleeve
  • Knit with a fingering yarn on thicker needles for a drapey tunic
  • Knit a thick fabric and shorten the length for a bolero style jacket
  • Or make it thick and knee length for a maxi coat.
  • Make two long front panels for a wrap coat
  • View each panel you knit as a blank canvas, combine the yarns as if you were painting with yarn.

So don’t think you have to use just one kind of yarn for a sweater.

And don’t think you can only make small projects with just one or two skeins of yarn. Give stash busting a try. It can be great fun and easy knitting combining your favorite yarns in your stash.

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