Slip Stitch Strategy :: Using Up Yarn Bits

Often it’s those last 10 yards that are the hardest to find uses for. What the heck do you do with those? Thankfully there are many answers to that question! But today I am going to just focus on one: Slip Stitch Knitting!

Traditionally, fair isle work using up more yarn – so creating a complex color pattern can actually suck up more yardage than say just straight knitting. Well, fears be put to rest! You can have fancy color work and as much yardage as possible!

Enter slip stitch knitting patterns.


I love slip stitch knitting patterns for 2 reasons. {link to above coffee cozy pattern}

1. They use significantly less yarn than fair isle patterns because you do not have to carry the yarn along the back side of your knitting.

2. You only work one color each row.

So working in the round means you just drop the color at the end of the row and pick it up again when you need it again. Soooo nice.

It does make a tighter fabric. It also uses more yarn than straight knitting. And you can not slip a color more than two rows without the fabric starting to pucker. 

The first slip stitch pattern I ever used was the dish cloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters’ Guide. I love that book and I have made that dish cloth a million times over. 

 A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker has a great collection of slip stitch patterns. has a great article on slip stitch knitting and even two example patterns. The author also links up to a few of her favorite books on the topic. {link}

I have been having so much fun knitting up a slip stitching storm lately, so expect some new knitting patterns next month :) I’m excited about it and I know you will like them as much as I do!

Now, going back to Fair Isle, that can also be great for using up little bits of yarn, but maybe just as an accent pattern vs an overall pattern. If you have just a butterfly bobbin worth of yarn, inserting some little “specks” of color can really jazz up your project:


{link to 1 cup tea pot cozy pattern}