Solution to Too Many Scraps: A Leftovers Cowl

In our house, I am the primary consumer of leftovers.

I attribute this to at least an extra ten pounds of, well, squish.

Reed won’t even LOOK at leftovers in the fridge. The thought of eating something two days in a row is unfathomable to him, lest it be cookies or cake.

This leaves me with two options: eat it myself or share it with the chickens.

It kills me to see all my hard work in the kitchen and expensive organic groceries/home grown veggies go to waste, so I of course eat the leftovers myself.

Being a mom is hard work.

Leftovers aside, I have spent the past three days subsisting solely on Kozy Shack* chocolate pudding in a bowl with a banana. Usually I do the chocolate-berry combo, but I am still on a banana kick after Panama (where the bananas actually taste like bananas and not cardboard) and thus am pretending the imported bananas taste better than they actually do. The chocolate helps.

Would it be so bad if I fed Reed chocolate pudding and bananas for dinner every night too?  This would save me so much cooking time!


You wouldn’t judge me, would you?

When it comes to yarn, I realized I suffer from the same overwhelming urge to Use It All Up.

And thus arrived the day when I realized my stash had three skeins of new yarn alongside three baskets of leftovers.

It was a little disproportionate.**

(Also disproportionate: my exercise time to knitting time ratio.)

On the bright side, I’ve done a reasonable job keeping the scraps organized and labeled, like with like. (Extra chocolate pudding as a reward for me!)

I gathered up my large Ziploc of Madelinetosh Pashmina worsted, collected from a handful of projects over the past couple of years, and decided to knit a cowl.

I never would have actually bought these colors to knit into the same project. I’m no color mastermind, but I don’t think they coordinate particularly well and better choices surely could be made for a colorwork project.

You know what I thought to myself?

Good enough!

Good enough it was! I just started knitting and making stripes! Easy peasy. I wish I would have transitioned the first big blue chunk differently into the first big rosey red chunk, but my vision adjusted as I knit.

Here’s the thing: I love this cowl. It is so stinking soft and snuggly and knit from one of my all-time favorite yarns. Who doesn’t need a wool-silk-cashmere blend cozied up around their neck?

I mean, seriously!

I have been wearing this cowl day in and day out. I even wear it when I do house work or the dishes (which is like 85% of my life).

Other project pluses:

— I finally learned how to knit stripes in the round.

— I switched up cowl shapes…usually I knit thin and long cowls, so they can be looped and twice. This time I went with the narrow and tall shape, which I almost prefer.

— It didn’t cost me (an additional) penny!

And….it used up all of my scraps! One bag down. Another half dozen or so to go!


*Have you tried this stuff?!?! The container boasts it is gluten free and kosher, two important qualities in any dessert. (Wink of sarcasm…)

**Scrap yarn blankets have absolutely NO appeal to me. ‘Nough said.

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  • Reply Stefanie February 18, 2017 at 10:32 am

    You are so good to use up fiber leftovers. I always feel guilty seeing them about. Sometimes I’ll use them for swaps and amigurumi which is helpful. I did more of that in 2016 which I’m proud of. I am going to donate what I have in worsted to the chidcare center that took wonderful care of my girls when we were in the city. The director there teaches students to knit.

  • Reply mariposaknits February 18, 2017 at 11:28 am

    The cowl turned out awesome! Great use for all of the scrap yarn. I could definitely give this a go, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply zeta ( February 19, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Thumbs up for leftovers knitting!
    Bonus points if it is buttery soft yarn 😉
    I always find scrap projects much more interesting cause of the “accidental” color combos…

  • Reply bonnyknits February 19, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Great idea! I’m with you: no scrap blankets for me, but I could totally do a scrap cowl. This one turned out beautifully.

  • Reply Julie Crawford February 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    So fantastic! that cowl looks so beautiful and soft, and then to help stashbust- the best of all worlds!

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise February 21, 2017 at 4:58 am

    that is one gorgeous cowl!!! I love how wide it is and how it uses up some lovely yarns 🙂

  • Reply V o n n a | DVon February 21, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Like you, the idea of a scrap blanket the size of my palm per scrap doesn’t appeal. So I love when I find other ways I can utilize scraps because I too hate leftovers. I often do scrap/remnant socks but that’s because my typical yarn weights are sock/fingering or lace. The cowl came out great!

  • Reply Alina February 22, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Leftover yarn is always bugging me. Last year, I just put together a huge bag of scarps, leftovers, yarns that I am not going to use anymore and just gave it all to the local school – they always need yarn for craft projects or decorations. But I also love your idea of just putting it all together in one wearable piece!

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