Yarn Advent Calendars

Yarn Advent Calendars have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years as a more fibre-orientated alternative to the traditional chocolate. Often, a kit that is specially made by an indie dyer will come with a pattern for the yarn. But what if you don’t like it, or you don’t have the spare cash to splash on a pre-made kit?

Lots of knitters like to create their own version of the yarn advent calendar by making up small balls or mini-skeins of yarn (or using mini-skein sets acquired elsewhere). Informal kal or swap groups can be found on Instagram or Ravelry, should one wish to engage in a little yarn exchange. This can add a fun element to collecting together yarn and knitting it into an advent pattern. Frankensocks have certainly been popular as an advent pattern, and they are what I have seen most during informal Insta-browsing.

Patterns For Yarn Advent Calendars or Mini Skeins

But – there are a host of other patterns springing up which aim to provide a canvas to showcase the advent calendars. Naturally, these can also be used for DIY advent calendars or using up scraps. This episode covers 7 pattern suggestions for scarves, bits, cowls and hats to make good use of your scraps and yarn advent calendars.

Mini Mania Scarf by Sarah Core. Image Copyright LadyDanio via Flickr.

Mini Mania Scarf by Sarah Core

This is a free pattern for a striped, linen stitch scarf. The stripes on the scarf go lengthways. The pattern has 4 sizes, with the smallest needing 12 x 5g balls to complete it. The great thing about this pattern is that you can stop whenever you feel it is wide enough. The sturdy fabric will be very warm and looks a little higher end than your average garter stitch. You can download the pattern for free here.

Land of Sweets by Helen Stewart. Image Copyright Helen Stewart.

Land of Sweets by Helen Stewart

This is a pattern for a striped, patterned cowl. It was designed to complement yarn advent calendars or be used as a handy way to use up smaller balls of yarn. It’s a paid pattern (£6.05 on Ravelry for the single pattern, £15.67 for the Knitvent 2017 ebook collection). The pattern calls for 24 x 8g of yarn, so it’s a great little stash buster as well as being perfect for an advent calendar.

Stole of Many Minis by Sylvie Philippart. Image Copyright Sylviep63 via Ravelry.

Stole of Many Minis by Sylvie Philippart

This pattern uses 16 x 15g balls of fingering weight yarn plus a contrast yarn to knit a patterned stole’s/scarf. There are 15 different charts included in the pattern. You can pick which charts you with to do in what order, which keeps it interesting. It’s another free pattern. You can download it from Ravelry here.

Leftie by Martine Behm. Image Copyright Martina Behm.

Leftie by Martina Behm

It’s a pattern that many knitters will already have in their library. Leftie by Martina Behm is a patterned shaw that uses short rows to create little coloured leaf pattens along the edge. Although the pattern calls for 130g of main colour, there is no rule to stay it all has to be the same main colour. Using minis for each slice of the main colour would add interest and allow more smaller balls to be used up. In this case, using the same colour for the stripes would make sense. Alternatively, a gradient yarn could look amazing in this pattern. There are lots of options for those with a little imagination and a bag full of mini skeins. You can download the pattern here.

Dazzle Hat by Katy Ostwerwald. Image Copyright ModularModular/Katy Osterwald.

Dazzle Hat by Katy Osterwald

Named after the experimental ship camouflage designed by the Brits in WW1, this striped, garter stitch hat uses short row stripes to create the patterned effect. It’s a Pia pattern at $6.05, and the panels and stripes offer lots of opportunity to experiment with yarns. It would be worth sketching ut the colour combinations beforehand. This was you can test how they may look together. You can download the pattern here.

Gretta Hat by Tanis Gray. Image Copyright Lux Adorna Knits via Ravelry.

Gretta Hat by Tanis Gray

This is a 5ply pattern for a stranded colourwork hat. It’s really colourful and looks complex when in fact it isn’t. A maximum of two colours per row are used, meaning it stays manageable. Better suited to larger leftovers perhaps than advent minis, it’s a fun knit that will keep interest high. It’s $7.26 on Ravelry.

Foxkit by Kristen Jancuk. Image Copyright Kristen Jancuk.

Foxkit by Kirsten Jancuk

Need some mitts in your life? This pattern calls for 3-5 colours in either worsted or fingering weight. Different options for the cuffs, hands and tops means there’ll be no shortage of ways to customise this pattern. You can select an appropriate stitch pattern to work with the yarn you have. Ut’s a paid pattern at $7.26 and is available via Ravelry.

**Apologies to Kristen who I accidentally misread as Kirsten in the audio**

Local Life – Learning Yoga

After the pattern selection, I discuss learning a new skill in a foreign language. Namely: yoga. And being quite bad at it.


That’s all for this week! Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with I Need a Drink, available from iTunes, and used with kind permission.

2 comments on “Ep 136 – Yarn Advent Calendars aka What to Knit With A Load of Mini Skeins

  1. Lynne says:

    Absolutely loved this podcast. I was laughing out loud about the body abuse when you are actually taking steps to be more active by taking the stairs 😀 – Yoga tips, just go with the flow and no competing even with yourself. Great pattern choices for mini skeins or scraps. I have knit the cowl by Helen Stewart and used a mirrored gradient with sparkle in it. The cowl was only half the suggesting length, but it was a great way to use the one skein that I knew would never become a sock … well any skein I have for that matter will probably never become a sock.

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Oh that’s a great idea for using a mirrored skein. They can be a bit tricky I find. Yes, the stairs are brutal task masters. There is no such abuse in the lift!

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