What to make with small skeins of art yarn.

One of the questions I get asked the most is, "What can you do with such a small skein of art yarn?"  With many spinners now learning how to spin art yarns on their traditional wheels (with small bobbins that can only hold 20-45 yards) this does pose a problem for those of us who like to make something more substantial than a scarflet every time.

My solution?  Take the art yarn to your local yarn shop and make some friends!  I am currently volunteering at Iron Horse in Natik, MA 3-4 days a month and this has given me the perfect opportunity to see how my yarns fit in with the commercial yarn market.

Below is a ball of yarn that I spun while at Iron Horse last Thursday.  I walked it around the store to find some friends for it and get an idea of what type of project a typical knitter would make with it.  I ended up surrounding it with multiple options including Berocco "Flicker", "Ultra Alpaca", and Noro.  I could immediately imagine that combination of yarns as a stunning beachy table runner with handcrafted glass beads on the ends. 

Isn't that beautiful?  Let's do some more.  Here's a large skein of sparkle mohair yarn that I spun.  It's a larger skein, but it needs some friends to make it shine.  I walked it around the store and looked for yarns in a similar weight and colorway.  I couldn't find anything as bulky as the art yarn, so I thought "Just knit two strands of something else together - and that will be about thick enough!"  And sure enough, I found a collection of Berocco "Comfort" and "Ultra Alpaca" and Noro to transform this mohair art yarn into a potential set of mittens with fuzzy mohair on the cuffs and a matching pillow for my bedroom!

Seriously, matching art yarn with commercial yarns to create larger projects is SO MUCH FUN.  Below is a skein of about 20 yards of navajo-ply art yarn.  I added Berocco "Flicker" and "Ultra Alpaca" with a skein of Cascade Eco Spun alpaca.  Perfect for arm warmers or a cowl.
Below we have 35 yards of chunky/worsted art yarn (foreground) that I combined with some Noro, Berocco "Boboli" and "Remix" (one of my favorite Berocco yarns) and a skein of handspun yarn from Iron Horse Fiber Farm  I could totally see this as a pillow or a shawl.

A skein of supercoil art yarn that looked fantastic with the entire Berocco "Remix" section, and also great with some Purple Lambs Pride, Berocco "Comfort" and bright blue "Peruvian" by Berocco.  The possibilities are endless.  I would make a purse with this set!!!
Which one of these do you like better?  This art yarn had 39 yards and has flecks of navy blue, gold, and rusty red.  At first I went with Navy Blue, but now I'm really liking the yellow.  I can't decide.  Let's use both and make them into a baby sweater with art yarn trim.  :)
I hope this helped you get excited about all the possibilities there are for BIG PROJECTS with small skeins of art yarn!  So bring your art yarns to your local yarn shop and get your creative juices flowing!!

3 Pond Street, Natick MA