What To Do With That One Special Skein of Hand Dyed Yarn

What To Do With That One Special Skein of Hand Dyed Yarn

Are you an impulse yarn buyer or do you buy with a project in mind? When I shop for yarn or I am at a fibre festival I am definitely an impulse buyer often buying just one skein because it was just so lovely, pretty, sparkley, soft, squishy........I'm sure you get my meaning.

Even if you are in the second category most of us have one or two single skeins of fingering weight, hand dyed yarn in our stash that we just haven't found the right project for. If it is a sock yarn then the obvious choice is to knit socks or even mittens which are an easy one skein project but what if it's not sock yarn or if you are not a sock knitter?

I have compiled a list of one skein projects for fingering weight yarn that might help and with Christmas just around the corner gift knitting has is well and truly underway. All these patterns would make fabulous hand made gifts for your knitworthy friends and family. There is a mixture of free and paid patterns and many I have personally knit and recommend. Please note, all links lead to Ravelry.


There are so many beautiful one skein shawl patterns out there. Last year I was on a mission to knit a few of these to showcase some of my regular colourways. I have personally knit all these shawl patterns and would recommend them to you.


Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander
Reyna by Noora Backlund
Broken Wings by Joji Locatelli
Close To You by Rene's Knits
Rainforest Canopy by Helen Stewart
Serenity by Rachel Booker
Terraform by Cheri McEwen

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm


Most cowls, especially if they are close fitting around your neck, use less than one skein of yarn and make great gift knitting as they are usually pretty quick to whip up. You can sometimes add a few extra repeats of a pattern to extend the length of the cowl and use more of your precious luxury yarn skein. I haven't knit any of these as I'm not much of a cowl knitter. Living in a sub-ropical location I don't have much need of warmth up close and around my neck most of the year, preferring a light shawl as in the patterns above. I have searched for popular patterns that I think would look lovely in hand dyed yarns.

Sockhead Cowl by Kelly McClure
Copilot by Dominic Trad
Geyser by Skeinwalker Knits
Brake by Donna Smith
Sweet Valentine by Ambah O'Brien
Nennir by Lucy Hague
A Very Good Cowl Indeed by Liz Abinante
Variance by Lisa Mutch


Hats, like socks, seem to be an obvious choice for a one skein project but here are a few that I have personally knit (the first three patterns) or have found through my searching that I think would look nice in a hand dyed yarn.


Filigree Slouch (Image above) by Wooly Wormhead
Truffle by Susanna IC
Hearts & Bows Baby Hat by Cheryl Costin (my pattern)
Skinner by Melissa LaBarre
Welted Slouch by Stephen West
Herringbone by KK Design
Darthallicus Slouch by M Salzman
Constellate by Hunter Hammersen

Adult Garments

I have searched out a few patterns for garments knit from just one skein. Sometimes it's nice to add a nice wardrobe piece rather than just an accessory. Usually garments require more than one skein of yarn but I have found a few here that work if you are a small size or you have extra meterage in your skein. A good tip is to weigh your skein before hand. The ball bands often tell you how much is in 100 grams but often you will find your skein can weight up to 110 grams if the mill has been generous, which will increase your meterage by 10%.

Mount Pleasant (cropped tee) by Megan Nodecker
Shetland Shorty (lacy bolero) by Gudrun Johnson
Camisole No 4. by My Favourite Things
Scotch Broom (cropped tee) by Wool & Pine
Villeneuve (racerback tee) by Espace Tricot
Golden Oak Tank Top by Amanita Agata Mackiewicz
One Skein Bolero by Chi-Sze Ooi

Children & Babies Garments

There are so many patterns out there that easily make a baby garment from just a single skein of fingering weight. The first three listed I have knit personally and I have also found some lovely patterns for older children as well. Please check the sizes against the meterage on these patterns as some will require extra yarn for the larger sizes.



Meadow Rue Cardigan (Image Above) by Knitting for Sif
12 Baby Vest by Florence Martin
Jeudi by Elisa Di Fiore
Low Tide (up to size 6 years) by Tin Can Knits
Sun Spots by Elena Nodel
Clara by Amber Bertram
Little Ripple Top by Jessie Maed Designs
My Aunt Doris (childrens sizes) by Kelly van Niekirk
Lovelace Baby Dress by Taiga Hilliard
Sir Swank by Stephanie Lotven
Flax Light (up to 4 years) by Tin Can Knits

Oh Summer (up to 9 years) by Elena Nodel

There are just so many more that I can add here but I hope I have managed to spark your creative flare for that special skein you may be wondering what to do with. I have only listed knitting patterns in this blog post as I am predominately a knitter and I wanted to recommend patterns that I have personally made as much as possible, but there are so many crochet patterns out there as well.

Happy Knitting

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1 comment

Would love to see some one skein crochet designs like Annie’s designs her shawls often just one skein and the blurre shawl by Deanne Ramsey uses seperate scraps of colour for a gorgeous display of hand dyed yarn. Your knitting resources is wonderful

Lynley Buckley

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