Introduction:Nothing is sadder than a lonely skein waiting to be knit. Perhaps that skein was a present, on sale or leftover from a bigger project. However it came to be, get that skein on the needles so it can fulfill its destiny as a hand knit treasure.
A neck warmer is like a scarf without all the stuff hanging down or like a collar without the rest of the garment. You can knit it as a tube or a rectangle with a clasp or button. Choose a yarn that's not itchy; definitely don't use wool unless it's merino or a silk blend. Make sure you give your neck a couple inches of breathing room -- it's a neck warmer, not a noose!
Hats can be knit in the round or knit flat, tapered at the top and sewn up the back. You'll need to measure the circumference of your head and your gauge so that it fits correctly. Also, decide ahead of time whether you'll add a liner; if you do the hat will need to be slightly larger. I like to knit mine in the round and work in any scraps of yarn as stripes.
If you've only got one skein, you may have to settle for a thin scarf knit loosely. Since you won't know how long the scarf will be until you run our of yarn, stay on the safe side. Frills like ribs and cables will eat up a lot of yarn without giving you a lot of distance. I like my scarves on the long side, at least as long as I may tall. For laciness without all the work, knit with two different sized needles.
A wrist warmer is the neck warmer's cousin. You can knit this in the round using double pointed needles or two circular needles, or you can knit it flat with a seem up the side. Choose a non-itchy yarn that's a bit firm to avoid the part that's supposed to be around your forearm slouching around your wrists. Extras like cables and ribs dress it up a bit. Also, I like bright wrist warmers in colors like hot pink and turquoise.
Depending on the yardage, you'll end up with a small bag or a bigger purse. You can knit flat or in the round, seaming up the bottom and sides with a zipper at the top. If you decide to use a zipper, choose one before you start to knit because they come in standard sizes. Any yarn will work for a smaller bag, but choose a stiff yarn for a bigger purse. After you're done knitting, consider adding a liner.
These projects also make great presents and knitting projects for traveling. You'll be busting through your stash in no time, and with every extra skein gone -- that's one more reason to visit the local yarn store, guilt-free.
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