It happens SO often, I see a beautiful textured yarn that just seems so pretty and interesting I find I've bought it before I've really thought about what I am going to make.
There are so many different types, eyelash, bouclé, slub, nub, chenille, ribbon, ladder, loop, snarl ....
Some fancy or novelty yarns are a dream to knit or crochet with but some really not so much!
For me trying to crochet with anything too fancy is a bit of a problem, a lot of fluff and I just can't see the stitches.
So if you, like me, have forked out on these balls of gorgeous looking yarn that just sit there and make you feel bad for spending that money I've found a few rather lovely alternative ideas.
Gift wrap, ribbon alternativeI bought this lovely textured yarn quite a few years ago. I found it in a discount bin and imagined crocheting a long, thin, floaty, elegant scarf to wear on mild spring days.
I crocheted about a foot and realised that I was making something that looked like an old rag...
However it is really pretty as a much cheaper ribbon alternative for gift wrapping.
It's easy to use left over fancy yarns and wools (or anything that turned out to be a "purchasing error") as an alternative to ribbon.
I think a pom pom is fun on a present. If you make them on your hand (I first found this method here) they are SO quick, just use a long strand for tying them in the middle and use that for wrapping the gift.
If you visit Sum of their Stories often you might recognise this fluffy fur yarn, it's left over from my chunky rib hat making adventure.
Eyelash yarn is not something I have ever really made anything successful out of. That's not to say you can't, I'm sure very skilful people make extraordinary things from it. In fact the wolves and rabbits at Yarnia were all eyelash yarn, but for me it is just too much going on.
Looks pretty with plain gift wrap though (maybe I should have ironed this paper first!)
Here are some more ideas from other sites with all sorts of ways to use fancy yarns that don't involve knitting or crochet.
Kristin from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia used cardboard and a fluffy yarn to make this beautiful heart shaped wreath. So simple, so effective, and you could cut any shape card to make a wreath for any time of the year.
This gorgeous knotted wall hanging from The Gathered Home used a mix of yarns. Apparently not a quick project but there is a great step by step tutorial to lead you through the process.
Or if you are looking for something super quick, how about a knotted scarf like this one from Something Turquoise?
Here's another wall hanging idea, this one is from A Designer at Home.
It's inspired by a Moroccan Wedding Blanket and looks really easy to put together.
How about this for an activity for the kids? Yarn wrapped sticks from Mum in the Mad House.
Or maybe you know some kids who would like to make yarn wrapped fish.
Fantastic Fun and Learning show you how, and you are not limited to fish, any simple shape would work.
This garland is from enJOY it by Elise Blaha Cripe, she made it for a baby shower but it would be a beautiful decoration for all sorts of occasions. I'm thinking what a lovely photo backdrop it would make too.
This is an old lampshade give a complete makeover using what looks like the kind of twine you can make with fabric scraps (like I used for a bracelet once here) It is such a transformation from how it looked before, check out the tutorial by Ashley at Blog a la Cart.
I think this would work with any kind of yarn but I guess anything chunky would be much quicker.
Now I know I promised no knit or crochet but... this necklace type cowl is finger knitting - that doesn't really count does it?
It's from Fiber Flux and there is even a fab video tutorial to help you make it.
Love love love this pom pom cushion from A Stroll Thru Life
So classy and designer looking but a simple DIY.
And finally how about this sweet little nest, made with wire and eyelash yarn, so pretty.
You can find out how to make it over at The Magic Onions
So, use up your stash including those "I need to really concentrate" yarns. What you do with the space you make is up to you of course, but if it results in another trip to a wool shop I can't be held responsible!
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