I’m not asking about turkey dinner leftovers. If you’re in the US, there’s a very good chance that you certainly do have them, but you want to keep them for yummy sandwiches and casseroles.
I am asking about yarn leftovers.
The art teacher at my school came to me with a question. It seems that her budget (along with the budgets of every teacher in the district) has been cut. That has left her trying to think of ways to save money.
Her question for me was, “Do you have any scraps?” She’s not a knitter, but she is a crafter. She knows that crafty people save scraps “just in case”. She wondered if I had any scraps that I cut off my projects while finishing. Or left-over balls of yarn that aren’t enough for a project. Anything that’s over 6 inches long?
The art teacher wants her students to have some knowledge of fiber arts as early as possible, and she uses yarn for teaching lessons on weaving with the 4th through 6th graders. (Technically, she could teach weaving with paper, but it’s not as fun or as interesting as using yarn.) Last year, she spent about $200 on yarn. That’s about the amount that her budget was cut by. It kind of makes sense to try to see if anyone has anything that they would like to donate.
When I got home from school that night, I sat down in my “knitting spot” and looked over to my end table. Yep. I have scraps. (I just finished knitting and felting a gnome. Lots of little bits left over from that. There were also bits left over from the last three projects I completed.) I looked on my coffee table and saw a Ziploc bag holding three or four tiny balls with about ten yards each. If I’m honest with myself, I know that I’ll likely forget about those in time and not use those either.
So I thought I’d ask around. First stop… My knitting group. I asked for any scraps that they would care to sacrifice. The art teacher doesn’t care about the color or quality or fiber. She would love to have different textures, so it doesn’t matter if they match. They could even be a UFO that no one cares enough about to frog. (She has 600 students, and I have a niddy noddy. We can sort it out!) All the scraps had to be is clean and bug-free. I promised to pick them up at knit night and pass them along to the art teacher.
On Tuesday, I picked up my first bag of scraps. It was a nice collection of yarns that some of the ladies had easily located. Various balls of yarn that no one wants or needs any longer. Scraps in varying lengths. I dug through a couple baskets here and found some yarn that I doubt I’ll ever use. That went into the pile too. It was fun to see the little pile of yarns together and try to imagine how they could be woven together into a child’s project. It was also nice to think that these things, which might have either sat in a corner unused or gone into the waste bin, are going to bring some enjoyment to these kids (and to their teacher).
The art teacher could still use more. I’ll continue to ask around. If anyone who reads this blog wants to chip in, leave a comment with your Ravelry ID. If I check you out and find that you’re well-established, I’ll PM you where to send your leftovers.