4 Practical But Fun Ways to Use Novelty Yarn

novelty yarnNo, you don’t have to let that novelty yarn languish in your stash forever! Here are 4 great ways to use it

When I began knitting over 11 years ago, novelty yarn was all the rage. I saw it everywhere — in the craft stores, in the yarn shops, even in the gifts of yarn I received. For whatever reason, everyone seemed to love it.

Today, those days seem like they were decades ago. And yet, I still have a stash of novelty yarn that doesn’t seem to get any smaller. Do any of you have a stash that looks like this?

novelty yarnI do have plans for that lovely turquoise yarn — it’s Darn Good Yarn’s Indian Brushstrokes (sadly, no longer available). I received it in the Darn Good Yarn of the Month Club, and I also received an adorable bowl pattern with it. So that’s sorted.

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But the rest of it just kind of sits there, for the most part.

What Is Novelty Yarn?

“Novelty yarn” is a sort of catch-all term that usually refers to any yarn that strays from the realm of the ordinary. Let’s describe it this way: any yarn you’d never use (alone) to knit a blanket or a sweater is novelty yarn!

So you could use this for the fuzzy types of yarn, sometimes called “eyelash” or “fun fur”. You could also call ribbon and ruffle yarns “novelty.” I wouldn’t necessarily call all sparkly yarns “novelty,” though the term certainly applies to a lot of them.

Novelty yarn usually comprises at least one type of man-made fiber, like acrylic or polyester. Sometimes these man-made fibers blend with wool or cotton, but often they do not.

What unites novelty yarn is their striking visage. You’ll never call it boring… that’s the very promise of novelty yarn!

Because they are visually striking, novelty yarn is perhaps best used in conjunction with simple, more normal yarns. A little goes a long way, so you won’t need much to make an impact.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck with Novelty Yarn

If you’re like me and feel a little stuck with loads of novelty yarns, no worries. The following are several ways to use them. And yes, you can use them for projects that won’t get stuck in the back of a closet or drawer!

1. Scarves. Ruffle yarns, of course, often come with scarf patterns printed right on the label. You can also use novelty yarn as fringe or borders. (I once crocheted a Fun Fur border on the very first scarf I ever knit!) You could also throw in a stripe or two of novelty yarn, just for fun.

Pattern to try: Arrowhead Scarf

2. Cuffs and brims. This is an especially fun way to use eyelash yarn. Just add it to the cuffs of mittens or gloves. Or, add it to the brim of a hat.

Patterns to try: Fluffy Brim Hat, My Mohawk Hat, Capelet/Hat/Scarf/Wristlets Set

3. Blankets. Add stripes or blocks of novelty yarns to jazz up blankets or blanket squares.

Patterns to try: Scarf Afghan, Sweet Bon Bon Baby Blanket

4. Toys. Novelty yarn plus toys is a match made in heaven! You can use it for hair or fur, clothing, and so on.

Patterns to try: William the Hedgehog, American Girl Doll Fur Shrug

There’s no need to be ashamed of all the novelty yarn in your stash. You can have fun with it and make projects that others will love!

For the eyelash or fun fur yarn in your stash, check out these patterns!

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  1. I’m just seeing the Scarf Afghan pattern but it’s no longer available on the Lion Brand site – I WANT IT 🙁

    1. Ah, I’m so sorry about this! Lion Brand recently changed its website and as a result, a lot of the free patterns’ links have been broken. I’ll get a link from the Internet Wayback Machine and fix it!

      ETA: unfortunately the web archive link doesn’t help because you have to click a download button that no longer works. 🙁 I’ve written to Lion Brand, fingers crossed that they can help me find a new link! Otherwise I’ll probably need to take this down (and find another example!).

  2. This is so true! While it certainly did achieve fad status, there are some situations where novelty yarns are a boon to have in the stash. Recently I was making a series of Avengers-themed amigurumi ball figures for our friends’ son and when I was doing The Hulk I had a dilemma over how best to do the hair. Then the light bulb went on: “oh please please let there still be some black eyelash yarn in the bottom of my novelty bin!” There was! And it worked GREAT!