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Knit Jewelry and Recapture Your Leftover Yarn

Have you ever tried knitting jewelry? You might not have even realized you could knit jewelry. I didn’t know it until I began to stumble upon knitting patterns for jewelry. You can knit necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, pins, bangles, anklets, rings.

One great thing about knitting jewelry is that you don’t need much yarn with which to do it. I love collecting patterns that I can use with yarn I already have, but many projects like blankets, sweaters, and scarves use a lot of yarn; many others like hats, socks, mittens and/or gloves require either full balls of yarn or enough leftover yarn to equal full balls.

I have actually knitted jewelry before, although I didn’t really think of it that way. My daughters own several necklaces, but young, active girls frequently break the very thin chains their pendants and charms swing from. I have often knitted I-cords in place of those thin broken chains.

It’s very easy; just knit a thin (no wider than 3 stitches unless you’re using very thin yarn; then you may be able to use 4 stitches) I-cord until it’s long enough to fit comfortably over a person’s head when the ends are together. Then bind off the cord, place the charm or pendant on the I-cord, and sew the ends together. It’s a great way to use leftover sock yarn!

Knitting I-cords is a great starter project to the world of jewelry, but if you’re like me and are always on the lookout for more interesting and beautiful designs, you can find many more. Some projects require wire, hooks, backing pins, and so on; others don’t. Pick and choose from whatever appeals most to you. You’ll start looking at your yarn stash in a whole new way!

Free Knitting Patterns for Jewelry

Harry Potter House Pride Bracelet
Photo: Diana Fisher

Harry Potter House Pride Bracelets: If you’ve seen the Harry Potter scarves, these are basically the same sort of project sized way down to make bracelets. A great project for an HP fan, or as a gift for a fan.

Flower Brooch: This is another project that makes a wonderful gift. You can also attach the flower to a clip barrette or a bobby pin to make a hair accessory.

Cross Pendant: This pattern calls for extremely thin copper wire and a bead. I think there’s a good chance you could use fingering or lace weight yarn in place of the copper wire. This looks like a fun and incredibly quick pattern that gives you room to experiment.

Butterfly Project Bracelet: This beautiful bracelet was designed as encouragement for a person suffering from depression and recovering from self-injury. (Download from the “free Ravelry download” link rather than from the site link, because the site is no longer up.)

Alea’s Knitted Necklace: I love this pattern because it looks like a real chain necklace, only in yarn. Be sure to click on the “free Ravelry download” link, unless you know German and can understand what’s written on page linked at the bottom of the page!

I-Cord Bracelets: This is the same basic idea as the necklaces I mentioned earlier, only shorter so that it makes a bracelet. I love the idea of adding buttons, beads, or charms.

Loopsi: This is another I-cord-based pattern; it joins together a series of I-cords and adds a lovely button at the end.

Embossed Leaf Trinket Bag: This might be my favorite idea in this collection. It’s called a “trinket bag,” but you know what I call it? A knitted locket! The “trinket bag” is designed to hold anything you might want to keep tucked in it and held around your neck. The designer suggests items like guitar picks or love letters. That sounds like a locket to me! (Let me add that as I was growing up, I loved the movie/play “Annie” and always wanted a locket like hers. That might explain my fascination with this pattern!)

Knitted Watchband: It’s exactly as it’s called. What a clever idea!

Loopy Loop Necklace: Here’s another I-cord-based pattern, but this one uses I-cords to develop a pretty and fun pendant.

Berry Trapezoid: If you were wondering when we’d get to earrings, here you go. These are chandelier-style earrings that will be much lighter on the wearer’s ears than traditional dangling earrings!

Picot Earrings: Even easier than the preceding earrings; all you’re doing is knitting a picot edging for a pair of hoop-style earrings. Simple, fun, cute. Click on the photo of earrings near the bottom of the page to access the pattern.

Hearteenies: These tiny hearts can be attached to earring hooks as shown, or they can be used as pendants or charms or any number of other purposes.

Squarish Earrings: If you’re feeling really adventurous, try this earring pattern. You’ll be knitting with ultra-fine wire and beads. (Though you could probably use a very fine yarn and beads as well, much like the earlier Cross Pendant pattern.)

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m ready to try my hand at knitting jewelry!