How to: Create your own yarn advent calendar

I love seeing all the yarn advent calendars that appear in my Instagram feed every December and was particularly taken last year with peoples handmade efforts, so much so that this year I’m going to have a go at making my own. If you’d like to join in, all you need are some scales, something to put the little balls of yarn in and your collection of yarn!

I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules for making your own advent calendar. I’ve chosen to use left over scraps of sock yarn as that’s what I have a lot of, but any scraps of yarn rolling around in the bottom of your yarn box/drawer/carrier bag will do. After digging through my box of yarn I found 19 balls of yarn that would be suitable. I put them on the scales and they weighed between 6 and 17g each. To make up the numbers I halved the bigger balls of yarn until I had 24 that were all loosely the same weight. As I’m more concerned with using up my scraps to make ‘Frankensocks’ I’m not too bothered about them all being different, but you could make them all the same weight if you prefer, or do it by eye if you don’t have any scales. (EDIT: I’m a slow knitting and found it difficult to keep up with the larger balls of yarn. If you’re like me, try balls of yarn around 5g each to keep it more manageable.)

Next I went hunting for something to put each ball in. I found a few old envelopes but not enough, so made some rudimentary ones out of paper to make up the numbers. I do like to try and be plastic-free wherever possible so it hurts that I’ve had to use sellotape to stick them together. I’ll try and think of a plastic-free alternative for next year.

The next bit is entirely up to you. If you have a project in mind, or if you want to use your colours a certain way then please do organise the envelopes yourself. I don’t want to be responsible for ruining anyone’s holiday knitting! If you aren’t too bothered or want to add an element of surprise to your daily parcels you could ask a family member to parcel up your yarn for you. I sat down with my little boy and we practised writing the numbers on the envelopes. I then left him to put the yarn in the envelopes and seal them up. My only request was that he doesn’t put the same colour yarn in 2 days running. Only time will tell if that instruction was understood!

I love how if we all follow this simple guide we would all have a different calendar unique to us! If you’d like to share your calendars and what you are knitting with them, tag your photos on Instagram with #DIYYarnCalendar and we can all join in the magic.

And for those that find this time of year difficult I hope these little gifts to yourself, along with some soothing knitting, bring you a little peace and happiness during the holiday season.



    • I know a few of the indie dyers do them and I think Opal do one too. I’m looking forward to opening a little surprise each day (and using up some yarn scraps too 😉).


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