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What Do You Do with Ball Bands?


From yarn you’ve already used, I mean. I just stumbled across a rather large pile of ball bands from various projects I have made. In some cases I have leftover yarn as well, but those leftovers live in a separate bin, away from their bands. Not sure I could match them up at this point as I’ve been knitting (and saving scraps) for 15 years. Can I throw the old ball bands away? Even if they might come in handy someday?

Just curious what everyone else does.

Julie in Seattle


I used to save them and usually put them in the page protector along with the pattern that I knit using that yarn, but I recently purged 99% of my stored paper patterns if I could access them in my library on Ravelry, so when I did that, I recycled the ball bands as well. I don’t keep them any longer.

I do use Ravelry to keep track of my projects, so the yarn information is always on the project page and I can refer back to that if I need care instructions, etc.


I rely on Ravelry for all the information I might need from a ball band (except the dye lot, I’m not organized enough to log those into my Ravelry stash), so I don’t save mine either. But I have seen some cute decoupage projects using pretty ball bands! :grinning:


I like to keep a ball band with any leftovers so that I can remember what it is. I just fold it up into a strip that I insert into the middle of the cake. Also, if I am gifting a knitted item, I will include one of the ball bands with it. All the rest I throw away.


I am pretty good at keeping track of everything on Ravelry so if I’ve used up the whole ball of yarn, out goes the ball band. I used to compulsively keep them but realized that I never, ever went back to them for anything. If there is something special on the band like the dyer’s email address, I just enter it in the project notes.


Right now I am knitting something out a yarn that I loathe and openly mock. It’s a charity thing and it’s what they requested so I am sucking it up.

That ball band will be burned under a full moon and never spoken of again.


I have sometimes found the yarn info available online - even on rav(!) - to be incomplete or inconsistent. Lacking % of each fiber in a blend, for example, or
washing instructions. Searching the manufacturer’s website doesn’t always work either, if a particular yarn is no longer being made or a company has closed. So I decided a few years ago to just keep one one ballband from any type of yarn I use
Of course, there is still the problem of remembering where I put all those ballbands…


I snip a piece of yarn and staple it to one of the ball bands and place it in a box. Been doing this for years, mostly as a reminder of all the projects I’ve made through my 40+ years of knitting. If I have any balls left, I leave those bands with the extra yarn so I know what’s in stash for the future.


If the item is for me, I tuck the band into whatever is left from the ball. If it’s a gift, I wrap a generous 7-10 yards around the band and include it with the gift. This way, there’s no guess work about fiber content. If I’m feeling super-organized, I’ll tie an extra band to the swatch(es) I’ve knit from that yarn.