Gauge swatches take time and effort to crochet. If you add them all up, you might even come to the conclusion that swatches account for a not-insignificant chunk of your yarn stash (and yarn budget,) depending on how much you crochet and how many of them you make. In a sense, they're also like an investment. You invest the yarn, the time and the effort in hopes of making a project that will turn out useable and the right size.
But once the projects are finished, the investment has paid off (so to speak) and you still have the gauge swatches hanging around. What do you do with them?
I'm a prolific crocheter, and I do a LOT of swatching. As y'all can probably imagine, I end up with piles of random odd swatches, squares, and other bits and pieces of crochet work.
Lately, I've been shipping a lot of my squares off to folks who finish them into blankets and then donate them to charity. But I've done any and all of the options suggested on the list above -- except for the choice to "toss them in the trash" of course. (If any of y'all have done that, I hope you'll consider some of the other options on the list in the future.)
If you'd like to donate some of your swatches but you have no idea where to send them, our readers have suggested some ideas. This is what I've been doing with mine: sending them to be made into afghans for Pine Ridge Reservation.
Another reader suggested the knit-a-square charity. Don't let the name fool you; apparently they accept crocheted squares also. I haven't worked with them, but wanted to pass the info along for your consideration.
Another reader suggested the Granny Squares of Love group. I haven't donated anything to them yet either, but wanted to let you know about them.
Have you donated squares to charity? If so, and if it's one you'd want to recommend working with, you are invited to share your experiences. Please let us know what you did and what others can do to get involved if they are so inclined.