Make a "Scrapghan" — Crochet a Colorful Afghan From Yarn Scraps
A Colorful Afghan Made Entirely From Left-Over Yarn
How Yarn Scraps Can be Turned into an Colorful Afghan
As prices climb, crafters, who in times past may have discarded their yarn leftovers, are reevaluating every piece of yarn. You may have a stash of odds and ends. What to do with it?
I was in that boat. I had a whole container of strands and small balls, which I didn't care to discard, but... how to make use of it? It had been years since I'd made an afghan. My mindset was such that I wanted something that wasn't overly demanding stitch-wise and that I could pick up and work on in spare moments--in other words a simple project that would be a relaxing way to pass the cold winter evenings and one that would net me another warm blanket for my home.
Many great items can be made using leftover yarn. This article looks at one way of using up your stash. If you are interested in an easy project, read on for tips on how to make a cozy blanket.
Janie's Scrapghan Idea
Waste Not, Want Not
Another crocheter, Janie Laswell, came up with a great idea for using up yarn scraps. She posted pics of her scrapghan and I was so impressed with her work, I decided, why not?
Blankets are always a practical item around the home and are often used for many years, so converting "throw-away yarn" into something so practical is an idea that's time has come. In recent years, as prices have climbed, more people are getting back into crafting as a means of saving money.
Before You Begin
• After the usual foundation chain, this afghan is worked in one stitch (how easy is that?).
• Blend any colors of your choosing from your yarn leftovers.The result is a rockin' fabulously-colored afghan.
What You'll Need
- A size 5 hook
- Medium weight yarn
Recommendation for Starting Chain
By working extra chain stitches, if you reach the end of your second row and decide your afghan isn't wide enough, it is an easy matter to work additional stitches into the remaining chain stitches to obtain to your desired width.
If desired, on your second row, start and end with the same color block. For this afghan, I started my second row continuing with the green from the foundation chain, then switched to a salmon color, then ended the first row with 4 hdcs in the green. Visually, this looks better.
How to Crochet This Afghan
Make a foundation chain, using one yarn color. Determine the desired width of your crocheted afghan and make your foundation chain to that length.
If you are planning on edging your afghan when done, that will also add to the width and length. (Edging can also be used to widen an afghan if the completed work is shorter than anticipated.
Second Row in Half Double Crochet
The second row is worked by working hdc in the chain stitches, alternating colors in 4 hdc blocks (see the video below to refresh your memory on how to do hdc, if needed). Work 4 hdc, add second color and work 4 hdc. This continues for the entire row and for each row thereafter.
Continue reading to learn how to alternate your colors and carry your secondary color along row.
How to Work Half Double Crochet
Foundation Chain and First Color Block Worked in HDC
Adding the Next Color
- You will notice that you don't finish your fourth hdc. Instead, you pull your next color through the last three loops. This ensures that your color blocks look solid.
- As you work the next four stitches, you carry the first color along and work it into the work by working your hdc around the secondary yarn strand, so that it is carried inside the stitches. This way, when you need to work the next set of four stitches with the other color, your yarn strand is at the ready.
Adding Your Second Color, Pulling Through Loops
Make sure that as you alternate colors and carry your yarn, you pull on the carrying strand, so that it doesn't loop or bunch up along the back of the work, which would detract from the look of the afghan. Periodically check to make sure that you don't have surplus "looping."
Working first HDC in Next Color
No Knots Along Row
You will be alternating your two colors, every four stitches, so rather than tying them off, you simply work them right into the work. This eliminates excessive knots. Yarn is carried along the back of the work (inside the stitches) across each row.
• If you run out of the color you are using, simply find another in a similar color and keep on going. Because this afghan uses so many different colors, you likely will run out, and if you have to change colors mid-row, this is not a problem.
• For better results, space out your colors. It helps to do a visual before choosing the next two colors for each row.
• Normally, when working hdc, at the end of each row, one would ch 2 but because of the color changes this is not necessary.
PULLING UP NEXT COLOR--pull next color (blue) through the remaining three stitches of your fourth HDC
CARRYING COLOR--gently pull on yarn strand (rust) and YO (blue) color
Insert hook through first HDC, go under carried color (rust) and YO blue
Pull yarn under carried color and pull back through first HDC
Blue Yarn has Been Pulled Through First HDC (teal)
YO (over top of rust strand)
Pull through loops on hook, completing first HDC of alternating blue color
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Okay, you've successfully alternated colors. Go through this process again, with the rust-colored yarn. As you will see, you use the identical method.
SWITCHING COLORS--When you've worked four HDC, pull alternating color through last three stitches on hook, then work as you did previouslyClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Make sure that, as you work across the row with the two colors, you pull the yarn that is being carried. This prevents the carried yarn from bunching or looping at the back of the work and helps to hide it as it is incorporated into the work.
As You Work Your Rows, a Neat Checkerboard Pattern Emerges
Finish each row, working 4 hdc into the end color block. Pull up new color to start next row, ch 1 and continue working 4 hdc and alternating your two colors across each row. Continue adding rows until your afghan is desired length.
More Colors Added
Ideas For Finding Surplus Yarn
If you already have yarn scraps on hand, you are partway there. But what to do, if you need more yarn to complete your scrapghan?
- Ask friends to donate. Many times, people are happy to get rid of leftover yarn, especially when they have no idea what to do with it.
- Some communities have local radio stations that offer community bargain and buy & sell info.
- Free ads can be an effective way to scare up yarn.
- Check to see if your community is represented in a Facebook group. Bargain/trade/free groups are springing up there and these can be a great resource.
- Check out yarn exchanges.
- Trade with someone for their left-over yarn.
Yarn Ends at Edges of Work
As you come to the end of each row, you will need to cut your two yarn ends and tie them at the end of each row. Alternatively, the ends can be woven in later, through the hdc stitches.
A Word About Fringe
If your scrapghan is smaller, as in say, a throw, a fringe may do nicely. You just tie your yarn ends and cut to a uniform length and you are done.
Tied Yarn Ends
A Word About Edging
You may choose to go around the outside edge of your afghan with an edging. This adds a nice definition and helps to tidy edges. This may prove a little trickier and the hard part will be deciding on what color to use. I used Red Heart Mexicana, which matched my colors nicely.
A Crocheted Edge Finishes This Afghan
Tips for Scalloped Edging
Your scrapghan will have four edges, two that are uniform and easy to work your edging into and two that are a bit trickier.
- You will have to decide on which edging you choose to use. As can be seen from the photos, I opted for a scalloped edge.
- If you go for scalloped edging, you will have to decide on how big to make your scallops and use either taller or shorter stitches.
- If you are concerned about being precise, you can count stitches along two of the edges and adjust your edging accordingly, so that all matches up at the corners.
My Finished Scrapghan
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Adding Coziness to a Spare Bedroom
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I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial on making a scrapghan. Please leave your comments or questions below. Thank you.
© 2014 Athlyn Green
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