How to Make a Scrapghan — Crochet a Throw or Blanket From Yarn Scraps
A Colorful Afghan Made Entirely From Left-Over Yarn
How Yarn Scraps Can Be Turned into a Colorful Afghan
As yarn 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.
A afghan is always a practical item around the home and is often used for many years, so converting "throw-away yarn" into something so practical was an idea that appealed to me.
If you are interested in an easy project, read on for tips on how to make a colorful and cozy blanket from yarn scraps.
size 5 crochet hook
regular weight yarn
Before You Begin
• After the usual foundation chain, this afghan is worked in one stitch, hdc. (How easy is that?)
• You alternate two colors along each row.
• For each successive row, you choose two different colors from your yarn scraps.
• Blend any colors of your choosing from your yarn leftovers as you work on this afghan.The result is a rockin' fabulously-colored afghan.
Recommendation for Starting Chain
- Make a foundation row of chain stitches to the width desired for your afghan.
- Work some 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.
How to Crochet This Afghan
Make a foundation chain, using one yarn color.
Second Row in Half Double Crochet
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, alternating those two colors all along the row. I ended that row with stitches in the green.
The second row is worked by working 4 hdc in 4 chain stitches (1 hdc to 1 chain stitch), 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.
Continue choosing two new colors and alternating them for each row thereafter.
Continue in this fashion until your afghan is the desired length.
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 block looks solid.
- As you work the next four stitches in the second color, you carry the first color along and incorporate it into the work by working your hdc around the yarn strand so that it is carried inside the stitches. This way, when you need to work the next set of four stitches with this first color, your yarn strand is at the ready.
Adding Your Second Color, Pulling Through Last Three Loops
Working first HDC in Next Color
How to Work Half Double Crochet
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.
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. Periodically check to make sure that you don't have surplus "looping."
In this next section, we will look at images as a visual guide for working a row of hdc in the hdc row underneath.
PULLING UP NEXT COLOR--pull next color (blue) through the remaining three stitches of your fourth HDC (rust)
CARRYING COLOR--gently pull on yarn strand (rust) so it doesn't loop or bunch up
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
How Would You Rate This Crochet Project After Seeing the Photos on How to Alternate Colors?
• If you run out of the color you are using, simply find another yarn strand 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.
Okay, you've worked a block of 4 hdc into the row of hdc underneath. Go through this process again, with your next color. As you will see, you use the identical method.
SWITCHING COLORS--When you've worked four HDC, pull the alternating color through last three stitches on hook, then work as you did previouslyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have You Ever Made an Afghan From Yarn Scraps?
As You Work Your Rows, a Neat Checkerboard Pattern Emerges
Working the End of Each Row
End each row by working 4 hdc into the end color block. Pull up new color to start next row, ch 1 and continue working 4 hdc, alternating your two colors across each row.
More Colors Added
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. 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
What Appeals to You the Most About This Crochet Project?
Ideas For Finding Surplus Yarn
If you have lots 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.
Favorite Ways to Scare Up Yarn?
Adding Coziness to a Spare Bedroom
After Reading This Hub, Would You Make an Afghan Out of Yarn Scraps?
Questions & Answers
© 2014 Athlyn Green