DIY: Striped Hand-Knit Scrap Yarn Afghan

Crafting a Colorful Home

From Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas, © 2015 by Kristin Nicholas. Photographs © 2015 by Rikki Snyder. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston, MA.

Like most knitters and crocheters, I have an impressive stash of lef tover balls of yarn. This project is designed to use them up. This striped afghan design is a gr eat project for stash-busting your odds and ends of lef t-over yarns. It can be made over a series of months, even years. This afghan uses a total of twenty-two different colors; of course the colors used can be modified to match your stash of scraps.

Five panels are made out of scraps of colors and knit using a simple reverse stockinette ridge stitch, knitted on a circular needle. I chose this stitch because the knitted material lies flat when completed and the backside has an interesting texture and color pattern. The strips are sewn together and the yarn ends are tied so that they become a decorative fringe on the backside. I’ve used worsted-weight yarns here, but the design can easily be adapted to be larger or smaller by changing the number of stitches or panels or by using a heavier- or lighter-weight yarn (but use the same weight yarn for the whole project). If you use a bulkier yarn, the afghan will turn out larger, heavier, and warmer.

Crafting a Colorful Home

DIY: Striped Hand-Knit Scrap Yarn Afghan


NOTE: Because this project doesn’t need to fit anyone, gauge is not that important. An afghan should drape and be comfortable to snuggle under, so choose your needle size accordingly for a relatively loose fabric.


  • 1 24-inch-long circular knitting needle size US 8
  • Color By Kristin yarn by Classic Elite Yarns (50% Wool, 25% Mohair, 25% Alpaca; 93 yards / 50 grams): 2 balls each of the fol­lowing 22 colors (44 balls total):
    • Geranium 3258
    • Lichen 3281
    • Lady’s Mantle 3235
    • Deep Blue Sea 3248
    • Aubergine 3226
    • October Leaves 3278
    • Raspberry 3232
    • Yarrow 3243
    • Julia’s Pink 3289
    • Spring Green 3215
    • Cornflower 3257
    • Pumpkin 3285
    • Turquoise Seas 3246
    • Lamb’s Ears 3249
    • Deep Forest Green 3212
    • French Roast 3276
    • Caramel 3244
    • Sunflower 3250
    • Coleus 3260
    • Blue Thyme 3220
    • Rock Henna 3255
    • Anemone 3295


4 stitches = 1 inch in both garter and reverse stockinette stitch ridges


CO—cast on

BO—bind off


Pattern Stitches 


All rows: Knit all sts.


Rows 1 and 2: Knit all sts.

Row 3: Purl all sts.

Slip the stitches to the opposite end of the needle following row 3 and then begin another color. This eliminates many purl rows.

You will make 5 pieces: 2 medium (panel 1), 2 narrow (panel 2), and 1 wide (panel 3). The stripe sequence should vary among the panels to make a random patchwork color effect. Make sure that the colors contrast with each other. For example, don’t put two blues next to each other unless one is very dark and the other, very light. Place complementary color pairs in stripe sequences following each other.

Crafting a Colorful Home


Using chosen color and circular needle, CO 50 sts. Knit 7 rows. Break first color, leaving a 6-inch tail.

Join the second color, leaving a 6-inch tail, tying it with a knot with the last color of yarn close to the fabric. Work the next three rows in reverse stock­inette stitch ridges.

Break yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail. Slip all sts onto the opposite end of the circu­lar needle.

Continue in this manner repeating the reverse stockinette stitch ridge stitch pattern and changing colors after 3 rows are complete. Remember to slip the just-knit stitches to the opposite end of the needle after each stripe is complete and to tie the tails of the yarn together.

Work until the piece measures 47 inches and you have completed a stripe. Slip stitches to the opposite end of the needle. Join another color and knit 7 rows. BO all sts neatly.

HINT: When the strips get too long and cumbersome, roll them up, beginning at the cast-on edge, and secure with a knitting needle.


Using the chosen border color, CO 30 sts. Make as for panel 1, but the colors should not repeat—they should be random. Do not begin or end the pan­els with the same border colors.


Using chosen border color, CO 70 sts. Make as for panel 1, but the colors should not repeat—they should be random. Do not begin or end the pan­els with the same border colors.


Following the chart, sew the stripe panels together using a mattress stitch (see illustration, page 187). Tie all the ends to­gether if not already done. At the ends of the strands that are tied together, tie a second overhand knot. Vary the lengths between the knots so there will be an uneven-looking fringe at the back. Each tied strand will have 2 knots—one close to the fabric and one a few inches away from the knot.


The sides are finished with thin blocks of different colors of garter stitch.

With the circular needle, pick up and knit 1 st for every 2 rows along one side, picking up a random number of sts so just a small portion of the side is knit in one color. Work in garter stitch for 7 rows. BO. Pick up and knit a second random number of sts (1 st for every 2 rows) and repeat. Work in garter blocks until the entire vertical edge has a border. Repeat on the other ver­tical side, changing the color and the number of stitches you pick up and knit each time so that each garter stitch section is a different size. Using the tail ends, sew the small seams where the garter stitch sections join.

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