If you have bunches of scrap yarn left over from other projects, you could use it to make an afghan or a smaller project. This afghan square pattern is easy, and it allows you to use up as many scraps as you happen to have on hand. If you have bunches, it could become an afghan; it you only have a little bit, it could become a pillow or other project. Or you could save up your squares for awhile until you have enough to make a larger throw or blanket.
Skill Level: Easy
This project looks really complicated and colorful at first glance, but it isn't as hard as you might think. You're only ever working with one color per row or round, and the color changes are really easy to do.
The project consists entirely of single crochet stitch, making it an ideal choice for new crocheters. I don't recommend this as your very first project, but this is a good project to try once you are comfortable with maintaining an even tension as you crochet. The most challenging thing about this pattern is keeping an even tension throughout the various different rows and rounds.
In this photo, you can see how the square looks when crocheted with various colors of Caron yarn. It was crocheted using Caron's Simply Soft bone color as the main color, and various colors of Caron Rhapsody for the accents. There's no need for you to worry about using these specific yarns; if you have scrap yarn on hand, you'll want to raid your own scrap yarn stash to choose yarns for using in your squares.
To crochet this square exactly as shown, you'll need four different colors of worsted weight yarn:
- Color A: Corresponds to the tan yarn in my sample square
- Color B: Corresponds to the dark purple yarn in my sample square
- Color C: Corresponds to the pink yarn in my sample square
- Color D: Corresponds to the burgundy yarn in my sample square
The design works best if color A contrasts with the other colors used in the same square. I think the design looks nicest if color C is the brightest or most interesting color in the square, but that's up to you; feel free to experiment with your color choices.
If you plan to make a scrapghan, colors A through D can be different in every square you crochet.
Another idea: if you don't mind buying some of the yarn for the afghan, you could use the same color for color A throughout all the squares in the entire afghan, and then use scrap yarn for colors B, C and D. This helps to create more of a unified look. It's also a good choice if you don't have an entire afghan's worth of scrap yarn accumulated.
To crochet my project sample, I used a size H / 8 - 5.0 mm crochet hook. It's acceptable, although it's a little tight for my taste; if I were going to crochet an entire afghan using this pattern I'd maybe try going up a hook size for "drapier" results. If you are working with Red Heart Super Saver or a similar yarn, I think you'll find a larger hook to be a more comfortable choice.
You may also need a hook that's a size up or down.Other:
Gauge and Finished Size:
1 square = about 6 inches.
There is no need for you to match my gauge in this project. However, if you plan to use multiple squares in the same project, you do need to match your own gauge.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
- beg = beginning
- ch = chain
- ch-2 space = chain-2 space, the space created in the previous round when you worked the ch-2 in the corner.
- ea = each
- rep = repeat
- sc = single crochet
- sl st = slip stitch
- st = stitch
Design Notes: Ch 1 in between rows as a turning chain.
If you don't already know how to change colors, the tutorial linked above will show you how to do it.
Dealing With Loose Ends:
You'll end up with many loose ends when you work this pattern. A real sanity-saver: this technique for crocheting over yarn ends. You'll still have to weave in your remaining ends at the beginning and the end of the work.
Using color A, ch 6.
Rows 1-5: sc in 2nd ch from hook and all the way across the row. Work 4 more rows in sc for a total of 5 rows. At the end of the fifth row, before completing the last step of the last st, change colors to color B.
For rows 1-19, you'll end up with 5 sc sts in ea row; be sure to count stitches periodically to make sure you are not gaining or losing any.
Rows 6-7: Work 2 rows of sc st in color B. Before completing the last step of the last st in row 7, change colors to color C.
Rows 8 - 12: Work 5 rows of sc st in color C. Before completing the last step of the last st in row 12, change colors to color B.
Rows 13 - 14: Work 2 rows of sc st in color B. Before completing the last step of the last st in row 14, change colors to color A.
Rows 15 - 19: Work 5 rows of sc st in color A. Before completing the last step of the last st in row 19, change colors to color D.
Using color D, ch 1.
Begin Sideways Rows:
Up until this point in the pattern, you've been working your rows as you normally do when working in single crochet stitch. At this point, you're going to stop building your rows on top of each other. Instead, you'll crochet your next row down the left-hand side of the work (if you're right-handed) and then you'll begin building the next several rows on top of it.
If you're left-handed, you'll most likely reverse what a right-handed person would do, so you'd probably find it easiest to work down the right-hand side of the work. Please note that it doesn't matter too much which side you choose to work down, as you'll be mirror-imaging the work on the other side anyway.
Some crocheters will find it helpful to change hooks at this point, in order to maintain a consistent tension. In my experience, you may want to try going down a hook size before you start crocheting these rows. Pay attention to your work over the next several rows; if it turns out significantly wider than your original 19 rows, you'll want to rip back and try a smaller hook. If the work turns out narrower than the original 19 rows, it means your hook is too small and you want to go with a larger one.
Minor differences in tension aren't that big a deal, as those will even out when the final rounds are added at the end.
Sideways Rows 20 - 21: Work 19 evenly spaced sc sts down the side of the work. Work a total of 2 rows of sc sts using color D. Before completing the last step of the last st, change colors to color A.
Sideways Rows 22 - 26: Work 5 rows of sc st using color A. At the end of row 26, end off.
Rotate the work so that you can work across the other side. If you're right-handed, pull up a loop of color D in the right hand corner; if you're left-handed, pull up your loop in the left-hand corner. ch 1.
Rep all your sideways rows on this side to create a mirror image, except at the end of the last row, do not end off; instead, change colors to color C.
Begin Edging Rounds:
Next you're going to stop working in rows and work in rounds, all the way around the outer edge of the square.
Eding Round 1: Using color C, work a round of sc st all the way around the square. You'll want to have 19 sc sts on ea side of the square. When you get to a corner, ch 2, turn the corner and continue working sc. At the end of the round, sl st to join the end of the round to the beg.
Edging Round 2: Continue working in color C. Work another round of sc st all the way around. When you get to a corner, sc in ch-2 space, ch 2, sc in same ch-2 space, then continue working sc all the way around. You'll want to have 21 sc sts total on ea side of the square. At the end of the round, sl st to join the end of the round to the beg. Insert hook into next st and pull up a loop of color B.
Edging Round 3: Using color B, rep the same instructions given above in edging round 2; you'll want to have 23 sts on ea side of the square.
Suggestion: If you are going to be joining squares, when you end off, leave an extra long tail of yarn so you can use it for joining your squares together. You can thread this yarn with a yarn needle and use it for your sewing. In the photo at left, I did not take this advice, only because I wanted to use contrasting yarn for my demonstration -- to enable you to see what I was doing.
I think it's a good idea for yarn ends to do double duty for the joint tasks of sewing pieces together and weaving in ends at the same time. It helps to ensure that the join will be strong.
See How to Join Squares: