The Mindless Knitting, TV Watching, Scrap User-Upper Afghan

Scraps of many colors, worsted weight yarn; 36" or longer #9 circular needle; stitch markers, large opaque garbage bag (yes!)

4 sts = 1"

This afghan has a lot of nice features. It uses all the odds and ends of yarn we all accumulate after awhile. It only requires a knit stitch, and when finished it has no wrong side as you are knitting a tube like a circular sweater. Also, there is no need to darn in the yarn ends because they are all hidden inside. It is a soft, warm and cuddly afghan that is one of a kind each time you make it.

Afghans tend to become monotonous after about a foot is knitted and this one employs one trick that keeps you from running out of steam. First, you gather all your odds and ends and place them in a black garbage bag. No see-through ones allowed. The rule is: whatever color you reach in and grab, without looking, you MUST use. Believe it or not this produces a prettier afghan than
you might imagine, but more important, it keeps your interest. Why? When you are nearing the end of a color, you can't wait to see what comes next. Really! It works and no cheating because I know these things :-)

So, cast on 410 sts and join being careful not to twist. *Knit 204 sts, place marker, slip 1 stitch, place marker; repeat from * once. This produces a "fold line" so the afghan lies flat. (See variation later on)

Knit around all sts on next round. Slip the stitch between markers on alternate rounds joining colors until afghan is as long as you want it. Bind off. Sew or crochet the top and  bottom together. Fringe if you like - I don't. OR you can cast on invisibly and do a two needle bind off on each end or an I-cord bind off.  Make sure all ends are firmly tied because  once it's
hermetically sealed, there is no way to fix them. Just tie them, no need to darn in.

Hints and Variations:
1. Instead of slipping the "side" sts, you may choose to just knit around and do a "phoney seam" (see any of EZ's books). However, if you do, make sure you don't join a new color at the side "seams" so the sts will let down easily.

2. You may choose to coordinate your afghan a little, especially if you have lots and lots of scraps or oddballs. Pile all colors on the floor and choose colors which go together such as blues, greens, lavendars and white or reds, oranges, yellows and so on. However, make sure you have a great variety of colors and even textures so you will be surprised when you pull out a new color. Don't make it too predictable and dozens of colors are still the best choice.

3. If you cheat you WILL feel guilty. For instance you are knitting with yellow and pull out another yellow. You must knit with that color or guilt will haunt you for the rest of your life!

Copyright 1999  Joan L. Hamer. E-mail:


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