How to Knit a Rainbow Ripple Afghan

Use leftover yarn and this knit-it-fast pattern to make a warm blanket.

| January/February 1984

There seems to be a law-probably written by a close relative of Murphy ­dictating that needlecrafters will never have just the right amount of yarn for any article they're knitting or crocheting. In­variably, they either buy too much in the first place . . . or decide to stretch what they have on hand, only to find that they have to purchase some more wool and then wind up with too much. After a while, most serious needlecrafters build up reserves of these seemingly useless odds and ends. . . half a skein of persimmon, almost a full skein of a peach hue, 3/4 of a skein of an iridescent yarn (left over from a Halloween project?), and some electric ice blue for which a purpose could never be found.

Of course, some bits and pieces can be used as trim for other knitwear projects, but aside from this application, I've found only one way to stem the tide of leftover yarn: Make an afghan!

My brainstorm occurred last fall as win­ter was approaching. My daughter sorely needed a warm blanket, but I didn't want to buy one (well, I didn't have the money, anyway). What I did have, though, was a 20-gallon garbage bag full of the cast-off yarn from 15 years of knitting. I decided to create a spare-yarn afghan . . . a ther­mal-type blanket that would be useful year round and that could be made with a minimum investment of time. This latter requirement ruled out time-consuming granny-square comforters. After a little planning, I came up with the following pattern for a Rainbow Ripple Afghan, which knits up rapidly, is attractive, and yields a bed-sized coverlet.

The pattern is the classic 'Feather and Fan,' sometimes called 'Old Shale' or 'Old Shell.'

The Knitty-Gritty

Materials: a 24" circular needle, size 10 1/2 (the gauge is not crucial to this project, as it would be for making an arti­cle of clothing), and scrap yarn.

10/12/2014 10:47:42 PM

This stitch is worked in multiples of 18 so you should cast on 216 stitches instead oh 210.☺

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