Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan Project

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Do you have that kind of friend that sort of busts into the party with an honest to goodness, “I’m here. I’m real.  This is the way I am” kinda vibe?  She doesn’t put on airs or pretend to be something she’s not.  She just is. And is proud of it.  Well the Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan Project is just that.onward and upward scrap afghanThe Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan is just real on so many levels.  First off.. this is an honest and goodness crochet along with me kind of project.  There’s no completely finished afghan to show you here.  I’m right here with you at the start of this journey.  We’re going to share photos and ooh and aah over each other’s progress.  If someone picks amazing colors we’re going to tell them how amazing it is.  And if someone’s color choice is not so amazing, we’re going to squint a bit, tip our heads to get a better look and find something great to say about that too.

Because that’s how scrap afghans are.  They are beautiful in the imperfect.  The clash of color.  The unexpected. Because their entire purpose is to use up otherwise discarded, unwanted, but perfectly good yarn and turn it into something useful and warm.  And when it’s done, you can cuddle up under it and marvel in your creativeness and ability to make something useful out of practically nothing.

onward and upward scrap afghan

You’re not going out to the store and picking out the most amazing yarn color combination.  No.  You are headed right to that stash.  To those partially used skeins, balls and bits of yarn from finished or forgotten projects.  If you have a large stash, like I do, you can go through and toss skeins into a basket or box that you think might look good together.  If not, just gather up what you have because that’s what you’re using, my friend!

Here are my choices so far:

onward and upward scrap afghan

Here are my rules (which you can follow or not):

  • All yarn used must be broken into skeins.  NO NEW YARN PURCHASES allowed as that defeats my purpose
  • Make a choice and move on!  So if my chosen “next” color doesn’t work, too bad.  This is a scrap afghan project.
  • We will show our progress over in the Crochet365KnitToo Club on Facebook.  So if you haven’t joined yet, head over there to do so.  (Be sure to answer the questions so you can ‘get in’)

onward and upward scrap afghanWhat If I Run Out of Yarn Mid Row

We call this “yarn chicken“.  And sometimes you win and sometimes you do not.  As you can see from the above photo, I lost at yarn chicken with this color.  And guess what?!  I really, REALLY wanted to go to the yarn store to get the same color yarn.  (I know.. I just made the rules…and then I wanted to BREAK the rules.)  Sigh.

(Side note: isn’t the back of the Onward and Upward Scrap afghan ALSO lovely in its own right?!)

Well, my good friend Jessica, over at Stitching Together talked me down.  Her text said “don’t.”   Sometimes you need a good friend to tell you “don’t”.  She’s also the kind of friend that says, ‘hey, instead of doing like 500 things, maybe you should just pick the 1 thing.’  Everyone needs that kind of friend in their life.

See how easy it is to want perfection though?  And the Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan project is NOT about perfection.  So guess what’s happening next?  Yupper.  That beautiful honey gold leftover goodness from the Moxie Bear pattern?  It’s coming out.  Rip. Rip. Rip.  Sigh.  It will be sad.  But then it will be done and I will move forward.

So what will you do?  Well you have a couple of choices (and the yarn store is NOT one of them–I know what you’re thinking…don’t even..)  You can simply change yarns mid row.  GASP!  Yes.  You CAN do this.  It’s ok.  It’s a freaking SCRAP YARN AFGHAN!

onward and upward scrap afghan

But maybe you’re telling yourself there are only certain lengths you’re willing to go to for a scrap yarn project.  Maybe the wild color changes and random choices are quite enough to rock your crochet world (thank you very much).  In that case, just rip it out to the previous color change and move on.

To prevent this problem, here is what you do: When using a color in a section when you are certain you have enough, use a kitchen scale to weigh the skein before and after you finish the section.  That will give you the approximate weight of a yarn section.  Write this number down.  Then when you’re looking at that lovely gold yarn wondering if you have enough, you can just weigh THAT and make a better decision.

It’s All In The Name

I love to choose project names that are meaningful to me.  The Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan Project idea was born as I was packing up for a move.  We’re currently in that stage of moving where you don’t know where you’ll be in 2 weeks: either the deal will fall through and you’ll be back to square one OR you’ll be happily crocheting in your new living room with a fire going and the dogs at your feet.  It’s stressful, yet exciting. New and different.  Just like all new beginnings.  You don’t know quite where you’re headed, but it’s a good thing all the same.

So ‘Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan’ reflects that change.  I also like how it reflects the journey of the rows of this project.  As you crochet a row..you are working “onward” and the drop-down stitches have an “upward” sort of vibe.  It works, don’t you think?

How to Work a Front Post Triple (or Treble) Crochet (FPtr)

If you are unfamiliar with post stitches, check out this post here.  Note that this particular one is worked with a TREBLE crochet.

Here are step by step photos for working the FPtr in this project:

onward and upward scrap afghan

Step 1:

Wrap yarn around hook 2 times (as though you were making a regular TR stitch.  Then insert hook around the post of the double crochet stitch 2 rows down (see above photo).

Step 2:

Then pull up a loop.  This looks like the photo below:

onward and upward scrap afghan

Then, it is just like a regular TR stitch; yarn over an pull through 2 loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through last 2 loops.  You can read up on the treble crochet stitch here.

As you are working this stitch, pull up on the stitch so that when you are done, it is level with the other stitches of that row.  You then skip the stitch on the current row and continue working stitches in the next stitches as per the instructions that follow.

onward and upward scrap afghan

Scroll to the bottom to see how to get a FREE ad-free printable version of this pattern!

Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan

Here is what you will need:


  • A hook that fits your chosen yarn weight.  I’m using an US H8/5 mm crochet hook (these are my absolute favorite hooks I recommend to everyone!)
  • Worsted weight yarn (or whatever yarn you want).  I’m using mostly Vanna’s Choice and Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn because that’s what I have.
  • Tapestry needle and scissors
  • BONUS!  Ad-free Printable Version of this Pattern is available in my Resource Library.  Scroll down to learn more!

Resources and tutorials you may find helpful in following this pattern: Crochet AbbreviationsUS to UK Crochet Conversion Chart.  Find links to stitches on the “Tutorial” menu: Getting Started will show basic stitches used in many patterns and Crochet Stitch Dictionary shows our growing collection of crochet stitch tutorials.


Whatever size you want.  I’m making mine 50″ wide and will stop when it is about 60″ tall.  I plan on doing a few rows of single crochet around when I’m done (and will add that bit in to this post when I finish my afghan).  You can choose to do this or not.

Stitch Repeat:

The stitch repeat is 4 stitches.  You will need a multiple of 4 + 3 + 2.  What this means is you should start with a multiple of 4 stitches that you think will be the width you want for your afghan.  You can chain along until it “looks right” and then just make sure the number of chains is divisible by 4.  THEN you need to add a total of 5 more chains.

As an explanation, the “3” part of that gives you the extra stitches after the drop-down stitch so that the left side matches the right side.  And the the “2” part of that is for the chain up for that very stitch of the first row.  If you don’t want to think about all that, start with something divisible by 4 and then chain 5 more.

The instructions that follow are for a 50″ wide afghan:

Chain 165.  If you chain tight, you might want to go up a hook size so that the bottom of the afghan is not pulled too tight (this is what I did, by the way).

Row 1:  dc in 4th chain from hook (this is the first stitch now and throughout all dc rows) and dc across the chains.  You should have a total of 163 stitches.

Row 2:  ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc across the rows, changing to next color in the last stitch (163 stitches)

Row 3: Using new color, ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), dc in next 2 st, *FPtr in the stitch 2 rows below (read above for how to do this), skip the stitch in the current row, dc in next 3 st.  Repeat from * until the end of the row. Note: This row ends with a FPtr followed by 3 dc stitches. (163 st)

Row 4:  ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc across row, changing to new color in last stitch (163 st)

Row 5:  Using new color, ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), *FPtr in the stitch 2 rows below (read above for how to do this), skip the stitch in the current row, dc in next 3 st.  Repeat from * until the end of the row. (163 st). Note: This row ends with a FPtr followed by ONE dc stitch. (163 st)

Row 6: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc across row, changing to new color in last stitch (163 st)

Repeat rows 3-6 for pattern repeat.

Weaving in Ends

I hate weaving in ends, so what I’m doing is working over the ends in the dc rows.  Then cutting off an leaving a bit.  Then stopping and weaving those back over themselves to make sure they are secure.  That way I don’t have a daunting task when I am done.

Finishing and Options

I plan on finishing my Onward and Upward scrap afghan with a few rounds of sc (working 3 sc in each corner).  Once the afghan is complete, I will come back and update this post with finished photos and directions for the border.  If you do NOT want to work rounds of single crochet, you may wish to omit the first and last post stitch when working row 5.  That will give you a bit more of a ‘border’ around the last post stitch in each row.

I love seeing your finished projects! If you enjoyed making one of my patterns I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @crochet365knittoo.  If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Crochet 365 Knit Too Facebook page or pop over to the Crochet365KnitToo Club and share a photo!  I’d love to see your work!onward and upward scrap afghan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I would so like to make this Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan pattern but I would have to copy it by hand as there is no link to just click on the pattern. I always look at the emails I get from http://www.crochet365knitToo.com but I’m frustrated in trying to actually print and/or download the patterns. I’m 71 yo and not entirely savvy about computers but these always leave me baffled. Can I buy the pattern from you already printed? Thank You, Mary Neson

    1. I will have a pattern available once it is “done” and I can write out the border, etc. For now you could try copying and pasting just the pattern part into a Word document (or have a friend or family member do that for you). That would give you what you need until the pattern is out.

  2. Can you clarify the starting chain? I am trying to determine how the pattern repeat works for 163? When I subtract 5 I get 158, which is not evenly divisible by 4…? I am still new to crochet and just trying to figure out what to do if I want one a different width. I am bery much lokking forward to doing this!!

    1. The starting chain should be 165 (I misread my own handwritten notes–so that is fixed now). So 160 is divisible by 4. You add 3 to that (for the last 3 dc in row 3) and then then extra ‘2’ is for the chain at the beginning (you’re dc in the 4th ch from the hook). So if you chain to a length that is divisible by 4 and then ADD 5 and start working into the 4th chain, the pattern will work correctly.

  3. I can’t wait to start this new project for 2019! You are using all the same weight of yarn… I have all different weights and textures… Do you think it would still work?

  4. I have three trash bags of various weight yarn. My question: how many worsted weight strands would be close to chunky? Or sock yarn to worsted?

    1. I don’t mix different weight yarns in my projects because it can be challenging to make them work out to the same gauge. If you want to give it a shot, you could try doubling up the lightweight yarn and see how it works up compared to the heavier weight. Good luck!

  5. I love it when the colors in scrap yarn afghans really work together! It makes such a difference when you are deliberate about it. This one is really nice! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. When I see the colors in many scrappy afghan projects, I marvel at the colors. For me this is when I get into trouble because I always ask, “what color do I need”. I end up buying a few more skeins.LOL. My stash isn’t anything like yours for example. I’d love to wrap myself in your colors, but not mine. My colors I suppose are reflective of my personality or the personality of others I have made things for in the past. Anyway beautiful colors, girl! I’ll be shopping soon. Love ya!

  7. I would love to make this, but I’ll be using new yarn, I don’t have scrap in the colors I want to do it with. Is it possible to know how much yarn and brand /type you used ?
    Thank you

    1. I am making mine as a scrap afghan, so I am not measuring and using what I have here–which is mostly Vanna’s Choice and other worsted weight yarn that has the same feel. If I was making a planned color afghan, here is what I would do: Start with the type of yarn I plan to use. Work 2 repeats (so you get the starting bit out of the way and fully into a repeat). Cut the yarn after the 2nd repeat (or mark it so you know where it “ends”). Measure how tall one repeat is. Write that down and figure out how many “repeats” you need for the length of afghan you ant to make. Then, rip back one full repeat and measure THAT bit of yarn and it will tell you how much yarn you need for a repeat. Write that number down. Use the numbers you wrote down along with the colors of yarn you want to use to calculate out how much yarn you need to buy.

  8. This afghan looks nifty. I had an aunt that made blankets similar to yours. I have two closets of yarn, both new and partially used.

  9. Love all your patterns. Too many to be able to attempt them all.
    Love and will collect up all my scraps to do onward and upward. Love your autumn colours (yes I’m an Aussie).
    Look forward to your newsletters too

  10. This is lovely,but I have to tell you that your site is hard to navigate and find what I want. I can’t find the free printable copy of the Onward and Upward Scrap Afghan anywhere. I consider myself pretty computer since I’ve worked with them since 1983. Please advise on location of printed version.

    1. The ad-free printable is available in the vault, which is available to newsletter subscribers. You can access the vault by signing up for the newsletter (if you haven’t done so in the past). If you are already on the newsletter information on accessing the vault is on the bottom of every newsletter! Hope that helps!

  11. Love your article about the rules of making this project! I’m yarnacholic and my stash is enormous. I’m going to crochet this wonderful scrap afghan – I made quite a few of such scrap blankets for donation. Thank you for sharing – Crochet Hugs!

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you . . . . . I have just found this post on Pinterest . . . . . my husband’s grandmother crocheted and made a beautiful piece she called her “pieces of beauty” pattern. . . . I’ve tried for a long time to find the pattern and this is the closest I’ve found to it

    1. Hi Barbara-
      I hope you have found the “pieces of beauty” pattern by now. But if not, it can be found on Google. I think what you’re looking for goes by the official name of “Scraps of Beauty”. But the “Onward and Upward” pattern is lovely as well.

      1. I love when crocheters help crocheters! I Googled this after seeing your comment, Lori. It looks like the Scraps of Beauty has a different placement of the post stitches, but it has a similar vibe to the Onward and Upward Afghan. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Hi Cheryl,
    I love your sight!! I couldn’t believe it when I saw this Onward & Upward Scrap Afghan. I’ve knitted & crocheted
    for a very long time and hate throwing out leftovers that you can’t use (needless to say I have a ton of leftovers!). This is the perfect pattern for all those leftovers – you are a genius! Now if I only have the courage to break free of the ancient rules of strict color usage I can soar with your afghan pattern. Thank you from the
    bottom of my heart.

  14. Wish I could have found this before I began my scrap afghan. My grandmother gave me all of her scraps and I made a giant granny square. It worked well for the tiny scraps but I could have used the larger scraps in this one. Love your patterns!!! Thanks for all you do.

  15. Hi thanks for sharing. Didn’t have enough scrap yarn but loved it so much had to order more yarn but couldn’t match the grey I had so went for a darker grey. That counts as a scrap yarn right…

  16. You’re on the post for the free afghan pattern. All my patterns can be found by clicking on the patterns in the menu. Hope that helps for future pattern searches!

  17. Thanks so much for this pattern. I made a queen size blanket as a new project, so all new yarn (im sorry). It turned out beautiful! Wish I could share a picture here
    Thanks so very much!

  18. Love this pattern. I made one in shades of green and a little yellow. Future in-law loved it and took it home because it reminded him of his beloved Green Bay Packers. Now I’m doing one in an Ombre yarn.

  19. I don’t have enough scrap yarn, could please tell me approximately how much of each skeins of each color would I need ?

    1. The pattern is designed as a scrap afghan and yarn used would depend on the number of rows one does with a particular color and the length of the final afghan. If you’d like to make more of a planned color afghan, I would suggest working part of the pattern and then unwinding the yarn and doing some math to determine the amount of yarn you would need for the color pattern you have in mind. Hope that helps!

  20. Where is the AD FREE PRINTABLE PATTERN? I have already signed up for your newsletter and the email I got tells me to come here and gives me the password. But I have scrolled through this thing 3 times and the only time I find a link to get the free pattern it tells me to “sign up for free”. It’s like the Groundhog Day of afghans!!

    1. This particular pattern is available to newsletter subscribers for free in my vault/library. The link to the library is NOT this page; it’s another page. I put the link to the library in every newsletter at the bottom. So simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter, click on the link, enter the password (also provided in the newsletter). That will open up the library/vault and there are several things to download there. Enjoy!

    1. All of my annual scrap afghan PDFs are in my resource library/vault for newsletter subscribers. If you’re already subscribed, scroll down to the bottom of any email for the link and password. If you’re not yet, just sign up for the info! Hope you enjoy it!