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How to Make a Beautiful Blanket Bursting with Color

Your scrap yarn can create the most beautiful blanket, thanks to these free modular blanket knitting patterns

Scrap Yarn Blankets

Imagine: you have piles of scrap yarn.

Sure, you could create little things. Maybe bookmarks. Maybe coasters. You’d probably feel pretty good about using your leftover yarn for a few small things.

But now… imagine that you used that yarn to create something BIG.

BIG… like a blanket!

The Thrill of the Modular-Knit Blanket: Using Scrap Yarn for Something Big!

As much as I love knitting all-in-one afghans, such a blanket pattern requires a lot of forethought — and, often, a lot of cash expenditure. You really have to buy your yarn all at the same time to guarantee that the dye lots match.

And afghans require a lot of yarn.

That is one of the joys of the modular blanket. If you have a bunch of leftover yarn in odd colors, you have all you need to knit one of these babies.

It’s my opinion that some of the most beautiful afghans have a ton of different colors, stitch patterns, stripes, and so on. They explode with joyous color.

Indeed, that quality also makes them exceptional choices for both charity knitting projects and gifts. The variety of colors and styles make them obviously homemade, which makes them more personal than purchasing a so-called “perfect” machine-made blanket.

If you’re seeking a way to make your knitting touch someone, a modular blanket is a wonderful way to do so.

And, of course, another great thing about the join-as-you-go blanket is that you don’t have to worry about sewing together a ton of squares or strips at the end. You connect the pieces as you knit them.

So at the end you have a finished blanket — not a bunch of squares or strips to sew!

I’ve convinced you and you’re ready to dive into a modular blanket, right? Now you just need patterns.

No problem! I’ve collected a nice large selection of modular blankets of all sizes and shapes. Just pick your favorite, gather a bunch of colorful scrap yarn, and start knitting!

Looking for more scrap yarn patterns? You can find more free knitting pattern collections perfect for scrap yarn right here!

Free Modular Blanket Knitting Patterns: Perfect for Scrap Yarn

Moderne Baby Blanket: Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne of the book Mason-Dixon Knitting designed this beautiful pattern. Note that while the blanket pattern is free, the border pattern is not; it appears on page 75 of the previously-mentioned book. (However, you can easily nab a copy at your local library.)

Also, you’ll find the original Moderne Log Cabin Blanket in the pattern PDF. It’s the same pattern but a little bigger, more like a throw blanket than a baby blanket.

Sock Yarn Blankie: I keep referring to this pattern because I’m absolutely fascinated by it! Anyone who loves to knit socks or scarves and has a ton of leftover sock yarn as a result will find this to be an utterly delightful pattern.

Dicke Decke/Big Afghan: This pattern is available in both German and English. It features charming squares that you’ll knit diagonally.

Paintbox Log Cabin Blanket: I love this clever idea for an afghan: take the Log Cabin blanket referenced in the first pattern, condense it into small squares rather than an entire blanket, and voila: a gorgeous blanket that uses up your yarn and creates a stained glass look.

Four Corners Baby Blanket: This adorable blanket can be knitted in just the four colors as referenced in the pattern, or you can use many different colors if you prefer (or if that’s all you have). Take a look at the “projects” tab on the Ravelry project page, and you’ll see how other knitters have made this pattern their own.

Designer Rina shared with me this delightful tale of how this pattern came about:

Funny story – that whole pattern was the outcome of a knitting-plan-gone-bad. I bought the yarn for a baby blanket for a friend, but realized (too late to return it and after the store had run out of those dye lots) that I didn’t have enough for the pattern I’d planned.

At the time, the yarn was way out of my budget (the baby’s mom was a very good friend), so I had to come up with a quick solution that didn’t involve buying any more yarn (!). This is what came out of that effort.

Baby Shane Blanket: This multiple-striped pattern is beautiful and clever.

scrap yarn blanket
Baby Shane Blanket
Photo: Tanis Lavallee

Ten-Stitch Zigzag: This is another pattern I can’t stop linking to, as I’m fascinated by how it just glows and radiates with color. I love the zigzag pattern, and I love that you don’t have a bunch of zigzags to sew together at the end — it’s fully join-as-you-go.

scrap yarn blanket
Ron Weasley Blanket by Penguineer
Photo: Jackie Wierzbicki

Ron Weasley Blanket by Penguineer: This pattern is exquisitely detailed. The designer actually spotted this afghan in three Harry Potter movies, and she painstakingly recreated it in pattern form. Whether you like Harry Potter or not, this is a truly remarkable way to use up leftover yarn. You don’t have to follow the pattern colors exactly, of course; that’s the beauty of this pattern!

Cousins’ Mitre Square Baby Blanket: Self-explanatory: this is a baby blanket created by making mitered squares in multiple colors. Very simple and very pretty.

scrap yarn
Photo: verybusymonkey

Easy As Pie: How beautiful is this blanket? This pattern features a bunch of colorful circles (pies!) set into squares. You’ll need to know or learn a few advanced techniques to knit this pattern. So if you’re up for a challenge, try this blanket out!

Hexa-ghan: Perhaps circles aren’t your thing. Perhaps you would prefer… hexagons! That’s what comprises this blanket, to beautiful and charming effect.

scrap yarn blanket
Happy Blanket
Photo: Camilla Gugenheim

Happy Blanket: Just see if you don’t smile when you take a look at this work of art. It’s an amazing way to use up leftover yarn.

Parcheesi Afghan: Here’s another log cabin blanket variation. This pattern is unique, but you’ll also find another quality that makes it special. The designer requests that, in exchange for the pattern, you donate to Heifer International. This is a fantastic worldwide hunger/relief/rebuilding organization that any charity knitter would love to support.

Illusion Cube Blanket: This is another hexagon-based blanket, except that each hexagon is built in a multi-colored garter stitch configuration. It really does create an eye-popping 3-D effect.

Do these inspire you? They sure inspire me! Let’s gather that oddball scrap yarn and start creating something spectacular!

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  1. Lots of beautiful ideas, but I noticed that yarn content isn’t mentioned. Am I right in supposing that whatever yarn you use from your stash, the fiber content should be similar for future washing and drying needs?

    1. Great question! Yes, you’ll definitely want to make sure the fiber content of the yarn you use is similar, or at least has the same sort of care requirements.