A scrap crochet blanket or afghan is a great way to use up the leftover bits of yarn you have from other projects. For the beginner just learning to crochet, a scrap blanket is an ideal project that will give you practice in basic stitches and changing colors. For the more experienced crafter, a scrap blanket lets you try your hand at creating your own designs or trying out new stitches. If you're not ready to design your own pattern, don't worry. Nearly any crochet pattern that uses stripes or piecework can be adapted to use up scrap yarns; all you have to do is vary the colors that the pattern calls for.
By far, the easiest and most basic pattern for a crochet blanket or afghan is the simple stripe. Start with a chain that is a few inches wider than you want your finished product to be, and work in rows of single crochet, changing colors as often as you desire. You can vary the look of your stripes by alternating rows of single crochet with rows of double or triple crochet. More experienced crocheters can showcase their skill by adding rows of pattern stitches such as the V-stitch, shell stitch, or popcorn stitch. A striped crochet blanket can be a quick and easy weekend project if you use an extra-large size Q crochet hook and three strands of yarn held together as you work.
Of course, the most traditional way to make use of scrap yarn is to make basic granny squares. The finished blanket has the homey, old-fashioned look of a patchwork quilt. Granny squares are small and convenient to crochet while you're on the bus or sitting in a doctor's office. Since they only take a few minutes to make, they're perfect for the crafter who is on the go and doesn't have a lot of spare time. Squares can be made with just two rows, or add additional rows to make your squares as large as you like; the squares are then sewn together in rows, using a basic whipstitch.
Yarns come in different thicknesses, called weight; for your scrap crochet blanket you will want to make sure that all of your scraps are about the same weight. Baby and fingering weight yarns are light and thin. Sport weight is a three-ply yarn that is slightly heavier than baby weight, but still fairly light weight. Worsted weight is a 4-ply yarn that is most commonly used for making afghans and blankets because it is strong and durable, but still soft and easy to work with. Chunky or bulk weight yarns can be worked into thick, luxurious blankets, but this type of yarn is best suited for more experienced crocheters, since the uneven texture of the yarn can make your stitches difficult to see.
Patterns for easy crochet scrap blankets can be found in many places. Check the craft or discount store where you usually purchase yarn; very often, yarn companies will offer free pattern sheets to customers. There are books and leaflets available for sale at craft stores or online, that contain patterns for using up your scrap yarn, or you can adapt your favorite pattern by changing the color scheme to suit the yarn scraps you have on hand. The internet is a terrific place to find free crochet patterns; a simple search on "crochet scrap afghan pattern" will turn up dozens of new patterns for you to try, from easy to advanced.
If you don't find a pattern you like, simply make one up! With your own imagination and basic crochet stitches, you can make a one-of-a-kind crochet blanket with just your leftover bits of yarn.