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How to Use Your Stash Inventory – The Sampler Afghan

Why waste all that work to crochet gauge squares if you aren’t going to do anything with them? The Sampler Afghan answers this question.

Why create the swatches you crochet to try out new stitches? The Sampler Afghan also answers this question.

Why save all those little odds and ends of skeins if you aren’t going to use them? The answers to these questions are ahead of us for the next several weeks.

Why waste all that work to crochet gauge squares if you aren’t going to do anything with them? What are you going to do with all those practice granny squares?

The Sampler Afghan


How to use your stash yarn inventory can be confusing. What to do with all those bits and pieces of yarn and odds and ends of granny squares and sample bits that you have crocheted. There are several different ways to solve this problem.

Today we’re discussing two of my favorite methods of using up both stash yarn and leftover samples and bits and pieces; Sampler Afghans. There are two ways to make a sampler afghan.

  1. Create one Afghan using all the bits and pieces of leftover yarn you have.
  2. Create one Afghan with all the gauge swatches you have leftover from crochet things.

project #2

This is the second of these granny sampler afghans that I have made. They are my favorites. The colors interplay with each other and make wonderful sampler afghans. 

Here is my current stash of odds and ends of yarn skeins, add in some other storage in another room and everything is full to overflowing. I take left over skeins and roll them into yarn cakes using my yarn winder. The yarn cakes then go in this little color coded drawer unit according to color. It makes storage a breeze as the little yarn cakes don’t roll around and get all tangled up into a mess. As you can tell the color coding has gotten out of hand. The colors are all mixed up, simply because there isn’t room in some of the drawers. (Don’t get the idea that everything else is this organized, it’s really not. Crocheting is more fun than untangling a mess of yarn)

These are usually the beginnings of a big granny square afghan or an afghan like the sampler above or little projects that don’t take much yarn.








Another Sampler Afghan


Here is the second idea for creating a sampler afghan. It started with a simple idea. Create some washcloth patterns for free from Chocolate Dog Studio for you. It quickly evolved into this afghan. If you are going to create all these patterns for washcloths, then they need to be crocheted at least twice. Once out of cotton dishcloth yarn and once out of any yarn you choose. The sampler afghan started a year ago. You can find almost all of the patterns here on the blog and they will work for the afghan, but the idea is simple and adaptable for the many other gauge swatches we crochet.

How to Use Your Stash Inventory

Try to crochet them in the same size, gauge and yarn weight. Then when you have enough squares you can assemble them into an afghan, table runner, or scarf. If you use the same colors over and over then you have a coordinating look. If they don’t coordinate then you have a scrap look afghan. This idea works best if you work in one type of fiber, wool or acrylic. It is hard to mix the two since the care for both is different.


















I hope that this helps you create one of your own.

Talk to you later,


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Using Your Scrap Yarns Part 2

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Using your scrap yarns can be so much fun. Cleaning out yarn and creating new things all at the same time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

There are a number of scarves that are great scrap yarn users. Here are is one of my time honored favorites. The Granny Square Scarf

Using Your Scrap Yarns

It doesn’t take much yarn and the squares themselves can be all different colors and yarn skeins as they are here. There are also granny square scarves that use a variety of different yarns in each square. The photo below is from an afghan, but you get the general idea. Simply tie all the colors together with one color and skein of yarn. Add a fringe or tassels as a finishing touch. Keep in mind that the longer the scarf, the more yarn you may need. The denser the stitching takes more yarn, too. Striped scarves work great to use scraps as well. Side to side stripes work for smaller amounts and long stripes for bigger amounts.Using Your Scrap Yarns

Using Your Scrap YarnsThe Newest Pattern

Here is the newest pattern. This pattern wrote itself after I challenged myself not to create another pattern this summer. I am pleased to introduce The Brown Ombre Stripe Scarf. The truth was that it was going to be an afghan but when it took 21 colors I decided that enough was enough! It requires 21 skeins of different colors but it is so lovely I couldn’t resist making a pattern for you.

Using Your Scrap Yarns

Studio News

The month has been busy. I’ve been busy taking not quite finished objects and giving them new life. About 6 scarves will hit the Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks. IF you follow Chocolate Dog Studio on Instagram then you have seen the progress happening on several scarves. It has been fun to finally move some of these WIPs out of storage and into the shop. Wool is fun to crochet but not usually my fiber of choice and these granny squares have been sitting for a couple of years looking for the right project to finish them out. Scarves work well, finish quickly and fit most everyone’s budget. I have started a Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn challenge but there are no rules and no timeline. It is really similar to the USE YOUR STASH challenge from previous years. I will keep going until I run out of steam, projects, time or inspiration.

Using Your Scrap Yarns

Here are three of them being blocked and almost ready for their shop photos.

Two acrylic scarves have also made it to the shop. I’m thrilled. The colors are bright and cheerful. The Brown Ombre Scarf and then this one. The white scarf makes great use of scrap yarn. There will never be a pattern for this but I am pleased that it is finished. Feel free to imitate this scarf all you want. There are no plans to write a pattern for it. If my memory is right, there are 20-30 stitches between each dash of color. Each dash of color has 15 stitches in it. Thankfully, it has moved out of the WIPs stack to the FP or finished projects stack and is ready to go home with someone soon.

Using Your Scrap Yarns


Talk to you later,


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Little Things Matter and the Ombre Granny Stripe Revisited.

Little things matter; like the button on this tea cozy. It looks perfect and brings a touch of whimsy to just another granny square tea cozy.  The little touches that make life great. Little things matter like a wave and a hello from a neighbor. Like the use of your right hand. Not being able to use your right hand really brings this home to you. As my hubs found out last week. His arm is in a sling but it’s not broken and not sprained. He doesn’t appear to need surgery, just rest- so all is well.


Little Things Matter



The Ombre Granny Stripe

The Ombre Granny Stripe afghan has been updated to reflect improved yarn quantity and an additional border option. I have never been that fond of the black and yellow in the original pattern so I crocheted another with a lovely brown border and it looks so much better  in my eyes. This pattern is newly released, (everywhere we sell the pattern) and the shop has 1 beautiful Ombre Granny Stripe for sale. If it has been calling to you then now is the time to buy. It might not be there again for a long, long time. The new photos show the beauty of this afghan in a much better light.  Whether you want to make your own with the Ombre Granny Stripe pattern or buy the one afghan in the Etsy shop.

Studio News

Here is the latest news from the studio. My motivation and creativity has settled back down after almost a years worth of stagnation. Do you ever have stagnant times? I hit a road bump and a well meaning  and loving detail person said “you have too much going on. You need to simplify and work on one thing at a time.” Bad idea, I tried it and it doesn’t work well for me. At this current time. There are 4 or is it 5 current crochet projects all in a partially completed state plus one chair and two paintings also in progress.  There will be another one starting soon, when we hit the road to a family reunion. Three new patterns are also in process and two revisions are also in the works. Just a few shots of the wips:

All of these make me happy to work on and the frustration level is very low.

Keep your frustration levels low and work the way that suits you best. Listen to your heart and follow the pattern that works for you!

Take care and have a good summer.

Talk to you later,


P.S. I’ve been praying for God to give us rest. We both have been feeling stretched very thin. I’m not driving right now while some medication things get sorted out and he is not driving until his shoulder gets a bit better. The kids are pitching in a bit more while their parents are recovering.


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The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the next crochet washcloth/dishcloth pattern; The Adapted Lemon Peel dishcloth.

The super easy  Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth is fun to crochet. It creates a lovely nubby texture without too much thinking about repeats or counting. It has a soft bumpy look which is great in a dishcloth. This pattern would also make a wonderful spa washcloth for an easy crochet Birthday or Christmas gift. Crochet 2-3 in different colors, add the washcloth to a few lovely soaps and you have an inexpensive and lovely gift for a new mother or a special friend.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the washcloth first finished.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial



  • Cotton dishcloth yarn
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors

Skills Needed

  • single crochet = SC
  • chain
  • double crochet = DC
  • Weave in ends

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Crochet 32 stitches in your cotton yarn.

Foundation Row

SC across the chain to create a foundation for your washcloth. (I am using a different color cotton yarn for these instructions.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 1


Single crochet in the  2nd chain from the hook. Double crochet in the next chain,

sc in the next 4 chains.Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Alternate between the double crochet and  4 single crochets across the washcloth.

Chain 1 turn

(The double crochets will  to need to be on one side of the washcloth, poke them through to whichever side you pick for the front.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 2

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Sc in the  first stitch of the previous row.

3 sc in next  3 stitches, DC in the next stitch

Alternate 4 sc, 1 DC across the washcloth.

Alternate row 1 and row 2 until the washcloth is square.


I like to unplug and have paper patterns at times, so there is a free download  for The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth in the shop.


Other Stuff

We have been helping a chick fly out of the nest this week and build another nest in a first apartment. Part of me is so excited and the other part of me is a tiny bit anxious. Mom’s tend to do this; be anxious, happy and excited all at the same time. The other part of the excitement is that the studio will finally get to move into a more permanent home with a door and nothing but studio items inside. I truly can’t wait but feel wrong to be too excited. Is it wrong to want your chicks to leave the nest?


I spent some time watercolor painting with a friend as we both needed the nudge to do something out of our normal routine. I attempted to paint roses again. These are really simple and today they look much better than they did yesterday. I need to go and look at the other paintings I finished. They might look better as well.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth I’ve been working steadily on this afghan but have had to take a break on it due to the busyness of life and some arthritis issues this week.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Take care and enjoy your week. The sun is shining here even though the temps dipped a little lower earlier this week.

This beautiful daffodil is blooming in my garden and bring a great touch of spring to the yard.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Talk to you later,


P.S. I would like to think that I invented The Adapted Lemon Peel stitch, but I am pretty sure that I didn’t. If you know the name of it, let me know and I will change the title and credit the stitch. The nearest I could find was the Lemon Peel stitch. There are so many outlets for finding new crochet stitches; from magazines, books and the internet that it is difficult to search back and find the source of your inspiration.