Cuddle up with some stash-busting patterns

We enjoyed a week of record heat recently, but temps are falling a bit now and my mind is on cozy fall knits. And what could be more cozy than afghans and throw pillows?

What started me down this road is the StashBuster sale that we're having here at Interweave. I thought I'd take a trip through the store to see what stash-busting projects I could find, and as I was looking at patterns, a certain theme emerged: knitted afghans and throw pillows.

I chose three afghan patterns and three pillow patterns that will have you digging through your stash in about five minutes from now! Here they are:

Heirloom Nine-Patch Afghan by Sharon O'Brien Double Wedding Ring Quilt by Sharon O'Brien New Baby Blanket and Hat by Kristin Spurkland
In this nine-patch afghan— reminiscent of an antique Amish quilt—blues, reds, and olives provide a striking contrast to more weathered-looking shades. This afghan is an easy knit because it's constructed of garter-stitch squares. You can use up lots of leftover yarn you've used for felted projects in this afghan. This classic quilt pattern symbolizes the intertwining of lives in marriage. Despite its complex appearance, it's easy to knit; it is composed of  small garter-stitch shapes—squares, ovals, and rectangles—that are sewn into sixteen circles that are then joined together and trimmed with slip-stitch crochet. This design lets you choose the exact colors that are appropriate for Baby's nursery, or some spare skeins that you have in your stash. And if you're a fabric stasher you won't have to look far to find a cute lining fabric! And there's a hat pattern included, too. This duo is the perfect shower gift.
Fair Isle Pillows by Sandy Cushman Florentine Pillow by Lisa Evans Family Pillows by Pamela Powers
Sandy was so inspired by the Kutch region of India that she designed these pillows to celebrate its richly decorated textiles. The buttons are used for closures, but they also add more spark to these already lavish pillows. Lisa combined rich colors with a delicate motif in this felted intarsia pillow. The flourish is reminiscent of the art and architecture Florence, Italy. The Florentine Pillow has been one of my favorites for a long time! These plaid pillows explore different colorwork and textures, like argyle, intarsia, and I-cord details. I saw these pillows in person and they are wonderful! The plaid and argyle designs are perfect for stash-busting because you need a small amount of certain colors here and there.

Don't be intimidated by the two quilt-inspired afghans—when I first saw them I thought,"Wow that's a lot of knitting and seaming!" But then I remembered a blanket one of my knitting friends has been working on for about a two years now. She decided to use up all of her leftover sock yarn stash in a mitered square blanket.

She carries little balls of yarn ends around with her and knits a square here and a square there and then seams them to the blanket when she has about ten squares done. I love that idea, and it would work great for the quilt-like knits. My friend has her blanket about half finished and it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

I know you'll love knitting one or more of these patterns (and they're all 30% off!), as well as pawing through your stash to see just what hidden treasures are living in there! The last time I went through my stash I discovered a skein of ruby red angora. I'd totally forgotten about it, so it was quite a treat to pet it again.


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