Aug 9, 2015

Pattern | Color Check Afghan

Color Check is the project that launched my passion for hand knit afghans. 

It was designed to emulate the large calibration or “color check” charts that hang in print shops and design studios to make color confirmation a quick and easy process.

True to these roots, the Color Check afghan may look complicated but it's surprisingly quick and easy. In fact, if you love the look of block-based blankets but dread assembling all those bits and pieces, this design is for you.


How so?

Instead of individual squares, the faux blocks are worked in strips and the strips are joined to create the afghan. For instance, each version shown (size M) has twelve color blocks created by working four strips joined with just three seams.



Color Check offers a range of features. Briefly, the:

  • Slipped stitch knits quickly, is easy to execute and produces stockinette checks on the front and a striped reverse stockinette texture on the back.
  • Colorwork is a snap, since only one color is worked on a row.
  • Strip strategy keeps your project compact and portable. You can work a few quick rows on the go and knit afghans anytime and anywhere without the weight of a full blanket in your lap. 
  • Seaming method uses a modified three-needle bind off that's fast and reliable, so assembly goes quickly and smoothly.
  • Pattern is simple enough for any moderately experienced beginner. Concise but comprehensive, it includes a basic schematic along with directions, stitch counts, yardage and dimensions for three sizes (SML).
  • Quick Reference guide and useful tips and tricks make modifications easy.
  • Yarn should reflect your tastes. The cotton-wool blend shown produces afghans perfect for year-round use. Yarns with a bit of memory are ideal, but both the pattern and stitch accommodate almost any fiber blend or weight you prefer. 
  • Design is highly adaptable. From bright rainbows to subtle shades and variegated yarns to natty neutrals, the possibilities are endless.

In combination, these factors make Color Check a satisfying, speedy knit that's highly adaptable. Just change the color choices, and it's suitable for everyone from family and friends to new babies on the way. Try gradient shades of gray for the guy in your life, a pink or blue ombre approach for girls or boys, or a tone-on-tone strategy for someone with sophisticated tastes.


Yarn: Worsted / light worsted
Yarns Shown: Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm) and US 10 (6 mm)
Sizes: SML (baby-lapghan-throw)

Yardage (approx.): 825 (S), 1100 (M), 1750 (L)

Creative juices flowing? 

Color Check is perfect for singletons, mini-skeins or partials, so go ahead: Rummage through your stash, find fresh fiber at your favorite yarn store, or do a mix of both. 

The design is infinitely scalable, just add or subtract blocks, strips or both to adjust the size. The pattern includes directions for size S (baby) with nine faux blocks, size M (lapghan) with twelve and size L (throw) with twenty. 

To make customization easy, yardage estimates are provided by block, strip and size. For quick calculations, remember each color block requires about 75 yards total in worsted weight (30 MC/45 CC).


Eager to cast on? 

Click here to purchase the pattern and read the Ravelry description. (Remember, you don't have to be a Ravelry member to buy patterns.)

In the years since I created my first Color Check, I've made many afghans, but this one remains a favorite. Fast, fun and versatile, I can't wait to see the color and fiber combinations you use to make this design uniquely your own.


See one knitter's lovely Rainbow Color Check here.
Color Check was also featured by the Brown Sheep Company on Facebook.

Yardage estimates cited above are generous. See the pattern for detailed breakouts.

Own an LYS? All patterns are activated for in-store sales.

Color Check is sometimes affectionately called the Swafghan. Why? The original plan was to make a loose, unstructured sweater, but plans change, so this design found its true destiny as a much-loved afghan instead!


  1. What an amazing afghan! It is so beautiful.

  2. What an amazing afghan! It is so beautiful.

  3. What a clever pattern! And beautiful colourwork!

  4. Great colors!!

  5. Beautiful! I love this pattern!

  6. I love it, a great pattern and love the stunning colours.

  7. I love the colors in your afghan.

  8. Clever construction! Looks awesome!

  9. That is a truly gorgeous afghan. I've pinned it to come back to later as soon as I finish my most pressing (birthday gifts) knitting projects

  10. Beautiful. I may have to try this will all the baby blankets I need to knit! :)

  11. So pretty. I love this pattern.


Thanks for stopping by! I read and enjoy each and every comment. If you have questions, share those too, and I'll do my best to respond.