Log Cabin Blanket FAQ

The Log Cabin Scrap Blanket pattern and video tutorial can be found here.

I noticed that I’m getting many of the same questions on this pattern, I believe it deserves it’s own FAQ page.


Q: What is a garter stitch ridge? How many rows make a ridge?
It is easier to count garter stitch ridges in this pattern, rather than rows of knitting. You can see the ridges in your work, and I demonstrate in the video. A garter stitch ridge is made up of two rows of knitting, a right-side and a wrong-side. In your center square, the cast-on creates one-half of a ridge – so the cast-on plus the next row of knitting creates one ridge. On subsequent strips, picking up stitches creates one-half of a ridge – so the picked up stitches plus the next row of knitting creates one ridge. Really, it’s much easier just to count the ridges you see, rather than counting rows and trying to convert them to a number of ridges.

Q: I can’t seem to get the colors of my blanket to come out as nicely as yours. What am I doing wrong?
My guess is that you’re doing it correctly. 🙂 Don’t get hung up on the colors of any one square. Once the whole blanket comes together, the colors take on a different personality. I followed three simple rules in regards to color – first, I made sure that no single square was dominated by a single color. Second, I made sure that no single square was dominated by mostly dark or mostly light colors. Third, I kept really uncomplimentary colors from touching each other. That’s it!

Q: I don’t understand how to work the borders.
The borders are worked like every other strip. The only difference is that you’re not cutting the yarn to start a new color. Just stick with the same border color for four strips, which will cover each of the four sides.

Q: My worsted weight yarn leftovers vary in thickness. Is that okay?
In the blanket pictured above, mine varied, too. I would guess that the yarns I used could be called worsted, light worsted, and Aran. It turned out fine.


Note – I provide a ton of information below about modifying this pattern. Please understand that questions beyond what I’ve answered here will take some experimenting and test knitting on your own. Your yarn/needles/gauge are unique to your blanket, so I can’t really answer specific questions. I hope the info below gets you started so you can pull out your yarn and needles, do a little math, and make your quilt blocks exactly how you imagine them. Good luck!

Q: I’d like to buy yarn and coordinate colors, instead of using leftovers for this project. How much yarn do I need?
That will depend on how you want to arrange the colors. In the pattern, I have a graphic that shows each strip and how it fits into the square. Plan your colors out as you want them for each strip, then do the math –

  • Center square – about 20 yards of yarn
  • Strip 1 – about 10 yards
  • Strip 2 – about 15 yards
  • Strip 3 – about 15 yards
  • Strip 4 – about 20 yards
  • Strip 5 – about 20 yards
  • Strip 6 – about 25 yards
  • Strip 7 – about 25 yards
  • Strip 8 – about 30 yards

This is a guideline for the weight of yarn I used (worsted), with the gauge listed in the pattern (5 stitches per inch).

Q: I don’t have enough worsted scrap yarn to make the whole blanket, so I’d like to mix it up and use different weights of yarn in my blanket. Will this work if I change needle sizes based on each yarn weight to adjust the gauge for each strip?
In theory, this will work, yes. But do you want to swatch for gauge for each strip you knit? Not only would that be a lot of extra work, but it is unlikely that your blanket will end up with straight, right angles. I recommend making this a longer-term project, and using one weight of scrap yarn (I used worsted) as you accumulate more leftovers as time goes by.

Q: I don’t have enough of one fiber type (animal, plant, synthetic) to make the whole blanket. Can I mix it up?
I address this in the video tutorial – I don’t recommend it. Not only will you end up with a blanket with no clear washing instructions, but different fiber types are going to behave differently when they are met with water or steam. You may end up with some strips that end up sagging and loose (like cotton), while other strips hold their shape. I recommend making this a longer-term project, and using one fiber type (I used animal) as you accumulate more leftovers as time goes by.

Q: I’d like to make one big quilt block, so that I don’t have to do any seaming. Is this possible?
Yes! You can absolutely keep adding strips to make a bigger blanket. Just keep this in mind – you’re going to need greater and greater yardage for each strip as the blanket grows. I personally would not be able to make a scrap blanket this way, since my leftovers are only in small amounts.

Q: I’d like to make bigger/smaller quilt squares using a different yarn. How much border color will I need?
You will need to test this out yourself, here’s how you do it – knit up one square in the size you want it. Using a new skein of yarn (you need to know exactly how many yards and grams there are, so this cannot be scrap yarn), knit the border, then weigh what remains of that skein on a kitchen scale. Subtract the new weight from the original weight (printed on the ball band) to see how many grams of yarn you used. Then do some math –

Original number of yards / original number of grams = X
X = the number of grams per yard for that yarn
Original weight of skein – new weight of skein = Y
Y = the number of grams used in the border
X * Y = number of yards needed for the border on each square

Q: Can I hold a lighter weight yarn double-stranded to get the same weight as worsted?
You’ll need to test this out yourself, but if the gauge is about the same, it should work fine next to worsted yarns in the blanket.

Q: I would like to make a bigger/smaller blanket. How many quilt blocks should I make?
My suggestion is to knit up one quilt block using the yarn and needles you’d like to use, then make a judgement. Baby blankets are typically about 40×40 inches, king-sized bedspreads are typically about 90×90 inches, and there are lots of useful blankets in-between those two. You can decide how many quilt blocks to make once you see the exact size you get after knitting one up.


Q: Do I have to steam block each square?
You will find it easier to seam the finished squares together if you steam them before seaming. I steam stuff out all the time while I’m knitting it – mainly because I like the look of it. Steaming as you go will also alert you to any tension problems you might be having with the strips, like a tight bind-off.

Q: Should I wet block the entire blanket when it’s finished?
This is up to you. I chose not to wet block my finished blanket, and I probably won’t ever do that unless something gets spilled on it. I used wool for mine, and wool doesn’t need washing as much as other fibers. Instead of washing, I will put the dry blanket into the dryer with a dryer sheet to freshen it up. Additionally, my dryer sheets are scented with lavender, which is supposed to keep moths away!

89 comments on “Log Cabin Blanket FAQ

  1. I LOVE this pattern. I had a number *ahem* of different colored leftover cotton yarns I had used to make washcloths. I adjusted the stitches (by half) and took off a few strips (-2) and VOILA! I have a great Log Cabin Washcloth. So many people have seen it that now I have a waiting list. Thanks for the pattern.

  2. Thank you for all the work that you put into making/teaching us how to do this quilt looking afghan. I look forward to making one someday soon.

  3. I am currently trying to work through the pattern I downloaded from your site here, and I find that in my work, I have questions that aren’t addressed in the patterns. The pattern says to knit to ten ridges and bind off. However, when I reach ten ridges and bind off, I wind up counting 12 ridges, is this normal? Are the bind on and bind off rows counted as ridges? Thank you for your patterns, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  4. Jenn – not that it really matters whether you’re doing 10 or 12 ridges (as long as you’re consistent), but I’m happy to explain it to you. Each ridge is two rows. When you pick up stitches for a new strip and knit back again, that creates one ridge. So, the pick-up row, plus 19 more rows makes 10 ridges. If you are binding-off properly (with the right-side facing you), it will not create a ridge.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  5. I don’t have much leftover yarn from other projects as I am just getting back into knitting after many years away. I am thinking of using self-striping yarn to make up the stripes in each block. What do you think of the idea?

  6. Hi Staci: Love the patterns and the tutorials. I think that they are the best anywhere. I have a lot of leftover baby sport yarn so I thought I’d give your log cabin afghan a whirl. Good so far and the tutorial is always there if i need to go back. Again love it! Keep up the good work.

  7. Hi staci! really love the pattern 😀 but i have a problem with steamer. the iron i have is an old one so it doesn’t have the steam function. is it okay to just iron it without steamer ? or do you have other suggestion? thanks.

  8. Mila – you can try ironing your knitting like normal, and see how you like it. My concern is that it will flatten the stitches. I really recommend using steam from a steam iron or a proper steamer.

    S t a c i

  9. I’m starting this blanket, and I am so excited! My question is, with the center block you said knit 40 rows (20 ridges) and then bind off. Your bind off end is on the same side of the cast on end, and mine will be on the opposite. Did you knit 39 rows and then bind off to achieve this or something else?

  10. Brianna – you are correct. The cast-on actually contributes to 1/2 of the first ridge, so it is 39 rows of knitting to create 20 ridges. Then you always want to bind-off on the right side of the work.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  11. About the use of steam in ironing blocks: suggest you try wetting a clean dish towel and placing it over the knitted block, then iron. I have done this before with delicate knits or fabrics and it usually works. Perhaps begin with a slightly wet towel, then wet it further if it’s not producing steam as you iron. Good luck.

  12. Hi Staci
    I’m living in England and I’m not sure what the term “worsted” translates to English yarn. Do you know if we would call this “double knitting.” I am going to knit the blanket from new wool and our wool is generally sold in 100 gm balls – 250 metres/275 yards How many 100gm balls of each of the 7 colours would I need and how many for the borders.
    I love this blanket and really enjoyed your videos.

  13. Hi Judy
    Worsted is Aran weight. I’m just finishing my second blanket using this pattern. Both look lovely. The first one was made with scrap Aran, but I themed the second and bought coordinating coloured Aran.


  14. Hi Staci, have just finished my first square for the log cabin Afghan and can’t wait to see it completed. Thank you.

  15. With Worsted Acrylic yarn…approximately how much does the Log Cabin Blanket weigh once completed? Thank you

  16. I’m sorry, Suzanne…I don’t have an answer for you. I haven’t knit this blanket out of anything except wool and wool blends. I so rarely knit with synthetic yarns that I can’t even make a guess.

    S t a c i

  17. i have completed 12 blocks but can’t find how many stitches to pick up to begin knitting the borders i am assuming it would be 60 stitches when beginning with strip 8 but am not sure i do love the pattern and had such fun making the blocks after 50 plus yrs of knitting had lots of yarn to choose from

  18. Hi Staci

    I am working with the lob cabin blanket from ur pattern and its great.

    I completed the first block and now trying to get the border. I have done the placements of the blocks.

    what i dont understand is, when you start the borders on one side , basically how many stitches do you need to pick when you start? I know we have to knit the borders similar to other strips. but i am confused as to how to decide how many stitches to pick like you have the instructions for other stips for picking stitches.

    or i am not understanding the instructions for border clear?

    I hope my question is clear.


  19. Lotus – the number will vary, based on which side you’re working and where you’re placing each block (which will determine whether you’re knitting 5 or 10 border ridges). Remember this – you’re picking up each bind-off stitch, and picking up one stitch for each garter stitch ridge. It always ends up being a multiple of 10. The only exception to this is when you’re picking up one of the 5 ridge border sides. You will only be picking up 5 in that case.

    S t a c i

  20. Hi Staci

    Thanks for a quick response. Sorry for asking trivial questions…I am a novice in knitting..but have taken this big challenge to get this blanket done.

    to give u little understanding as to what i have done and where i stand?

    The border that i am working on is for the block which is going to be placed at UPPER LEFT CORNER…..i will have to stitch 10 ridges to start with……and I have the 8th strip bind off ….so i will now have to pick up stiches from that 8th stiip bind off…if this gives you a fair idea of where i stand …so based on this…if you can give an example as how this border stiches need to work?

    So then i will have an idea for the whole blanket. I just want to do it right and no guesses!!!

    Thanks for ur help again!


  21. Thank you SO much for your superb video instructions! I have been knitting for over 50 years (yikes! – I just figured that out) and am so intrigued after seeing your stunning example. I have quite a bit of “stash” yarn and am going to give this a shot. Again, thank you so much…I do believe this “old” knitter CAN learn some new tricks with your kind help.

  22. AJ – I explain in the video how to count garter stitch ridges, instead of counting rows. Each strip is 10 garter stitch ridges, which is 20 rows. That is the row that you pick up and knit, plus 19 more rows, then bind-off on the right side of the work.

    S t a c i

  23. Hi Staci,
    First of all I would like to thank you for your generosity sharing your experience and these nice patterns with us.
    I never knit (literally) even a washcloth in my life( by the the way I am 38 yrs old) until 4 months ago. Our clean?ng lady brought a big duffelbag full of unused yarns to my mom who is a very good knitter. Since it was impossible for her to take all these yarns back to Turkey she left a big amount of them withmme. And I went to Micheals and bought a pair of needles and started to knit a blanket, but during this process ? used ?nternet and youtube so much to clarify some techiques ? saw while mom was kniting. This is how I met you. I was fascinated by this blanket and even tough I was knitting the other blanket I was impatient to knit this One. Last week I finishedthe first blanket and yesterday i began to knit this one. I already finished first square and almost finished the second one… So far i am so happy with myself, My color selections, stitches…….Your video and instructions are very clear i watched the video twice and read the instructions once that is it. Even i did not print the instructions…… Everything is so clear….
    If i am able to knit this is because of seeing and watching my mom kniting and watching your videos…..
    Thanks again

  24. Would you advise using wools and wool/acrylic blends? We have some 100% wool but more of wool blends like Encore.

  25. Thank you for your prompt response. I am not sure if I made myself clear though. Can I use both wool and wool/acrylic blend in knitting the same blanket?

  26. Kathleen – the yarns you use for this blanket all need to have the exact same washing instructions. They can be different yarns from different manufacturers, but they should be the same fiber type or fiber combination. For example, I have made two of these blankets…the first one is 100% wool (hand wash only), and the second is wool/synthetic blend (machine washable).

    S t a c i

  27. My Circle of Hands is making the log cabin blanket for a fundraiser for our Health and Retirement Services organization. We had the greatest time sorting through our donated yarn, selecting colors and measuring out lengths for various strips. Thanks for your explicit instructions. They will help us construct a happy blanket created by many hands.

  28. Just finished the first block. Love it!
    I will continue using my scraps to finish this one.

    I would like to do a baby blanket with my left over baby yarn scraps which are sport weight and some finger yarn. I would like to make the square smaller like 10 sts then go around. Would I then make 10 ridges and on the other strips do 5 ridges?

  29. Beautiful blanket.i just love your work and tutorials.easy to follow.i have started the first 3 blocks.i am left handed so I seem to work the opposite of your diagram.i am starting to get lost a bit.i am very beginner.can you help and explain where is the problem.thanks for your generosity.nora

  30. Nora – this pattern is really no different between English/American and Continental (also sometimes called left handed/right handed) knitting…the only difference is the hand in which you’re holding the yarn. This video, “Lefties vs. Righties” may help you: http://verypink.com/2011/01/18/lefties-vs-righties/

    That is, unless you’re a “mirror” knitter, who knits on to an empty needle in your left hand. If that’s the case, then things are a bit different, but you can research mirror knitting to get some tips. This video will help you identify if you’re a mirror knitter: http://verypink.com/2012/09/26/backwards-or-mirror-knitting/

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  31. Thanks staci. that helps a lot!as I now know that I am a right hand knitter.i like the mirror knitting.i will let you how it goes.happy day from sunny cold uk!

  32. Staci,

    Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I consider myself to be a fairly novice knitter. Your directions are very clear and precise……..I am just finishing my First block, and what a joy to bring two different art mediums together! I have quilted before and to have the pleasure of quilting and knitting is amazing to me. Again, thank you for sharing this pattern!

  33. I would like to try the blanket in natural fibers. I had used acrylic the first time around and it wasn’t as great as I hoped. Do you use wool blends or 100% wool, baby alpaca, merino blends? What is easiest to work with in your opinion. I am a beginner.

    Thank you!!

  34. I LOVE this blanket!!! Thanks so much for sharing your pattern and all your video helps. I am still on my 1st block, though, and I don’t think the 1st (inside) square is not coming out right. It is over an inch taller than it is wide. I can’t imagine that blocking will “fix” that much of a discrepancy! If I did half the ridges it would be waaaaay too short! Help! What do I do? Smaller needles? I would really appreciate help on what to do to make this work!

  35. Hi Heidi – blocking may help more than you think, depending on the yarn you’re using. Provided you’re following the pattern correctly, this must be an issue with your row gauge/stitch gauge being very different from mine (and others who have knit this). Changing needle sizes probably won’t help – you’ll still end up with the same proportions. I recommend continuing with the pattern as it is written. Since each strip changes direction, row/stitch gauge isn’t a one-direction issue, and you should end up with a square block in the end.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  36. how many stitces for each color in teblock please & thanks? Ican’t get into the video..my internet wo’t work or me. Shirley

  37. Shirley – even without the video, the pattern (which you can download for free on this website) will give you the details of this blanket.

    S t a c i

  38. what does the back look like. My blocks have tails and show weaving in lumps. Should it be this way?

  39. Hi I love the log cabin blanket. But I would like to knit it using the Linen stitch, can I do that and it still come out right. Or do I need to make some changes.

    Thank you for your help!

  40. I haven’t test knit it myself, but Linen Stitch doesn’t curl, so it seems to me that it would work. Good luck!
    S t a c i

  41. Hi Staci – I am a beginner knitter and loving my attempt at the log cabin quilt. I have been struggling to keep just 10 /20 /30 stitches when introducing the new color of the next strip. There always seems to be a bigger gap – I feel I am stretching to only put in 10 / 20 / 30 stitches… it seems to need just one more stitch especially in the 10 stitch strips. Will it change things if I add in an extra stitch. I am currently adding strip 6. Do others have this challenge?

    Thank you in advance.


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