The Traveling Afghan 2020 – #23


Traveling Afghan


The Traveling Afghan is by far the biggest collaborative project I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m so thankful for it. One of the things we talk about in the maker’s community is unity and community over competition. Well, this project definitely brings many, if not most, makers together. Not just those who were a part of the actual project, but including those who can knit and crochet along as this ever-growing afghan travels across the world. But if you ask me, this project took on a deeper and even more meaningful sense when 2020 came around. I’m thankful for it.

Before I dive into the free pattern and my story behind my square contribution #23, I want to share all involved and make this all possible quickly. Thank you, Alexandra, of Two Of Wands for conjuring up this project. Alexandra is a staple in the community, and her work is so distinctive, forward pushing, modern, yet nostalgic. So when she asked if I wanted to be part of the Traveling Afghan project and 49 other awesome knitwear and crochet designers, it was pretty much a no-brainer.  There are two Traveling Afghan blankets out there in the wild at the time of this blog post! A crochet variant, and a knit variant, This was an opportunity for us all to share a bit of uniqueness and storytelling through our craft, and everyone could participate and share their story too. How cool is that? We cannot forget one of the major yarn companies also made this possible and stands pretty much behind all makers supporting the craft and equality, Lion Brand Yarn




How can you participate?


You can purchase yourself a kit today. Crochet or knit. Whatever cozies your fiber heart. By the time you’re reading this, it’s already started, but don’t worry, it’s not over. You can create your own story using whatever yarn you like and create an afghan that has many stories behind it. You most likely have stash-busting yarn lying around your home waiting to be worked up. The kits are a great way to start you off with all that you need. Get your maker friends and or family involved and create something that can be passed down for generations. 

Once you get started, head on over to Alexandra of Two of Wands website to see a master list of all the contributors, each maker has their pattern listed on each square design. You can also find the route this beautiful afghan has been on continues to go on its final lap. If you’re reading this post, we can almost see the finish line! Okay, so just below, you’ll find the FREE pattern on my square #23, the story behind it, all of the amazing makers and links to their contributing squares, and the destinations that this storytelling afghan has taken.



Square #23


My square went through three different design changes. Indecisive, yeah? I knew I wanted something with texture, character, and simplicity. I think these three things speak the most in my fiber work. So what does my square remind me of, or what’s its story? When I take a long look at my square, it reminds me of rivers with the knit stitches flowing over rocks with the purl stitches. No matter where you’re headed all things seem to merge into one. At times we can be shallow and as transparent as clean water. We are powerful and we crash and burst over rocks and even strong enough to shape these boulders that stand before us. Smoothing them down from their sharp edges, a river is everywhere at the same time. Though we may not be able to physically be like the river, we leave parts of ourselves everywhere we go. Our words, our energy, our clothing, that may be a momento, and our footprints. It starts at the source, us, then we leave a bit everywhere we go. Collectively, we are powerful. We are full. Oh, how we wish to be everywhere like the river, not knowing that we already are. 




Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Yarn 197 yards per skein (1) or any other worsted weight (4) yarn

US 8 | 5mm Needles

Tapestry Needle



Finished Dimensions


10″ x 10″ | 25.5cm x 25.5cm




CO – Cast On

K – Knit

P – Purl

St – Stitches

BO – Bind off




CO 48 stitches. This pattern is worked in multiples of 12 for your information. Free downloadable PDF version in my shop.

Rows 1 & 2: K6, P6 across.

Rows 3 & 4: P1, K5, P5, K1 across.

Rows 5 & 6: K1, P1, K4, P4, k1, P1 across.

Rows 7 & 8: P1, K1, P1, K3, P3, K1, P1, K1 across.

Rows 9 & 10: (K1, P1) twice, K2, P2, (K1, P1) twice across.

Rows 11 & 12: P1, K1 across.

Rows 13 & 14: K1, P1 across.

Rows 15 &1 6: (P1, K1) twice, P2, K2, (P1, K1) twice across.

Rows 17 & 18: K1, P1, K1, P3, K3, P1, K1, P1 across.

Rows 19 & 20: P1, K1, P4, k4, P1, K1 across

Rows 21 & 22: K1, P5, K5, P1 across

Rows 23 & 24: P6, K6 across.

Rows 25 & 26: P5, K1, P1, K5 across.

Rows 27 & 28: P4, (K1, P1) twice, K4

Rows 29 & 30: P3, (K1, P1) 3 times, K3 across.

Rows 31 & 32: P2, (K1, P1) 4 times, K2 across.

Rows 33 & 34: (P1, K1) across.

Rows 35 & 36: (K1, P1) across.

Rows 37 & 38: K2, (P1, K1) 4 times, P2 across.

Rows 39 & 40: K3, (P1, K1) 3 times, P3 across.

Rows 41 & 42: K4, (P1, K1) twice, P4 across.

Rows 43 & 44: K5, P1, K1, P5 across.

Repeat rows 1-44. *Note you will reach 10″ | 25.5cm before you finish your second repeat. Measure as you knit.*



Traveling Afghan Itinerary



#1 – 1/1-1/13 – New York City, USA – Alexandra Tavel of Two of Wands
#2 – 1/15-1/28 – Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria – Sandra Gutierrez of Nomad Stitches
#3 – 1/29-2/11 – Dublin, Ireland – Katie Moore of The Queen Stitch
#4 – 2/12-2/25 – Nova Scotia, Canada – Kelly Brooks of Knitbrooks
#5 – 2/26-3/10 – Alberta, Canada – Stephanie Lau of All About Ami
#6 – 3/11-3/24 – Alberta, Canada – Chantal Miyagishima of Knitatude
#7 – 3/25-4/7 – BC, Canada – Christie Bodden of Christie Bodden Designs
#8 – 4/8-4/21 – Oregon, USA – Makenzie Alvarez of Hanks and Needles
#9 – 4/22-5/5 – California, USA – Phanessa Fong of Designs by Phanessa
#10 – 5/6-5/19 – California, USA – Angie Bivins of Whistle & Wool
#11 – 5/20-6/2 – California, USA – Jane Tsou of Gorilla Knits
#12 – 6/3-6/16 – Nevada, USA – Chenoa Wilcox of jellyKNITTING
#13 – 6/17-6/30 – Utah, USA – Rachel Misner of Evelyn & Peter
#14 – 7/1-7/14 – Colorado, USA – Jessica Potasz of Mama in a Stitch
#15 – 7/15-7/28 – Kansas, USA – Jerica Tompkins of Yarn Hook Needles
#16 – 7/29-8/11 – Kansas, USA – Mary Lee of Fifty Four Ten Studio
#17 – 8/12-8/25 – Minnesota, USA – Kaitlin Barthold of Originally Lovely
#18 – 8/26-9/8 – Minnesota, USA – Julia Anastasi of Northern Loop Knitwear
#19 – 9/9-9/22 – Winona, MN, USA – Trista Ziemendorf of While They Dream
#20 – 9/23-10/6 – Illinois, USA – Heidi Gustad of Hands Occupied
#21 – 10/7-10/20 – Illinois, USA – Jewell Washington of Northknits
#22 – 10/21-11/3 – Michigan, USA – Destiny Meyer of Knifty Knittings
#23 – 11/4-11/17 – Virginia, USA – Nathan Bryant of Loop N Threads
#24 – 11/18-12/1 – Rhode Island, USA – Jake Kenyon of Kenyarn
#25 – 12/2-12/16 – New Jersey, USA – Vanessa Coscarelli Black of Vanessa Knits

38 thoughts on “The Traveling Afghan 2020 – #23

  1. Would you please clarify row 9 ( 10 would be the same). I had to take a break from the traveling afghan for a little while, I’m not understanding the repeat sections on this row.

    1. Hi Sherry,

      I’m terribly sorry I am getting back to you so late.

      Row 9 (10 being the same) means knit 1, purl 1 (twice), knit 2, purl 2, knit 1, purl 1 (twice). Repeat this sequence across.

      To break it down even further, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, knit 1, purl 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1. repeat across the row. Twice is short-hand to not have to type it all out and explain it’s repeated. I hope this makes more sense.



  2. Hi Nathan
    I’m trying to save your gorgeous knitting square #23. I want to save it to my computer. I have several other squares to knit. I downloaded your square, but it won’t allow me to save it.
    Please let me know what to do.

    1. Hi Betty,

      Thanks so much for reaching out!

      I see you’ve downloaded the square, but aren’t able to save it? I’m confused. If you downloaded the square, then it should be on your device already that you downloaded.

      1. It doesn’t allow me to save it to my word folder or as a pdf. I can only print it. I don’t want all the extras printed.
        thanks in advance for your help.
        Betty G.

        1. Hi Betty,

          I’m still a bit confused as to how it’s not allowing you.

          I just took the time to walk through the steps myself to see if there is anything odd happening and I didn’t notice anything. If you go to my shop and add the Traveling Afghan Square pattern to your cart (it’s free), then checkout, you then will be taken to a screen that shows you can download the PDF. I was able to do this. I have two versions and you have an option of both. One is a lite version with fewer pictures for smaller file size. The download itself is a PDF, so I’m not sure how it’s not letting you. Are you able to walk me through your steps?

          If you’re trying to highlight and copy the text from my page, then that’s not possible as I have my website protected from right-clicking content.

          1. Thank you Nathan for your help. I was able to save as PDF. Looking forward to browsing in your shop in the future.
            Have a very happy and healthy holiday.

  3. Thank you for your creative block! I really enjoyed knitting it and really like the resulting block!! Best wishes on all your future endeavors!!

    1. Hi Diovana,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’m glad you like this pattern so much. I do not have a crochet version of this square pattern, but there is a crochet Traveling Afghan that has been going around to crochet-a-long with just the same as this knit version. They have their own patterns. Not to be mistaken as a crochet version of each pattern. If you click on the bold text in the post that is linked, they can take you to the kits and post showing the crochet makers.


  4. Hi Nathan ,
    Love your square & enjoying making it. Had just gotten to row 43-44 and went to your site to see if there was a correction- found it Thanks. Reading your comments found that I had missed rows 35 &36. Do you think it would be noticeable if I don’t go back & correct. Fearful if I try to take out the previous 6 rows I may have a problem getting back on track. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Debby,

      Thanks for reaching out. My apologies for not having the pattern corrected just before you started. It’s possible you could get away with it, but I think one of your diamond shapes may look a little off or short since the K1, P1 is part of that section.

      Counting your rows can be helpful, but I understand the mix of stitches can make it difficult to do so for some. I would keep in mind it’s only 10″ inches and it won’t take too long to get back to where you left off.

      Let me know if you need any more help!


  5. Hi Nathan-loving this pattern! I just finished rows1-44 and my piece measures 6 1/2 inches. Do I just stop when I reach 10 inches and bind off? I won’t make it another 44 rows! Thanks! Marsha

    1. Hi Marsha,

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, just as the directions say in the end,

      ”Repeat rows 1-44. *Note you will reach 10″ | 25.5cm before you finish your second repeat. Measure as you knit.*”

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.


  6. Hello from Argentina! This pattern is truly beautiful and the story behind it, in reference to the river really inspiring. As Bruce Lee said let’s be water. Thank you!!

  7. Beautiful addition! Love this square and can’t wait to cast on. Will you be putting it on ravelry, too? (I’ve been keeping track of my squares there.) Thanks, too, for the free PDF!!!

    1. Hi Besty,

      Thank you so much!

      I have just listed it on Ravelry! I waited because I wasn’t sure if you list it for free as I want to keep mine 100% free. It’s now up on Ravelry for free! You can search Traveling Afghan: Square #23 or just LoopnThreads.


    1. Hi Donna,

      I have a free PDF for you that you can download. You can click on my ‘Shop’ tab or click on the bold link text that says, “downloadable PDF version in my shop.” and it’ll take you there.

      I have a feature that prevents text, images, and other content from being copied so my site doesn’t allow it.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.


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