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Afghans

Crochet Afghan Blogs
  • Sweet and Sunshiney Shells

    I finished the Sunshine pattern from Blankets for Toddlers this weekend!

    It was my big, all-consuming project for this weekend and I'm happy to see it completed.  It took three skeins of Red Heart Super Saver and an I hook.  It measures 38" long and about 34" wide, and I'm sure it will stretch out a tiny bit with regular use.  I felt like adding a bit more color to it, so I worked single crochets across the top, and in the free loops of the begging chain at the bottom in a bright pink yarn.  I think it looks fun.

    This is a fun and simple pattern--I would definitely recommend it for car trips or movie marathons.  The pattern is simple enough that you can look up from your work and enjoy the scenery around you while your hands stay busy and your laps stays warm.  I watched a tremendous amount of crime-solving on TV this weekend while I finished this up.  It was such a laid back fall activity to enjoy, and I loved it.  I have another baby blanket or two to finish up, and then I think I'm done with blankets for the year!

    I didn't realize I would have quite so many blankets to make when I thought about making more blankets this year, but oh my goodness.  I feel like some sort of blanket wizard now.  I'm not actually a blanket wizard, but when you consider that I had only made three or four before this year and that I made three or four just this summer.....well, I feel like I've really pulled something off.  Yay!

    This project is the same row of shells and single crochet stitches over and over.  I've been getting over a little cold, and I've been a little worn out and also loopy from medication.  It was nice to have something that made me feel a little more productive while I was glued to the couch without having anything too complicated for me to mess up in my less-than-stellar state.  I'm going to give this to some friends with a new little niece, and I'm hoping this will see a lot of use this winter.  I'm also hoping that the baby appreciates the little pop of pink I added to the borders, but I think I should just be happy with how nicely the pattern turned into a nice little blanket.

  • A Happy Scrappy Afghan

    I finished the afghan pattern from Learn to Crochet Circles into Squares!  I'm so happy with this!

    I've been working on this blanket in fits and starts for quite a while.  I crocheted most of my circles in a weekend earlier this summer.

    And then I made most of my squares a month or so ago.
     

    And then I realized last week that I hadn't finished this pretty little lap afghan, and I jumped back into this with crochet hooks blazing.  Well, I really only had one crochet hook.  That's really all I needed. My H hook and I crocheted squares around the last few circles, and I started seaming the squares together on Friday night.  And then I seamed some more on Saturday.  And on Sunday.  I'm slow at seaming.  I'm even slower at weaving in all those ends from the seaming.  But this was worth it.

    I can't enter this in the state fair, like I had originally planned, but I can happily put this in my gift stash.  I had thought I knew who I would give this to when I was about halfway through the square-making stage of this project, but now I'm not sure.  I'm wondering about giving this to my nephew.  This is pretty large to be a baby blanket--36" X 40"--but he'll be toddler size any day now.

     

    I put a lot of hours into this blanket, and it makes me happy to think of it going to my favorite little guy.  I don't have blanket levels of love for many people.  Do you know what I mean?  I like to crochet or knit baby blankets because that seems like a great way to let a baby AND parents feel loved, but I don't normally make blankets for people who aren't newborns.  Sometimes I'll say that I "blanket love" someone, but I don't say it very often!

    This blanket is a little time-consuming, but it's also pretty simple to crochet.  You can use up a lot of scraps and play around with your color possibilities, and of course you can make it a bit smaller or larger than the pattern's recommended five rows of six squares.  You can do whatever you want! This pattern is easy to modify, which is one of the nicest things I can say about a pattern.  I love mixing up colors and square sizes and any other aspect of a pattern that can be changed up.  Best of all, you will definitely have learned how to crochet circles into squares if you try out this pattern.

     

    No wait, the very best part is that you're going to have a beautifully colorful blanket if you try out this project.  That's my favorite part.

  • Afghan Mania and the African Flower Motif

    You know what I should be making?  If you guessed "another dadgum blanket," you're so right!  So what if I have a couple of other blankets that I haven't finished!  I've wanted to make the Squared Afghan pattern from Learn to Crochet African Flower Motifs for a while now and last week I snapped a little and got started.  I'd made a square from this once before, and I think getting the hang of it before beginning an actual project helped a lot.  Once I had my colors picked out, I was all set!

    I'm using an I hook and worsted weight yarn in red, teal, and yellow.  I knew that skein of teal yarn from the blanket I talked about a couple of weeks ago would come in handy!  I also had quite a bit of red and yellow yarn, too.

    Obviously, I have already run out and I'm barely halfway through.  Whoops!  Afghans are big.  I don't know why I forget, but I always do.  This takes a lot of yarn!  I bought my third skein of Caron One Pound--okay, my third skein of yellow--for this year and I might be buying more because this is my border color.  And it turns out I grabbed a skein of Hot Red yarn instead of Cherry Red yarn when I was stocking up on more red yarn.  And you can tell.

    But I'll be using Hot Red for all of the rest of my squares, so I think it will look fine.  This is not a state fair blanket, and I'm trusting that the friend I'm making it for will love the almost garishness of the bright colors.  I love red and blue and yellow together, and I love that the blue is more of a teal.  In case you were wondering, the model in the book looks like this:

    And that's lovely.  But I take everything pretty literally, and I haven't seen a lot of blue or green flowers.  And this is coming from someone who has grown a ridiculous amount of zinnias.  I wanted my 'flowers' to have more vibrant colors, and now that I think about it, I may have had zinnias on the brain.  Those, or Gerber daisies.  But something bright and beautiful for sure.  And this is really fitting the bill.  I've made all ten of the Square 1 squares.

    And now I've made one whole whopping Square 2.

    I love them!  This makes a big square (about 10 inches) and this afghan is supposed to measure 44" X 55".  The squares are working up fairly quickly, and I have the pattern mostly memorized.  I really like the African flower motif, and I think I'm going to love how a blanket full of them looks.

    And I'm halfway to finding out for sure!

  • More Happy Scrappy Afghan Adventures!

    I picked up my happy scrappy afghan project again.  I haven't done a whole lot with the Afghan pattern from Learn to Crochet Circles into Squares, but I really like what I've done so far. 

    And you may have noticed that some of these circles have been crocheted into squares!  I decided to go with brown because I'm really into brown afghans right now. 

     

    I think it's a great contrast to the bright circles, and I have quite a bit of brown yarn in my stash.  I think I'll be running back to the yarn store for more, but that's fine.  I needed some dark green for my green circles anyway.

    And.  I didn't realize that there are some circles that are more of a teal with aqua!  The shopping list for this pattern was so long that I completely missed both the word "teal" and the word "aqua"!  I promise I would have paid closer attention if I was buying yarn, but I was using up scraps and I'd already decided to swap out lilac with purple for light yellow with mustard.  The teal/aqua combo look so similar to the light blue/darker blue circles in the picture!  I'm debating with myself about buying more yarn, making double the number of blue circles, or just making an extra circle of each color. 

    I'm also thinking a lot about why in the world I decided I needed to use an H hook for an afghan when the pattern calls for an I hook.  Even if my stitches got a bit stretchy, this would still be a heavy and warm blanket.  If I had to guess, it's because I couldn't find my I hook when I began working on this.  I lose my I hook more than I used to lose my H hook.  I guess I'll need to go out and buy two spare I hooks so that the original will turn up--that's what mostly solved my Missing H Hook Problem.  Anyway, the last two rows feel a bit cramped but the gauge is mostly okay.  The squares are nearly the recommended 7" across (my gauge tends to run a bit large) and I'm sure they'll stretch a bit after seaming and washing. 

    I don't know who this blanket is for, and I'm working on it because I need to finish up some WIPs.  The number of projects I have lying around is starting to make me feel a little antsy, and the only way to feel better is clear some of them out.  It feels a little odd to jump on this project instead of any of the baby projects I should be working on, but I love these colors so much!  And I think this afghan may go in the state fair this fall.  My knitting group decided that we would dominate the yarnwork categories of our state fair this year.  And yes, the word "dominate" was used repeatedly.

     I've been 'assigned' the crochet categories.  I'm actually pretty excited about it.  I always mean to submit something to the state fair, and then I don't.  Something about my friends declaring that we're going to win everything (we're not. But it's nice to have goals) is a good motivator.  Besides, I've done this before.  I was 17 and it was the youth division, but I still won a ribbon!  I entered a lap afghan of my own design using--what else?--granny squares.  Thinking about the state fair is even more motivating than this former 4Her would like to admit.   I know there's a tendency in craft blogging to be all 'oh, little ol' me?' or to at least act like a rational and gracious adult but seriously, if I don't win a rosette....well, I don't know what I'll do but I know I won't handle it well.  I want to dominate.

    Ahem.

    I really don't think I'll finish this up this weekend (the wild thought did jump through my head earlier in the week when I was fantasizing about the weekend), but I hope to crochet at least half of the squares I need for this.  This is going to be a beautiful afghan!

  • Happy Scrappy Adventures in Afhgan-Making

    I'm crocheting the cover pattern from Learn to Crochet Circles into Squares!  When I first saw the Afghan pattern, I thought I didn't have enough yarn to make so many circles using so many different colors.

    But this weekend, I was looking at my spare scraps of yarn and realized.....I totally did.  Awesome!

     

    It's so much more fun for me to start something than to do pretty much anything else.  Seriously.  I have a big problem with startitis, so maybe take my words with a grain of salt but I just think jumping headfirst into a project is one of the best feelings ever--even if you have a bunch of other WIPs piling up around you.  Actually, jumping headfirst into a new project might even feel better when you have a bunch of other WIPs piling up around you.

    You can start fresh!  Everything will be different this time!  The pattern holds such promise!  Your stash has yet to let you down!  Anything is possible and we could be heroes just for one day!  I may be stretching just a bit, but I'm really just saying that to sound sane and humble.  Because really, that is what the inside of my head is like nearly every time I start a new project.  Why would I keep myself from feeling that joy just because I currently have five or six WIPs staring at me in judgement?  Heck, they can't stare at me if I shove them into bags and put them away.  Onward and upward with new projects! 

    I think that's my favorite part anyway.  Just doing what I want.  There are no crafting police.  No responsible adults frowning and reminding me that I might want to free up some needles and finish a few projects before trying anything else.  I am the adult!  (God help us all.)  I can start or stop a project at any time! 

    Plus, I've wanted to try this afghan for a while.  I've enjoyed the other projects I've crocheted from Learn to Crochet Circles into Squares, and I love the circle within a square motif.  It reminds me of modern art and playfully cheerful children's storybook illustrations.  I just like circles. 

    And this has all the colors of the rainbow! 

    I should mention that I realize I've only crocheted the circle part of these circle-within-a-square squares.  I am currently still internally debating whether to use brown yarn or purple.  I honestly may finish up a few baby afghans that I've neglected lately and then see which color I have more of.  Because I think either one would look great--the brown is your standard Crayola chocolate brown and the purple is a dark plum that would bring out the bright colors without being too dark to work with.  Either one is a winner and I think this is going to be beautiful.  The finished product is supposed to be a nice throw size and I'm not sure how many blankets my couch needs, but I'm excited about this one anyway. 

    Now that I'm nearly finished with the circles, I'll probably let them marinade while I finish up other projects and think about brown versus purple yarn for the rest of the afghan.  I'm going to travel a little for the weekend and I'll be able to finish up some projects anyway.  Now that I have this little bit of startitis out of my system--the only real cure is to go ahead and start yet another thing!--I can focus a bit more on other WIPs.

     

    I'm really excited to have gotten such a good start on this one, though.  I have a good feeling.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Whoops.

    I made the Granny Border dishcloth from Dishcloths again.  But with a few minor modifications.

    Last time, I used worsted weight cotton yarn and an H hook. I followed the pattern's instructions faithfully and worked six rows before adding a border.

    This time, I used bulky weight acrylic yarn with an N hook.  And worked twenty-three rows.

    So this is an afghan, and not a dishcloth.  But it's an afghan that comes from a dishcloth pattern.  I'm not really sure what happened.

    I can guess a little, though.  Do you ever have a knitting pattern that you want to crochet, or vice versa?  Because I've been knitting different versions of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Square Shawl (it's really a lightweight baby blanket) in different yarns of different weights for the last couple of months and I just love the two-stitch increase in the four corners. It's so simple and perfect! I thought about knitting up all of my stray skeins and balls of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, but then I remembered how much I dislike the needles I would need for this.  And I also remembered this dishcloth pattern and figured it would do nicely.

    So late last week, I got to work.  I started with small scraps.  I knew I wanted to add new colors only when I started a new row to keep things from looking too scrappy.  I also knew I could probably make this pretty quickly.  I did not know I would make most of this over the weekend and give myself some serious shoulder pain from working for so long on such a heavy project with so much deranged intensity.  But I guess it's nice to find a pattern that just works for you?  Or something.

    So now I have a lovely throw in my gift pile, and nearly every last bit of unwanted super bulky yarn is gone.  I have to confess that I went ahead and bought another skein of green and the brown tweedy-looking yarn, but everything else was from my stash.  I also unraveled some projects that weren't sitting well with me, and it felt fantastic to transform them into something I liked. 

    I didn't get bored with this pattern at all, if you can believe it. I think switching colors so much and thinking about yardage and color combinations as I worked helped a lot. Toward the end, I was a little ready to be finished because I was using nearly a skein per row and I was nervous about running out.  That's just so much yarn!  Which was the point, I know.  Oh, and I should mention that I didn't crochet the single crochet border on this blanket like I did when I made this pattern for actual dishcloths.  I didn't have enough yarn in any one color for that, and I like it when blankets stretch out and get a bit loosey goosey.  A good afghan should only get better with time, and I think that growing a bit is definitely better.

    This took about ten skeins' worth of yarn, which means I used up a little over a thousand yards.  That's pretty great!  I would happily make this again with worsted weight yarn and a smaller hook. Maybe an H or an I hook.  I have plenty of worsted weight yarns in tiny amounts, and the colors could be amazing.  It might take me a little longer to make than this project, but I think that's fine.

    Maybe two weekends.

  • I Got a Project Bag Full of Sunshine

    I'm crocheting the Ripples of Joy afghan from Baby Afghans again and I love this sunshiney little work in progress.

    This is looking a little different from the project I made with this pattern last time.

    For starters, I'm using one color instead of five, and I don't think I'll be making this nearly as big as I did before.  This is, after all, a baby pattern.  And I am making this for a baby this time around.  I'm using Caron One Pound, so I know one color should take care of the whole blanket.  This is actually my second skein of Caron One Pound for just this year.  I want to tell you that, but I don't want to really think about what that says about me because I'm not quite sure.

    Moving on.

    I love how this is going and I still love this pattern and I love the yarn and I love that the blanket will look like a sun in a children's book when I'm finished.

    But.

    I decided to skip the process of working through the back loops.  Here's a post that describes what that means and has a tutorial, and here's a left-handed equivalent.  But basically working in the back loops every other row is what makes the blanket look so ripply.  I don't know how ripply I want my sunshine to look, but I'm not convinced that this is the look that I should be going for.  Like most pattern mods, it seemed like a really great idea before I was actually doing it.  

    But now I'm just not sure.  Maybe it's just because it feels odd to follow this pattern while doing nearly everything differently.  Or maybe I would like the look of these ripple rows being worked in the back loops more than I had realized.  

    Maybe this is completely fine, though.  The points will become more pronounced as I keep working, and this is going to make a very cheerful and solid baby blanket.  I think I'll work this for a few more rows before I make a decision to rip back or keep going. 

    I hope your projects don't make you feel so conflicted.  Happy crafting!
  • Rainbow Ripples of Joy. Exuberant, Exultant, and Elated Joy.

    It's finished!  I have made a mostly full-sized afghan!  It's a modified version of the Ripples of Joy pattern from Baby Afghans and I feel pretty joyful every time I look at this.

    The afghan's about 50" across, which makes it perfect for a lap throw or for wearing around my shoulders when I'm hanging out on the couch.

    Or, more realistically, it will be a perfect size for my daughter to completely cocoon herself in when she steals this.  Because I'm pretty sure she's going to steal this.

    Not that I would blame her.  This is a lovely rainbow-y burst of happiness and kid-friendly primary colors.  It took about a three-hundred-yard skein of yarn for each color, give or take a little.  I didn't use much of my orange, but I did need a little extra blue. 

    There's so much blue in this picture, I couldn't fit it all in the shot.

    I almost regret not adding purple to the pattern because it would have been a tiny bit larger and this would look even more rainbow-like.  Almost.  This is pretty fantastic as it is.

    Obviously this is a bit larger than the baby version, but the pattern is essentially the same.  I just have different color choices and I decided to skip the border because I wanted the edges to be clean and sharp.

    The afghan looks extra ripply because every other row is made by working in the back loops, which I love.  The technique slowed me down a little, but the extra time was worth it for such a beautifully textured blanket.

    Once I was 6 or 7 rows into this pattern, I had no trouble following along.  I might make a larger version of this some time.  And I will definitely make a smaller version of this.  I would love to see this ripple pattern in blues and grays, and I know it wouldn't take very long at all if I made it in the baby blanket size.

    I don't know any baby boys who will be born any time soon (or any little girls whose parents would welcome a blue and gray blanket), but I may make one for my gift stash pretty soon.  I don't quite know what to do with myself now that this afghan is done! 

    Well, other than enjoy my colorful and warm blanket during this cold weekend.  I don't know what I'll do other than that.

    Oh!  But before I forget: if you don't feel like buying Baby Afghans and having 9 crochet patterns in your library (what is wrong with you?!), the Ripples of Joy pattern is available for individual purchase.

    Okay, now I think I've said everything I think you need to know.  Have a happy crafting weekend and stay warm!  I hope you  have afghan-making in your plans....

  • Busy Bee

    I'm not sure this is the best use of my time, but now and then, I crochet a block from the Colorful Hexagon pattern in Motif Afghans

    I left off the last row because I originally thought this was going to be a baby blanket.  Why I would need to start a blanket in the middle of a bunch of half-finished projects for my baby nephew who is due any day now and my Christmas list of gift idea projects (which is due....we don't have to talk about it) is beyond me.  But I'm still compelled to make a hexagon sometimes.  Every time, it's a yellow hexagon.

    I made several during a knit night a few weeks ago just because I wanted to.  I'm using Caron's Simply Soft in Sunshine.  I want this whole cheerful thing to look like a honeycomb.  I even want to find a little bee pattern to crochet and stitch onto a corner. 

     

    I bought a skein of some slightly contrasting yellow yarn to work a single crochet stitch border around each block and then seam this together.  I wonder if one skein is enough, though. 

     

    I have three skeins of the Caron yarn, and no other plans for it.  I could make a ton of these sweet hexagons!  And I really want to!  I'm also starting to wonder if I should have left off that seventh row to make the blocks smaller. 

    Because I think this might 'bee' for me in the full size. 

  • Revamping a Classic, Part 2

    About a year ago, I wrote a whole post about some of creative and fascinating ways crocheters modify the  Rainbow Crochet Set afghan.  It was a blast because the research involved me looking through Ravelry project pages and messaging super talented folks who talked a little about their tweaks and additions to this classic pattern.  I loved it!  I love Ravelry, I love seeing what people can do with their yarn and their ideas, and I apparently love finding out what new ways people will find to modify the Rainbow Afghan.  I've been digging a little bit more lately, and thought it was definitely time for another post.  Because wow.  If you know me at all, you know I love a good mod.  But these crocheters are unbelievably fantastic and go way beyond anything I could ever dream.

    One of the things I like the most about this pattern is that so many people want to make in a heavier yarn.  The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn, and yields a baby blanket that's, well, baby-sized.  So why not pick some other pattern written for worsted weight yarn with larger dimensions? Because this pattern is just so great.

    This is Thaila's Shroud by Incantrix.

    She used Stylecraft Special DK yarn, and I love how gradually the pinks turn to reds.  This is incredibly striking!

    Bluefrog62's Jason's Purple Rainbow floored me.  These purples are incredibly dramatic, and she mentioned in an email that she makes an afghan for her husband each time he's deployed.  She used Red Heart yarn and a Size L (!!!) hook, and finished made this large afghan in two weeks!  I'm amazed by this, for plenty of reasons.

    Up next is Spring is Coming! by bethintx.  She used Vanna's Choice and an I hook, and this is a square of forty-five inches.  She made this in less than a week.  What are you people doing?

    I was really interested in how variegated yarn is used with solid colors and I like what it does with the striped borders.  I'm betting it's a little brighter in person, and probably very, very springy.  I love it!

    Just as quick and just as springy is PurpleSpongeBob's Crocheted Rainbow Blanket.  This is so bright!  It makes me think of dyed Easter eggs.

    I especially love the granny squares in the corners.  Using a different color for the center is something I haven't seen much of for this pattern, and I think it's beautiful.

     How badly do you want to see this under a blacklight?

    I promise I'm not making fun of this.  I love it so much!  This is LaraKN's Rainbow Square Round Ripple.  She used an I hook and worsted weight yarn and made this in ten days.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on these Ravelers' start and end dates, but they seem worth mentioning.  Maybe it's because some of these folks are efficient on top of being just plain amazing.  Also worth mentioning: she added a third ripple and omitted the squares in the corner.  This afghan is 52" and so full of color I can barely stand it.  These bright tones contrast wonderfully with the black.

    Cheyennedoodles' Baby Blankie in Greens is a baby blanket in greens.  I'm not sure what size it is, but I think I like it when people leave off the granny squares in the corners.  Blankets don't have to be square.  I also like the simple, clean look of having a solid granny square in the center.  And I'm sorry this is so obvious, but I like all the greens!  This is a really green blanket!  I think the different greens would be wonderful for a gender-neutral baby afghan.


    TychaBrahe's Rainbow Afghan makes me think of Care Bears.  Or jelly beans.  Or strawberry ice cream.  It's very cheerful, and very pink.  She used Red Heart worsted weight yarn to make this blanket for a veterans' hospital.  She also crocheted three colors in the color rows instead of six.  This is wonderful.

    The last afghan I wanted to show is still a work in progress, but I don't care.  Seriously, when I asked its maker if I could feature it and she said it wasn't finished, I emailed her back and said "I don't care."  I tend to get a bit abrupt when I'm excited.  Because finished or not, I think you need to see aussie8964's Green Bedspread.  Look at these colors.  Look at them right now!

    She's using an H hook and DK weight yarns--of different brands and different fibers!  Super creative and super brave.  I can't wait to see how this looks when it's all done.

    Update: I forgot one!  Here's the Baby Turner Blanket by rainingpez:

    She used Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids, which is a worsted weight yarn.  I love the way she used variegated yarn with the solids, just like the Spring is Coming! project. The variegated sections really stand out.

    Okay, that's my afghan pattern mod post for this year! I hope you liked looking at these as much as I did.  Because I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  A big, fat, effusive thanks to the wonderful crafters who allowed me to use their photos and link to their project pages.  You're so cool!  I love your creativity!  You make truly amazing things.

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