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All That Yarn - Making Crocheted Afghans

Updated on July 26, 2017

The original afghan pattern

Rose Garden afghan
Rose Garden afghan

Rose Garden Afghan

The pattern was called Rose Garden. It had one central flower surrounded by four medium and four smaller flowers. These are edged with green leaves. The flowers are then enclosed in a surrounding square.

Unfortunately, I do not know where the pattern originates. This pattern was hand copied from a book that my grandmother had in her stash of knitting and crochet patterns, in the days before copy machines were easily accessible. I used to do that a lot at Grandma's farm. When I wanted to copy a pattern, I had my notepad and pen to write it down by hand.

I have included a copy of my hand-typed version, and it is at the end of this article. I had also graphed out the colors in Microsoft Publisher 98 so that it was easier to visualize the layout.

Making use of leftover parts, too.

Finished creative afghan using leftover center square and other yarns from original project.
Finished creative afghan using leftover center square and other yarns from original project.

Make use of the leftover yarn

The center panel of this afghan came from an old pattern that is no longer available. I made an extra set of the flowers after making an entire afghan of these squares. Then I found I did not have enough to do more squares to make the original afghan larger, and not enough yarn left to start a second afghan of the same pattern. I also ran out of the tan yarn.

I had leftovers of the various colors, but not enough to make more individual flowers. I came up with the idea of using the one flower-square left to be the center of a new afghan. I then used the Granny Square pattern and all the leftover colors from the flowers to make squares to border the center square.

This made the afghan square instead of rectangular. So then I used a different brown yarn that was bordering the center flower-square. I made really big Granny Squares and put two side-by-side on both ends of the afghan. This turned the square into a rectangle.

As you can see by the photo of the original Rose Garden afghan and my creative use of leftovers, these are two very different results. Both are made using Worsted Weight 100% Acrylic yarns. The pattern called for yarns that were no longer made, and without a yarn conversion chart to figure out exactly what size they called for, I made the decision to use regular worsted weight yarns. The one yarn called for in the pattern says it is a Sport Weight yarn, but again, it was no longer available in stores (this was before the internet and eBay where old yarns can sometimes be found for sale).

I made an afghan following the pattern, then took off on a tangent to create my own unique piece from the leftover yarns. I like a challenge in creativity. Using up the leftover center square and then creating different squares with the leftover colors required a little research (for patterns) and thought. I like the results of how the creative one turned out.

Flowers details

Close up of Flowers - small, medium, center red one.
Close up of Flowers - small, medium, center red one.

How I did it...

I will tell you how I came up with this idea.

First, I used a pattern for a different type of granny square from Red Heart’s book Great Afghans and Throws, Pattern J27.0004-1C, Super Granny, Designed by Marianne Forrestal. You can find it by searching on the Red Heart Yarn website.

I put together the color combinations for the squares based on how much yarn was left in each color. That is, smaller amounts became the centers and larger amounts did the surrounding rounds.

I used the same Rose Garden border around the flowers but this time with a darker brown. The original pattern called for off-white, but I used tan for that as I thought it looked more like dirt than off-white would.

The two-on-each-end brown granny squares are larger squares from the same Red Heart Super Granny pattern. I just added more rounds until they measured about half the width of the center piece, and then made two to put on each end.

I like to join my squares with single crochet or slip stitch instead of whip stitch (or sewing) them together. Sometimes the single crochet joining leaves an interesting ridge that sort of frames the squares. There are other joining methods using slip stitch or single crochet and chain alternating catching the stitches on the squares being joined together.

What do you think?

Which of the two versions of the Rose Garden afghan do you like better?

See results

Instructions for the Rose Garden Afghan

Rose Garden Afghan

36"x50" without fringe, 46"x60" with fringe

Materials: Bucilla Melody yarn (1 oz. Skeins). Three skeins each of #11 Red (A); #21 Coral (B); #10 Hot Pink (C); #16 Light Pink (D); #27 Yellow (E); 2 skeins of #18 Olive Green (F); and Bear Brand Spectator Sport Yarn (2 oz. Skeins) with 10 skeins of white (G). Size H hook or for gauge of each 9-rose motif = 9"x9". Each complete square = 14"x14".

Square (make 12): The 9-rose motif:

Rose #1 (center rose): With A, start at center and ch 4. Join with sl st to form ring.

Rnd 1: Chain 1, 8 sc in ring. Join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same sc as joining, *ch 1, sc in next sc; rep from * around, ending with ch 1 Join with sl st to first sc [8 ch-1 loops]

Rnd 3: Sc in next ch-1 lp, *ch 3, sc in next ch-1 Ip; rep from * around ending with ch 3. Join to first sc [8 ch-3 lps]

Rnd 4: *in next ch-3 lp make hdc, 2 dc, hdc; sI st in next sc; rep from * around, making last sl st in joining of last rnd [8 petals]

Rnd 5: ch 1, from back of work, make sc around bar of first sc on rnd 3, *ch 4, working in back of petal, sc around bar of next sc on rnd 3; rep from * 6 more times; ch 4. join with sl st to first sc of this rnd [8 ch-4 Ips]

Rnd 6: *in next ch-4 lp make hdc, 3 dc, hdc; sl st in next sc; rep from * around, making last sl st in joining of last rnd.

Rnd 7: ch 1, from back of work make sc around bar of first sc on rnd 5, *ch 4, working in back of petal, sc around bar of next sc on rnd 5; rep from *around, ending with ch 4. join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 8: *in next ch-4 Ip make 2 hdc, 3 dc, 2 hdc; sl st in next sc; rep from *around, make last sl st in joining of last rnd [8 petals]. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Rose #2 (corner rose): Rounds 1-5: with C follow directions for rose #1 until rnd 5 completed.

With C, start at center and ch 4. Join with sl st to form ring.

Rnd 1: Chain 1, 8 sc in ring. Join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same sc as joining, *ch 1, sc in next sc; rep from *around, ending with ch 1 Join with sl st to first sc [8 ch-1 loops]

Rnd 3: Sc in next ch-1 Ip, *ch 3, sc in next ch-1 Ip; rep from *around ending with ch 3. Join to first sc [8 ch-3 Ips]

Rnd 4: *in next ch-3 Ip make hdc, 2 dc, hdc; sl st in next sc; rep from *around, making last sl st in joining of last rnd [8 petals]

Rnd 5: ch 1, from back of work, make sc around bar of first sc on rnd 3, *ch 4, working in back of petal, sc around bar of next sc on rnd 3; rep from * 6 more times; ch 4. join with sI st to first sc of this rnd [8 ch-4 Ips]

Rnd 6: (joining rnd): *in next ch-4 loop make hdc, 4 dc, hdc; sl st in next sc; rep from * 5 more times (6 in all). In next ch-4 loop make hdc, 2 dc, now join to center Rose #1 as follows: Pick up Rose #1 and hold in back of Rose #2 with wrong sides facing.

SI st through upper loops of bar of center dc on any petal of Rose #1 (top loops of dc remain free on right side); in same ch-4 loop on rose #2 make 2 dc and 1 hdc; sl st in next sc, in next ch-4 loop make hdc and 2 dc; with wrong side of #1 facing ,sI st thru upper Ips of bar of center dc on next petal of #1; in same ch-4 lp on #2 (being made) work 2 dc and hdc, end with sl st in joining of last rnd...corner rose joined to 2 petals of center rose. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Roses #3, #4 #5 (corner roses) Using colors as indicated on diagram, follow directions for Rose #2, but joining each rose to NEXT 2 free petals of center rose #1. (since there is no diagram: for corner Rose # 3 use color B; corner Rose #4 use color D; corner Rose #5 use color E.)

Rose #6 (side rose) With D, ch 4. Join with sl st to form ring.

Rnd 1: ch 1, 8 sc in ring. Join to first sc.

Rnd 2: ch 1, from back of work, sc around bar of first sc, *ch 1, from back of work, sc around bar of next sc; rep from * around, ending with ch 1. join to first sc.

Rnd 3: rep rnd 3 of rose #1: Sc in next ch-1 lp, *ch 3, sc in next ch-1 Ip; rep from * around ending with ch 3. Join to first sc [8 ch-3 Ips]

Rnd 4: (in next ch-3 Ip make hdc, 2 dc, hdc; sl st in next sc) 3 times; in next ch-3 lp make hdc, dc; pick up joined roses and hold in back of work with wrong side facing, placing rose being made between roses #2 and #5, sl st between center 2 dc on next free petal preceding previous joining (on rose #5); in same ch-3 lp on rose being made -- work dc and hdc; sl st in next sc, in next ch-3 lp make hdc and dc, sl st thru upper Ips of next free dc after next joining on rose #1, in same ch-3 Ip on rose being made work dc and hdc; sl st in next sc, in next ch-3 lp make hdc and dc; sl st in next sl st between petals on rose #1; in same ch-3 Ip on rose being made make dc and hdc, in next ch-3 Ip make hdc and dc, skip next 2 sts on rose #1, sl st thru upper Ips of next dc, in same ch-3 Ip on rose being made, make dc and hdc; sl st in next sc, in next ch-3 Ip made hdc and dc; sl st between center 2 dc on next free petal on next corner rose in same ch-3 Ip on rose being made, make dc and hdc, end with sI st in joining of last rnd. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Contrasting Center: using colors indicated by CC in diagram, attach yarn to top of any sc on Rnd 1 of rose #6, sc in same st, sc in top of each sc around rnd 1. Join with sl st to first sc. Cut yarn and fasten off. [for Rose # 6 use Color E for the CC]

Roses #7, #8, #9 (side roses): using colors and placing side roses as indicated on diagram, work same as for rose #6. Since there is no diagram: For the side Rose #7 use color E, side Rose #8 color C, side Rose #9 color B. (since there is no diagram: for CC (contrasting center color) use for Rose # 7 use Color B; for Rose # 8 use Color D; for Rose # 9 use Color C.)

9-Rose Motif Edging: with right side facing attach F to sl st between 2nd and 3rd free petals on any corner Rose, ch 3 (to count as 1 dc), in same st make dc, ch 3 for corner, and 2 dc; *ch 2, sc between center 2 dc on next petal, ch 2, dc in next sl st between petals, ch 2, sc between center 2 dc of next petal, ch 2, in next joining of roses make tr, ch 2, tr; ch 2, from back of work, make sc and ch 2 around bar of center dc on each of next 3 free petals on next side of rose; in next joining of roses make TR, ch 2, TR; ch 2, sc between center 2 dc of next petal on next corner rose, ch 2, dc in next sl st between petals, ch 2, sc between center 2 dc on next petal, ch 2, in next sl st between petals make 2 dc, ch 3 for corner and 2 dc; rep from * around, ending last repeat with ch 2, sc between center 2 dc on next petal, ch 2. Join with sl st to top of ch-3. cut yarn and fasten off.

Square Border (around the 9-Rose Motif):

Rnd 1: with right side facing, attach G with sl st in any corner ch-3 sp, ch 3, dc in same sp, * make 2 dc in each of next 6 ch-2 sp, 3 dc in next ch-2 spa, 2 dc in each of next 6 ch-2 spaces, next corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3 for corner and 2 dc; rep from * around, ending last rep with 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of ch-3 at beginning of rnd to form last corner sp [124 dc, counting first ch-3 as 1 dc].

Rnd 2: ch 3 (to count as 1 dc), dc in corner sp just formed, *dc in each dc to within next corner ch-3 sp, in next corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of ch-3 to form last corner sp.

Rnd 3: repeat rnd 2 [156 dc]. ch 3 (to count as 1 dc), dc in corner sp just formed, *dc in each dc to within next corner ch-3 sp, in next corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of ch-3 to form last corner sp.

Rnd 4: ch 3, dc in sp just formed, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next dc, ch 1; continue to work dc and ch 1 in every other dc across to within next corner space, in corner space make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc; rep from * around, ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3.

Rnd 5: ch 3, dc in sp just formed, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc and ch 1 in next dc, make dc and ch 1 in each dc to within one dc before next corner space, skip next dc, in corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc; rep from * around; ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3.

Rnd 6: ch 3, dc in corner sp just formed, *make dc in each dc and in each ch-1 sp across to next corner sp, in corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3. Cut yarn and fasten.

Finishing: pin each square to measurements on a padded surface; cover with a damp cloth, allow to dry; do not press. With a darning needle and G, working through back loop only of each st, from wrong side sew squares together from center of corner to center of next corner, matching stitches. Join squares in 4 rows of 3 squares in each row.

Afghan Border:

Rnd 1: with right side facing attach G with a sl st in any corner space of the afghan, ch 3, dc in same sp, *dc in each dc, in each ch and in each joining across to within next corner sp of afghan, in corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc; rep from * around joined squares ending with 2 dc in same sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3.

Rnd 2: ch 3 (to count as 1 dc), dc in corner sp just formed, *dc in each dc to within next corner ch-3 sp, in next corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of ch-3 to form last corner sp.

Rnd 3: ch 3 (to count as 1 dc), dc in corner sp just formed, *dc in each dc to within next corner ch-3 sp, in next corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of ch-3 to form last corner sp.

Rnd 4: ch 3, dc in sp just formed, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next dc, ch 1; continue to work dc and ch 1 in every other dc across to within next corner space, in corner space make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc; rep from * around, ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3.

Rnd 5: ch 3, dc in sp just formed, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc and ch 1 in next dc, make dc and ch 1 in each dc to within one dc before next corner space, skip next dc, in corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc; rep from * around; ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3.

Rnd 6: ch 3, dc in corner sp just formed, * make dc in each dc and in each ch-1 sp across to next corner sp, in corner sp make 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, rep from * around, ending last rep with ch 1, 2 dc in same corner sp as first dc, ch 1, dc in top of first ch-3. Cut yarn and fasten.

Fringe: Wind yarn about 50 times around a 5" square of cardboard; cut at one edge, making 10" strands. Continue to cut strands as needed. Fold one 10" strand in half to form a loop; with right side of afghan facing, insert hook from back to front in any st on last rnd of afghan and pull Ip through, draw loose ends through loop, pull tightly to form a knot. Tie a 10" strand in the same manner in each st and 3 strands in each corner sp along entire outer edge of afghan. Trim evenly.

Crochet Abbreviations for Rose Garden Afghan

(click column header to sort results)
Chain = ch  
Single Crochet stitch = sc
Double Crochet stitch = dc
Half Double Crochet stitch = hdc
Triple or Treble Crochet stitch = tr
Slip Stitch = sl st
Skip = sk
Space = sp
Repeat = rep
Loop = lp
Contrast Color = CC
Main Color = MC

Purple granny square strips

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Closer Detail on some of the squares.Finished Afghan using all three strips plus my purple yarn from my stash.
Closer Detail on some of the squares.
Closer Detail on some of the squares.
Finished Afghan using all three strips plus my purple yarn from my stash.
Finished Afghan using all three strips plus my purple yarn from my stash.

Other ideas for pieces of projects

I was surfing eBay and came across an interesting item for sale. It was three strips of Granny Squares. The squares were already stitched together, but the three strips were separate pieces like someone had started a project and not been able to finish it. I bid on it and won (no other bidders), and after it arrived I found that it was not enough to make an afghan by itself. The squares were joined together with the single crochet joining method. Then there was a border around the strip. This meant that I could not take apart the squares with ending up with a lot of little pieces of yarn.

So I did some thinking and some sketching. I came up with an idea on how to make these three strips into a full size afghan. Each of the strips was about five feet long to start with, so I needed ideas on joining them or adding to the original strips to make them wider instead of longer.

I started going through my stash of yarn and pulling all the light, dark, and medium purple yarns. I had Plum, Light Lavender, and Purple. I then started doing a row of granny square stitches (the usual 3 double crochet, chain 1) down one long side. I found that the strips were so long that I could not go completely around the strip but just down the sides. So I made them wider by increasing the entire side piece of each strip. This meant a lot of yarn tails to weave in since I had to start and stop on each end of one side as I went. It also meant I had to reverse what I was doing to go down the other side of the strip so that the stitches would all end up on the "front" side.

I added a lot of similar shades of purple when I had to dig out more because I ran out of the first three colors I had from my stash. The finished product showed off the strips and still blended with the colors that the original crocheter had used to make the squares. The centers of the squares are all different as they are pink, yellow, and a pastel ombre. Two of the strips were sewn together in the same order but the third one was a different order. I put the one different one into the center of the afghan.

It proved that there are ways to "fix" leftover projects and still come out with something nice as a result. I could have made the strips into a very long scarf, but it just seemed that a blanket would be a better use instead. This was probably one of the most challenging uses of leftovers that I have done to date.

Pinks and Blues Granny Square Afghan

Using 6 balls of yarn and some extra to make this one-of-a-kind.
Using 6 balls of yarn and some extra to make this one-of-a-kind.

Another Designer Afghan Idea

The next afghan from leftovers is in various pinks and blues. This yarn came from a co-worker who had originally used the yarn as rolled balls in a basket for an interior design decoration. When she gave it to me, she was changing her living room colors and wanted to get rid of the yarn. She did not knit or crochet, so she thought of me since I do both. I had to figure out what to do with one ball of each color and not knowing the brand or fibers in the yarn.

I had an ombre (variegated colors), pink in two shades, blue and a blue-grey yarns to work with and create something. There was enough to make several granny squares and I added some from my stash to round out the entire piece. I think it turned out quite nice considering it was not a palette of colors that I would have thought of putting together for an afghan.

Granny squares work up fast, cover a lot of area, and do not use a lot of yardage when compared to other stitches. It’s my “go to” stitch for using odd bits of yarn up, or filling in around other types of squares.

[A quick way to test unknown yarn is the “burn test” to determine a wool or synthetic. To do this test you cut about 1” of yarn off the one to be tested, hold it with tweezers over a candle flame (easier than lighting a match each time) until it starts burning. Drop it on a heat resistant surface like a metal plate or saucer, and wait for it to cool a bit. The synthetic (usually acrylic) will MELT into a hard bead while the wool (or other natural fibers) will turn to ASH and break apart when touched.]

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  • crochetkid24 profile image
    Author

    Nancy Pawlowski 3 years ago from Casper WY

    I take lots of pictures of my afghans and crocheted throws since I give 99% of them away as donations each year. I have an extensive collection of afghan patterns starting in the 1970s and up to anything free on either Lion Brand or Red Heart yarns websites. Sometimes the colors catch my interest, sometimes the designs. Sometimes it is using the clearance bin yarns up in something I'd like for myself. Hope you enjoy reading my Hub.

  • crochetkid24 profile image
    Author

    Nancy Pawlowski 3 years ago from Casper WY

    I don't have this afghan anymore as I make and give several afghans/throws each year to a local women's shelter.

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