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What to Consider Before Crocheting an Afghan
Before you begin
Many crocheters enjoy crocheting Afghans, and indeed some crochet nothing else. However, if you are about to begin crocheting your very first Afghan, you must plan your project, before commencing the journey on which crocheting every Afghan takes its maker. Crocheting an Afghan takes time, it is a huge commitment and you will want to be sure, about what you are doing, before you begin. Unravelling a baby jacket or even an adult cardigan, because you got halfway through it and decided that you hated it, means unravelling hours or days work, unravelling an Afghan halfway through could mean undoing week’s or a month's worth of work.
The first considerations, when setting out to crochet an Afghan, is the person for whom you are crocheting your Afghan and its purpose. Are you making your Afghan for your own home? Is it for the family room, lounge, or bedroom? Perhaps you are making an Afghan for a gift. Think about the recipient of your gift and their lifestyle, this will guide you as to the kind of pattern that you will choose and the size of your finished Afghan. A baby Afghan needs different qualities to that for an older child, and one for a bedroom requires different qualities to one for the lounge. Crocheting an Afghan for your very feminine best friend is very different to crocheting one for your teenage nephew to put in his first car, and each is different to crocheting a lap Afghan for an elderly relative or friend. Each will need different properties and will be a different size. A baby Afghan for a newborn baby, may only need to fit a crib and be quite small, one for an adult's bedroom may have to fit a King sized bed.
Choose your pattern carefully, you should not choose a lacy openwork pattern for a newborn baby; they can catch their tiny fingers in the holes in a very open pattern. A lacy pattern will not stand up to rough or careless treatment and so is unsuitable for children, a more robust stitch pattern is better for children.
There are many ways to make an Afghan, you can make motifs, granny squares, yo-yos, hexagons, triangles or blocks and either sew them together, or use one of the join as you go methods. Motif Afghans are useful because they are easily transportable, however, Mile a minute Afghans, where one crochets panels and joins them, are also easily carried around and putting them together is much less of a chore. You also want to choose a pattern that you will enjoy doing and which will not prove tedious or onerous. A sampler Afghan can be an interesting project, allowing you to revel in your crocheting skill and preventing boredom, during its making. Some crocheters prefer to crochet Afghans in simple patterns, because they enjoy crocheting, whilst watching television on winter evenings.
Now Choose a Suitable Yarn
Once you have chosen your pattern, you will want to find or buy the yarn for the project. Always ensure that you have all the yarn that you require for your project. Some yarn shops will allow you to reserve yarn and pay for it, as you require it. Do not be fooled by yarn that states that it has no dye lots, either buy your yarn all at one time or reserve it, the next delivery may be a completely different shade to the yarn that you began with and this will spoil your finished work. Choose your yarn carefully. A yarn that sheds fibres is unsuitable for babies. Afghans should always be machine washable.
If you are crocheting a lap type Afghan for an elderly or infirm person, you might want to consider working with a large hook, perhaps an M, N, P or Q hook, and several strands of yarn at once. This makes a warm but very light Afghan.
There are many things to consider before crocheting Afghans. Crocheting an Afghan is a huge commitment in time and effort and it is wise to think the Afghan through, before you begin. When you embark on crocheting an Afghan, having considered the matter carefully, you only need concentrate on producing a beautiful Afghan, and enjoying the process.