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What to Consider Before Crocheting an Afghan

Updated on October 20, 2015
BASKET BABY by Beatricekillam DESCRIPTIONImage of cute baby sitting in a woven basket lined with a blanket
BASKET BABY by Beatricekillam DESCRIPTIONImage of cute baby sitting in a woven basket lined with a blanket | Source

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.


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  • Mercia Collins profile image

    Mercia Collins 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    I hate unravelling Afghans too. I once made a very intricate baby Afghan that I kept having to unravel because I was not reading the pattern properly

  • profile image

    PWalker281 6 years ago

    I got back into crocheting afghans a few years ago; before then, I wouldn't even consider crocheting one, but now I find myself making lots of them. I even knitted one (Barbara Walker's Learn-to-Knit) afghan because it involved knitting squares, and I learned a lot of new techniques.

    What I'd really like to do is learn how to design them and create patterns for them.

    Lots of good advice here. Rated up and useful.

    (hope I'm not double posting; my original comment disappeared for some reasn)

  • profile image

    PWalker281 6 years ago

    I've gotten back into crocheting afghans in the last couple of years, whereas before then, you wouldn't catch me making one. How times change! I even knitted one (Barbara Walker's Learn-to-Knit) afghan only because it was composed of squares, and I learned a lot of new knitting techniques.

    I'm sure I'll be crocheting more in the future. What I'd really like to do is learn how to design and create patterns for them.

    Lots of great advice here, especially the one about machine washing afghans. Who in their right mind would ever hand wash a bed-sized afghan!?! Rated up and useful!

  • Mercia Collins profile image

    Mercia Collins 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    I love crocheting Afghans and have made many. These tips are things that I learned through bitter experience.Thank-you all for your kind comments.

  • Rhelena profile image

    Rhelena 6 years ago

    These are great tips to follow. As a designer, I know all about unraveling your hard work. It first it stings, but once you see your improvement the extra work is always worth it.

  • Wheels2sticks profile image

    Wheels2sticks 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    I'm a knitter, but when it comes to blankets, I crochet them, most of the time. Your tips are really good advise.

  • Barbara Kay profile image

    Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

    I love the photo. Good article and yes and afghan can take hours and hours of work.