Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tips and Tricks for making a crocheted afghan

I've been asked several questions about making my afghans, so to make things easy I thought I'd just do a post about it for you all! :) I've got a few tips and tricks and thoughts to share on creating a handmade afghan.

Firstly, I get all my crochet block patterns from this wonderful book, 200 crochet blocks for blankets, throws, and afghans by Jan Eaton.

This book has taught me so much about crochet and the patterns are all so clearly written and easy-to-read! There are illustrations in the back that show how to make each crochet stitch mentioned in the block patterns. From this I learned how to make Popcorns, Bobbles, Puff stitches, and Triple and Half-double crochet stitches. (SO much fun!) 
These are some of the patterns in this book.

Ok. First thing I do when starting an afghan is to make a plan. I choose what size I want my finished afghan, and what crochet blocks I want to use in the afghan. I draw up a diagram like so... (Sometimes I take the time to use a ruler and make much straighter lines) This diagram below was hastily drawn in a moment of frenzied creativity... :D

And here we have one of my typical crochet blocks. I use an H/8 size hook, and regular worsted weight (4-ply) yarn... sometimes mixing in some baby yarn here and there... and since I've discovered I crochet with such a large (rather loose) tension my crochet blocks all come out about 8 1/2 to 9 inches.

When creating your afghan, make up a 'test block' and then multiply the dimensions to whatever size you want the finished creation to be and calculate how many blocks you'll need.
To piece the blocks together, I lay them out in the order I want on top of a solid-colored surface (i.e., a white sheet on top of my bed) and pin them in place, for a large afghan. I sew the blocks together, row-by-row, with coordinating yarn and a large plastic needle. I use a whip-stitch sort of technique... ah, might have to post pictures of that later so you know what I mean.
Colors are very important for me when making an afghan. What 'feel' do I want the completed piece to portray? The muted berry colors and purples I'm using in my current afghan create a feeling of understated elegance and sophistication, and the touches of pink and lavender add a hint of sweetness.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you have that I didn't answer in my post! :) I'll be happy to help.

Rachel asked me ... Q: Where do you get your yarns?
My answer ... A: I wait for super-duper sales, like you, Rachel, and I also adore this beautifully soft and inexpensive yarn that you can get at Hobby Lobby called "I Love This Yarn" - how appropriately named - It's usually $2.39 for a 7-ounce skein, which is a great deal when you consider that the Vanna's Choice yarn (which I love as well) is usually around the same price for only 3 ounces of yarn. So check out the Hobby Lobbys in your area! :D 


  1. Excellent dear! :D How fun! Yes, hurried creativity is never neat. ;) Lol! I do the same thing with my craft ideas. ;) I loved your tips and your tutorial. I have seen and borrowed that book from our library's excellent! :D

    I do have a question, where do you get your yarn? :) Do you buy it all at a craft store..or some at yard sales, or what? :) Just curious. For myself, I mostly buy it when it's on a really, really, good sale at a craft store. I'd love to go to some yard sales this summer though and re-stock my "misc." yarn for those small projects and things. ;)

    Love and Hugs! I can't wait to see your afghan all completed! :D

    Blessings and Happy New Year!

  2. You're so talented! I want to learn to crochet! It's so pretty, and a good way to spend your time.


  3. Wow, I loved reading that post! Thank you so much for all of the helpful hints! :)

  4. That block is really pretty Julia.I have tried to crochet,but I guess it's just not my's so confusing!!

  5. Yay! I want to believe you did this post for me! Thank you, dear Julia. This will make this will make the new year more colorful and exciting.

    Happy New Year to you and family.


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