Afghan crochet is a beautiful crocheted blanket, often given as gifts and sometimes even passed through generations as an heirloom. Further, many people use Afghan crochet as a decoration on the back of their chair or even as a bedspread. The name "Afghan" is derived from "Afghan oriental rugs". Many enthusiasts create Afghan crochet to sell or display in their homes, while some like to collect Afghan crochet.
Usually, Afghan crochets are incorporated with many patterns and geometric stripes, and you can use bright coloured threads to make it look more vibrant. Making an Afghan crochet is a satisfying way to learn the craft and create a useful as well as beautiful item.
Making an Afghan crochet is often simple and requires the application of simple stitches such as chain stitch, slip stitch, single, double and treble crochet stitches. You can, of course create more complex patterns on the Afghan crochet, if you have that level of expertise with crocheting. There are some popular Afghan patterns such as chevron stripe, which is simple and ideal for novices. Among the various basic crochet stitches mentioned, single crochet stitch, with a variety of colours and in stripes, is often used in creating an Afghan. Another popular pattern, which has been prevalent since many years, is the granny square pattern.
Afghan Crochet Patterns
Before starting with the simple Afghan crochet patterns, it is very important to get the tools needed to create them. You will need yarn or thread, crochet hooks, needles and scissors. You can buy yarn made out of cotton, synthetic, wool or jute. The hooks also come in considerable variety such as steel, aluminium, wood and plastic. Now, you need to choose a hook depending on the type of yarn, as well as the number of stitches per inch, which you are going to make. Steel hooks are usually used for fine cotton and wool threads, plastic and aluminium hooks are used for synthetic thread and wooden hooks are used for heavy wool and jute yarns.
After getting together all the tools mentioned above, let's start with the granny square pattern for Afghan crochet. Now, a granny square is made by creating squares or rounds as single units and later joining them to the base design. To begin with a granny square, you have to first determine the desired size of your finished blanket along with the variety of colours to be used. You can use a single colour or to make the Afghan look more beautiful, you can create squares with different colours by crocheting each row with a different coloured thread. Start crocheting the squares keeping in mind the number of squares required to make an Afghan of your determined size. Lastly, you have to use slip stitch to attach the squares in rows. To further beautify your Afghan crochet, you can create a crochet lace or a border and stitch it along the sides of the Afghan.
You can also create beautiful Afghan crochet using chain stitch. Start creating your chain stitch back and forth up to the width required to maintain the finished size of your Afghan. It is advisable to create the number of stitches in a multiple of 5 or 10 to ease your work. You should buy enough yarn all at once before starting your Afghan in order to maintain the symmetry of colour. Moreover, you can take care of your Afghan crochet by occasionally washing it with a mixture of mild soap and warm water.
You can search the internet for free Afghan crochet patterns, which usually come along with specific instructions to be followed to make your crochet look similar to the featured one. Seek assistance from elders and other enthusiasts who have made Afghan crochets, to get more detailed information regarding the techniques and stitches. You can also go through books such as "Quick- stitch Crochet Afghans" by Carol Alexander to get more details about how to make an Afghan crochet.