Tuesday, January 13, 2009

quick and simple crocheted afghan

The holidays may be over, but it's still cold outside! The good news? Yarn is on sale! Yippee! This is when I start my crochet season (I tend to craft in cycles--quilting season is next!). Right now I'm making blankets and hats and booties to get my friends and I through the winter.

Call it what you like, a blanket, a throw, an afghan--or my favorite twist, the "lapghan"--but don't call it difficult. If you know the basics of crochet, you can make this super soft, super cozy afghan in about 6 hours. What makes it so quick is the chunky crochet hook (15.75mm) and two strands of thick, textured yarn (we like Lion Brand Homespun).


A friend gave me a green one after I had surgery, and it now has a permanent home on the arm of my couch. I use it almost every day. It is so soft, and it drapes perfectly around your every curve to keep you warm. After that, I begged her to show me how to make it, and I couldn't believe how easy it was! So easy that I made one for a friend's birthday, one for my sister's birthday, and one each for my parents and in-laws for Christmas. It can get a little expensive since it is two strands of yarn, so I started using my 40% off coupons to Michael's and JoAnn to slowly build up my stock in each color. But take advantage of the yarn sales to get your whole stash now!


This is the one I made for my parents (sorry, I couldn't get a very good picture of it with my crappy camera). I used the Homespun "Harvest" color, which is variegated, so it has a beautiful array of colors. I added a little something to it by weaving a long piece of brown satin ribbon through the second-to-last row.




My in-laws got this warm gold color (this pic is before the gold ribbon was added, but it turned out so pretty!).


I told you this "pattern" (if you can call it that) was easy, so I'm going to give you your first free one. Ready?

Quick and Simple Afghan
Finished size approx. 45" x 70"

Materials:
*8 skeins Lion Brand Homespun yarn
*Jumbo plastic crochet hook, about 15.75mm

Ch 75 (or more if you want it longer).

Row 1: sc in each chain to end. Turn.

Rows 2-60: sc in next st, and in each st across. Ch 1. Turn. Repeat until row 60, or until it is wide enough for your liking. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

That's it! Leave it as is, or try one of these finishing options:

*Ribbon--Weave in a piece of coordinating ribbon through every other stitch on the second-to-last row of each end. Finish by looping ribbon around the outside of the last stitch and tying in a knot.

*Fringe--Cut 12" pieces of the same yarn, enough to create a full fringe along the short edges. Fold pieces in half, thread looped end through a stitch, pull ends through the loop, and tighten. Repeat until fringe is to your liking.

*Simple border--sc in each stitch around the entire blanket.

If all that pattern talk looked like gobbledy-gook to you, but you'd like to learn this new language, there are a couple of things we can recommend.

1. Ask someone to teach you! Crocheting and knitting used to be essential skills to most women. I love that women are reclaiming these arts, even though it's more expensive to make a blanket than to buy one. There is most likely a woman in your life who has these skills and would love to share them with you. If not, find a class at your local craft store or yarn shop.

2. There are tons of crochet how-tos and videos online, as well as a whole shelf of books at the library or book store. Or check out the book section at the craft store. (Jessica just checked out Crocheting for Dummies and says it's great.) Google "how to crochet" and check out all the tutorials and videos there are. We like Lion Brand's step-by-step tutorial for getting started. But what helped me really get to "the next level" of crochet was this CD-Rom by Coats & Clark, Crochet Made Easy. In 14 lessons it teaches you pretty much everything you need to know using videos, still pics, and written instructions (something for every type of learner!). I'm a visual learner, so I just needed to watch someone do it to get it, and this did the trick.

Over the next month we'll feature some of our crochet projects, a giveaway, as well as more free patterns we've developed just for our readers so you can take advantage of all the great yarn sales going on. Now is the time to get "hooked" on crochet! (Lame pun intended.)

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85 Comments

85 Responses to “quick and simple crocheted afghan”

Mommy of M's said...

That pink one is GREAT!! I LOVE THAT COLOR! I have always want to learn how to crochet or knit. I don't really know the difference between the two but I want to learn!!

Love your blog!

Char said...

you crochet and knitting people make me so jealous with your gorgeous projects! :) these are beautiful.

~Abbey~ said...

I have made 3 or 4 of these "lapghans" as you call them :) You are right they are SO simple! I can't even read a crochet pattern and i have completed fully functional beautiful blankets that noone would be the wiser to! My favorite on is the one we keep on our bed during the winter-its the same yarn you used for the ribbon border on pictured! SO WARM!!

Jenifer said...

ohhh. you make me want to crochet... i'm a quilter by nature, but i woke up this morning with a sore throat and a bit of a fever... wouldn't it be nice to cuddle up in front of pride and prejudice (of course the bbc version) crocheting a soft "lapgan"? oh, and i can't resist a joke my mother in law told me... Why did the homeland security people take away the lady's knitting needles before she got on the plane?... give up? ... They were afraid she'd knit an Afghan. :)

Marie {Make and Takes} said...

LOVE the brown silk ribbon weaved through the bottom of one of the afghans.

I have on my long to-do list to crochet a blanket, one that will be all lined up, not crazy like the 3 scarves hanging in my closet! I'll come back to this and follow your instructions! Thanks.

Lisita said...

Wow, that does sound like a tempting new hobby to add to my list. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Love the ribbon accent on the bottom! I may have ot add some to my already crocheted blankets. :D

Cute blog, btw! =)

Rachel said...

I love it! So perfect for working on in front of the tv. I'll be linking.

Christine said...

Gosh that blankie looks deliciously comfortable! I just picked up crocheting recently and found this very timely :) I will be checking back to see what you guys have to share!

Jenn said...

Darn you!! I just remembered that I know how to crochet and I love your afghans! Especially with the addition of the ribbon! I'm going to have to make me a few of these.

Athena09 said...

Love your blog! You mentioned a couple times this afghan is made with "two strands of yarn." Does that mean you actually use two individual strands throughout the process? Or is it just that the Lion Brand Homespun is thick like two strands? Thanks!

Little Birdie Secrets said...

Yes, two strands of yarn means you have two skeins of yarn and you're actually crocheting with two pieces (held together as one). That's why this can be an expensive project--it's double the yarn! But it's so worth it!

Felicia said...

Oooh. I'm leaving to go buy yarn right now. Thanks for such an inspiring site. I live in the middle of nowhere, and during the winter it's stuff like this that keeps me going!

kristen said...

I love this blanket, esp. if it takes such a short time. my best friend is going to have a baby soon and I would love to make her one for her little peanut - obviously it would have to be smaller - can you help me with measurements, etc.? How many skeins would I need for a baby size blanket?

Tots & Tails said...

Please Show how to crochet booties!! I have always wanted to know :)

jenni said...

i bet those are very comfy! I just noticed you put my blog Simplebeans on your side bar...the "blogs that inspire us" bar. WOW! thank you!

Little Birdie Secrets said...

Kristin--yes, you could easily do this in a baby size. I would go down to a little smaller hook, maybe N or P, and maybe even pick a boucle baby yarn instead. There are tons of great "baby" yarns out there. Stick with the same number of rows across, but maybe make it half as long. You'll just need to shorten your initial chain. Start with 35 or 40 chain stitches and see if you like the length, then just keep adding rows until you have the width you want. Baby blankets are often about 45" square. Easy peasy!

Amy said...

I love that yarn! Use it for as much as I can...great for shawls, too. I'll have to give this one a try. What a great project to do while sitting by the fire on a cold winter day........

Anonymous said...

The "lapghans" are gorgous and I can't wait to make one. You mentioned at the top of the article using 2 strands of yarn, but its not mentioned in the directions. Could you please clarify.

Mojavi said...

what does this mean?

Ch, SC, and ST

my mother in law taught me how to crochet but honestly I am very visual and don't know these acronyms... can you explain a tad :) I would like to make one!

Tonya said...

Awesome! I'm going to have to learn how to do this now...I'd love to make a soft blanket like that. I love soft things.

Jenn said...

I just got my yarn today. Now, I've got a question--how were you able to tell where the chains are to build? Did you have to count your chains every row to make sure you got the right number? The yarn is so thick, I can't tell where to build!! Help!!

Juanita B said...

THANK YOU so much for sharing this pattern, I feel encouraged! The afghan is BEAUTIFUL. TFS.

kateej said...

Your blanket is gorgeous. Thanks for posting it. I crochet for babies, and the gold one a perfect color I have not yet used.

Niviob said...

I stumbled across your blog last week and decided that I would give this blanket a try. It turned out fabulously (If I do say so myself).

It took me about 6 hours and I made it as large as I could till I ran out of wool.

This was my first "real" project. Previously I had only done squares (sort of) to practice the stitches. When I say sort of I mean it took me a long time to get the knack of turning without adding or dropping a stitch!

Since I had such a success with this - I have made 3 scarves and a pair of fingerless gloves that I did with no pattern.

I have tried knitting in the past with no luck - wish I'd tried crocheting much much sooner! I think I have a few years to get good before the grandkids arrive. (I better have more than a few years as the kids are teenagers now)

So thanks for the pattern!

April said...

Crocheting is an absolute delight.I love to do it.This one looks very nice and warm...and not too difficult to take up either.

Obama

Kaitlyn said...

THANK YOU for this wonderful, easy pattern. I have made two of these blankets over the past month and can't believe how easy and comforting they are!
My friends have also made blankets with this pattern and love it.
I also appreciate the suggestion to add ribbon to the edge- it is such a easy way to really finish the blankets.
I have tried to make other afghans and have a hard time sticking to it til the end because they take way too long! This pattern is perfect for us impatient crocheters.

Shauna said...

Just to clarify, this afhan is made completely of the single crochet stich? It looks to beautiful for that one stitch...

cool cat said...

Please clarify do you use one or two strains of yarn for the sc?

Little Birdie Secrets said...

Hey Cool Cat, it's two strands of yarn at once. :)

dangergirl said...

I just finished my first afghan using this pattern. I also used Homespun yarn in Bourbon. Super easy and beautiful. However, my fringe is frayed badly. I note that your pink afghan doesn't look like it's having any serious fraying. Is there any secret to stopping this from happening?

Christine said...

I love all these afghans, especially the pink one, I love pink! If you're looking for more free crochet afghan patterns then here is a great eBook for the upcoming holidays, they make for amazing gifts! http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/01/quick-and-simple-crocheted-afghan.html

Enjoy!

Christine said...

Great afghans! If you're looking for more check out this great eBook full of free crochet afghan patterns http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Granny-Square-Afghans/How-to-Crochet-Granny-Squares-9-Free-Crochet-Afghan-Patterns-eBook

Enjoy!

Joce said...

I love the gold one and the pink one would be great for my granddaughters!!! Thanks for showing this. I have subscribed to your blog.

Lynn said...

This is a great looking quilt but I question the directions. It looks like you double crochet in every other chain. Can you clarify?

Christine said...

I love this quilt, I started making this and it doesn't look like your pic. When I did the single crochet I don't have the big loops in the stitches like yours does, am I doing something wrong? Help!

cooler said...

Informative and Interesting! i really enjoy your blog, I got new ideas to make yarn blankets at home, your steps to make a Blanket is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing!!!

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Amanda said...

I am currently trying to make this and my single crochet looks nothing like yours, there are no beautiful holes.. it just looks like sc! Is this pattern really all single crochet? I want mine to look like yours!!

angloflight58 said...

I am going to try this. Wish me luck!

rebafanforlife said...

I would love to make this as Christmas presents. But, I have 2 questions. When you say jumbo hook what is the exact hook size? Also, is it just sc in every stitch across for the whole afghan? Please clarify as I would love to make this one.

Tara Link said...

I love this blanket and I'm a just learning how to crochet. I have the basics down pretty well and would love to give your pattern a go, but Im not quite sure what you mean when you say "sc in next st, and in each st across." what do you mean by "and in each st across"? Hope my question makes sense. thanks so much!

jo said...

Thanks for the great pattern!
I am a new crocheter and want to make this for my sister as she is having surgery soon.
Is the pattern just all single crochet as it reads? If so, I can't imagine it having all the spaces as it does in your photos. I feel like something is missing.
Please help! And thanks again for your very fun blog!

jo said...

I am well into making this blanket and it is coming out great! I'm doing all single crochet with an M sized hook and it's super easy! And fun!
This one is for my sister but I'll definitely be making one of these for me soon! Thanks Little Birdies!

Aindia said...

Not sure if anyone is still reading this, as I just stumbled upon it today! But the 15.75mm hook is the Q size, it's the big giant one. Yes you use 2 strands of yarn together as if it were one thick strand while you crochet. You get the holes by using the Q size hook. The bigger hook makes for bigger gaps. I have started a similar afghan using 3 strands and a double crochet v-stitch with the Q hook. I may try this one as it has to be faster/easier just doing single crochet across!

Judy said...

Hi everyone. I just started this pattern this weekend as a birthday gift to my daughter in law to be. I am using "Parfait" from Homespun and it looks like strawberry shortcake. I can't believe how soft this yarn is, but you are right it is not good for fringe. I have made several scrafs out of this yarn and have decided to just skip the fringe since it frays...I do like the idea of ribbon and will use it on this gift. I plan on makin one for each member of my family and one for myself. It is a wonderful patter...thank you.

Beachnurse said...

This afghan cannot be single crochet. It looks like a stitch that I use a lot. I call it a modified shell. You put 2 double crochet, ch 2, single crochet in each ch 2 space to the end. At the end you chain 2, 1 double crochet, then 1 single crochet and then start with the 2dbl crochet, ch2, 1 single crochet in each chain 2 space across. Continue to end.

jo said...

It really is single crochet!
I have made 4 of these for gifts. They come out so nice! Thanks, LBS!!

Aindia said...

It definitely is single crochet. You are using the big fat Q hook and 2 strands of yarn. I'm working on one right now. The big hook makes for larger stitches and bigger spaces between then. Go buy a Q hook and try a sample, you will see :D

Judy said...

I was so surprised to see this pattern resurface since it was originally posted in 2009. I am now on my third one...love it so much, very easy and soothing to make and a dream to lay under. Making one for my husband in "Wild Fire",,,great colors.

dmlemont said...

is the pink on a diffrent pattern if so were can i get it ?

Little Birdie Secrets said...

dmlemont: The pink afghan is made with the same pattern. Just single crochets using two strands of bulky yarn! ;)

Andrea Lastrapes said...

Just made a turquoise blanket and it was done in 2 1/2 days. It was fast, fast, fast. I also got a good price on the yarn: 10 skeins for $17 and that include the three large crochet hooks. It's too bad it's 100 degrees outside. I will be staring at it till it cools off. Thanks for the idea!

Jeannette said...

six hours-schmicks hours. More like 20 hours, but still WAY quicker than 6 months.

GREAT pattern! My whole family is super impressed how quickly this blanket was made!

Helen B. @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

This evening I realized that I had a whole bunch of pins on Pinterest which all linked to your blog! I am now following!! I love to crochet! :)

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

lannirockmom said...

I see Tara's question above, and I have the exact same question!! I really want to make this beautiful afghan, but I don't quite understand the wording of the instructions.

"I love this blanket and I'm a just learning how to crochet. I have the basics down pretty well and would love to give your pattern a go, but Im not quite sure what you mean when you say "sc in next st, and in each st across." what do you mean by "and in each st across"? Hope my question makes sense. thanks so much!"

6cdb010c-08fa-11e2-ab71-000bcdcb5194 said...

Hi

Quick question. The directions do not indicate a chain after the foundation row or first row. There is no turning chain until rows 2-60? Am I reading that correctly?

LOVEKNOTS said...

this is great going to try it thanks

LOVEKNOTS said...

ok i tried this and i LOVE it thanks sooooo much

Oona Linnett said...

Same question about the lack of turning chains at the beginning- is this correct?

jayjolou said...

To all who want to learn to crochet and knit, I'll share my little tale of learning; my (decades ago) mother-in-law, who thought she knew everything, "taught" me to crochet (40 years ago, when I was newly married to their only child; that's important to know, because I was supposed to be perfect, "just like Mom is"). Okay, I learned what I was shown to be a granny square; then I went to the library and got a book of beginner crochet--and learned the right way to crochet. I was so naive, and so excited, I went to her house, and tried (key word there) to teach Mom-in-law what I had just learned.

Long story shortened greatly, she was so angry at me, she didn't speak to me for a week. I went on to crochet and to knit for the past 40 years, and am still learning new things--and it's wonderful to know that this "old dog" can still learn!

Take classes, get a friend to show you what to do, get the videos, whatever it takes--you'll never regret learning to crochet and/or knit, and you'll get "hooked" as millions of us are today. Above all, be very patient with yourself, and NEVER let anyone deter you from mastering the crafts!

Cathy said...

I found your bloc when trying to look up granny squares as I couldn't remember the steps. Love this Afghan. Problem now is which to make first! haha

Amanda Hamby said...

I am currently working on this blanket, it is super easy! Thank you so much.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad I found your blog again. I had originally planned to make this about a month ago but I had to reset my tablet and lost the link :( Thankfully I found it again through a link from Allfreecrochet. I can't wait to buy some yarn this weekend! I'll be printing out your page to save the link this time though!

granny2be said...

This is a fabulous pattern and thank you very much for it! It worked up easily and quickly - I made this slightly smaller in all-white for a baby shower (homespun is so soft and works up very well). I didn't do the fringe for this one, trimmed it in white organza ribbon looped between stitches at either end. When we learn the gender of the baby (parents want a surprise) I plan to do another one in a gender-appropriate color - oh, forgot to mention, this is for my first grandchild! due any day now

Yengle said...

I want to make this blanket but just have a question. After row 1 you turn but do you have to ch any? Also in row 2-60 it states sc in next st, and in each st across. What does this mean as I am just learning to crochet and know the basics. I want to make this so bad . Thank you to anyone who answers this.

judi said...

is this a throw for a sofa and can it be made in different colors? Also do you have a pattern for a wavy throw for over a sofa?

SierrasSunshine said...

Yengle! I'm having the same problem! I don't understand the wording of that either. People keep asking the same question over and over and over through out all of the comments, but it not getting answered. I'm so sad! I really want to make this blanket, as well! I have quite a bit of hands on experience with crochet but, not with reading patterns. So, when it comes to the technical terminology, I'm completely foreign. Can someone help? I understand some basics: sc, dc, ch, but what is "st"? HELP? Anyone please!

SierrasSunshine said...

Help!! I am a crochet-o-holic! I just don't usually go by patterns, I learned hands on, and can eye things easily. So, but don't understand this terminology, can anyone explain the "ST"? I get the basics. But what is "sc in next st, and in each st across." What does this mean? If anyone can describe I would be so grateful. I've been making baby blankets for all my friends that are having babies and spending 30-50 hours minimum on blankets! It would be so great to make them faster! Tomorrow I will get the big hook and some yarn, and see if I can figure it out if no one gets back! Thanks again to anyone that does!

jo said...

Hi - This really is a simple pattern...don't over think it.

st = stitch
sc = single crochet

This pattern is single crochet all the way across. Chain one and then turn to start the next row.
Hope this helps! I've made several of these...they work up quickly because of the double strands of yarn and because of the large hook.

Good luck!

Cat24 said...

Where is the pattern?

Thanks

Katg said...

Thank you so much for your blog and for posting this. I haven't crocheted for years and found this to be super easy. However, it did take me a lot longer than 6 hours (your crochet hook must be on steroids! LOL! I finished mine off with a fuzzy 8" fringe of various textures and yarns and I just love the end result.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173107179400889376/

Thanks again!

Deborah Holland said...

When you say 8 skeins is that including the double strand or do I need 16? I am wanting to use 3 skeins at one so do I get 12 or 24? Sorry I am new at this!

littlepretendnurse said...

I am so excited to begin this project. This will be the first full size blanket that I will work on. I have one more project ahead of this one, but it should be a quick one I hope!

Thanks for the great ideas!

Karen

cooljewel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paula Harbin said...

I am excited to make one of these. I have an afghan I started knitting 3 or 4 years ago, never finished. I think I will take that apart and make this! Thanks! Nice to have a quick project with a big result!

Maxine Stokes said...

I love these beautiful afghans,I learned to crochet in third grade,after becoming a wife and a mother I just did not have time any more,now that I'm retired I have lots of time,just last week I completed 2 infinity scarfs, right now I'm excited and hyped up about starting another project,It's very cold out doors and I think it's a good time to snuggle up on the sofa and make that yellow afghan. Thanks, peace-n-blessings

Donna said...

Love these afghans. I may have to start crocheting again.

Such a simple pattern. Where did you get the fibers? They sure make the afghan look rich and expensive. I saw them on pinterest.

I would also have a hard time giving away.

Aimee Cunningham said...

Needed a quick and simple project...this is perfect! Thanks!

Rachael Kennedy said...

Love this pattern! Thanks for sharing! I do have one question: I have made two of these so far and both have turned out with "wavy" edges. Meaning when I lay the blanket flat, the edges do not lay flat. Is there a way to solve this problem?

july80 said...

Have you ever tried this pattern with Bernat Baby Blanket? I'm new to crochet and have that yarn. Thanks!

Little Birdie Secrets said...

July 80--I haven't tried it with that yarn, but if it is the same weight it should work beautifully! Even if it's not, it will work. You just might have to increase or decrease the number of chain stitches in the first row. Easy peasy!

Chris said...

I ALSO BUY MY MATERIALS FROM JOANN'S & MICHAEL'S WITH COUPONS. I LIKE THAT TWICE A YEAR JOANN'S WAREHOUSE DOES A BIG CLEARANCE SALE ON LINE. THIS WAY I MAKE THIS LAPGHAN IN DIFFERENT OMBRE & SOLID COLORS. I BRING THEM TO OUR HOSPICE CARE CENTER TO HOPEFULLY BRIGHTEN UP THE ROOM FOR EACH PERSON. THEN THE FAMILY KEEPS IT. I SUPPLY ABOUT 15 LAPGHANS EVERY OTHER WEEK. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PATTERN. knitter62

Canthespam said...

I had forgotten unti I started this afghan tonight, how much I dislike working with Homespun yarn…but I do love their colors and the feel of the finished project.

How can you use Homespun for fringe, it ravels so horribly? Is there a special trick to it - knotting the ends???? I love the ribbon idea and will definitely use the ribbon.

I'm making this for my best friend who recently found out that she has cancer. I want her to have something of her own that was made with love to wrap around herself while she is in the hospital.

Marcia Maxey said...

Hi there :-) I just started this beautiful afghan and I'm just not sure that it is going to end up being the size you say that it will :( I just finished the first set of skeins and it is only 8 inches long at this point so if I figure that there are 3 more "sets" of yarn to go there is no way it is going to get past 32 inches. It is 46inches wide as per the chain 75 at the beginning…..is it actually 8 skeins PER COLOUR??? Is that what I'm missing here??

Gloria said...

To make non-frizzy fringe with homespun, check out youtube for Cat Bordhi's knit-as-you-go tendrils. It takes more yarn but the fringes don't fray. Or you can either put a tiny knot on the end of each strand or rub a bit of 'fray-stop' fabric glue on the end of each strand. Personally, I like crocheting a shell stitch border on each end.

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