How to Crochet a Granny Square Afghan

Learn to crochet a colorful afghan for winter warmth, including diagrams and instructions.

| February/March 1993

Click on the Image Gallery for step-by-step diagrams.

Outside, snow is swirling to the
ground,adding an unknown number of inches tothe crusty snow left over from the laststorm.Wrapped in my shawl, I collect anotherarmful of wood for the hungry stove, andwonder if you're enjoying the shawl youmade from last issue's pattern. Hopefully,it has started to become a part of youreveryday life. You've probably even discoveredsome new uses for it that I hadn't mentioned. I'm sure you feel proud of your accomplishment, so let's forge ahead andmake a new project... 

Now that you have the tools, ability, and most important, the confidence to create more handwork, I want to share a pattern with you that boasts versatility. This one pattern can be used to create endless variations. After all, when you decorate with crocheted items, there are no rules; your imagination is the only limitation. So be daring: try different color combinations and make different sizes. Your hook flies, the colors blend, and the thread melds into a beautiful new creation. Once you get started making homespun items, your house will never look the same.

Arranging these handmade pieces throughout your home will not only give it a warm and welcome feeling, but will literally keep your family and friends warm. As you add your creations to a plain room, you can watch the room transform into a country garden of simple elegance. Just by using the colors of your choice, you can actually change a room's atmosphere-you may even find your mood uplifting as you enter a room.

What better way to start adding colorful accents to your home than with a beautiful afghan? This colorful blanket, fashioned from yarn, is crocheted or knitted from strips or squares. The most traditional version is the granny-square afghan. It's easy to do, but gives a finished look that will leave people raving. Make one to throw on the back of your couch so you can wrap it around yourself while watching a movie or reading a good book. Or leave it folded at the end of your bed so you'll be ready when you need some extra warmth on frosty evenings.

One of the best parts about crocheting an afghan is that you can pass it down through generations-unless of course your afghan meets the same fate of the one I made over 20 years ago. My daughters' old tom cat (appropriately named "Tom") would frequently pull the black, red, orange, and yellow afghan off the back of the couch, curl up in it, and fall right asleep. One morning I took it up to refold it and found several gnawed holes. Although I repaired it, he found it and took his teeth and claws to it again. For the next few weeks, no matter where I put the ill-fated afghan, Tom would find the darn thing-until there was no mending left to do. The reason for this afghan obsession evades me; I'm just thankful that Tom only craved this one project, since all the other crocheted items are left untouched.

Pillows are another colorful addition to any room. Toss them on chairs, couches, and the family room floor (kids love hanging out on giant floor pillows). Covering couch pillows that have seen better days is a good way to bring new life to those you thought were ready for the dump. And don't forget the bedroom; to me, a bouquet of crocheted pillows displayed on a bed is like having a summer garden year-round.

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