I love crocheting afghans!  It is by far, absolutely my favorite project to work on.  In today’s post I would like to share with you a few things to bear in mind before working that first stitch of crocheting an afghan.

First, go into this knowing that it is not a project that will be started at the beginning of the week only to be finished by the end of it.  There will be a certain amount of commitments that must be carried out on your part to see it through.  

If I need to finish an afghan by a certain time I usually take the total numbers of rows I need to complete it and divide it by the number of days I need to finish and then add 3 days for the boarder.

For example:  an afghan has 150 rows and I want it done in 33 days.  I would divide a 150 by 30 equals 5.  (The last 3 days are for the border)  This means I need to do 5 rows a day to finish it in 33 days.

The next thing is the color and yarn.  You want to make sure you pick the right kind of yarn for your afghan.  If you do not want to use the suggested yarn, then use something of the  same weight and fiber if possible.   Using the wrong yarn can have a negative effect on the finished project.  

Also, if the afghan is made of more than one color, make sure the yarn matches.  A friend of mine who makes quilts can look at a pile of fabric and without even thinking pull out the three or four colors that just look great for that item.   I was not born with an eye to see matching colors as easily.   Sometimes I will set the yarn skeins in eye shot for a few days and see if they grow on me or not.   Most of the time  if it is not to my liking,  I will not use them.

Check the label on the skein of yarn for washing instructions and dye lot numbers.

When I am picking yarn for an afghan that is going to be using a lot, I like to make sure that my yarn is machine washable. (There is yarn out there that is dry clean only).  Also you will want the yarn to match, so do not forget to check that the dye lot numbers are all the same.

Third,  take the time to gauge your hook size by making a swatch.  Yes,  I know this will take time, but in the long run it really helps.  You will also get to practice the stitches before hand and your afghan will come out to the desired size.  

Now you are finished with the body of the afghan, let’s talk boarders.  When you are working borders the main goal is to take the proper steps to make sure it lays flat when you are done.  

1. Using the same color as the body of the afghan, work single crochet as your base row, even if the pattern does not call for it.  I still work it this way because this will usually help me help cover up the uneven spaces that usually show up in a pattern more discretely. I read this on a blog a few years ago and started doing it myself, and it really does help it to look nicer.

2. As a general rule always increase in the corners.  For example on my base row of single crochet I would crochet three single crochets in all four corners.

3. The sides (or vertical edges)  are usually the hardest for most people  to work.  The most important thing to remember is to crochet evenly around the entire afghan.  

4. When working into the sides of stitches, this general rule will help us to know how many single crochets to work:

If the stitch is a single crochet, work 1 single crochet into the side

If the stitch is a double crochet, work 2 single crochets into the side

If the stitch is a treble crochet, work 3 single crochets into the side.

5.   When I am working on the sides whenever possible I try to work into the stitches themselves.  This will help keep those unsightly holes from appearing.

6. Finally if your afghan is not laying down entirely flat, go a frogging, in others words just rib it out – even as hard as this will be to do.  If you take the time on the first row to ensure it is correct it will help ensure the nice looking boarder you will want when completing the afghan .

I hope you do find this information useful. With a little practice you too can have a wonderful crochet afghan to lay on the foot of your bed, or drape over the back of your couch.  Either way I would love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.