Monday, November 26, 2007

The origins of the Afghan

Ever wondered about the humble afghan or granny squares...well wonder no more, this was taken off a list that I belong to.

From Crochet Kitty:

Origin of the Afghan (and an explanation for Granny Squares)

According to a crochet pattern published by the Spool Cotton Company
in 1941, "the thrifty womenfolk of our early American days carefully
saved odds and ends of yarn, leftover colors, ravellings from
sweaters and socks — all to be made into a robe for the family's
general use.

As fast as the yarn accumulated, it was crocheted into small squares —
the colors tastefully combined from whatever yarn was available at
the time. When sufficient squares were completed, they were sewed
together to make a colorful blanket useful for many purposes — as a
bedspread, for a shawl, as a leg and lap covering, for sleighing,
for "bundling," as a throw over a rocking chair, and a colorful
decoration around the house.

Because grandmother played the major role in its making, the robe was
affectionately called the "Granny."

Because granny's robe originally was made of many colors, it
resembled a particular type of colorful rug brought from Afghanistan
to this country by the gallant sailing ships of colonial times. So
the nickname, "Afghan," came into popular use!

Today, "Afghan" is used to describe various kinds of robes and
blankets which are crocheted or knitted of soft wool yarns in the
beautiful shades suggested by style and made available by modern
thread and yarn manufacturers."

Making patterns bigger/smaller

I got this from an email group that I am part of and thought that it would be great to share with all of you. I hope that you find it helpful.

One easy, no math, fool-proof way to start your foundation for any
pattern is to:
1. Chain to the width that you want.
2. Place a safety pin in the last chain stitch made.
3. Using a second skein or the other end of the same
skein of yarn, join yarn in the first stitch of the
foundation chain and work the first row of the
4. Work the pattern until your piece is as wide as you
want it to be.(*Be sure to end with a complete
pattern repeat as called for in your directions.)
Now, for the safety pin. If you find you have chain stitches you
don't need, then simply take out the pin and pull out the extra chain
stitches until you get to your last stitch worked in the first row
and fasten off the chain stitches. On the other hand, if you need
more foundation stitches, just insert your hook and make as many as
you need before fastening off.
This is especially useful when you are chaining 200-300 stitches for
afghans. This works for me.

*Please, since I do not know how to design, I hope those who do will
help me make this clearer to the members. It really does work.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Edging items - some useful information

I came across this on another list that I belong to, and thought that it was so good that I just had to pass it on to you all...
It is about adding edging to FOs ...

If you made the square in the round, you just use the last row's stitches as a guide, adding extra stitches in the corner for ease. For sc, that is 3 sc in the corners. For dc, you will add 5 dc in the corners.

If you worked the square in rows, you will need to figure a little differently. If the square is a true square, the stitches added on the sides should be the same number as the ones on the

Generally speaking, you go by the heighth of the stitches on the sides of the rows.
For example,
sc = 1 stitch,
hdc = 2 sts,
dc = 3 sts,
tc = 4 st, etc.

However, sometimes that will cause work to ruffle so I may do 5 sts. across 2 dc instead of 6 sts.

Hilary also added the following...Is it truly a square?

If so, you'll want the exact same # stitches on the side as across
the top and bottom. This will usually be the same as your foundation
chain minus the turning stitches, or # stitches in the first row.
(depends on the pattern stitches used)

Sometimes the stitches along the side may be every row, every second
row, 3 stitches every 2 rows, or even 2 stitches every 3 rows. All
depends on what stitches you're using. This method will make it
easier to figure:

Take a box of straigt pins. On the foundation row edge, count the #
of stitches. Put a pin in the center stitch, then divide each half
into quarters, mark with a pin.

Now fold the square in 1/2 along the side. Mark the center with a
pin. Divide each half into quarters, mark with a pin.

On the foundation row, count how many stitches between pins. Make
that same # of stitches between pins on the sides as well.

And don't forget the 3 stitches in every corner. :D

Kemberlee's socks

Those that are not sure about trying to crochet socks, are just not sure if you can do it, then you need to try Kemberlee's socks.
I for one, was very worried about making socks, and not sure if I could do it. Then there was a sign-up period for a Sock CAL, and I thought, I will give it a go. And wouldnt you know it, it was pain free and so easy to do it.
There is currently a sock along happening at the moment of Kemberlee's socks and unfortunately, I am not making them this time around, but rest a sure, I will do doing them in the New Year as presents for my family.
If you have started on the socks, and want to join the fun, then let Kemberlee and Chris know and join the others. It would be great to see what color combinations have been made with the socks.