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."

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