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Sunday, November 27, 2011

AFGHANS THEN AND NOW

Afghans are a hands-down favorite of crocheters everywhere. We Americans especially love these cozy throws, and make them one after the other in every yarn and color imaginable since the days of the revolution. Did you ever wonder how the term “afghan” originated?

Early American pioneer women made thrifty use of every little bit of scrap cloth, which they carefully collected and incorporated into quilts. They also knitted socks and sweaters, and saved yarn remnants for crocheting. They made small squares called Granny Squares, probably because Granny did much of the work! When enough squares were finished, they were assembled into bedspreads, shawls, lap and leg coverings, or throws for the family rocking chairs. Each creation was bright and cozy, with a useful as well as decorative purpose, just as our afghans of today.

The original Granny Square blankets were fashioned out of many colors, they resembled the colorful rugs imported by Colonial sailing ships from Afghanistan, hence the name “afghan.” Though modern-day crocheters still enjoy making afghans from scrap yarn, they most often delight in blending color and design to add a personal touch to the home's d├ęcor with afghans.

If you would like to create a one-of-a-kind afghan to accent your home or to give as a gift, it would be a good idea to search through a few books of simple easy crochet patterns. With the pattern chosen, then choose your design carefully, considering the number of colors you would like to use, how and where the afghan will be used, and how quickly you want to complete the afghan. There are some simple easy crochet patterns that could be made in a weekend. That would take some dedication of your time to complete an afghan in a weekend, depending on the size. Most patterns for baby throws and afghans could easily be made in a weekend. After the design is selected, choose colors carefully even if you are making a scrap afghan. For example, a scrap afghan can be made from all pastels or all bright colors. Brilliant colors can be contrasting or blended and soft colors graduated or variegated.

Adults and children, a like, that were crocheting in the 1990’s were very fortunate, with a profusion of yarn to choose from for their needlework, and the luxury of crocheting for pleasure rather than necessity.

Keep on enjoying your crochet projects…


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