Please help newbie making afgan

sally_growerApril 25, 2009

Hi, I just found this forum and I wish I had found it 2 weeks ago. I'm making an afgan for my son and it's my first. Nothing fancy, just all double crochet with variegated yarn. I don't have a pattern and I just taught myself how to crochet, so I'm really a newbie....That said, I chained 220 chains and now that I have 10 skeins of yarn crocheted, I'm wondering if I've made it too big.

Is there a standard size or amount of stitches for an afgan. Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thanks for the help. Sally

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Hi Sally

Continue to crochet a couple of rows, and see what your tension how many double crochet stitches make an inch, and how high the rows are. That will give you a good idea of how big your afghan will be.

The first row (or foundation row) should be crocheted loosely, and have a bit of "stretch" in it.

I just looked at one pattern, and they said it measures approx. 46" x 58", and they started with 132 chains.

Hope this helps.

p.s. Welcome to the forum.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Hi Sally, Welcome to the forum.

When I crochet and afghan, I make it as big or small as I want. If it makes you and your son happy, that's what matters. Measure it, lay it on the bed or floor and see if you want it bigger. If not, finish off the end and use it! If you want it bigger, keep going. The only time I made one a specific size was when following a definite pattern. When I made the ripple, I used the pattern only to know how many to chain and the ripple design, not overall length. Granny square, I hate piecing things together, so I just kept making on big granny square and when it was as big as I wanted it, I quit.

Enjoy your new craft!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 9:04AM
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Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. Thanks again, Sally

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Try making a gauge swatch. You are already well started with this afghan, and for blankets gauge does not matter that much--but one day you will want to make a sweater or something where gauge matters.

You take your yarn and a hook that you would like to work with, and make a swatch---chain 20--30 or so, and start crocheting a piece that will wind up a few inches high & wide--maybe 4-5" each way.

Lay the swatch flat on the table, take a ruler and lay the ruler on a row of stitches-- not the bottom or top row--and count how many stitches you are getting to an inch, with that yarn and that size hook. Also count how many rows you are making per each inch of height. Count the rows in the middle of the piece, not from the top or bottom.

If it is bulky yarn and you are using a big hook, you will have to say how many rows or stitches in several inches.

This is the gauge. It is simply, how many stitches you yourself make with this yarn, using this size hook. Everyone crochets a little looser or tighter with various yarns, so you have to figure out the gauge you get with a particular yarn and size hook, when you are planning to make something. Don't assume, forinstance that a G hook will make the same gauge with all worsted weight yarns. What they are made of factors into it, too. Even how you are feeling that day -- if you had a fight with your boyfriend, you will crochet tightly!--- And whether the air is very humid or dry.

If you are making something where gauge is going to matter, such as a garment, you have to do this first!

If your gauge differs from what the pattern says, then switch hook sizes and make another swatch. Get the gauge right before you start the garment.

Another hint for the newbie--yarn stretches. When you make a big thing like a blanket, the weight of the item itself will tend to stretch out the stitches, especially as time goes by. If you are using a big hook, the stitches are likely to stretch way out & make big "holes" after some time, and also if people are lying on the blanket, rolling up in it, sitting on it the way kids do, and so on.

You are better off if you choose a hook that will give you somewhat tighter stitches, to discourage the stretching that goes along with use. You don't want to put all those hours into a thing and then have it looking awful almost as soon as the people start using it.

Good luck & welcome to crocheting!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:05AM
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Make it any size you want. My hubby is on the large size so when I made him one I chained and kept placing the chain across his recliner for width because I knew he would not want it skimpy and for length I just kept going until it went way past his toes. Mary

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:48PM
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