What are the Different Types of Afghan Patterns?

Sheri Cyprus

There are many different types of afghan patterns available for both knitting and crocheting. Interesting patterns for making afghans, or blankets, can be found on the Internet or in local craft and yarn stores. These patterns may be offered for purchase or to use for free and may be easy or difficult to knit or crochet. Some balls of yarn may include an afghan pattern on the wrapper. Afghan patterns may create a one color, one stitch look or a blanket with many stitches and colors.

Knitting needles and yarn.
Knitting needles and yarn.

Another type of afghan pattern is for blankets made of pieces rather than the blanket being stitched in one piece. Some knitted or crocheted blanket patterns are for long panels that are sewn together to form the afghan. Afghan patterns for squares to be created and then stitched are popular, as they make convenient craft projects for traveling or working on in places such as a doctor's waiting room. Knitted or crocheted afghans made from multiple squares allow crafters to practice new stitches without ruining the entire afghan, because if a square isn't stitched properly, it can be redone before it's sewn into the finished blanket.

The ripple pattern is popular for afghans.
The ripple pattern is popular for afghans.

Like patchwork quilts, the squares for afghans can be made from leftover materials. Lacy afghan squares made up of different color combinations of yarn are called granny squares in crochet. Knitted afghan squares can be made in lacy or solid stitch patterns. Knitted squares may be positioned as diamonds in the finished afghan pattern. Some knitted afghan patterns are for an afghan made up of triangles, which are half squares.

Both knitted and crocheted afghans can be worked in one main stitch. There are many knit and crochet afghan patterns that call for the blanket to be made in one stitch and then be embroidered with yarn on top to create flowers or other patterns. This technique is called duplicate embroidery because the idea is to embroider stitches on the afghans that are very similar to the single stitch used. In crochet, the afghan is made in a single crochet stitch and the embroidery is done in cross stitch on top. In knitting, the afghan is made by knitting one row and purling the next to create the stockinette stitch before V-shaped stitches are then worked on top.

Another way to create graphic patterns on afghans to knit or crochet is to use the single stitch method, but rather than embroidering the finished afghan, each stitch is worked in to form the design as the afghan is being stitched. A chart with the graphed design is included in these types of knit and crochet afghan patterns. These afghan designs could include animal motifs, elaborate floral designs or many other decorative possibilities.

Afghan patterns may include instructions for pointed, rounded or fringed edges. An afghan pattern may be designed in pastels, bright colors or neutral shades. Summer afghans are made in cottons and thin yarns, while winter types may be stitched in bulkier weight yarn. Baby size afghan patterns are popular today in both classic pastels and bright, graphic designs.

Afghans can be crocheted in separated pieces and then stitched together.
Afghans can be crocheted in separated pieces and then stitched together.

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