Yup, you read that right. I’m suggesting you consider afghan knitting in the summer.
If you’ve been knitting for any length of time at all, you know that having a great big pile of knitting in your lap can be very warm. That’s great in the winter, but in the summer? Not so much.
But if you’re into knitting for the sake of knitting, a big project like an afghan has some serious benefits.
1. Mindless Knitting
Mindless knitting is knitting that doesn’t require much of your attention. You’ve done the pattern so often that your hands have it memorized. Afghans, being large projects, require you to spend a lot of time on their particular stitch pattern, thus, lots of opportunity to learn a stitch pattern really, really well. Before you know it, you’ll be carrying o conversations, streaming tv, or attending zoom meetings, all while adding inches & inches to your afghan!
2. Many sizes
First, an afghan doesn’t have to be large. You may have heard of a “lapghan” which is roughly the size of a baby blanket. While most patterns will be for one size afghan, some will give you your choice or 2 or more sizes. Look around for a pattern that meets your preferences.
If you’re feeling adventurous, modify the pattern. Stop when you feel like it. Make fewer blocks or strips, just make sure you can still piece them together. Make a baby blanket and tell everyone it’s a lapghan.
You can make an afghan in any size you want, all the way up to bedspread size.
Second, an afghan doesn’t have to be made all in one piece. Like many other big projects, afghans can be “chunked” into smaller segments. I’ve seen patterns that were knitted in scarf-like strips, squares, rectangles and hexagons of varying sizes that are joined together as they’re made or at the finishing stage.
3. Skip the gauge swatch!
Just like a good beach book, afghans don’t (necessarily) require too much of the knitter/reader. As long as you make sure to buy plenty of yarn and don’t care how closely the finished project matches the dimensions given in the pattern, you don’t need a gauge swatch. Maybe it will come out as a rectangle instead of a square. Does it matter? Your call.
4. Lots of Afghan Knitting Patterns
For loads of free afghan knitting patterns to download, try Lion Brand. There are patterns there for every skill level. I love the colors in their Woodland Afghan, which is a strip style afghan, or as I like to think of it, knit 9 scarves, sew them together, done! How easy is that?!
If you like to access your patterns offline, Block Party: Modular Blankets is a book of 10 blanket patterns using a variety of “block” shapes and connection styles. Best of all, it’s currently 20% off!
Up for a challenge? Try these free afghan knitting patterns:
Sunburst Baby Blanket – A fun and free round afghan using short rows. This one is particularly summery looking. No one has to know it’s a baby blanket!
Afghan in the round – This is NOT a round afghan, but you will need circular needles. You’ll need a free ravelry account to get this pattern. The designer promises the lace pattern is very basic!
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