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The 101 On Knitting Afghans

Knitting is a fun, relaxing pastime that allows you to create something you’re proud of that’s also beautiful and functional. […]

Knitting is a fun, relaxing pastime that allows you to create something you’re proud of that’s also beautiful and functional. Afghans are made of colored yarn, and they are blankets, wraps, or shawls. They’re usually very colorful with geometric designs, and there are many holes within the patterns. In North America, they’re often used as decorations over sofas or chairs.

If you’ve ever wanted to knit an afghan, there’s nothing that should stop you. Anyone can learn to knit an afghan! Before you begin learning, here is lowdown on afghans and some of the basics you should know. To learn more, there are endless resources online that can offer patterns, tips, and much more.

What’s an “Afghan?”
The name “afghan” is used because afghans were first made in the country of Afghanistan. It’s a very simple association. People of Afghanistan created the basic type of afghan that you see most commonly, and it gradually spread to countries and peoples all over the world.

What are the Different Types of Afghans?
There are three basic types of afghans, and you can work on whatever type you prefer. They are all unique, and you may want to choose a style based on your experience with knitting.

Mile-a-Minute Afghans
Mile-a-minute afghans are the easiest type of afghan to knit, which makes them the perfect choice for beginners. They’re very simple, and they are made in just one piece with the least number of stitches required to create the blanket. Despite the name, you don’t have to be speedy to complete these afghans. They’re great learning pieces for anyone who is new or fairly new to knitting techniques.

Join-As-You-Go Afghans
Join-as-you-go afghans are a slightly more advanced type of afghan, and for this reason they’re great for intermediate knitters. Join-as-you-go afghans are made of many different pieces in the pattern. The next piece begins where the last left off, hence the name “join-as-you-go.” If you’re experienced with knitting or feel that you’re ready to move beyond a beginner’s level, this is a good type of afghan to choose.

Motif Afghans
Motif afghans are the most complicated type of afghan to knit, and therefore they are great for advanced knitters to try out. Motif afghans are made up of many different small pieces, which are called motifs, blocks, or squares. The blocks are usually all the same size so that they’re easy to join together, and they may be in the same design or different designs. With motif afghans, each square is knitted first, and then they are joined together.

What Fibers are Used?
When you knit an afghan, you can choose any type of yarn you’d like! You should consider the purpose of the afghan before you choose a yarn. For example, if it’s going to be used as a blanket, you will want to use a softer type of yarn, and you may want to choose a heavier yarn that will be warm. If it’s going to be just a decoration, the feel of the yarn doesn’t matter as much. If it’s going to be used frequently, especially by children or pets, choose a yarn that’s machine-washable.

Lesma Clark lives in Kabul where she is teaching women how to knit while she is learning Pashto using online methods.

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