If you are thinking of making an afghan, the sheer size can be daunting, but crochet offers several different options for breaking it down into pieces. One of my favorites are the 12 inch blocks. They are like granny squares in that they usually start from a center point and work outward, but the finished designs are very different. Small and interesting, they are great traveling projects, and a great way to make an heirloom, one block at a time!
Way back in 2008, I made my first block afghan, seen above. There are 25 gorgeous squares in there, and it’s still in use and looking good. I made this entire blanket in white, but of course you can make yours as colorful as you can imagine! This style is also perfect for group afghans, where each person contributes one or two squares. If you are thinking about making one of these blankets, there are over 200 free block patterns on Ravelry. And here are 10 of my personal favorites!
- Butterfly Garden
- Flower Burst
- Victorian Dream
- New Year’s Eve
- Star Overlay
- Wheel Lattice
- Birthday Flower
- Lovely in Green
The pictures aren’t the greatest – I took each one as I finished the square, but they give you an idea. There are so many possibilities! You can use all different squares as I did, or you can repeat the same square in different colors… get creative! Make a square while you watch a movie, work on a block while waiting for an appointment, and soon you’ll have a pile of squares waiting to be joined.
There are plenty of methods for joining too – whip stitching, single crocheting, etc. My personal favorite method is the flat braided join. It’s pretty, it looks complicated (but isn’t!) and best of all it’s flexible – it’s rare that every square will be *exactly* the same size or have the same number of stitches on the final row, and this method lets you fudge things so they all work together. There are a series of great video tutorials for flat braid join on youtube – I can’t recommend them enough! Now pick a square, pick up your hook, and get started on a custom handmade blanket of your own!
Looking for more? Check out 10 More Perfect Crochet Squares for Afghans!