Beginner WIP: My First Afghan

I’m getting ever closer to being a confident beginner, so I decided it was time to tackle my first afghan. It also helped that it was winter and cold and all of the blanket projects looked so comfy and warm! I went in search of a beginner afghan I could make quickly and on my own from start to finish, and I found the perfect beginner crochet project: the Mod 9-Patch Blanket from Love of Crochet Fall 2013.

The Mod 9-Patch Blanket by Marie Segares is composed of 54 granny-square blocks that use 3 different colors of yarn: a gradient and 2 solids. The pattern suggests Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash, but I wanted something a little softer (but still warm). I went for Cascade Pacific, a 60% acrylic/40% wool blend that’s soft and easy to clean (it’s machine washable).

I found a color I loved in Cascade’s Pacific Color Wave series, Grapevine, and reached out to them to help me choose two solid colors that would match the gradient. They suggested Dark Purple and Gray. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

I can’t show you a finished project yet, because I am still working on it (54 blocks!). However, I can share with you where I’ve been working on my blocks: everywhere! Granny squares are quite mindless, and because this afghan consists of individual blocks that are sewn together at the end, it is easy to take a block or two with me wherever I go.


I’ve been working on this afghan…

At the Brewery

My favorite place to crochet is at a brewery. There are so many in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I love going in to a new place, working on a project, and drinking a new beer or two. It also makes me feel less awkward when I go alone. I used to bring books, but then I couldn’t be social, which is the best part of going to a brewery. Crocheting an afghan block gives me something to do when I don’t have anyone to talk to, but I can also work while I’m chatting away.

While Watching TV

I love binge watching the latest season of television shows, but I feel so guilty spending an entire weekend on my couch. I feel much less guilty when I am also working on my afghan. I average about a block an episode (well, if it’s a long episode)!

On My Porch Swing

I often think of crochet as a winter activity. And while I do seem to get a lot more done in the winter, I have found my porch swing is the perfect place to crochet and enjoy the weather! Sitting outside and soaking up the sun is awesome, but sometimes I need a little more to entertain myself, and getting to crochet is a huge bonus!

At the Mechanic

I hate getting my oil changed. I know it doesn’t take that long, but it feels long—unless I am trying to finish a block! I felt like the heat was on when I brought my crochet project bag into the waiting area, and I crocheted my little heart out and finished a half-started block before they called my name and handed me my keys.

At the Brewery

Oh wait, did I already mention this one?


Pattern Details

Finished Sizes
50” (137 cm) wide x 74” (188 cm) long 50” (137 cm) wide x 78” (198 cm) long.

Materials
Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool, 3 oz/100 g, 220 yd/200 m) – 5 skeins in 1914 Alaska Sky (CA), 5 skeins in 1960 Pacific (CB), and 8 skeins in 889 Spruce (CC), or approximately 1,100 yd (1,000 m) in CA and CB, and 1,760 yd (1,600 m) in CB in any medium weight yarn.

Hook
US H-8/5 mm crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.

Notions
Yarn needle.

Gauge
1 block = 8” (20 cm) in pattern. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.

You can’t go wrong with this easy and portable afghan! What colors will you choose? Where do you love to crochet? Let me know in the comments. I could use some more suggestions; I have a lot of afghan to finish (34 blocks, to be precise)!

Marissa Bouska
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine


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