The afghan that launched a thousand hooks

The Moorish Mosaic Afghan by Lisa Naskrent, from The Best of Interweave Crochet

I've never made an adult-sized afghan before, and I think the Moorish Mosaic Afghan one will be my first. And probably my best because it's absolutely stunning! So many people have made this afghan and it's amazing in every instance.

A single motif that morphs from a hexagon to an octagon is the core of the Moorish Mosaic. A gorgeous interplay of color gives the blanket the look of Moorish tiles. This stunner is included in the new book The Best of Interweave Crochet, and if you've ever wanted to learn to crochet, the beautiful designs in this book will push you to finally do it!

Editor Marcy Smith made the Moorish Mosaic in 2009, and before she started she had a conversation with the designer, Lisa Naskrent, about keeping track of color changes. Lisa had an ingenious method of tracking.

Making the Mosaic

An ingenious way of keeping track of color changes

The brilliance of the Moorish Mosaic Afghan is that every motif is worked in a different colorway. If you are re-creating the exact colors and placement in Lisa Naskrent's crocheted blanket, as I am, it can be a challenge keeping track of all 30 large motifs. I talked with Lisa about this and here's how she tracked them:

"I used safety pins and scrap pieces of paper! I had a piece of graph paper, the X axis being the motif number (each motif had a number), and the Y axis being the round number. I wrote down the color of each round for each octagon as I made it."

Marcy's pile of Moorish motifs
And her finished afghan! Simply stunning.

Tracking the motifs does call for some organization. Here's what I did: I made a copy of the color chart and then I sliced the chart into strips for each individual motif. I taped them onto the back of old business cards and numbered each card.

I strung each card onto a bit of thread to tie to the motif when I'm done. I also marked each ball band with its appropriate letter, so I don't have to think too hard about which color is A, B, etc. I keep the card for the motif I'm working on, and check off each row as I do it. When I'm done, I string the card through the motif, so I'll know where to place the motif when they're all done.

By the way, I've found that the little square motifs make excellent travel crochet. Just two balls of yarn—the center color and the main color—are good for a shortish road trip, as you make four square motifs for each color.

—Marcy Smith

Marcy started the Moorish Mosaic and didn't stop crocheting until she was done! (Okay, she did take time off to eat, sleep, work, and interact with her family now and then.) She omitted the triangle motifs and edges the entire afghan with a row of single crochet in the corresponding purple color.

I love this edging technique because it lets the shapes of the motifs shape the edges of the afghan, giving it even more interest.

Marcy's finished afghan is so fabulous! I'm inspired, how about you?

Get started by ordering your copy of The Best of Interweave Crochet. I can't wait to start crocheting.


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