Friday, March 20, 2015

Handmade Afghans on Etsy

An afghan is a favorite item to crochet or knit by fiber artists.  An afghan is a knitted or crocheted blanket or 'throw' which can come in many sizes and patterns. 

There are the afghans made in one piece, often with a border, and a join-as-you-go style. Then there is the popular motif style, such as the granny square afghan we often remember our grandmothers having across the back of a chair or couch as a light-weight coverlet on cool days.

A Granny-Square Motif Afghan

Crochet crafters enjoy the granny-square motif as it is very versatile, useful for everything from afghans to clothing to purses. Each granny square motif is created by working in rounds from the center outward to produce multiple squares (called motifs) that are then joined together. Crocheting in granny-squares is also a wonderful way to use up those leftover bits of yarn every crochet crafter ends up with at the end of a project.

Granny Square Confetti Afghan in Crochet

Granny Square Afghan
Granny Square Confetti Afghan
This 57 inch square granny square throw is as cheerful and uncomplicated as a brightly splashed confetti sprinkled cupcake. It is the creation of Connie from Texas, who has been inspired to 'share in craft' the legacy she was given growing up on a small family farm. 

close up confetti afghan
This close-up view of a section of a granny square from Connie's afghan shows how the individual stitches fit together.

Come enjoy her crochet and quilted items, as well as her original folk art in her Etsy Shop she calls Farmers Daughter (farmersdaughter52). 


The Zig-Zag Stitch Afghan

The zig-zag stitch, also called the ripple stitch or chevron pattern has long been a popular pattern for afghans in both knitting and crochet.  The stitch is originally an Aran knitting stitch used by the Aran Islanders centuries ago and represents the typical highs and low of matrimony and marriage life.  Today it is a lovely way to combine yarn colors to enhance your d├ęcor.

Jackie, a retired crafter from New Hampshire, creates beautiful zig-zag pattern afghans in crochet and features them in her Etsy Shop called JD Crochet Creations.

This lovely afghan, crocheted in Fall colors of red, rust and beige, measures about 32-34" wide X 36-38" long (POINT to POINT), a nice size to cozy up with on cool evenings. 

Fall Afghan

The ripple pattern of these autumn colors makes a very pretty effect on this afghan, as you can see in this close-up view.

Creating Pictures on an Afghan

Patterns, designs and pictures can be created on an afghan by several techniques, including Intarsia Knitting, cross-stitching on a crocheted afghan stitch, or by following a charted design on a graph, changing colors as indicated to create the picture.

Lighthouse Lapghan
Lighthouse Lapghan Afghan in Crochet
I crocheted this afghan with a picture of a lighthouse in one piece from a graph. The pattern I used showed a red and white lighthouse, but I changed the colors to black and white and crocheted the lighthouse in the same style as the Tybee Island Lighthouse on Tybee Island, Georgia. 

This Tybee Lighthouse has sentimental value for me as I lived on Tybee Island for 13 years and my daughter was married in the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage at this lighthouse.  The scene brings back some lovely memories. 

You can have your own memory of the Tybee Island Lighthouse with this Lighthouse Afghan now available in my Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts


Pictured here with my handmade lighthouse afghan is a photo of the actual lighthouse on Tybee island, the Tybee Island Light Station,  which I used for my inspiration.


Handmade Lapghans

A fairly new style of afghan is called a Lapghan, a style that is about one-half the size of a regular afghan, or 'lap-size'.  It's the perfect size to use in a crib or stroller for baby, for a wheelchair-bound person, or to take to a sporting event.

Sports Team Lapghan


Sports Team Lapghan
Sports Team Lapghan in Florida Gater Colors

Barbara of Crystal River, Florida created this sports team lapghan perfect for taking to the stadium to watch your favorite sports team.  She crocheted this particular lapghan in the Florida 'Gaters' (University of Florida) colors of Royal Blue, Orange and White, but she would be delighted to create one in your favorite team colors.  Just drop her a line through her Etsy Shop Love Crochet by Grammie.

This adorable hand crocheted blanket is snuggly and super soft. It is the perfect addition to any little ones nursery or it makes a great baby shower gift! It measures approximately 40 inches by 31 inches.

This baby afghan, handmade in a traditional Filet Crochet Diamond pattern stitch for a very classic look, is the creation of a crochet artist from Salt Lake City and featured in her Etsy Shop Angelminks.

Hand-Knit Afghan

Cable Knit Afghan
V-Cables in Cream Knit Afghan
Knitted afghans are just as pretty as crocheted throws.  The most well-known knit stitch is the cable stitch, famous in Aran Fisherman knit sweaters.  This V-cable hand-knit afghan is a beautiful example of how a cable stitch can enhance an afghan.  Created by Tori of California, this cable afghan knit in a lovely cream color measures 45” x 60” and can be found in her Etsy Shop Tori2.

Handmade Afghans are Wonderful

Whether you need a large afghan to use as a bedspread, a small lap afghan for a cozy throw or a baby blanket, or a colorful soft afghan to use on the floor for a baby mat, handmade afghans are the sweetest kind of all. Made with care and lots of love, many beautiful afghans ready for purchase are available on Etsy, as seen in the examples given here.  

Create your own Handmade Afghan

If you crochet or knit yourself, select an afghan pattern book filled with patterns in various styles and designs, get out your crochet hook or knitting needles, and begin!

This afghan pattern book called "Unexpected Afghans" is filled with 29 interpretations of the favorite at-home essential we call the afghan.  It has easy-to-follow charts and diagrams to create cables, motifs, color, lace, and Tunisian crochet for your crafting pleasure. 

Let's get cozy with a handmade afghan!

(c) Wednesday Elf 3/20/15. Updated 12/22/16


  1. I LOVE these afghans, especially the panda one and the confetti one. I had not heard of a lapghan before so I learned something new, too.

    1. Thanks for your visit, Carol. Glad you enjoyed learning about 'lapghans'.

  2. Afghans are fabulous! I shall never forget the first afghan I crocheted. I had such a very real sense of accomplishment. I honestly can imagine selling a handmade afghan because of the hours of work involved in making one, but it is truly awesome that there are crocheters who will create and sell. Everyone should have at least one crocheted afghan, Your features, as always, a lovely!

    1. I love afghans (have several myself). Glad you enjoyed my featured selections of handmade afghans.

  3. I've never tried to make one of the afghans with a picture on it. They are all so pretty.

    1. Making a picture afghan is as easy as following a graph, Marsha. To practice, start out with a potholder with a picture, then advance to an afghan. Except for all the extra balls of yarn you have to keep untangled, it is fun to create a picture on an afghan.

  4. Lovely post. I can crochet, but only simple zigzags and one big granny square. I never have been able to join the granny squares successfully. I love that Panda afghan! Too adorable.

    1. Joining granny squares is easier than it looks, Dawn Rae. There are several helpful videos on YouTube which can help make sense of it. Crocheting one big granny square works well too. :)

  5. I've crocheted and knitted afghans both, but only for gifts, never to sell. These are really cute!

    1. I've made several afghans for gifts and for myself too, Heather. My favorite I use all the time is a Navaho Indian design in shades of browns and tans and cream. I made it some 30 years ago and it still looks new.

  6. absolutely gorgeous collection of afghans! love the confetti afghan