Snuggling under this ripple afghan on a chilly night is the best thing next to making it. We all remember the colorful afghan thrown across the back of the sofa. Well I have included a free pattern even a beginner can make up.
A ripple afghan, when done properly dances in symmetrical waves. Usually they are made in three or four colors, but how many colors is entirely up to the crafter.
I have seen them in just one color, two colors or twenty. Because there is no hard and fast rule about colors, ripples have been called a stash buster. A great way to use up those pieces of skeins left over from other projects.
For the novice crocheter, the most difficult part in crocheting a ripple afghan is getting started (the foundation row) and figuring out how to hold things.
Some teachers insist that a hook be held like a pencil and others demand it be held the way one holds a turkey leg. Let me tell you now, it does not matter! Whatever works for you, whatever is comfortable, and gives you an even stitch is right. Your way is the right way.
Now you have to learn how to hold the yarn. Again some crocheters wrap the yarn through the fingers of their left (or non-hook) hand. Others hold it simply between two fingers to keep the tension. Play about with it.
Figure out what works best for you. Regardless of what some of the books tell us, there are as many right ways to hold yarn as there are right ways to hold a pen. Again what you find comfortable is the right way.
This pattern is perfect for beginners because it only uses two basic stitches. The chain (ch) and the single crochet (sc) stitch. The hardest part is in the beginning will be keeping count. And after a few rows you will find this is no longer a problem either.
Step by step instructions showing how to crochet a ripple afghan
But when you began remember counting is important as you don't want to be adding or subtracting stitches as you go. You must keep the peaks and valleys even. Counting is paramount in crochet. If you are afraid you will lose count, use stitch markers.
Rather than purchasing them at the craft store, and they can be expensive, you can use the plastic clips that come on bread wrappers. If you look at the crochet stitch markers at the store, you will see that is what they are more or less. Or you can use little pieces of contrasting color yarn.
Count and mark as you crochet when you make your foundation chain, rather than risk losing count half way through because the telephone rings or one of the kids decides to make himself a grill cheese in the DVD player.
Put a stitch marker every twenty stitches. It is much easier to just count five markers, and know you have 100 completed, than it is to keep going back and counting from the beginning every time you put the work down.
Selecting your yarn will of course depend on what you are making. A baby blanket is beautiful in pastels using a 2 ply yarn. Or use a 4 ply sports weight for any size from a lap afghan to a king size.
Afghans can be made from almost any yarn, any ply, any weight. Pick one you are comfortable with, which you find easy to handle. If your hands cramp easily, you may want to go with something heavier than fingering or baby 2 ply yarn.
For a ripple pattern, it is important that it all be the same weight yarn. For instance, don't try to mix chunky yarn with sock yarn. It may make a fun effect for a scarf, but on a ripple, it just would not work. Even a dog sweater can be made in the ripple stitch.
This ripple afghan is a perfect choice for your first project. You will see it take shape in your hands in just a few rows. It works up quickly. The pattern is easy to follow. Take the time to read through the pattern completely, to make sure you get an idea of what you'll be doing.
And check the close up pictures for where to place your hook. Often this is a problem for beginners. Don't try to memorize the pattern. You will soon enough anyway, probably by the fourth row.
The great thing about learning to crochet is it is very forgiving. You make a mistake and it is no big deal. Crochet is easy to pull out and rework the mistake and go on. Most importantly, have fun with it.
Abbreviations:sc (single crochet) st (stitch) ch (chain) sk (skip) Ip (loop) Gauge: 3 sts equal 1 inch Sc in second ch from hook, sk 1 ch, *sc in each of next 4 ch, 3 sc in next ch (point made), sc in each of next 4 ch, sk 2 ch, repeat from * across, ending sk1 ch, sc in last ch, ch 1, turn. Pattern Row: Sc in last sc made, sk 1 sc, * sc in each of the nest 4 sc through back lp only, 3 sc in next sc through both lps, sc in each of the next 4 sc through back lp, sk 2 sc, repeat from * across, ending sk 1 sc, sc in last sc through both lps, ch 1, turn. Work 2 patterns rows in each of the other three colors. Repeat the pattern rows and colors throughout afghan, ending with darkest color after 18 stripes or desired number have been made.
Tassels:If you decide to make tassels. Wind each color around a 6 inch cardboard twice. Through one looped end, tie a strand of darkest yarn, leaving ends for sewing tassel to points. Cut other looped end about 3/4 inch below tied end, wind yarn around tassel 3 times and tie tightly. Make 29 tassels. Sew to points.
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