Many heart-designed afghans are complicated arrangements of many different squares sewn together. They may be attractive but they are not as simple as making an afghan in one piece. You can crochet a simple hearth afghan all in one piece using a method called filet crochet. Filet crochet uses double crochet stitches and planned spaces in the work to make the outline of a shape. It may look lacy and intricate, but if you can do a chain stitch and a double crochet, you can successfully create any filet crochet object.
Things You'll Need
- Worsted weight yarn
- Size H crochet hook
- Graph paper
Make a loop at the end of one skein of yarn. Make a chain until the chain measures the desired width for your afghan. Count the stitches in the chain.
Draw a square on the graph paper with the number of stitches in the chain being the number of graph squares in the diagram, minus two. Each square in the grid will represent one stitch on the afghan. If your chain is 65 stitches long, make your outline using 63 squares across and down on the graph paper.
Draw a heart in the center of the square diagram. Press down lightly to give only a faint outline of the heart shape. Make the heart large enough so it takes up at least half the area of the diagram, but leave at least three rows of squares untouched all around.
Color in each square inside the heart. Also shade in any square that is at least half inside the heart.
Make a double crochet in the third chain from the hook, and in every chain after that to the end of the row. Chain three and turn the work. You will have completed the first row in your diagram. Mark this off on the graph paper, to keep track of where you are.
Crochet two more rows of double crochet, marking each row off on the chart. Keep crocheting in this manner until you get to a row that has squares colored in.
Count the number of stitches in the next row before you come to a colored spot. Make that many double crochet stitches. For the next spot to match the diagram, make one chain stitch, skip the next stitch in the row below and double crochet in the next stitch after that. Continue on with the double crochet until the end of the row. You will have made a row with one space left open.
Crochet each row after that, following the diagram. Alternate one double crochet stitch and one skipped stitch throughout each part of the row that is colored in. You will have rows with more and more open spaces, finally creating a heart-shaped space in the center of the work.
Finish the afghan with as many solid rows as called for in the diagram. Clip the yarn to make a 6-inch tail, pull it through the last stitch and weave the tail end through the last row of stitches.
Tips & Warnings
- Remember that when you are crocheting, your first row goes from right to left on the diagram and the second row from left to right. Keep this in mind when counting squares.
- Use this method with any simple shape, like shamrocks or stars, to please your gift recipient.
- Photo Credit Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images
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