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crocheting first afghan

fabricholic | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

I have started on my first crocheted afghan and I can’t count, apparently. I had to pull out two rows and start again. On the seventh row, it said to dc in the chains and all the rest. I counted all the dc’s afterward and I was short about five. Does anyone have this problem?



  1. starzoe | | #1

    The secret about crocheting is to realize that the stitches are not above each other as in knitting, but move diagonally. My solution is to mark the last stitch of the row, be it a dc or a sc - which ever will be the last worked stitch and a turning point.

    I use a contrast yarn and work it back and forth at the end of each row or round.

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      It's not that I am counting the chains at the end, because I have too few stitches. So, you put a marker of thread around the last stitch of the row?

      1. starzoe | | #3

        I read your original posting again. The "secret" here is to chain more than you need, then work your dcs. It is easy enough to hand-unpick those few extra chains.And yes, I use the contrast to flip back and forth over the last stitch, it is easy to get confused because of the angle of the work. Don't forget that it is relatively easy to cheat with crochet and the project usually won't be any the worse for it!

        1. fabricholic | | #4

          That is very smart to do more than you need. I do have a thread tied on the front at the first row. Thanks for your help.

  2. Teaf5 | | #5

    I, too, make my starting chain much longer, as sometimes my counting gets interrupted or my tension changes with my moods and is tighter or looser than usual.  If you're making a sweater or certain size garment, you have to be somewhat careful about the number of stitches, but that's not usually a problem on afghans.  (I love crochet because I rarely have to count!)

    Unless your afghan has a very complicated pattern that depends on having an even number of stitches, you can probably complete it with 5 fewer stitches without anyone ever noticing.  As long as the sides are straight and parallel to the bottom edge, it will look fine, and you can always add a crocheted border on the sides to make it wider.

    If the sides are swerving inward or bulging outward, though, it's hard but not impossible to fix afterward, and you'll need to figure out how and where you are losing or gaining stitches.  Count the number of stitches in the starting row and each succeeding row; you may have skipped one at the beginning or end of each row, totalling five.

    1. fabricholic | | #6

      On row six, you dc 3 times and then sc, so some times I forgot to sc in the middle, but I have taken out row seven and started again. I add another dc if I forgot to sc on row six. I just finished and now I will have to count it. It's kind of important to end with the right number, otherwise the next row won't work. I have learned to slow down a little.

  3. rodezzy | | #7

    Hi fabricholic:  I'm late getting in on this discussion, but I also would advise getting a instructional crochet book or the best I have is a DVD that you can watch or go on line and to crochetcentral.com and click on free crochet pattern directory, then find "stitches" and click there, then you will have a choice of free instructions for everything from chaining, sc, dc hdc and all things crochet stitches and how to work them. 

    How is that afghan coming now?

    Edited 9/27/2007 11:33 am ET by rodezzy

    1. fabricholic | | #8

      I haven't picked it up in while, because I have been busy. My step-daughter had her first child yesterday, and I am going to the hospital tonight. Also, yesterday I had to go to the doctor with my neck and that took up my lunch time. Last night, I got home late. Maybe tomorrow night I can get back on it.

      1. rodezzy | | #9

        Congratulations on the baby, and please.......take your time.  Crafting, sewing, whatever should be done for pleasure....unless you do it for a living.  That said..take your time.  Pick it up when you want to....not because I'm inquiring.  When my projects become a chore, I put them down and look at TV, or go out dancing. (tehe)  It's just not that serious.  I choose my own deadlines even if I'm making something for someone, they usually don't know until I finish that I made them something....and if they do know....I do it within a reasonable time frame, but my time frame none the less. 

        1. fabricholic | | #10

          That is the way I feel about it. On the dieting website Sparkpeople.com, this lady told us about a website knittinghelp.com. I have learned a lot, just watching the videos. You should look, because they have free patterns. I can't wait to watch another video. If anybody goes to Sparkpeople.com, my name on it is Puddinpop.

          Edited 9/27/2007 3:00 pm by fabricholic

          1. rodezzy | | #11

            Thanks, love the name puddinpop, cute.

      2. Teaf5 | | #12

        One of my first afghans took about seven years to finish, but I have loved it and used it for twenty years since, so that's fine by me! I have finished about a third of another afghan after about three or four years, so that's going to take awhile, too. It's nice to have an in-progress project to work on in spare moments when I don't have time to start and complete another project; my afghans are that continuous project!

        1. fabricholic | | #13

          It is fun to have something to work on and it's nice to know that you made it yourself.

        2. rodezzy | | #14

          Wow, that was a long time.  Was it a difficult pattern or you just do more sewing and, like me, sometimes I just can't pick up a needle or somethings I just can't sew.  I move from one craft to another.  There's no definite time frame, it's just when the passion to do something in a medium, I jump in and go full force, then the fire burns out and I can't go through the process anymore.

          1. Teaf5 | | #16

            My afghans take forever because I usually make them patchwork with each panel of a different and new pattern or motif.  I use several books with hundreds of crochet patterns in each, pick an interesting one and learn it enough to do that panel.  Then I pick another pattern for the next panel, unifying the whole with coordinated colors. 

            The downside is that, as soon as I learn one stitch, I switch to another; the upside is that I can experiment and see the beauty of many different patterns, and I have swatches of many, many swatches at hand when I want to make something else.

          2. Josefly | | #17

            I've just gotten in on this thread, kind of late, and have a question about the type of yarns preferred for afghans. I have a couple of beautifully crocheted afghans (gifts) made of acrylic yarn, I think. They were so soft and cozy when new, but when they required laundering (they are both white), I machine washed and dried them. They lost their softness, so I guess I should've been more careful. So, is there a knitting/crochet yarn that will keep its softness after laundering?I mentioned on another thread a Tencel yarn baby blanket that a friend knitted. Does anybody else have experience with this fiber in knitting or crocheting? I love my woven tencel garments. I read on one yarn site that a Pima/Tencel blend yarn "grew" a lot when blocking, and the worn sweater stretched out at cuffs and waist, requiring laundering to shrink it back in. I don't know, though, if that was due to the cotton or the Tencel. Would this stretching be less of a problem with an afghan?

        3. User avater
          VKStitcher | | #15

          My afghans are a continuous project too!  I have one that's been in the works for over 5 years.  I started it to use up yarn left over from a lot of other projects, but it's all still in the big tote bag it started out in, but probably about 2/3 done now.  It was packed up and moved from our old house, to the apartment while we built our new house, then to the new house two years ago! I pick it up every now and then, but I don't know when it will ever be finished.  Even when I work on it, I don't see much progress, so I get frustrated and put it away.  It's fairly large, and the pattern alternates a row of double crochet clusters with a decorative single crochet row--so the SC rows take time but don't add much to the length of it.

          In the meantime, I have finished several other afghans for Project Linus.  Crochet is my take-along project--much easier to grab and go than my sewing projects!

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