Lion Brand Notebook

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Motif Afghan Crochet-Along: Welcome!

September 17th, 2009

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Hello, Crocheters!

My name is Edie Eckman, and I’m so excited to be leading this Motif Afghan Crochet-Along! I’m a crochet (and knit) designer, and lately I’ve been doing lots of motif crochet. You may think of it as “granny squares”, but I’ve found it can be so much more than that.

Let me tell you what I have in mind for this adventure.

We’ll be making a full-sized motif-based afghan in 3 or 4 colors. I’ve chosen Motif #48 from my book Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs as the basis for the design. It works well in 1, 2, 3 or 4 colors, and the hexagonal shape is so versatile that we have plenty of opportunity for creativity. You can find the motif instructions here.

This week, we’ll be choosing colorways. The following week, we’ll look at how the motif appears when stitched in a variety of color combinations and learn the “sliding loop” method of beginning a motif in the round. In Week 3, I’ll show you a couple of ways to envision the final design, so you can decide how many motifs to make. The next week will include tips for improving your technique, dealing with yarn tails, and joining as you go. The final week we’ll finish up: block, sew together (if we didn’t join them as we worked), and weave in the ends.

Of course, this is simply a suggested outline. As we progress, I’ll answer questions, and let you help me decide what we need to discuss. As in life, the plan is subject to change.

Choosing Colors

One of my favorite things about starting an afghan project is choosing the yarn. There are so many possible choices! I decided early on that I’d be using Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice and/or Vanna’s Choice Baby, because of the many beautiful colors that are designed to go together. Wool-Ease is another good choice.

Although I didn’t have any particular colorway in mind, I was looking for three or four colors that would look good together. I really find it hard to make up my mind when it comes to colors, so I’m starting with a bunch of choices. I like bright colors, but sometimes for home decor I’d prefer something more subtle. I’ve narrowed down my choices to four colorways, and wound some yarn onto white index cards to get an idea of how they might look together, and in what proportions.

Colorway #1

Colorway #1

Colorway #2

Colorway #2

I like #1 and #2 for a baby or kid’s afghan, but I don’t have any (little) kids at my house.

Colorway #3

Colorway #3

#3 would look great in my bedroom, but I recently did another afghan in a similar colorway and I’m afraid I might get tired of it.

Colorway #4

Colorway #4

#4 would work well in my den.

I’m leaning strongly toward #3 or #4.

What do you think? Let me know which colors you want to see me use in the comments section! You have FIVE days to help me decide, because I have to get the yarn!

Now…you go choose some yarns that will work for you. Since motifs lend themselves to using up colorful scraps of yarn, you could just go crazy and use a wide variety of colors! However, even if you are using up yarn from your stash, it’s a good idea to choose colors deliberately.

Also, leave a note and introduce yourself! We want to know what yarn and colors you want to use, and we want to know a little about you!

Let the adventure begin…

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  • Sharon Hamlin

    Hello Everyone,

    I finally decided on my color scheme. Jewel tone colors cranberry, sapphire, pruple, & black. I’ve never posted a photo so i’m trying to learn that now. Everything has been so helpful especially connecting different colors and starting the motif with the loop. I work on the project a little every day during my lunch period at work. This is my first cal & I’m excited I

  • Judy Sankey

    Thank you for approving my Hokie afghan! :O) I am having so much fun doing this! I am already looking at all the other shapes of motifs… I must FOCUS!!! LOL I am hoping for a long winter of crocheting…

  • SonjaG

    Hi Edie:

    I logged in today and realize I am way too late. I would like to save the information and techniques so I can join in albeit much later than the rest of the group.

    Please tell me how I can read your descriptions of the joining techniques etc.

    At present I am working on a place mat in two colors. I think I will have four columns of 3 squares each. However, I have no idea how I will join it all together to make one rectangle!

    BTW, I do have your book but am too afraid to attempt to make something with more than one color in it!

    Regards – Sonja

    Zontee says: Hi Sonja, you’ll be able to find all crochet-along related posts (which will stay up indefinitely) simply by clicking the “crochet-along” category on the Lion Brand Notebook. Come back to the home page of the Notebook ( every Thursday during the CAL to see new posts from Edie. If you’d like to save links to any of the blog posts (bookmark them), simply click on the “Permalink” button at the bottom of the post to view it in its own window and save the link.

    Edie will be talking about her seaming techniques in later posts, but in the meantime, go to the Lion Brand Learning Center’s crochet guide to see some ways you can join your work. Click here to see the guide.

  • Marcia

    I had printer problems so I’m starting late. I have picked the colors. The directions look easy to follow. I will be getting the book soon, but I like a challenge so I’m looking forward to doing this afghan. I really want to see the techniques.
    Thanks so much – Marcia

  • Wadda

    Where can I find the instructions for how to start a motif, please.

    Thank you


    Edie says: Hi, Wadda. Scroll back to the second post, where I talk about getting started, or click here to see that post.

  • Elizabeth


    I know I am very late, but I did get my yarn today; colorway #1. (Baby) I want to try some motifs and then I will post my progress/questions.
    Thank you.

    Edie says: Hi, Elizabeth. Glad you could join us!

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  • logawood

    I was looking for something similar to granny square color generator. Shouldn’t be so lazy. I’m making a hex afghan in 3 heathered tones of medium brown, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Persimmon heather, amber heather, noble heather (green) and brass heather. I bought tons of charcoal heather to edge the motifs but the color was too harsh. Used Lion Brand Heartland Sequoia (dark brown). Now I’m satisfied. The pattern is Modern Blanket of Flowers (Ravelry). I bought the yarn the artist recommended, RH Treasure in Tapestry. The pic online was kind of blurry, so it looked really beautiful. But I HATE variegated yarn that has stripes of different colors together. I looked online at other self-striping yarn and saw many (mostly handpainted) yarns that looked better to my eye.