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Amy Solovay

How Long Does It Take to Crochet an Afghan?

By January 26, 2013

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Squares for Making a Crocheted Afghan Some of the squares from an afghan I am currently working on; I completed the first square in July of 2010, so the afghan has been in progress for over a year. Photo © Amy Solovay

I love crocheting afghans, but I confess that they don't always hold my attention well; in the past, there have been times when I've lost interest in an afghan I've been crocheting.

My most remarkable example to date: I started crocheting an afghan in 1996, and didn't get around to finishing it until 2002. I don't have exact dates, but I guess that's somewhere in the neighborhood of six years. Yikes. That's a long time, even for an afghan. Even so, I betcha someone else out there has a better story than mine; I'd love to know who holds the record for longest-ever afghan time frame!

I have two excuses for that ultra-long time frame. One was that the afghan was comprised completely of identical off-white squares; it was during that project I realized something important about myself. I enjoy both designing and crocheting, but for me, it's the design process that motivates my crochet. I think I might be in the minority in that regard, but on the other hand, I think even those who don't share this tendency do appreciate working on projects that will hold their attention, and not get boring. (Do you agree?)

The second excuse has nothing to do with the afghan, or the crochet process itself: I made the mistake of crocheting this particular afghan for a boyfriend who became an ex before it was completed. So every time I'd look at it, I'd get angry -- which didn't help motivate me to finish it.

Are y'all familiar with the "sweater curse"? I've wondered whether there's an "afghan curse" as well...

So anyway, I did finish the afghan, but it took waaaaaay longer than usual.

There are a couple of valuable lessons to be learned here:

  • Choose projects that will hold your interest; but at the same time, don't choose projects that are so far above your skill level as to be overwhelming.


  • Think carefully about whether or not your intended recipient is worthy of, and would be appreciative of, the amount of effort that will go into your project -- whether it is an afghan, sweater or anything else.

Now I'll tell you a little about one of my current afghan projects, which is pictured above. This afghan has been holding my attention nicely, and I've been working on it steadily whenever I have a spare moment to devote to it.

The secret: each square in the afghan is different; before I've had a chance to get bored with any of them, I'm finished with crocheting the square and on to working the next one.

As I finish each square, I've been posting the free crochet patterns for them here on this website -- so if this is a project that looks interesting to you, you are welcome to give it a try. I hope you'll have as much fun with it as I have been having.

So there you have a little info about my experiences, and I'm curious about your experiences as well. For those of you who've crocheted afghans, what was your longest-ever time frame? How about your quickest afghan ever? Any lessons to be learned from either? Please do tell!

Update! The afghan squares pictured in this blog post have now been transformed into a custom crochet afghan. The free pattern is available on our website; it features multiple sizes including baby's receiving blanket size, baby's crib size, twin size, full / queen size, and throw size.

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Comments

October 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm
(1) Ian says:

The first item that I ever attempted to crochet was an afghan. One can literally see, in the afghan, my learning and progress over time.
Let’s see, I think it took me around two hours and fifteen minutes per row (all single crochet). There were about 300 rows…so that would be 450 hours over six months.
It’s a bit stiff but very warm, and because of the yarn and guage I used, it’s soft.

October 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm
(2) hlew says:

I will only do afghans for Christmas and special occasions. I don’t have the time for long projects.

October 19, 2011 at 12:03 am
(3) CC says:

I started an afghan in my 11 year of high school which would have been 1999-2000 and I didn’t finish it until 2005. I always seem to start afghans, but I always seem to lose interest.

October 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm
(4) jazz says:

I just did my first crochet afgan. I started in August of this year and still have to put the 7 crochet strips together. My goal was to have it completed by the middle of September but other things got in the way. I now plan on having it done this weekend for a december birthday. I did get bored because it was all double crochet. But it went so fast which was encouraging.

October 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm
(5) Gene says:

My son wanted a bedspread for his newly-painted room and his queen-sized bed. I showed him my pile of patterns and he picked one of the most difficult patterns in the group. Since the pattern was for an afghan (not a bedspread) I had to add pattern repeats (both width and length) to achieve the desired size. He chose colors to match the purple and red of the walls. It took me about 2 years to finish the project, mainly because I would want to do other things. He finally got it, though. The results can be seen here – he loved it.

October 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm
(6) Reni says:

Hi Amy- Great question and love your new squares.
Deoending on the pattern; I will take anywhere from 7-10 days to a year to make a afghan. If I get bored with it, it takes longer and if the pattern needs to be made right away- I am like a mean-crocheting machine- LOL.

October 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm
(7) Amy says:

Thanks for all the interesting comments, everyone! I appreciate your posts.

Ian, that sounds like an ambitious first project, and a great way to jump into crocheting. Bet you had the single crochet totally mastered by the time you were finished that afghan. :)

hlew, you are not alone in that; I get many requests for quick projects. I like quick projects too. Now that you mention it, that’s one of the reason I find afghan squares so interesting, and appealing, to crochet; by themselves, they’re low-commitment, but when you make a bunch of them, they are so easily turned into a more significant project.

CC — while that afghan did take you quite awhile, in the end you finished it — so a big congrats on finishing! Woohoo!!

Jazz, sounds like you made pretty good time on crocheting that afghan! Best wishes with finishing it up; I hope all goes smoothly with the finishing process.

Gene, your story is an affirmation that crocheters will go to great lengths for their loved ones. It’s a recurring theme with many of the crocheters I talk to. Nothing like a request from someone near and dear to get us out of our comfort zones and trying new and interesting things!

Reni, thanks for the nice compliment; I really appreciate it. The next time anybody asks me where they can get a crochet machine, I am going to say “Go find Reni — the mean crochet machine!” Hahahahahaha!! 7 – 10 days — you’re fast!!!! :)

October 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm
(8) Dawn says:

When I got married, my Mom-in-law taught me the chain stitch and the double crochet. I continued my crochet education with magazines like Magic Crochet and Crochet Fantasy. I loved thread crochet, however we lived in a cold climate, so I started an afghan for my husband in the Fall of 1983. I finished it in the winter of 1991! Since then, I have not told anyone I would make them an afghan, and they know not to ask for one (I may or may not get it finished in under 7 years…lol)! Now, if they want a doily or snowflakes or angels, I’m their favorite crocheter..lol. Thanks!

October 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm
(9) Laura says:

I started a granny square afghan when I was 13 years old and finally got around to finishing it when I was 32!

October 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(10) Joey says:

Baby afghans are my favorite because they are quick. I have completed one large afghan in recent years (before that the last one was probably 20 years ago, in college). It fit a full-size bed and took about 4 or 5 months. I have one going now (the same size) that I started in June. I hope to have it finished by Christmas. Then I have to make a clone of it by May. These are graduation gifts for nephews. It will be a challenge to repeat the same afghan and get it done in time. Wish me luck. Didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I embarked on doing these for all of my nieces and nephews. Will also need to do them for my kids. So, that means 7 more in the next 13 years. Guess I’d better get busy.

October 25, 2011 at 1:00 am
(11) Pat says:

My first crochet project was an afghan. A friend showed me a VERY simple granny square afghan. Started it in 1979 when my oldest child was 1 year old. Got busy being a mom and put it down over the years and I do mean years I would pick it up and start on it. Would do a few round and then put it down again. Over the years I lost the directions and couldn’t remember how to do it. Girlfriend couldn’t remember how either. One day I picked it up it might have been about half way done. I decided I would give it one last try or rip it all out and start over or worst yet give up completely. Finally finished it —– Son was age 26. Gave it to him for a Christmas present. My youngest daughter also got an afghan that year Thankfully that one only took me 1 week to do

Pat

October 25, 2011 at 5:18 am
(12) ErinLindsey says:

I dont think there’s an “Afghan curse”. I’ve made 3 afghans for my boyfriend, and I’m still dating him. (7 1/2yrs now! That’s a record for me…but he is my first boyfriend)

I have an afghan that I started crocheting on about 3yrs ago. Things were going great, but then a health problem started bugging me a bunch, and I lost interest in the afghan. It’s sitting in my closet, waiting (in vain) for me to come back. I’m thinking of frogging it for a shawl.

I have another afghan that I’ve actually finished crocheting, but it’s got lots of tails to weave in. Every once in awhile, I’ll get it out of the closet and weave in a few tails. I think I finished the crochet part about 2yrs ago. Some day it’ll have all it’s tails woven in, and will be able to be used as an afghan without the yarn tails catching on things.

November 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm
(13) Bette says:

Well, in response to your question, it has taken me almost 11 years to complete an afghan I started right after my divorce in 2000. Ugh!!! Won’t do that again…

November 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(14) Amy Solovay - Crochet Guide says:

Erin, that’s good to know! :) What a relief that there’s no afghan curse. I’m not really superstitious but sometimes I can get a little carried away. Haha.

Dawn, I know better than to promise anyone an afghan so I am with you on that.

Laura, that took quite awhile, but wooohoooo, you finished! Way to go!

Joey, I’m loving baby blankets these days too. Not only are they quick(er), but they are just plain fun to crochet. Best wishes with getting all of your projects finished; that sounds like quite an ambitious undertaking.

Great story, Pat! What a great gift in the end! :) And I love it that your next one was so quick! Wow!

Bette, that must’ve been a difficult time for you, and I am sorry you went through that. :( I’ve found that crochet helps me get through rough times; I don’t know if it is the same for you or not, but it’s one of the many things that keeps me interested in crocheting, and also in sharing the craft with others.

Thanks for all these stories, everyone.

March 15, 2012 at 3:36 am
(15) Nena says:

I started a Grannie square when I was 10. Im now 31 and just completed it for my daughter. Pretty sad.:(

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