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Apr 5, 2015

Afghans | Size Matters

In addition to the other projects in the pipeline, I'm working on another afghan design. It's still in the development stages so it's too early to discuss details, but as always the process has me thinking about the issue of dimensions.



Afghans are infinitely variable, but size matters at every stage from concept through completion. Size affects overall design composition and color distribution. It also affects all the practical elements from stitch combinations to yardage, weight, usability and long-term care.


Because I design afghans, people sometimes ask for advice on dimensions. This can be a tricky question to answer since every knitter (and recipient) has their preferences where size is concerned.

When I started writing patterns for release rather than just my own use, it seemed wise to establish some standard criteria and be consistent. The table below highlights the basic dimensions I use for the most common types of afghan and blankets.

AFGHANS & BLANKETS
SIZE
TYPE
SHAPE
TYPICAL
DIMENSIONS
(width x length)
APPROX.
YARDAGE

Worsted *
Extra Small (XS)
Car Seat
Rectangle
18 x 28 ins
450

Stroller
Rectangle
22 x 30 ins
600





Small (S)
Baby            
Rectangle
28 x 36 ins
900

Baby            
Square
36 x 36 ins
1200

Baby
Circular
36 ins diameter
1200





Medium (M)
Lap Robe/Lapghan
Rectangle
35 x 45 ins
1400

Crib/Toddler
Rectangle
36 x 48 ins
1500





Large (L)
Throw
Rectangle
42 x 60 ins
2000





Extra Large (XL)
Twin Topper
Rectangle
38 x 75 ins
2200

Full Topper
Rectangle
53 x 75 ins
3100

Queen Topper
Rectangle
60 x 80 ins
3800

King Topper
Rectangle
76 x 80 ins
4820





* Yardage estimates are generous.

If you’re making an afghan for use on a bed, keep in mind the dimensions shown are for toppers that cover only the bed surface. Simply move up to the next largest size to create a blanket or throw with enough coverage to drape over the sides.



Every afghan pattern I've released includes directions for the three most popular sizes (SML) along with easy ways to adjust the sizes up or down, but personally, I tend to favor medium-sized afghans (lap robes/lapghans).

They're a fast project comparatively speaking, and the compact size allows me to make the most of yarn from stash. They're smaller and more portable as WIPs, and much easier to handle, wash, care for and store when they're finished. These factors are essential, since afghans get near-constant use on a year-round basis in my household.


With spring on the horizon, many knitters will be turning to light, lacy projects, a few of which will undoubtedly find their way onto my needles, too.

If you're at all like me, however, you'll also have at least one afghan in the works, because in knitting world, afghan season lasts all year long.



For more tips, tricks and tools, click here.

8 comments:

  1. That chart is so helpful! I also enjoy mid-size blankets. I've made larger ones, but I don't find need all of that extra fabric very often. Lapghans are more practical.

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  2. Great chart! Afghan season sure is year long. I took on a project in the fall I probably shouldn't have, and boy, was that an adventure. Love the colours in that first picture, and also the word lapghan. Never heard that before! :)

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  3. Awesome chart! I began designing baby/toddler afghans over a year ago, and am learning much. It is such a joyful process. :-)

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  4. Very helpful chart! Thank you for sharing. Your colors on for the different afghans are stunning.

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  5. Very helpful and timely ; ) Will put this to use right away since I'll soon be starting a square baby blanket.

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  6. I've yet to knit an afghan, but your patterns make it very tempting!

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  7. I need to make an afghan! Although it might be a several year process :-) I have been thinking about starting a blanket with the scrap yarn I have lying about the house.

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  8. Great chart. As always, I love the photos of your projects.

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Thanks for sharing your comments and insights, I enjoy each and every one. If you have questions, share those too, and I'll do my best to respond.
-b

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