Oct 23, 2016

Pattern | Lucben Reversible Afghan

Fast, easy and reversible, Lucben is packed to the brim with luck and good wishes.

How so? Derived from Old English, Lucben means lucky bean, in reference to an old folk belief that the large beans which occasionally washed ashore not only brought great luck to those who found them, they were especially lucky for expectant mothers.

This folk belief may be the basis for the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, but we'll probably never know. With Lucben's classic unisex design, it doesn't really matter. From baby blankets to full-sized throws, you can create an endless stream of lucky beans to share good fortune with everyone on your knitting list, from new moms and babies to beloved grandparents.

When we knit for others, each stitch is infused with the affection and good will we feel for the intended recipient, and Lucben takes that to the next level. The easy, twisted stitch creates the same texture on both sides to double the luck captured in each color block.

As an added plus, blocks are worked in strips rather than individually, which streamlines work in progress and speeds assembly. The smaller sizes are ideal for mini-skeins and leftovers, while the larger ones are perfect for new yarn or orphan skeins plucked from stash. The version shown incorporates five rosy shades ranging from light to deep and set against cream for contrast, but the possibilities are endless.

Have fun and experiment. Do what I did and mix various shades from the same color family to create a custom gradient, or choose a light and dark color, and alternate them for a checkerboard effect. Adopt a tonal approach using closely related hues for the blocks and border, or try a simple two-color strategy, using one for the blocks and the other for the borders

Consider soft shades or speckled yarn for little ones, rainbow hues for youngsters, school colors for teens and college students, neutral greys for guys, or rich jewel tones for family and friends.

With Lucben, the:

  • Twisted stitch is easy to execute and produces the same texture on the front and back.
  • Blocks are worked in strips, which simplifies work in progress and assembly.
  • Strip construction keeps your project compact and portable, so you can work anytime and anywhere without the weight of a blanket on your lap or needles. 
  • Seams are a breeze to work, so assembly goes quickly and smoothly.
  • Pattern is simple enough for any moderately experienced beginner. Concise but complete, it includes a basic schematic along with directions, stitch counts, yardage and dimensions for eight sizes.
  • Yarn is worsted weight or its equivalent, so your project grows quickly.
  • Unisex design suits all ages young and old, so have fun and experiment with different block sizes, color combinations and arrangements. 
Skill Level 2: Easy
Yarn: Worsted weight; adapts to any weight and multi-stranding
Shown: Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Sizes: 8 sizes (4 square, 4 rectangular)
Yardage (approx.): 690 to 1960 yards

The pattern includes four square and four rectangular afghan sizes for a total of eight options, ranging from car seat and stroller to baby, lapghan and throw. Written for worsted weight yarn, it readily adapts to other weights and multi-stranding, especially with sock or fingering weight yarn.

Work the pattern as written or tailor it to your tastes. Either waythe detailed yardage breakouts and useful tips, tricks and modification ideas make the process easy.

The frequent color changes are motivating and the end result is so versatile, you'll find yourself making Lucben for family, friends, loved ones and charity. 
I truly can't wait to see the creative fiber and color combinations you use to make this design your own. 

To view the Ravelry description and purchase the pattern, click here. (Remember, you don't have to be a Ravelry member to buy patterns!)

Want to read the backstory? See WIP | Lucben Rose and FO | Lucben Tidepool.
Want to use a similar color strategy? See How to Create a Simple Custom Gradient.
Wrestling with color choices? These articles offer ideas and inspiration.
Shopping at your favorite LYS? All patterns are activated for in-store sales.


  1. I love crafting for others! I hope you can stop by and see my progress on Demelza:


  2. Oh how clever to have it be reversible! I love the colours you've used, they're a really satisfying pink :)

  3. Love the texture and the story behind the name, will be adding this to my queue!


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