1. Determine a need.  Or want.  Doesn’t really matter.  Ahem.  So, you’ve decided to make an afghan!

2. This is tricky, either (a) choose your yarn, or (b) choose your pattern.  In this instance, I went with pattern choice first.  I’ve had this book

for nearly ten years.  And I hadn’t made a single afghan out of it.  There are some pretty cool ones in there.

3. If you chose your pattern first, now find yarn.  Or vice versa.  I went with an acrylic yarn.  This is a comfort gift for a family in very sad circumstances, and I would hate to send an afghan along with care instruction in this situation.  (Can you imagine?  “I’ve been thinking of you in your time of need, so I made this for you.  Make sure you hand wash it and lay it flat to dry, okay?”  Yikes.)  Someday, enough superwash wool for a single afghan will be in my budget, but for now, it’s not.  This afghan is warm and cozy, AND it can be put in the washer and dryer.

So there.

4. Crochet.  Crochet.  When you run out of one color, drive like a bat out of hell to the craft store or yarn shop and pray they have more yarn of the same dye lot.  And crochet some more.  (Or, if you prefer, knit.  Knit.  Aaaaand…you get the picture.)

5. Wash.  Block.  Okay, okay, I know most of you fiber folks are saying, “You don’t block acrylic, Aimee,” and rolling your eyes.

But here’s the thing: I do.  For two reasons.  One, it helps make the finished item straight and square, which is always nice when you’re giving a gift.  Two, I always find after washing acrylic items that I end up with a bunch of these,

because acrylic doesn’t splice.  Yep, little ends that had been woven in sometimes pop out the first time it’s washed.  I’d hate for the gift recipient to find these after throwing it in the washing machine for the first time.  I had over twenty of these to snip on this afghan.  Tacky.

6. Take photos!  Document your work!  You’ll enjoy looking back on it.  Trust me.

That’s it!  Congrats!  If you’ve made the afghan for yourself, snuggle up.  If not, wrap it up and gift it or ship it.  This guy’s in the mail right now.