Quicker Baby Blankets and Adult Afghans:
I have been making afghans; both crochet (see below) and knit for Project Linus.
For a knitted afghan:
I cast on 120 or 130 stitches, knit (garter stitch: knit each Row) so there are 4 'ribs', then change color, always changing color on the same side.
I stripe these knitted afghans with whatever colors I have on hand
I think the knitting needle size for 4-ply yarn is 10, 10 1/2, or 11. This is to make sure the afghan will end up being 'fluffy' and not heavy. With baby yarn and sport weight, I use a needle size 7 or 8, casting on enough stitches so the afghan in the lighter weight yarn will be about 36 inches wide.
These knitted afghans will have yarn ends on one side to weave in. And, I suppose if one wanted to, one could sew on some satiny ribbon. But, I think the afghans look just fine with all the ends tucked in on the knitted ones.
I can make a lot of afghans using these 2 patterns. Just since this last February, I have crocheted and knitted 10 afghans to turn into the Project LInus on June 4, '06. And, I turned in about a dozen in February since the last get together on the last Sunday in October of '05.
I have not purchased any yarn for all these afghans. I have either received yarn from the Project Linus group get together, or I have received some odd skeins and 'tidbits' from different ones at my church: I put in a request in the church newsletter.
So, maybe, those who receive your newsletter could try a notice requesting leftover yarn from neighbors, friends, church families, maybe a request at the local yarn shop.
For Crochet afghan
Start out the crocheted afghan by making a chain of approximately 130 with a J aluminum (U.S.) hook. Then, single crochet in second chain from hook,
Chain 1, skip next chain making a single crochet in next chain, across. You may end the Row with 1 or 3 chains remaining: with 1 chain remaining do not chain one but single crochet in last chain (2 single crochets without the chain 1 between); with 3 chains remaining, single crochet, chain 1, single crochet.
Now, at the beginning and ending of the foundation chain and each following Row, be sure to leave an end, or tail, for the length of fringe you would like to have going up each side, not short end, of the afghan. Also, stripe the afghan with single Row stripes, or multiple rows of the same color.
I have made these afghans using a base color: black, red, blue, brown; and have put in between 2 of the base color rows 1 or 2 rows of whatever color(s) I can find in my stash. Sometimes, I alternate these stripes with a fuzzy, soft yarn or the regular worsted weight (yes, I make them out the knitting worsted weight (4 ply) acrylic yarn.
I also make the afghans of varied lengths, depending on whether it will be for a toddler, older child, teenager.
Using the J hook makes the afghans not so heavy and tightly done.
Thank you LaVina