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Barb's Rectangular Afghan

This is a chatty pattern...not one you're used to seeing in books and magazines but it's not difficult to follow if you read through all the notes you'll see it's quite easy to knit this wonderful afghan. You can use up lots of your yarn stash on a project like this. Below is the instructions on how to knit one of these beautiful afghans. I've used different colors so you can differentiate between the different discussions I had with Barb about the afghan. Enjoy knitting this project...

 Barbs Afghan



Barb's Rectangular Afghan

Most of my afghans are mindless knitting, but I have to do something different to make me want to knit them. I'm working on a charity rectangular stockinette one in various browns, knit from the inside out.
I cast on twice the length that I want the difference between the length and width to be (say 48 by 66 size = 18" difference, so I cast on about 36").
Put a distinctive marker for beginning of the round, then knit half the stitches (minus 1), place a marker, k one, place a marker, knit half the stitches (minus 1), place marker, knit 1--that's the first round.
On every other round increase one on each side of the markers (like what is done in making a raglan sweater circularly from the top). Making 8 increases every other round. Use an increase that will make a decorative hole. That should help make it lie flat.

NOTE from CA: On my first afghan, I cast on 100 sts using #17 needles with two strands of worsted weight yarn. 

I change colors when I want or when I run out of a particular yarn until I get to the size I want or the end of the yarn I had alloted for the afghan.
Some time while I'm knitting, I graft the center closed. It looks really funny until that's done.
I've found that it takes 1 1/2 pounds of yarn at the very minimum to make an afghan. I usually use a 9 needle with stockinette stitch and a 10 or 10-1/2 with the garter stitch. If I have it, I knit a lace mohair yarn along with the worsted wool and use an 11 needle. If I do RH acrylic, I use 2 strands together and a 15 needle. Barb
Hi Barb. I'm going to be using worsted yarn holding two strands together, and will most likely use a #15 needle. How many stitches would you suggest I cast on? I want a really big afghan.
I get between 2, 2 1/2, and 3 stitches per inch. I'm never sure exactly because my gauge changes between my swatch and my afghan. So, if you were planning about a 40"x60" afghan, you'd want to cast on at least 80 stitches and up to about 100 stitches or a bit more. Then just follow the directions with the placing markers, etc. When I get several inches done I carefully stitch the center long sides together. Then it begins to look like an afghan in progress. Before that it looks like a very large sweater for someone with an enormous head. I guess you wouldn't have to stitch the center together until you were done, but I like to.
You can knit it as big as you want. The only thing to remember is "how big a difference between the width and the length. I would think 20" would be okay for about any size you want. For example a queen size bed is 60"x80" (20" difference). Good Luck.
I plan to make a square one with some other brown shades I have. That would be a square starting with 8 stitches--two each on four dpns and increase each side of the four corners every other row. I think when I get around the width size I want, I'd just work on one end then the other. Haven't done it yet so don't know exactly how it will work out.

I use a M1 by picking up the horizontal bar before and after the marker. I knit in the back of the picked up loop. But I think that any increase that you use for raglan sweaters would be okay. Keep increasing every other row until the end of the afghan--for me that is the end of the yarn I've got or the size I want--including the seed stitch border.

I have never counted the number of stitches at the end. Using #15 needles, you wouldn't have as many stitches as I have using 10 1/2s or 11s. You would need to use a shorter needle than 47" to start. It probably would be long enough; although your stitches will be squished together. For this one, I'm actually using two 29" ones, like you do when you knit a sock on two circulars. I am on my next to last half skeins of yarn. Hoping it will be big enough; it will be almost 1 1/2# of yarn. If it's not quite big enough, I do have more yarn in these last two colors. Good luck with the afghan. Barb