Dozens of beloved vintage afghan designs — upload your photos, too!

cheryls-granny-square-afghanMy single most prized possession is the granny square afghan that my granny crocheted for me. And, any time I mention it, I get lots of comments and emails. For example, Cheryl M. sent me the photo above of her afghan, explaining, “The afghan was knitted by my great-aunt more than 30 years ago.  The calico kitty is my rescue, Lucy.” So sweet! Do you an afghan… or two or three… that you would like to share. Click on through — and upload photos of your vintage treasure right now for all to see –>
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  1. Andrea says

    My family afghan —“The Afghan”—as it was always called, was created by my grandmother and given to my mother—around 70 years ago I think, possibly earlier as my parents were married in 1936.
    My grandmother died before I was born (I was born in 1954) but my older siblings remember “fighting” over who got The Afghan at night, as I did later with my younger sister.
    My sister and I shared a bedroom with twin beds, and my mother took strict charge of alternating who could sleep with the coveted afghan on winter nights. It is heavy, and its very weight as it settled over the bed conveyed such a sense of warmth and security. We had plenty of other warm blankets, but they just weren’t the same as The Afghan.
    When we were sick we got The Afghan all to ourselves, and studying the different patterns in each colorful square could occupy me for hours when confined to bed or the sofa with a cold or flu. As a child (even when not sick) I spent a lot of time contemplating those squares and wondering why my grandmother made certain color choices and pattern decisions.
    About 20 years ago, my mother gave me The Afghan—maybe a happy result of my being the middle sister? I still adore it. Recently when my husband had the flu, I brought down The Afghan to comfort and warm him. He didn’t grow up with it but understands the almost magical qualities it has for me!
    The Afghan has multi-colored squares with a black border. It is coverlet-sized—on a double bed, it covers the top and hangs down about 6 inches over the sides.
    Thanks, Pam, for posting on this subject. Who knew others had “magic afghans” in their families?

  2. pam kueber says

    Oh my god, you just made me remember how I, too, would snuggle up with my afghan (we each had our own) at night or yes, maybe also a lot when I was sick, and contemplate the granny squares. Which one did I love best? It was always so hard to choose. Magical indeed. The most magical thing ever.

  3. effika says

    We just got a crocehted afghan for a wedding present from my husband’s grandmother! It may not be vintage yet, but it will be. 🙂

    Growing up the handicraft was quilting, and my sister and I each had our own quilts. The colorful quilt squares entertained us much like everybody else’s afghans here.

  4. LauraJ says

    LOVE these pics! I’ve been a avid knitter for years – and the only reason I have ever given myself to learn to crochet was to make a granny square afghan with left over yarn on a black background. I always explain it to my friends with this statement “You know, the one on the back of your grandma’s couch with the holes all over it that you can stick your toes through?!” Just like most of these you have posted for us to feast our eyes upon.

  5. Jeanne says

    I love all the animals in the photos! It’s weird how animals love afghans, too. When my Shepherd was a puppy and couldn’t get up on the couch, she would pull the afghan onto the floor and curl up in it. She’s camera shy now, but I’m sure there are dog hairs visible in my afghan photos. 😀

  6. Nina462 says

    I used to have a granny square one that my Mom made for me in the 70’s it was white, bright jungle green and bright orange. I wish I still had that one – but alas, I cannot remember what happened to it. I do have two other afghans (wavy style) – burgundy, white & green and a cream & burgundy.
    The one thing that is a must on a good afghan…toe holes, so you can pull it down by your toes. My mom is the best afghan maker – she makes them now for the VA.

  7. Josie says

    Thanks for this post, Pam. My sister’s been pushing me to learn to knit/crochet for YEARS and I recently had an image of an all-white afghan… in a retro pattern… that could work, right? Maybe.

  8. pandagirl says

    I have two afghans that my grandmother made at least thirty years ago, if not more. There is nothing warmer to snuggle up in. I would love to learn to crochet and have my own work to pass down. Let’s bring back the afghans for today’s times!

  9. Kate says

    Most of these afghans, including the “knitted” one shown with a properly posessive Lucy the Cat, are actually crocheted. Granny-stitch is a crochet pattern; the “wavy” ones can be knitted or crocheted.

    After my first trip to Ireland in 1980, I made and mailed a thank-you gift of a large afghan in Amish-quilt-style color blocks. My shame-faced cousin thought it was a wall tapestry, but confessed that as soon as she picked it up — she snuggled! The whole family happily shared it through damp, cold Irish evenings! She was so happy to find that was the right use!

    My Irish-born grandmother was a dedicated crocheter; she could copy anything from just a photo. Her step-grand-daughters were not needlewomen — one was a biker babe by 13! So she refused to teach her biological grand-daughters. I doggedly learned from library books, and taught my mother!

    The funniest was a “wavy”/ripple/Van Dyke one begun for my late partner when he was critically ill. He was out of the ICU before I realized the afghan was ELEVEN FEET long! Eventually it was 11 x 6 feet, and he adored it. He’d lie down, and pull it up, like a sleeping-bag!

    Now … aside from charity donations and gifts for friends, I’ve got this baby blankie cottage industry! If I made an afghan for Oisin, surely his sister Skye needs one. If Luke has his, Sophia and the still-unborn sibling need blankies… !!

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