Looking for beginner projects that look spectacular? I ask Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand's technical editor, about her recommendations on three easy-to-make, high impact afghans that are perfect gift projects.
What are gift ideas for beginner knitters and crocheters?
A classic handknit or hand-crocheted gift is definitely the afghan or throw. You many not realize it, but some of our favorite afghan patterns here in the design department are actually beginner patterns. "Beginner" just refers to the different skills required to make an item, not how it ends up looking. I've picked out three really beautiful beginner afghans -- that all look more advanced than they really are -- to share with you today.
Can you tell us a little about them?
The first pattern is our Sunshine Day Baby Throw for kids. It's made in pieces and each piece is simply made with two different strands of yarn, worked in stockinette stitch. The two contrasting colors work up together to look like tweed, which gives it more depth and interest. The second pattern is called "My Blankie" and it's also a great gift item. The stripes are also each done in two strands of contrasting yarn, which gives it a tweedy look. Both items are simple, knit blankets perfect for kids because they're made with washable yarns -- the first with Cotton-Ease and the second with Vanna's Choice.
They're both really beautiful patterns. What about a beginner afghan as a gift for an adult?
I'd like to recommend our crocheted Candy Shop Afghan in Hometown USA, because it has such vibrant colors and coordinates with any decor. This project is made in pieces that are later sewn together, which makes it portable and easy to make when you're on the go.
So what are the key take-aways for our readers?
Beginner patterns can be beautiful. Look for patterns that use multiple strands of yarn for visual interest, and look for patterns that are made in pieces for portability.
For more afghan patterns, visit our Pattern Finder.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in October 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.