Looking for a fast, last minute gift for an anniversary, birthday, or baby shower? The secret is basic stitches and multiple strands of yarn, says Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand's technical editor. I asked Jackie to recommend two quick and simple patterns for beautiful afghans on the fly and all about why she likes them.
|Fast Finish Throw
||Speed Hook Crochet Baby Afghan|
You’ve chosen two simple, speedy patterns for our readers. What’s your first recommendation?
I love the Fast Finish Throw because it’s just about as simple as they come. The beautiful colors in this afghan are soothing and it has a wonderful texture.
This project is easy and fast for two reasons: First, it’s made using only stockinette stitch. And second, it’s worked on Speed Stix, our exclusive size 50 knitting needles. When you work with Speed Stix the resulting fabric is quite forgiving so exact gauge is not a worry, making it simpler for knitters of all levels. When you knit with Speed Stix, it creates stitches that are an inch tall, which means that you see results quickly.
What about the gorgeous colors in this afghan? How did you get that blended effect?
The Fast Finish Throw is made with several different colors of Jiffy yarn held together, so it has the beautiful look of tweed. It's a gorgeous look without a lot of effort, something that everyone from beginners to designers can appreciate.
That definitely sounds like a great, simple project. What’s the second pattern you’d like to recommend to our readers?
My second recommendation is our Speed Hook Baby Blanket. You only need to know how to do a single crochet stitch to make this one! This blanket is made with our size S-35 Speed Hook, which is an extra large crochet hook. Again, your gauge doesn’t have to be exact with the Speed Hook. Like the first afghan, this adorable baby blanket also uses multiple strands of yarn—this time three strands of Cotton-Ease—which not only makes it extremely fast to crochet, but adds dimension to the color. You can make it in the recommended colors, our alternative color combination, or in colors of your own choosing. I think that this one is absolutely perfect to make for a last minute gift.
So what are the main things that our readers should remember about these projects?
Again, the key to the ease and beauty of both of these projects is simplicity. You can use basic stitches and super-sized needles and hooks, along with multiple strands of yarn worked together, to make these simple and satisfying blankets.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in July 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.