Top crochet afghan patterns
Learn about crochet afghan blankets and find your next project in our list of the most impressive afghan crochet patterns!
The use of the word afghan can be a bit of a confusing term in the world of crochet, and is more commonly used in the US than the UK. When most people talk about crochet afghans, they're simply describing crochet blankets. This can range from anything from small blankets (which are sometimes even referred to as lapghans) to huge crochet blankets that could be used as a bedspread. Crochet afghans can be made in all sorts of different styles and techniques, but many people do use this term to refer to colourful blankets that are made up from geometrical motifs such as granny squares. There's no strict rules of what a crochet afghan can and can't be - it means different things to different people.
In this list we're going to show you some fab patterns that feature some fabulous geometric and tessellating details that really show off the impressive qualities of crochet afghans, but if you're looking for something different, why not take a look at our top modern crochet blanket patterns, or keep it traditional with our free granny square patterns.
Top 10 crochet afghan patterns
Persian tiles crochet afghan pattern
Inspired by ceramic tiles found on buildings in the Middle East, the beautiful Persian tiles crochet afghan pattern by Jane Crowfoot is an incredible and super-popular crochet pattern. This amazing blanket takes tessellating motifs to the next level, with a whole range of different stitches to keep you entertained!
Where does the term afghan crochet originate from?The term afghan crochet is in fact quite misleading, and as with much of the history of crochet it is quite difficult to trace the precise origins. The term 'crochet afghans' derives from the people of Afghanistan, and references their colourful carpets, rugs and textiles. However, most textiles made in Afghanistan would have traditionally been made using weaving, knotting or felting techniques. These sorts of colourful carpets and textiles are made in various areas of the Middle East, and the craft is widespread over the area which used to be known as Persia (now known as modern-day Iran but over time has included many other countries, including Afghanistan).
Whether the term originally derived from a specific technique or product made in Afghanistan is unclear, but there is also a further possible connection in that many Afghan textiles such as shawls, hats and rugs were made from wool (such as Karakul or Angora). However, historically these would have likely been woven or felted textiles, as crochet and knitting are not known to be traditional handicrafts in that region.
Random granny free crochet afghan pattern
Granny squares are at the heart of many a classic crochet afghan pattern, and this Random granny free crochet afghan pattern from Bernat turns them on their side to create a fab diamond blanket, hooks up in their fabulously fluffy Bernat Blanket Breezy Yarn.
If you can't get enough of crochet afghans and want a book with a whole host of interesting patterns, then check out the Unexpected afgans book by Robyn Chachula. Featuring 29 fresh and innovative designs, this book is sure to provide plenty of inspiration for your next crochet afghan project!
Spring posy crochet afghan pattern
Here's another fantastic geometric crochet afghan design that is reminiscent of tessellating tiles. This Spring posy crochet afghan pattern by Rosina Plane uses mosaic crochet and textured stitches to create a stunning eye-catching design.
Sun Halos crochet afghan pattern
If you love the traditional squares element of crochet afghans but want yours to have a little extra detail, then why not try this Sun Halos crochet afghan pattern by Helen McLean. We love the way that those circles full of colourful fancy stitches really pop against the white background!
Why are crochet blankets called crochet afghans?As textiles from Afghanistan and the Middle East were exported around the world, the term afghan started to be used as a general cover-all description for any blankets made of wool that featured bright colours and/or repeating geometric patterns, possibly with holes in them like you get from crochet. The earliest mention in the English language appearing in 1833 as afghan being short for an Afghan shawl or blanket. In the late 1800's patterns started appearing for crochet Granny Squares as a thrifty way for people to use up small amounts of yarn. Granny Square blankets became hugely popular, and gradually took on the cover-all description to become known as granny square afghans.
Criss cross crochet afghan pattern
This amazing Criss cross crochet afghan pattern by Hannah Cross is a brilliant pattern for crocheters that love geometrical designs, but want to stick with basic stitches! This clever design uses simple squares and clever crochet shaping sections to create a subtle but stimulating crochet blanket!
Fancy designing your own crochet afghan blanket? Then you'll find the 200 crochet blocks for blankets, throws and afghans book a brilliant resource! As well as a huge host of patterns for blocks in many different styles to mix and match, the book also has plenty of handy tips and advice on how to join all your different shapes too
All in the family Free crochet afghan pattern
As well as crochet motifs, another style of crochet afghans are where you start with a simple square shape and continue expanding it. This All in the family free crochet afghan pattern by Red Heart is a fabulous example of this ever-increasing style, with loads of fun and fancy stitches which add loads of character and intricate details!
Diamond heart mosaic crochet afghan pattern
Mosaic crochet is bang-on-trend at the moment, and is a fabulous technique for creating stunning geometrical designs. This Diamond heart mosaic crochet afghan pattern by Red Sparrow Crochet combines this clever technique with a stunning two-tone diamond design to create a visually striking and timeless blanket.
What is the Afghan stitch?While the use of the term afghan can be used for describing crochet blankets made from any sort of stitch, there is actually a crochet stitch called the Afghan stitch! But to make things even more confusing, this is actually a Tunisian crochet stitch (which in itself is another misleading name, as there are those that debate that no proof can be found that Tunisian crochet comes from Tunisia). The Afghan crochet stitch is more commonly referred to as Tunisian Simple Stitch, and if you want to find out more about this check out our how to do Tunisian crochet tutorial.
Roses and ivy crochet afghan blanket
Here's another design that really shows off the fabulous tiled effect you can achieve with crochet motifs. The Roses and ivy crochet afghan blanket by Fiberjay is inspired by Norwegian knitting motifs, and uses a combination of pretty pastel colours, with post stitches and clusters giving you some lovely textural detail.
Combine your love for bright colours and crochet motifs with the fabulous Rainbow Crocheted Blankets book by Amanda Perkins. With 10 fabulous designs made from a range of different shaped motifs, plus extra colour variations for each blanket, you'll be able to hook up a whole range of colourful rainbow afghans!
Quilt inspired crochet afghan pattern
You can add a whole extra level of geometrical detail to your crochet squares with this Quilt inspired crochet afghan pattern by Poppy and Bliss. While being visually stunning, it's made from surprisingly simple squares, and the pattern also comes with alternative layout ideas and templates so you can really customise this awesome blanket to suit your own style!
Diamond Haze crochet afghan pattern
We can't take our eyes off this incredible mosaic design by Rosina Plane! The Diamond Haze afghan uses the overlay mosaic crochet technique, but rather than the usual 2 colours this blanket uses 3 colours to create a really unique and visually interesting design. It's giving us some magic eye vibes!
And if you're still looking for more blanket patterns, check out our list of the best baby blanket patterns, or why not learn how to do corner-to-corner crochet - it's a great technique for making fab crochet blankets!
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.