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An afghan blanket

An Afghan is a blanket, wrap, or shawl of colored yarn. It is knitted or crocheted in geometric shapes. It can also be referred to as an "afkin,"[1] "throw blanket," or simply as a "throw". Afghans, throw blankets, and throw rugs, originally named because the materials used would decay and the items would be thrown away, were first made in Afghanistan and commonly included geometric designs and many holes in the pattern. The most common defining detail about afghans is that they are made from yarn and hand-stitched or knitted.[2] In North American craft tradition, afghans are handcrafted blankets of various sizes to be draped over sofas or large chairs for decoration and are sometimes used for napping or warmth. Afghan blankets are normally homemade and presented as a gift. They are rarely sold commercially.

There are many different designs and kinds of afghans and three main types: Mile-a-Minute afghans, join as you go afghans, and motif afghans. Mile-a-Minute afghans are usually (though not always) made in one piece and with a minimum of stitches. They are the simplest and easiest to make and are especially popular with beginners. Join as you go afghans are made up of many different pieces, often with one piece begun where the other leaves off. Motif afghans, such as the granny square, are composed of many different small pieces, often called motifs, squares, or blocks. These motifs or blocks may be all of the same design or all of different designs but are almost always the same size for ease of joining. This method of making afghans is preferred by many because of its portability and versatility of design.




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