I first discovered the Fireside Afghan Kit at Knitpicks.com, and was so drawn by the beautiful pattern and ways in which the colors were crocheted together. The kit was available with two color schemes to choose from. I went with the “Buffalo Plaid” version made up of black, wine, and red sport weight yarn.
When the kit came I was so excited and dove right in, but it turned out my skills didn’t match up to the pattern, and although I really tried and gave it my best shot, even going through tutorials I could find for the particular star stitch in the pattern, it was just not for me. I like a challenge, but not too much of a challenge 😉
So I did some searching and was so happy to find an easier solution for this project from Daisy Farm Crafts – the Griddle Stitch! This stitch is explained via video, which I needed. I also had never crocheted a piece that is done over another color, so this was great to learn and do as well. Because each square is 6 stitches, 6 rows, it’s easy to keep track of what you are doing. If you are a knitter, it’s kind of like the seed stitch pattern of knitting and purling one side, and then purling the knit stitches and knitting the purl stitches on the other. But in place of knitting, you are alternating single crochet with double crochet, and on the return path, you double crochet the singles and single crochet the doubles. If that sounds confusing, I apologize 🙂 Really, Daisy Farm Crafts explains it very well in their YouTube video:
My finished afghan pictured below measures 50″ across x 68″ in length. There are a total of 39 squares across, but in hindsight, I would have made this an even number of squares so that the sides are the same color pattern. Since each square is 1 1/2 inches, it would make the afghan that much wider or smaller in width depending on what size you want.
All I needed was 13 skeins of yarn. The cost was just about $26!
If you are ready to get started with this project all you need is
- Brava Sport Weight Yarn – 13 skeins total. I used 4 Black, 6 Wine, and 3 Red
(The gingham effect is achieved by using two shades of color, such as wine and red, and then either black or white for the border and color separator)
Size is up to you! Each square is 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″, so figure out what size blanket you would like to make and then do the math.
If I were to make this blanket again, I would go with 38 squares across, so that would be a chain of 228 stitches to start (38 squares x 6 stitches each). If you’ve never done the griddle stitch, I would recommend making a swatch to practice before you commit to 228 stitches. But as I said, the squares do make it really easy to keep track of what you are doing, and not to accidentally have fewer or more stitches at the end of a row. I needed that.
For the border, I decided to stick with the griddle stitch as well. To do this on the sides, I just made sure I picked up and crocheted 6 stitches in each square. and so in each corner going around, I added 3 double chains.
This blanket took me a while, but it was so fun to make while watching TV in the evenings, and I just love how it looks and feels! So warm and squishy! You could also make a matching pillow, which would be great as well.
Also worth mentioning is that I did carry the yarn up the sides of the afghan in most cases, but sometimes, I did cut the yarn just to eliminate having to deal with 3 balls of yarn twisting around each other. I wove in loose ends with a tapestry needle and then the border covered up most everything as well.
Have fun. Be safe. Crochet on.