That Afghan! (Part I)

One of the better known afghans in television is the granny square scrap afghan that graced the back of the sofa in Roseanne’s living room in the show Roseanne which ran from 1988 to 1997. If you are not already familiar with the afghan, you can view it here (shortly after 1:09).

Granny square afghans are alternately loved and reviled. They are often made of bits of leftover yarn that do not necessarily coordinate. Sometimes the creator is able to use the scraps in such a way that a transcendent piece is created; other times, the creator’s color juxtapositions fall well short of harmonious, and the resulting afghan is a visual train wreck. In my opinion, the Roseanne afghan manages to be an odd mix of transcendent and discordant. It is, if nothing else, it’s own presence.

The afghan on Roseanne’s sofa is made up of 120 five-round granny squares arranged in a 10 X 12 rectangle. The first four rounds of each square are made using four different colors, while the fifth round is of each square is black. The use of black in the final round frames each square and makes the colors within appear more intense than they otherwise would.

So, if you want to get started on your very own iconic afghan as seen on TV, grab an H-hook, a pile of scrap yarn, a needle for weaving in ends (my favorite is made by Clover), and get started.

Basic 5-Round Granny Square

Use any 4 colors (A, B, C, & D) for the first four rounds and black (MC) for the 5th round.

With A, ch 4; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 2 dc in ring, ch 3, (3 dc in ring, ch 3) 3 times; join with sl st in top of beg ch. Fasten off.

Rnd 2: Join B with sl st in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, *(3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp, ch 1; rep from * 2 more times; join with sl st in top of beg ch. Fasten off.

Rnd 3: Join C with sl st in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, *3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp, ch 1, rep from * 2 more times, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1; join with sl st in top of beg ch. Fasten off.

Rnd 4: Join D with sl st in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, *(3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) twice, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp, ch 1; rep from * 2 more times, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) twice; join with sl st in top of beg ch. Fasten off.

Rnd 5: Join MC with sl st in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, *(3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 3 times, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp, ch 1; rep from * 2 more times, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 3 times; join with sl st in top of beg ch. Fasten off.

Tomorrow I will look at some of the different ways you can join your squares to complete your own iconic masterpiece.

Join the loveliness
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