Afghan Stitch

As you would probably assume, our encyclopedic collection of craft projects from the 70s is fairly heavy on the yarn-based activities. Alphabetically, the first one to come up is Afghan Stitch. It’s a crochet favorite. I know this because it says so right here, above the dramatically-lit headshot of our afghan stitch expert, Sandra Vogt:

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

The first thing I learned from Sandra Vogt is that these are not made in afghan stitch. Technically, they are granny squares. You will be relieved to know that we will learn how to make them in a later volume.

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

The next thing that I learned from Sandra Vogt is that clothing made using afghan stitch is apparently both hideously ugly and wildly impractical. I can think of no circumstance in which it would be beneficial to wear this vest, even if it wasn’t canary yellow. And this little girl could not look more uncomfortable in her incredibly stiff pink skirt. I’m looking at her sitting in this chair and imagining her getting splinters in her butt since the skirt is apparently not flexible enough to bend with her when she sits down. I can’t imagine how she manages to play in that thing, and I say that as someone who spent every day of her life between the ages of four and nine wearing a skirt, a blouse, and the exact pair of patent leather shoes she’s wearing in this picture.

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

The selection of projects is rounded out by this mildly entertaining but not very attractive playable tic-tac-toe pillow and, of course, an actual afghan, which I have to admit is actually pretty nice, but there’s no way I’m making anything that big for my first afghan stitch project.

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

So obviously I had to come up with my own afghan stitch project idea. My plan is to make a stuffed gonk droid. It’s reasonably rectangular in shape; it can incorporate most of the techniques used in the Family Creative Workshop projects; it can be made reasonably small scale, so that I might have a prayer of ever finishing it; and it will hopefully produce something that anyone might conceivably want to own. Sandra Vogt also mentions that afghan stitch can be used as a background for cross-stitch and, as a devotee of cross-stitch, I’d like to give that a shot, so I’m planning to cross-stitch some of the buttons and lights.

Of the four of us, I’m the only one that has absolutely no experience with crochet, so I had basically no idea how to follow the instructions in the book. After three or four completely failed attempts, I found somewhat more helpful instructions and have, thus far, managed to create this masterpiece. So, I still have quite a ways to go, but I think it’s a fairly promising start.

How to Afghan Stitch, 70s Style

source: The Family Creative Workshop, Volume 1: Afghan Stitch (1974)