Afghan Keepers: 35+ “Go To” Designs For Your Pattern File

Every crocheter & knitter I know has a “Go To” file full of patterns they return to again and again when looking for gift ideas, home decor and everyday practical pieces to use up leftover yarn (dishcloths, slippers, etc.). These are typically items that don’t follow trends and are wonderfully timeless.

Granny Square Afghan & Variegated Yarns

This collection of free afghan patterns is inspired by that file folder. It features a good mix of stash busters, yarn eaters & lovely gift-worthy blankets that will have you running out to buy a bunch of that new yarn you’ve had your eye on.

Bonus: Most are easy to make and Beginner friendly!

Not only are there some lovely modern designs to choose from, I also tried to include all the great classics some of us grew up with in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Did I miss any? These are all I can remember atm!

Most are crochet but I have organized a small bunch of knitted goodies too (they are at the bottom of the page). I’ll surely be adding more as I come across them.

What’s The Best Yarn To Use?

Pretty much anything you like, a washable medium-weight acrylic or polyester is what I tend to stick with so the blankets can be easily laundered. The afghans in our home don’t just hang around looking pretty, they’re heavily used so it’s important to me that they’ll hold up to daily wear and can be easily laundered.

For a sure result, stick close to what the pattern author recommends as the sizing, texture and dimension can be affected by different weights and fibers.

Quick Tip: If not working through a stash bin of leftover yarns, this can be a larger project requiring several balls of the same color. If so, it’s important to purchase them all from the same dye lot. See this video for a quick explanation: What are “dye lots” on yarn labels? Lion Brand also has a good article here: Why Dye Lots Are Important For Crafting.

One calamitous event that will happen only once in the career of a crocheter/knitter is to nearly complete a larger project and realize the shade used is not consistent throughout. Tragic!

How Long Will An Afghan Last?

With proper care and depending on the design, it can last for decades. In fact, the very first full afghan I completed was about 25 years ago (or so) and it was for my son who is now in his 30’s. He still has it and has had it on his bed every night since it was made…his wife folds it at the foot of their bed every night (I love my daughter-in-law!). I’m pretty sure it was good old Red Heart yarn too.

Is There A Standard Size To Make?

Again, anything goes. You can make it to custom fit daybeds, air mattresses, pull out couches, tent floors, whatever you like. If you’re wanting to make something nice for the bed, here are the standard mattress sizes (North America):

  • Twin or Single: 38.5″ x 74.5″
  • Twin XL: 38.5″ x 79.5″
  • Full or Double: 53.5″ x 74.5″
  • Queen: 60″ x 79.5″
  • King: 76″ x 79.5″
  • California King: 72″ x 83.5″

Source: (Note: While dimensions are specified to the half-inch below, the actual dimension used by manufacturers or various websites may be half an inch larger or smaller)

How To Fit: Make the blanket to fit fully across the mattress top or decide how much overhang you want on both sides and/or at the bottom of the bed. If wanting to fully cover the depth of the top mattress, remember that these can vary too (ie. pillow tops vs. regular).

When it comes to standardized sizing for afghans, this is what Interweave has to say:

There are three basic sizes for crochet blankets: afghan, lap blanket, and baby blanket. Traditionally, full-size, crochet afghan patterns measures about 50″ by 65″. The lap blanket is about 35″ by 40″. And the perennial favorite, the baby blanket, measures about 25″ by 30″. These measurements are just guidelines. Your crochet afghan’s size can be determined by your gauge, stitch pattern, or motif size.

Source: How to Modify Afghan Crochet Patterns

Many projects include tips for increasing/decreasing dimensions. I tend to stick with the width but go longer since we’re all tall in our family…why bother making one if you have to hunch up to keep yourself covered?

Free “Go To” Afghan Patterns

The collection on this page mainly focuses on regular sized designs. If you’re looking for baby blankets, this is the page for you: Sweet & Adorable Baby Blankets To Make {Free}. You’ll find plenty of both crochet and knitting goodies plus sewn too.

What’s included below:

  • Yarn stash busters (ideal for using up all the odd lengths and colors you have leftover from other projects).
  • Yarn eaters (patterns with stitches and/or motifs that use a lot). If you overbought or inherited a bunch of yarn in one color and don’t know what to do with it, this is likely what you want.
  • Gift-worthy (they all are, in their own way, but these are so nice you want to go out and buy a bunch of delicious yarn to make it). These are ideal for bridal showers, wedding presents, birthdays, Christmas, etc.

As mentioned up above, I drifted toward a lot of classics that I remember from way back in the day. There wasn’t a household that didn’t have an afghan or two on the couches, packed up for road trips, sleepovers and camping adventures. I didn’t think much about them at the time, but now I appreciate them tremendously.

These are all free, instant access with either full written instructions provided or a pdf download. Some may offer addition help via video tutorials. As always here on Tipnut, only those projects that provide hassle-free access are included (no emails to submit, no memberships to signup for). If that has changed, please let me know in the comments area below so I can remove it.

Now on to the goodies, have fun!

Directions: Click on images to view project page, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here

Crochet Projects

Pretty Patchwork

Simple squares are worked in dc using whatever you have on hand. Once you have enough (20 are used in the example shown), they are joined then a pretty pico edging finishes it off. Applique a few crocheted doilies on top for added charm.


All-American Stripes

A nice size at 50″ x 70″ (not including fringe), this uses 4 colors. Suitable for Beginners, the main stitches for the body are sc, dc and a cluster stitch.


Vintage Vertical Stripes

A terrific yarn eater based on an old favorite, this example was done in 27 colors (just use what you have). Perfect for beginners, stitches used are sc, dc and finishes at over 6′ long and 4′ wide.


Classic Chevron

There was a time back in the day where nearly every household seemed to have an afghan just like this (the colors varied of course). A good classic project to keep on hand. Measures 48″ x 60″ once it’s done. Free pdf pattern download.


Warm ‘n Cozy Camo Look

Wow, this does look super cozy! Made with the luxuriously soft Bernat Blanket Yarn (Silver Steel is shown), a size N crochet hook & measures about 55″ x 71″ so it’s a good one to roll up with on the couch.


The Granny Rectangle

This is one big granny in a rectangular shape (48″ x 64″) and features a big tassel attached to each corner. This was made in Caron Chunky Cakes with an 8mm hook (size L U.S.) but you could easily work through your personal stash for this.


Textured Chevron

Wow, how gorgeous is this! Modernizes the classic chevron design with raised stitches and added dimension. I love the colors she used here too. Finishes at approximately 59″ x 63″ (promises to stretch a lot). She used a 4mm hook with a cotton/acrylic blend (Scheepjes Softfun Aquarel, source provided on project page). 



Another old favorite especially for the holidays & cold winter nights. I don’t see a finished size on this but I think it’s fairly substantial since there are 59 hexagons to be made which are then whipstitched together (snowflakes will be staggered alternating rows) then finished off with a simple edging design.


Rainbows & Hearts

Made with Red Heart Super Saver & a G hook. Finished dimensions will be 46″ x 64″. Featured on Tipnut from the start, this has been updated so the hearts are now centered & overall is easier to work.



Another great stash busting classic, this finishes at about 50″ x 56″. Stitches used: sc, dc & chain.


Knitting Projects

I know there are a lot of free knitting patterns online for afghans, but I’m a tad choosy for this collection. I want to stick with designs that are timeless and/or have a classic feel to them. I’m sure to be adding more in the near future so you may want to bookmark this page for easy reference.

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    • faye bancroft

    really different patterns! My daughter has gotten the “knitting bug” and will enjoy looking at this site- Thank-you!

    • Terri in Tennessee

    Hey! I have been “bitten” by the knitting bug too and will enjoy your patterns and tips! I am wanting to learn to knit socks so bad but can’t seem to get the hang of what I’m doing. I’m wanting to learn how to knit ‘toe-up’. Hope you have some tips for newbies like me on knitting socks! In the meantime, I’m going to get an afghan (knitted) started on my needles so I can have a long range project to work on through the fall months. I also plan to knit Christmas gifts, so any holiday knitting will be helpful too!

      • Jean Myracle

      I want to knit socks also, and I too am scared to death of knitting them! Is there any sock intervention therapy for me?

    • Rosemarie Davis

    I am so glad i found this site ,i would like to know to crochet a baloro for the longest while i do hope i can get the pattern here with the instructions thank you

    • louise

    i’m looking for a knitted pattern of a throw that my grand mother had years ago it was about 40inchs x 40inchs and when you finish useing it you folded it up into a approx 12 x12 inch square and bottoned it if any one has a pattern simalar to that could you let me know please thanks louise

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