Wow! We are officially in the second half of 2020. Seems impossible right? I’ve been looking forward to July all year because it’s finally my turn to share my Traveling Afghan square! If you’re like me, you’re probably always on the lookout for a good crochet blanket pattern. I love this one because it brings together a ton of designers for a super fun project.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Traveling Afghan project, here’s a little background info. The Traveling Afghan project was dreamed up by Two of Wands and Lion Brand Yarn as part of their 2020 campaign, My Life in Yarn. There are two afghans – one crochet and one knit. The afghans are Traveling around the globe and stopping with numerous designers. Each will design and add a square to the afghan!
Want to make your own Traveling Afghan? It’s easy to get started.
- Purchase the yarn kit from Lion Brand. It has all the yarn you need to complete the entire afghan. Alternatively, this would also be a great stash busting project!
- Visit the Traveling Afghan landing page at Two of Wands. She has compiled links to each square. She also a list of FAQs for the project.
- Share your square on social media! Use the hashtags #thetravelingafghans #lionbrandyarn #mylifeinyarn and #thetravelingcrochetafghan.
I live in NE Kansas, right in prime farm country. My hometown is a small town, far from any city. It’s quiet and peaceful most of the time. One of the things I love most about it is that on pretty much any night, I can turn my head to the sky and see millions of stars. In fact, star gazing has become one of my family’s favorite hobbies. My daughter even joined the astronomy club at school!
Who would have guessed that such a quiet hobby would be so appropriate for 2020? Spending more time at home has really forced me to find the beauty in the small things and appreciate my surroundings. I pitched my idea for this square before Covid 19 hit, but as the months progressed, it grew in meaning to me.
First Star To The North
The Big Dipper is one of the most easily recognized star formations in the night sky. It’s part of the constellation Ursa Major. As long you have a clear night, it is always visible in the Northern hemisphere, although it’s location will vary at different times of year. The Big Dipper can be used to find the North Star, which has been historically used for navigation.
The fact that the Big Dipper has helped people over the years to find the North Star, and by extension, find their way home really resonated with me. Home has always been important to me, but in the last few months it has been more so. It is my family’s safe space, our refuge from a virus that has ravaged the world. It’s a place we can be together and spend time doing things we love.
Stars are symbols of hope. We wish upon stars. We look at starts and wonder what else may be out there. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like we could all use a bit of hope these days.
I hope you will enjoy adding this square to your Traveling Afghan as much as I did! Keep scrolling for the pattern below. You can also check out my Trudie Afghan or Blanket Texture Square if you like making blanket squares.
Skill Level Easy
Hook J/6.00 mm crochet hook
Yarn Lion Brand Woolease, or comparable worsted weight yarn
Other Darning needle, scissors, locking stitch markers (4), blocking mat and pins
Gauge 14 st x 14 rows, blocked = 4” in sc
Size 10” x 10”, blocked
slst slip stitch
sc single crochet
hdc half double crochet
sm stitch marker
1. Yarn over, insert hook into stitch and pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 stitches.
2. Repeat number one in the same stitch/space until you have a total of 5 loops on your hook.
3. Yarn over, pull through all 5 loops at once
Surface Slip Stitch:
- On the right side, insert your hook wherever you wish to star your surface slip stitches. Your working yarn should be behind your work.
- Yarn over and pull up a loop.
- Insert your hook in the next stitch or spot where you wish to have a surface slip stitch.
- Yarn over and pull up a loop.
- Repeat steps 3 – 4.
Take care not to work these stitches too tightly or they will cause your beautiful work to pucker!
- Ch 1 at the beginning of a row does not count as a stitch.
- Ch 2 at the beginning of border rounds counts as a hdc.
- Bobbles are worked on the wrong side of the piece and should push out on the right side.
- Surface slip stitch is used to “connect” the bobbles and form the outline of the Big Dipper.
- The center section of this square is worked in rows, then a border is added in rounds.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across, turn. <27 sc>
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. <27 sc>
Row 3 – 4: Repeat row 2.
Row 5: Ch 1, sc 20, bo 1, sc 6, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 6: Repeat row 2.
Row 7: Ch 1, sc 14, bo 1, sc 12, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 8: Repeat row 2.
Row 9: Ch 1, sc 24, bo 1, sc 2, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 10 – 12: Repeat row 2.
Row 13: Ch 1, sc 14, bo 1, sc 12, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 14: Repeat row 2.
Row 15: Ch 1, sc 10, bo 1, sc 16, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 16 – 18: Repeat row 2.
Row 19: Ch 1, sc 7, bo 1, sc 19, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 20: Repeat row 2.
Row 21: Ch 1, sc 1, bo 1, sc 25, turn. <26 sc, 1 bo>
Row 22 – 25: Repeat row 2.
Connecting the bobbles:
Starting and the bottom bobble, and using the chart below as a guide, use surface slip stitches to “draw” lines forming the big dipper. Alternatively, you could use your yarn and darning needle to embroider a line.
Note: the border is worked in the round. Put your stitch markers in the center st of each 3sc group on round 1, then move them each subsequent round. Your square may look more like a rectangle right now but that’s okay – we’ll even it out with the border!
Round 1: Ch 1, 2sc in first st, sc in each st along top edge until 1 st remains, 3 sc in final st, sc 25evenly down side edge, 3sc in first st of bottom edge, sc in each st along bottom edge until 1 st remains, 3sc in final st, sc 25 evenly up side edge, sc in first st of top row (to complete a group of 3 in the corner), slst to first st to join. <112 sc>
Round 2: Ch 2, hdc in same st, *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, sc down side edge, 3 hdc in marked st, *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, sc up side edge, hdc in same st as first st, slst to first st to join.
Round 3: Repeat round 2.
Round 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st, *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, , *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, , *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, , *ch 1, sk 1, hdc 1* repeat from * to * across, 3 hdc in marked st, hdc in same st as first st, slst to first st to join.
Round 5: Repeat round 4.
Cut yarn and weave in ends, block square so that it measures 10″ x 10″, and attach to blanket!