The ripple afghan is one of the oldest and most beloved of crochet afghan designs. It is also one of the simplest to make, since the basic design consists of simply increasing at the top of the zigzag, decreasing at the bottom, and repeating over and over. You can make one in a solid color to emphasize the zigzag stitch pattern, or use up your scrap yarn by changing colors at the end of each row for a colorful striped design. These afghans can be made in smaller sizes for a baby gift, or made large enough to fit a king-sized bed. Once you have learned the basic pattern, the color and design possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Afghans can be made with nearly any type of yarn. Acrylic worsted weight yarn is widely available, inexpensive, and provides the most variety of color choices. Baby yarns provide extra softness for snuggling a little one, and chenille yarns can add rich texture and warmth to a project. Be sure to check the label on the yarn for care and washing directions to make sure the yarn is appropriate for use as a blanket.
Once you have mastered the basic design of the ripple afghan, there are hundreds of variations to try. Most crochet afghan pattern books include at least one ripple design, and some books are dedicated exclusively to these afghans. You can also experiment with your own patterns, using any repeatable crochet stitch such as the V-stitch, teardrop stitch, or cross-stitch.
For the following basic design, you will need about 18 ounces (510 grams) of acrylic worsted weight yarn in your choice of colors, and a size I crochet hook.
Abbreviations: sc - single crochet, ch - chain stitch.
Foundation row: Chain 220, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 6 ch, * work 3 sc in next ch, sc in each of next 7 ch, skip 2 ch, sc in each of next 7 ch, repeat from * across to last 8 ch, work 3 sc in next ch, sc in last 7 ch, ch 1, turn.
Pattern row: Skip first sc, sc in next 7 sc, *work 3 sc in center sc of 3 sc group on previous row, sc in next 7 sc, skip next two sc, sc in next 7 sc, repeat from * across to last ridge, work 3 sc in center sc of 3 sc group on previous row, sc in next 7 sc, leaving last sc unworked, ch 1, turn.
Repeat pattern row, changing colors as desired, until afghan is desired length.