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How do I Crochet a Ripple Afghan?

By Koren Allen
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By anon345185 — On Aug 16, 2013

Can someone tell me what the width of the afghan is? I would like it the size of a throw. If I want to decrease or increase the size, what would be the count?

By calabama71 — On Jul 11, 2010

@momothree: I have a couple of different yarns that I use for baby blankets. One of them is Simply Soft. It is worsted weight yarn (#4) and is made with babies in mind. I have also used Bernat Softee and their satin yarn for baby blankets. Out of the two, I prefer Simply Soft. Babies seem to love it!

By momothree — On Jul 11, 2010

@calabama71: I want to make a ripple blanket for my new nephew. What kind of yarn would you suggest?

By calabama71 — On Jul 11, 2010

There are many different ripple patterns. You basically have to find the one that you like the best for your blanket. If you are an experienced crocheter, you should know the basic stitches. In a ripple pattern, there are what’s called valleys and hills. I use a lot of V stitches when making a ripple blanket. You can go to a pattern site and type in “ripple pattern” and find tons of ripple blanket patterns.

Happy Crocheting!

By cmsmith10 — On Jul 04, 2010

There are several different websites that you can go to that offer hundreds of free patterns for just about anything that you could think of. I print out all of the patterns and keep a notebook. Ravelry and Crochet Pattern Central are my two faves.

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