How to Knit an Afghan in 10 Easy Steps

Get tips on how to knit an Afghan in 10 easy steps. Plus, get advice on the best yarns and needles to use for your project.

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Materials needed

In order to knit an afghan, you will need the following materials:

-Yarn in the color of your choice
-Knitting needles
-A tapestry needle

Once you have gathered all of your materials, you are ready to begin knitting your afghan!

Casting on

The first step in knitting an afghan is to cast on the desired number of stitches. You can use any type of cast on method you like, but long tail cast on is a good choice for beginners. To do a long tail cast on, start by making a slip knot and placing it on your needle. Then, hold the needle in your right hand and the tail of the yarn in your left. Make a loop around your left thumb with the yarn, and then bring the needle up through the loop. Next, use the needle to grab the yarn that’s wrapped around your thumb and pull it through the loop. You’ve now made one stitch! Continue making stitches in this way until you have the desired number of stitches on your needle.

The knit stitch

The knit stitch is the basis for all afghan patterns. It is a simple stitch that can be worked in rows or rounds to create a variety of textures and patterns. The most basic afghan is made with a knit stitch, but there are many variations of the knit stitch that can be used to create different effects.

The purl stitch

The purl stitch is one of the basic stitches in knitting. It is formed by holding the yarn in front of the work, inserting the right needle into the next stitch from left to right, and wrapping the yarn around the needle (counterclockwise) (figure 1). You then draw the wrapped yarn through the stitch, bringing it to the front of the work (figure 2), and slip the old stitch off the left needle. You have now made one purl stitch.


One of the first things you’ll want to learn how to do when you start knitting is how to increase stitches. This technique is used in a variety of patterns and is relatively simple once you get the hang of it.

There are two main ways to increase stitches: by knitting into the front and back of a stitch (known as a make one or M1 increase) or by knitting two stitches together (known as a right-leaning decrease). You can also use other methods, such as casting on additional stitches, but these two are the most common.

To increase stitches using the M1 method, start by inserting your right needle into the next stitch on your left needle as if you were going to knit it. But instead of just wrapping the yarn around and pulling through as you normally would, first lift the strand between your needles with your right thumb and forefinger. Then, with your needle, pick up this lifted strand from below and knit into it (or purl into it if you’re working on a purl row). You’ve now increased one stitch!

To increase stitches using theknit two together method, simply insert your right needle into the next two stitches on your left needle at the same time and knit them both together as if they were one stitch. You’ve now decreased one stitch!

Experiment with both methods to see which you prefer. If you’re working on a pattern that doesn’t specify which method to use, go with whichever looks best.


To decrease the number of stitches in your knitting, you can use a variety of methods. The most common way to decrease is to knit two stitches together. To do this, simply insert your needle into the next two stitches on the left-hand needle as if you were going to knit them together, and then knit them as one stitch. You can also purl two stitches together in the same way.

Another common way to decrease is to slip one stitch, knit two together, and then pass the slipped stitch over the top of the stitch you justknit together. This will also result in one fewer stitch on your right-hand needle.

You can also decrease by skipped stitches, which is often used in patterns that create a decorative hole or opening in the fabric. To do this, simply leave a stitch unworked on the left-hand needle and move your working yarn past it to the next stitch. You will have one less stitch at the end of this row or round.

Binding off

Binding off is how you finish your work and make it secure so it doesn’t unravel. It’s really not difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

To bind off loosely, use a larger knitting needle or go up a needle size. This will make it easier to tug the yarn through the loops later when you’re weaving in the ends.

Always bind off at the beginning of a row, never in the middle. When you come to the end of a row, cut the yarn, leaving a tail about 6 inches long, and slip the last stitch you knit over the first stitch on the left needle. Now there’s only one loop on the right needle.

Repeat this process – slip one stitch over, then knit another – until you have only one loop remaining on the right needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail about 6 inches long, and pull it through that last loop to secure it.


Blocking means shaping or sizing your finished piece by lightly wetting it and then stretching/smoothing it into the desired dimensions and letting it dry. This is often done with afghans, doilies, and other lace pieces to “open up” the stitches and make them lie flat. It can also help even out uneven stitches. You can use a variety of things to block your knitting such as the floor, bed, or blocking boards/mats. You will also need T-pins or rust-proof straight pins, a measuring tape, and something to lightly mist your project with like a spray bottle filled with water or blocking solution (plain water is fine).


The final step in knitting an afghan is seaming. You will need to seam the afghan together using a tapestry needle and a length of yarn. Seaming is simple and only takes a few minutes. Follow these steps to seam your afghan:

1. Lay the afghan out flat with the wrong sides facing up.

2. Thread the tapestry needle with a length of yarn.

3. Start at one corner of the afghan and stitch along the edge using a whip stitch. Continue stitching until you reach the corner of the opposite side of the afghan.

4. Tie off the yarn and cut off any excess.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the other two sides of the afghan.

Adding a border

Now that you have completed the body of your afghan, it’s time to add a border. This will finish off the edges and give your afghan a polished look. You can choose to knit a simple border or go for something more elaborate. Either way, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide.

Simple Knitted Border
1. Measure the width of your afghan.
2. Cut a piece of yarn that is twice as long as the width of your afghan.
3. Thread the yarn through a tapestry needle.
4. Start at one corner of the afghan and weave the yarn in and out of the stitches along the edge.
5. When you reach the end of the row, turn the corner and continue weaving the yarn along the next edge.
6. Repeat until you have gone all the way around the afghan.
7. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, and thread it through the tapestry needle.
8. Weave the tail through several stitches to secure it in place, then trim any excess yarn

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