Football Afghan

Finally finished the football coach’s gift! I crocheted this beautiful football afghan. I have been crocheting since I was literally 5 years old and this is certainly one of the most difficult afghans I have ever crocheted. It wasn’t so much a challenging pattern as it only contained single chains, slip stitches, half double chains and double chains.

It was just a very detailed pattern with a lot of yarn changes. To create that tiered effect, most of the crocheting was done in the back loop. Sounds simple however it was the back loop not a back post stitch. Finding that back loop on a single crochet slows a gal down and I’m used to making afghans in one day…3 days max. This literally took almost 4 weeks! There is a lot of stitch counting as well. What took the most time was hand-stitching the football laces on all 60 footballs! The pattern was written in a way that it was difficult to follow at times. The supplies state “off-white” yarn but then in the pattern, the yarn color was called “aran” on some rows but “off-white” in other rows. The footballs were supposed to be made one by one and then sewn together. I fudged that a bit and just crocheted the footballs in a chain without breaks between the footballs. I don’t like to cut thread a whole bunch of times in a pattern because it doesn’t matter how well you weave your ends in, you get the unsightly fuzzy strands hanging out. I also carried the yarn color not in use with the current color stitch instead of cutting and re-attaching it anywhere I could. Even doing all of this still left me with a lot of undesirable weaved yarn ends everywhere in the pattern. The end product though is so striking that it is well worth the effort to make this afghan!

The color combinations are endless and this afghan is a perfect gift for a coach or that special football fan in your life! I’d love to share the pattern with you however it is copyrighted. The pattern can be found on page 54 in the Annie’s Favorite Special Occasions Crochet ProjectsΒ book. The book was published in 2000. The pattern was designed by Eleanor Albano Miles.

I purchased my book on Amazon.com before football season for around $10. I just did a search for the book again on Amazon and I am shocked to find that new books are selling for $122+ and used books around $54! Holy Toledo! I suggest waiting till after football season and possibly you will find this book at the bargain price I found it for 3-4 months ago. Just wanted to share the pictures of the afghan, it really turned out fantastic!

UPDATE 12/9/12 – I had a lot of hits today for this blanket. Check the link to Amazon above. Just checked and you can find a used book for under $10 right now. Good luck!

UPDATE 4/19/13 – I just checked Amazon, the book is now less than $15 used. It’s the off season for football so folks looking for this particular book for this pattern – now’s the time to buy the book! πŸ™‚

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I have finished creating my own football pattern! My Touchdown Football Crochet Throw is a fun way to show your team spirit! The footballs pop out creating a 2D effect adding to the texture. Check it out HERE.Β 

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41 thoughts on “Football Afghan

  1. Hi. Your post was very informative. I just started the blanket, am on the third football and am already frustrated. The second part of the football is coming wider than the beginning. I decided to crochet the first and last 2 white stitches together when switching to brown and it looks a little better. I also find that constant cutting of the yarn on the football tedious. I tried to carry the white up to the 2nd line, but had a difficult time and finally just cut it, but am able to carry the brown. I am also trying to leave a long tail of the white, weave it to the middle, and use that to do the laces. You said you “fudged” the footballs and made them in a chain. Can you explain to me how you did that? I can use all the helpful tips I can get since I have to make three in different team colors and I’m also a slow crocheter. I’m sure this project will probably keep me busy for a year. HELPPPPPPPPPPPPP

    • This afghan is striking when finished but it is by far the most tedious and difficult one I’ve ever made. I followed the same pattern with the football but where I was to chain 2 and then do the edging around…I would not do the edging. I would instead chain two and start the next football (I would do 3 sc in the 2nd chain to start the next football). I continued until all 10 were made and then with the last one I would chain two and then sc around the edges of each of the footballs down the row. At the chain 2 spaces between the footballs, I would slip stitch into the chains so that it wasn’t bulky between the footballs. I hope that makes sense. I did not carry the white because you really can’t but I did carry the brown when crocheting the white. Even with doing the footballs all together at once and carrying the brown, I still felt like I had so many ends that were cut and had to be weaved in. Lastly, I’m not completely sold on the tiered effect. That is what slowed me down the most. Finding the back loop is very slow going. I do believe I will make another one but I will just do straight single chains or double chains versus any of that back loop nonsense around the rows of footballs. That was definitely nerve racking and again, I wasn’t completely sold or impressed with the tiering effect. After crocheting the edging around each football row (before attaching the rows together), I lightly sprayed the yarn with water and ironed the footballs flat. This is probably why I didn’t care for the tiered effect because after ironing it, it flattened out. But there was no way I could have lined up my football rows without pressing the footballs flat. So try doing a row of footballs with no breaks and don’t crochet in the back loops, go straight for the single or double chains. I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask! ~ Kathy

    • Oh and Fran, that was pure genius to leave a long tail of white for the football stitches! That would really help. One less knot to tie and I tied so many with 60 footballs, lol! So kudos for that helpful tip. I will definitely be doing that on the next one I make! Thanks again! Kathy

  2. Thank you. I understand what you did. My plan was to probably slip stitch the two chain 2 spaces together when starting the ripple part. I like your idea better because it will be less bulky. Luckily, I I was only able to do 5 footballs this week (I know, “Speedy Gonzales” is definitely not my middle name). The only yarn that had all the exact matching team colors was Red Heart super saver. I don’t usually use this yarn because I find it to be too bulky and a little on the rough side. I read somewhere that when you wash and dry the skeins before crocheting, it will soften. I was afraid to wash the skeins before and possibly end up with a tangled mess so I plan on washing it after it’s done. I hope it will still soften. Do you have any other suggestion on softening it?
    Thank you.

  3. You are absolutely right about Red Heart. It is super bulky but it was the same yarn I used. I strayed away from the design a little. Where the edging is done in the colors, I used a a dec (with 5 chains) in the corners where the 2 stitches between footballs were. It just helped with not puckering the afghan there. On the outer most edges of the football, I would put two sc in 3 stitches (again to prevent puckering) working my way out with the last edge having 2 sc in 5 stitches. I guess I really didn’t follow the pattern all too much now that I think about it, lol. I did though when sewing together the rows with matching the chain edging numbers (I think it was 15 on short and 26 on long) or something close to that. I would though not bother with the tiering. That back loop was a real pain. I crochet fairly fast and I couldn’t believe how much that slowed me down and the effect wasn’t all that impressive for the amount of work. I have read too that washing would soften the yarn but like you I imagine it just turning into a huge ball of tangled mess so I have never tried it. My husband’s grandmother always buys her yarn and before starting any project, she rolls the skein into one large ball of yarn by hand. I always loved seeing her balls of yarn in a basket and she never had to worry about yarn getting tangled in the core of the skein. I of course am way to impatient to do that, lol! I can tell you though that it was still soft enough and made for a really thick (in a nice way) throw using the Red Saver. I just know that the next one I will use the pattern as a guide but will do it my own kind of way, lol. I am thinking actually of trying to create a similar design with basketballs so that the basketball team can raffle the blanket off to help pay for the end of season banquet. I will definitely share the pattern on here when I do. Just trying to get through the holidays first, lol! If I can think of any other hints, I will let you know. Oh…I really didn’t like the look of the brown around the edges. I instead kept with the team’s colors. I found that most who tackled this pattern did the same. Our oldest plays football and I had made a different afghan for every home game that the Mom’s Club raffled off to raise money for the team meals and end of season banquet. This pattern was to be the grand finale for the last game of the season. I literally was making afghans in 1-2 days for each home game and I tried my darndest to finish this in time for the last game and just couldn’t. I finished it in time for the banquet though and we decided to give it to the coach who was retiring. I have to tell you, I am so glad it worked out that way. In general, we raised between $80-$100 per afghan we raffled and I think I would have stabbed myself in the eye repeatedly with a blunt object if this one would have only raffled off at the lower end of what we were making, lol. Just way too much work for a raffle blanket! The coach though loved it and I believe it worked out the way it was meant to. Have you seen the Drop in the Pond afghan I posted that was one of the ones raffled? https://craftycreativekathy.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/doing-my-part-ii-drop-in-the-pond/ That was one of my favorites I made. It too is very striking and literally only took hours to make! I will hopefully also be posting soon how to crochet a name doily in thread. Perfect wedding gift, anniversary gift and Christmas gift. I can usually frame it for less than $6.00. Just thought I’d give you some more gift giving ideas! If you come across any other tips or tricks with this football afghan, please share because I will attempt to tackle this one again in the future! Thanks! ~ Kathy

    • Hi Kathy, you are really funny. Please don’t stab yourself in the eye. It’ll slow down your crochet speed. Yes the the Drop in the Pond afghan is in my “to do” pattern folder. Unfortunately, request for special blankets and my JOB get in the way and I can’t produce as much or as fast as I want. But as long as my fingers hold up, I will keep going. After one year, I just finished two picture afghans of over 2000 squares each; one of Lightning McQueen and one of Mater which I commissioned to have designed. TORTURE
      If I discover a new short cut, I will let you know. Stay well,

      Fran

  4. Hi Kathy

    This blanket is amazing!!! I have searches high an low for a copy of this pattern but I can’t find any copies of the book for less than $55, a price I simply can’t afford. Would you be willing to send me a copy of the pattern? I would be happy to pay you for your troubles. Please let me know. I am trying to make the blanket as a special gift for my little sister before she moves in the spring. I would sincerely appreciate any help you could give me. Thank you so much

    • Alex, I’m terribly sorry I can’t help out as it is copyrighted. If it was my original pattern I would certainly share it with you! I sent you an email to the email you had listed when leaving your comment to further explain this. Please check your email. Wishing you more success in finding the book cheaper!

    • I am sorry but the pattern is copyrighted and can’t be sold or distributed. Hopefully the book price drops soon for you. I would check Amazon daily. It literally was around $55 for quite some time and then for a couple days in December 2012, the book was available for under $10. Possibly check other businesses that sell used books like Half Priced Books? Good luck in finding the pattern.

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  6. I ran into the same problem with high prices on Amazon, so I contacted my local library and they found the book for me. Appreciate your tips like joining the footballs and doing the edge row on them all together. Having trouble deciding on the brown color. Hate to go with coffee but it’s all I have and hate to go buy more.

    • Agreed about the brown. I struggled with the true brown as it seemed dark. It worked out ok because our son’s football team’s color is in sharp contrast to the brown. Good luck and I hope the tips in the comments make this an easier project. I actually was cursing toward the end, lol. Worse part is that I still want to make another one for our family (the original one I made was a gift to the retiring high school football head coach). If you have any questions, holler! We’ll be glad to help!

      • I still haven’t made this yet, but have found what I think is a pretty good football color. It’s Herrschner’s Worsted Weight in ‘Root Beer’.

      • Oh that sounds good for the color…who doesn’t like rootbeer? LOL I’m close to releasing my own football pattern afghan that is more easier to make than this one but just as striking πŸ™‚ Stay tuned!

      • Hmmmm…. may just have to wait and check yours out! Let me know when it’s ready πŸ™‚

      • Will do! Should be in the next couple of weeks! I make an afghan for every home game that is raffled off to raise money for our high school football team. So I have 5 to make within the next month and will use the same football motif for each one just in a different pattern. I’m liking it so far. The football has a 2 dimensional appearance so it looks pretty cool if you ask me πŸ™‚ The footballs jump right out at you. I intend to sell the pattern in my Etsy store and on Ravelry but for being a loyal follower on my blog Janet, I’ll send you a copy of the pattern free and you can be my editor if you don’t mind. πŸ™‚ You can let me know if it needs tweaked in any way. So you will be the first to know. Well, you and my dear online buddy, Fran, who also crochets πŸ™‚ I’ll be sending the pattern to Fran too!

      • Wow, I appreciate that! I’ve got the yarn sitting here all ready and waiting. As excited as I was to find the pattern, I was having a hard time getting started on those footballs with the white color changes. I was considering making double strips of footballs sewn together (120 footballs, yikes!!) with the striped ones on the front side and plain ones on the back, which would give a rounded look to the balls and also hide the yarn ends without having to weave them all in. Of course that would involve a lot more yarn but it isn’t expensive @ $2.29 for 180 yds. Anxious to see what you’ve come up with and thanks again! Janet

      • Ok, Janet now I’m thinking your borderline crazy, LOL LOL LOL! You are right though, doubling the footballs would give both sides that finished look! But woah, I was a very mean person once I made the last of the 60 footballs, lol! I keep saying I’m going to make another football afghan using this pattern (in OSU colors, GO BUCKS!) but I look at the footballs and want to punch something, lol! You will have to email me a pic of what it looks like with 2 footballs, I’m guessing that it would look awesome and then I’ll have to get on your crazy train with you and make double footballs when I do make this afghan again, LOL! All abooooaaaaarrrrddddd! Anyone got Ozzy screaming in their head now? LOL

      • Ok, ok, I get your point!!!!!! I will get that crazy little idea of doubled-up footballs out of my head right now!!!! Alright, it’s gone so I can’t wait to get your pattern. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ By the way, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog with all it wonderful recipes and family life. So sorry you’re dealing with PH. I’d never heard of it but I will say I think periwinkle is a pretty color, a bluish lavender or a lavenderish blue. I’m janko on ravelry.

      • LOL Janet! Don’t let me talk you out of doubling the footballs, I imagine it will turn out amazing but be prepared to pull your hair out if you’re making 120 footballs, lol! I will check your stuff out on Ravelry. Thank you for your kind words about my blog. It’s been fun putting everything down in words. Most poeple have never heard of PH and when they do, they think it’s nothing major because everyone has heard of hypertension. But PH is a whole different beast and the more people who know about PH the better the treatment options will be. My ultimate goal after I have tons of recipes is to create a photo book that includes my food pictures, the recipes and pictures of my children helping me cook or eating the meal. I want to give each of my kids a “Family Recipe” book, something they will always have to remind them of me. They know that when I cook for them, I’m cooking with lots of love πŸ™‚ Photo books are so affordable now and many allow for text making it very easy to create a personal cookbook. I have somehow over-committed myself the next couple of weeks with a wedding and wedding anniversary, lol! Got lots of cake pops and flower arrangements to make! So the football pattern may take up to 4 weeks instead of 2 but I will keep you updated! Take care and have a great week!

      • Janet! Hope all is well. I sent you an email to the email address listed on your comments. It ends in cox.net. Would you mind checking your email? Need your help my crocheting friend πŸ™‚ Take care! The subject line of the email is: Crafty Creative Kathy at WordPress so that you know it is me and not junk mail πŸ™‚

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Can’t wait. I am eying your basketball afghan, but am waiting for the grandkids to get a little older and see if they have any interest in basketball. Right now they live & breathe football and baseball. I have finished my “have to make to give” afghans and projects and am now actually crocheting something for me, myself and I which I’m sure will be “stolen” by a family member. The joy is in making things and seeing the happiness and appreciation of the recipient.

      • Yes! I love giving gifts I made because anything I make I put a lot of love into it. It becomes a piece of me if you will. When folks make me something, oh I love that more than any gift card, shiny new shoes or any trendy clothes. Giving from the heart is the best gift to give and receive πŸ™‚

      • We’re on the same wave length. I can’t wait to see the reaction when I give the three little ones their individual football blankets in their respective team colors – I cheated and made them a little smaller since they’re really young (3-7yrs old). I will make the new pattern regular size so they can enjoy when they’re older.

      • Fran! Hope all is well. I have sent you an email to the email address you have listed when you leave comments on my blog. Ends in aol.com πŸ™‚ Can you check your email? Need some help with a pattern πŸ™‚ The subject of the email is: Crafty Creative Kathy at WordPress. Thanks so much and take care!

      • Kathy, I did get your emails and I also sent two replies back . Let me know if you got them. No worries, I will help.

  7. I have found that using a needle to thread the white ends into the brown thread around the white round will make it almost invisible. It’s much better than weaving in the tails.

  8. Kathy,
    I have completed the test and would like to offer my opinion. How can I contact you? I replied this morning to the e-mails you sent me but I’m under the impression that you didn’t receive them.

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  10. This is wonderful and I would LOVE to make it for my two boys. The only problem is that the pattern book is horribly expensive. Do you have any other suggestions about where else I could find it? I tried EBay with no luck. Please help!

    • Michelle, I understand your plight. I wanted this pattern for a very long time and lucked into buying the book for around $10 during the off season. It isn’t my pattern and I legally can’t share it. I sent you an email with more details to the email address you have starting with the “theboyzmom”…please check that email ASAP πŸ™‚ The subject is: “Football Afghan” and it will come from MetalYarnYak. Good luck in your search for this pattern (again, check your email).

    • Thanks Angie for sharing the information πŸ™‚ Although I have the book, I want the baseball pattern so I think I’m going to buy it myself! The baseball pattern is not in the book, must have been part of another book. Thanks again!

  11. I too have been crocheting since I was 5! Did you have trouble with your stitch count? I’m on row 3 of the panel and none of the counts are correct! I’ve had to adjust the whole way. I fix one row and the next one is wrong somehow. Thanks for any help!

    • I adjusted through the whole thing! It’s a stunning blanket but my goodness, it was a tedious pattern! The back loop single chains were just slow and awful, lol! My best suggestion is to keep adjusting to make the stitches fit. I know, awful advice, sorry! But that’s how I got through the pattern. It’s definitely not one I would make again.

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