Monday, January 13, 2014

Circle Dance Afghan Crochet Along

Welcome to the kickoff of our new crochet-along! I can’t wait to see what everyone does with this afghan design.
Let’s get right to it. This is not a mystery crochet-along, so I’m going to tell you today what the afghan is, how it goes together, and some ideas on planning colors.
The Circle Dance afghan design is a 46” x 60” (plus borders) rectangle composed of six sizes of circle-within-a-square blocks—2”, 4”, 6”, 8”, 10” and 12”. All the squares will consist of circles (rounds) within a background area, and they’ll be joined in a random-patterned layout. Several of the sizes end with a round of single crochet so this round can be done in an accent color if you wish, to add a frame around the blocks.
As far as skill level, the blocks will be pretty easy. And as long as you measure and work carefully, sewing the blocks together should not be too difficult. No doubt the assembly part will be the biggest challenge, though. I’ll be posting assembly instructions after all the block patterns are posted and we are well underway. And later on, we’ll add some border rounds, which will be easy. You’ll need to know how to make the basic stitches—sc, hdc, dc, and tr—and it will be important to get consistent block sizes. For the more experienced crocheter I’m hoping this project will be big time fun.

The basic arrangement of the afghan is this:

If you want to play with the arrangement, feel free to grab some graph paper and experiment with putting yours together a different way.

Now to consider color arrangement. At first, I thought I wanted my afghan to have most of the circles floating on a single background color, with my dots made with many colors. My afghan would have looked something like this:

Now this idea is beautiful and very modern looking, but the design really began to pop as I played with background and dot colors. Here are a few more color arrangement options to consider, keeping in mind that these are just sample colors:

The mind boggles, does it not? There are many more ideas you’ll think of, I’m sure. For one thing, I’ve only considered solid colors for my afghan, but gradient yarn would be gorgeous and I’ll bet some of you will want to use it. Those long color changes will really be beautiful.
Now that we’ve looked at a number of options for color selections, let’s talk about options for texture. In addition to the block patterns I’m providing, if you are so inclined, you can choose from the vast array of 6”-12” block patterns available online to replace some or all of your 6”-12” blocks. The selection on Ravelry alone is huge, It’s completely up to you. However, the 2” and 4” blocks have to be made pretty much as I’ve designed them—not a lot of room for options in those small sizes.
Ready to get started planning?
Here is a downloadable file of the basic block layout showing each round of the dots.

I know that some of you, like me, are itching to dive in to the crocheting, so I'll go ahead and post the 4” and 10” block patterns today. My yarn is supposed to be delivered today so I’ll be starting right along with you. Once I pick final yarn colors and decide which color arrangement I’ll use, I’ll post about it. You may also want to reference the post I made yesterday showing how to make invisible beginnings and joinings to the rounds. It’s entirely optional of course, but it does look nice.
And off we go! I sincerely hope you enjoy this process. I’ve made a Ravelry page here for the project and I look forward to seeing your photos there! I’ve tried to think of everything, but if I’ve forgotten anything critical in the beginning instructions here, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be back later in the week with some more block patterns.


  1. Oh my word, Carolyn this is awesome! I wish I could participate in the crochet along, but I will definitely be bookmarking this to make at a later date.

  2. Oooo this is super cool! Which programme are you using for the colour generation? I just wrote a posting about stripes and granny squares generators. I love circle designs and wonder whether I should participate in the CAL!

    1. My husband and I created these graphics with Adobe Illustrator. The color generation is just what we came up with, no automation on that. If anyone is an illustrator user the pdf of the block arrangement that can be downloaded from this post can be opened in Illustrator. I'll bet a random stripe generator would be great to use to pick colors. Have fun!

    2. Thank you Carolyn, it looks great! Nice husband, luckily mine and the kids are also techno helps around here.

  3. This is absolutely fabulous!

  4. I was looking for a project that was different and this looks like the perfect one. I can't wait to get started.

  5. I have been wanting to do a bedspread with circles. This is perfect. Thank you.

  6. My son asked me for a circles in a blanket last year and I was gearing up to make one. Your design is perfect and his older brother wants one too. I'll make them lap blankets though. They have there own colours in mind too.
    I'm starting tonight :-)

  7. I finished a granny blanket yesterday evening, and I need a new project ;), this one is amazing ! Thanks you for sharing.

  8. Replies
    1. Great point, Sandy. It's a good idea to leave yarn tails for sewing blocks together.

  9. This is a great place for putting colors together too :)

  10. Thank you! This is awesome. Gotta do it!

  11. Love it! I put a link on my blog so that others can find it. I don't have time right now to do this but I will definitely come back to it.

  12. I am so happy to find your Crochet Along!
    Came across the CAL on ravelry, username mkatrynadkins
    I stumbled onto the CAL because I just ordered you Birgitta Afghan booklet!!!
    I've been wanting to make those 2 afghans for a while now!

  13. Love it, where is the pattern?

  14. Am început acest proiect!Va cer un sfat la cercurile mari: cum le transformați în pătrat? Incerc de 2 zile si nu imi ies.Diametrul cercului este de 30 cm.