Celtic Afghan

I realized this morning that I never posted a picture of the finished Celtic-patterned afghan that I posted about in my post Photo Friday – Progress in November 2008. I finally finished the afghan a year later, November 2009. Time to fix the omission!

When my youngest son married, I told Charles and his wife Rebecca that I would make them an afghan for their wedding gift and they could choose the pattern. Charles wanted something with a Celtic design, so I told him where my pattern books were stored and let him pick something out. I’m not sure if he didn’t realize that I meant my crochet pattern books rather than my counted cross stitch pattern books or whether he just didn’t find what he liked in the crochet pattern books, but the pattern he sent to me was this:

celtic counted cross stitch pattern

Talk about a challenge! I had never attempted to convert a counted cross stitch pattern into a crochet pattern, but after a little research and some trial and error, I decided it could be done, or rather, I could do it!

A year and a half later, this was the finished product:

celtic afghan

celtic afghan

That is a double bed that the afghan is displayed on! When I finished it, I vowed never again! And yet, I find myself contemplating making something similar for myself! I definitely would chose different colors and a different design, but I would love to have something equally as striking displayed on my bed.


  1. Tracy

    Oh my goodness, Karen, that’s GORGEOUS!!! What a beautiful gift!

  2. Kelly

    Holy Cow!!!
    That is so beautiful!!! I can’t imagine how long that took.

    • Karen

      Thanks, Kelly. Each row took me about 20 minutes (after I got it all figured out), and there were 250 rows, so you do the math! And that doesn’t count the times I had to pull out a row or two or three because I miscounted somewhere!

      • Darin

        Hi I was wondering do you have the actual pattern for that one would to have it for my mother

        • Karen

          Hi Darin,

          If you look further down the comments, you’ll see I have provided a link for the book that I used. I cannot give out the actual pattern online, as it is copyrighted.

  3. Cass

    Wow! That looks really amazing. I’m thinking about taking it on as a potential gift for my boyfriend, though I’m a bit wary. If nothing else, it would be a fun project. How much yarn would you estimate it took you to make it?

    • Karen

      Thanks for the compliment, Cass. Honestly, I don’t know how much yarn it took. I used the Red Heart sport weight yarn and luckily my son had picked two colors that were common, so whenever I was getting short, I’d just go and buy a few more skeins. Also, the project took me a little over two years to make, working at it off and on. I do remember that each row took me 20 minutes to crochet. And there were about 230 rows! It was definitely the largest and most complicated project I’ve ever done. But I loved the results and may just have to try another one sometime.

  4. Sondra

    I have been watching the progress on this blanket since you first posted the first few rows. Absolutely amazing and beautiful. I hope it will be ok if I use your pattern to make this blanket for myself, though I think I will be attempting it with a Tunisian stitch.

  5. Miranda

    Loved the beginning and the originality of the blanket. The final product is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for making such an incredible blanket to not only celebrate a wonderful occasion but to aspire another’s creativity!

  6. sandra

    um, you didn’t happen to write the pattern down, did you?

  7. Loretta Griffith

    This is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL…my son has fallen in love with it…first piece he’s ever “asked” me to crochet ;0) told him with so many projects ending and beginning that this was a tremendous request lol (just finishing 3 wedding ring Afghans) and in the beginning of a prairie star and a lace flower…so needless to say he has settled on a less daunting one for the time being…but I’m sure I’ll hear about it again!!!

  8. Amber

    This is absolutely beautiful! I hope it is okay that I use this pattern to make a blanket for me and my husband. It is absolutely beautiful and I fell in love with it the moment I saw this. You did a phenomenal job!!

    • Karen

      Use away, Amber. Glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Lisa

    I just ran across your picture on Pinterest. All I can say is Epicly Gorgeous! Massive kudos to you!!!!

    • Karen

      Thank you, Lisa. It was a huge project but I was very pleased with the results. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  10. Jess

    This is incredible. I have the same book at home and never thought to use it for crochet, just cross stitch. May I ask what stitch you used? Or could you link any sites you found particularly useful in the conversion process? I’m a bit intimidated, but I’d like to make one for my father who designs knotwork himself.

    • Karen

      Jess, In that book, Celtic Charted Designs, there are hints and helps for using the charts for embroidery, needlework, knitting and crocheting. I read those and then used just a single crochet stitch. I also decided to use just two colors rather than the three shown on the particular Plate (design) I chose.

  11. Rebecca

    The boarder looks like what I want to do, but in white, maybe white and cream if it has to be two colors. I want a custom center. Could I get a copy of your pattern? I want to make one for my husband, I promise to send you a pic.

    • Karen

      Rebecca, if you check the other comments, you will see that I mention the particular book that this pattern came from. Since it is a copyrighted book, I cannot pass out the pattern. If you decide to make something similar, I would love to see it. Best of luck!

  12. Susan Wasem

    Wow and double wow. You are truly talented.

    • Karen

      Thank you, Susan.

  13. christina

    Love this!!! Wonderful idea. I have celtic designs all over my house. I am going to find that book and try it. Laughing over the idea of how long it going to take me b/c I will continue to rip it out.

    • Karen

      Good luck with your project, Christina. I’d like to make a project this big for myself … it seems like I give away all of my best work!

  14. Bobi Murphy

    This is incredible! How do you take a cross-stitch pattern and make it crochet? I have several gorgeous irish cross-stitch patterns that I think would make for great afghans, but I don’t have a clue how to do that. ( I have only been crocheting for about 2 years)

    • Karen

      Thanks for the compliments, Bobi. The original pattern called for three different colors. I just turned it into two colors, black and red .. any color on the pattern that wasn’t black became red. After that, it was just a matter of following the pattern, doing one single crochet for each cross stitch, and changing colors as needed. I carried the colors along in the stitch as often as I could, which was probably the most difficult part of the whole project. My first mention of the project, where I tell a bit about making it, is here: October Update

  15. patricia

    beautiful a lot of work and time

    • Karen

      Thank you, Patricia. It certainly was a work of love and it did take an immense amount of time.

  16. Tracy Joyner

    Absolutely Amazing!

    • Karen

      Thank you, Tracy.

  17. Nadia

    WOW!!!! Is there a pattern available? Or did you just wing it? This is just amazing!

    • Karen

      Nadia, if you check back through the comments, I list the book that the pattern came from.

  18. KellyT

    WOW!!! you did an awesome job on that!! It is gorgeous 🙂 You should post the pattern on ravelry.com when you have the time, if you can remember what you did…I’m sure it’s probably embedded into your brain LOL. I LOVE all things Celtic and would LOVE to attempt this….someday LOL

  19. Cindy

    Just saw your Celtic Afgan on Crochet Geek website. What a labor of love for your son and inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Karen

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Cindy.

  20. giovanna gangitano

    Veramente Bello.I colori sono Fantastici.

  21. giovanna gangitano

    Bellissimo , magnifica lavorazione.

    • Karen

      Grazie, Giovanna.

  22. maureen

    Breathtaking love it. What an amount of work!

    • Karen

      Thank you, Maureen.

  23. e Lee - The Crochet Lounge

    Hi Karen! Love this so much that I put it on Sulia and facebook 🙂 http://sulia.com/channel/crafts/f/f659bcdf-c5e5-4bd9-88f1-3085b0f0dc70/

  24. Rachel Stravinskas

    So pretty! I bought the book a little while ago, and am sitting down to start it tonight… I’m going to knit it 🙂 I was just wondering if you’d recommend carrying each row twice? I’m working in a stockinette, and wasn’t sure if it would be long enough if I just carry each row as is

    • Karen

      Rachel, I really can’t give any advice about knitting, as I have never done any knitting. 🙁

      • Rachel Stravinskas

        Yeah… the knitting wasn’t working out! Carrying the yarn left gaps that crochet won’t so it’s the next project on the list! Did you just work each line back and forth then, or repeat each line twice?

        Thanks Karen!

        • Karen

          One row of crochet = one row of pattern. No repeats. I carried the opposite colored yarn along as much as I practically could, although that made for quite a bit of tangling/untangling as I did each row, but there were not as many ends to weave in either!

          • Rachel Stravinskas

            Thanks so much Karen! I can’t wait to get it started and show my hubby 🙂

  25. Marcia

    I hope to make things as beautiful as yours:)

    • Karen

      Thank you, Marcia!

  26. Nikki

    I love this. starting it today doing dc so each of the squares on the chart with be 1 row 2 columns because i am making it for hubs and he needs a bigger blanket and it would probably end up closer to a square then a rectangle. I am excited and praying i can get it done within a month for our anniversary

    • Donna

      Just wondering how Nikki’s attempt of doing this was a double crochet instead of single crochet went. Karen, you are truly amazing and a very talented woman! I am a fan!

  27. Stephanie Ogden

    I would love to crochet this for my husband. Any way you could send me the pattern? Thanks.

  28. Serenity

    I just purchased the book that you got the pattern from and I can’t wait to try and make a blanket, I’ve been needing a challenge and these are so beautiful.

  29. erin

    What stitch did you use for it

    • Karen

      The whole afghan was made using only single crochet stitch. Thanks for visiting, erin!

  30. Joe LoGiurato

    Incredible! What size hook did you use?

    • Karen

      Joe, I do not remember. Probably G, as that is my favorite size hook, but I honestly do not remember. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  31. Daniele

    That’s an amazing afghan. My mom’s family is 100% Irish. I would love to make it for one of my aunts. Is the pattern available to purchase?

    • Karen

      Daniele, if you check the comments of this post, you’ll find a link to the book of Celtic Patterns I used.

  32. jenna wingate

    This is absolutely the most beautiful tapestry crochet thing I have ever seen! I have begun in shades of aqua! Thanks so much for the chart and inspiration!

    • Karen

      I’d love to see your afghan when you have it completed, Jenna.

  33. amy

    Ran across this on pintrest and I was amazed! I’m personally working on a few graph-afghans myself but this is just beautiful! I dont see how you had to patience to use single crochet to make it but it paid off and I’m more than sure it was well received!

  34. Leslie

    I am just floored by the beauty of this magnificent piece and the time and effort it took to make it.
    I am always looking for a new and different idea and think this may be the ticket , I think I may find something similar to give it a go
    Hoping the crochet godresses will look as favorably upon my attempt as they have upon you.
    Blessings to you and yours
    All the best in the coming year.

    • Karen

      Thank you for leaving a comment, Leslie. If you do work on something similar, I’d love to see it!

  35. Kathryn Hough

    Hi! This is a beautiful afghan! I am currently trying to make this myself using black and green yarn colors. I had a question for you – Did you crochet the pattern from right to left for each row (meaning that there would always be a front side and back side to the afghan) or did you go back and forth? (Ie. start the pattern from right to left, turn over your work, and then follow the pattern from left to right). I’m assuming you worked the pattern going in both directions but wanted to ask to make sure. If you did do it this way, how did you start the next row and carry the other color with it being really visible? Any tips wouldn’t be great- thanks!

    • Karen

      I think I answered this somewhere in the comments, but yes, there is a front side and a back side. I carried the yarn along where I could, which was probably the most difficult part, and changed colors as I needed. It was a lot of trial and error, as I’d never done a project like that before, and haven’t done one since!

  36. Winston Rice

    Do you happen to know what the stitch count was? I’m trying to design my own Afghan and don’t know how many stitches I should make it long and tall?

    • Karen

      Winston, I do not know the exact count. I took the paper pattern shown in the blog post and made each square a single crochet. You can click on the paper pattern picture shown and count the squares that way, I think. Thank you for your comment!

  37. Anni Maver

    did you do the reverse manner of single crochet for alternate rows? Beautiful work!!

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