Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Topic » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:08 am

With the recent spotlight on Afghanistan, Afghans, Afghanis, etc., I'm very curious why the knitted throws or blankets many of us have or make are called afghans.

Mary Ashley, knitter, CA, USA

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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:22 am

According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (Harper/Collins, 2nd ed. 1988): "It's curious, but the way the name afghan came to be applied to the familiar knitted woolen blanket has not previously been documented in any standard reference book. That it is derived from "Afghan," a native or product of Afghanistan, is obvious, but it does seem odd that a name coming from such a faraway corner of the word, deep in Asia, should have been used for so long for such a homely item typically found in the American cedar chest. One characteristic of the afghan is that, in the words of the "Modern Textile Dictionary," it is made with "a series of stripes, zigzag effects, or squares, varying in size and vivid colorings." This characteristic is shared, of course, with afghan rugs, which also feature geometric patterns and vivid colors. So the likelihood is that the afghan blanket was named for its resemblance to these Oriental rugs, which enjoyed such a great vogue in America during the latter part of the Victorian era."

THe OED sez: first print ref. to the knitted afghan is 1833, from an article by Carlyle, in which he referred to "Afghaun shawls." First print ref to Afghans,the people, from a 1784 speech made to some British explorer's society, in which they were described as "a tribe connected with the kingdoms of Persia and Hindustan"
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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:37 am

from the onion (http://www.theonion.com)

Nation's Grandmas Halt Production Of Afghan Blankets
WASHINGTON, DC— In a show of support for the U.S., the nation's grandmas announced plans Monday to stop knitting afghan blankets. "We must do our part to stand behind our country," said spokesgrandma Nettie Bennett, 87. "Even if it means my new grandson will have to sleep with a store-bought comforter, I will not make something named after a place that lets terrorists run around all willy-nilly.

-jessica



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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:51 am

Don't stop making them, just change the name. In a group I belong to, we are calling them blankets, gans, and such names.
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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:05 am

I think that it is kind of silly to stop making something I enjoy because of terrorists. Wouldn't this be giving them another victory. Not in my world. I just won't give them that satifaction. If I must call it something else then so be it, but stop making them I won't.
Mary Pettit
Oregon, USA
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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:20 am

I have had a few suggestions as to what to call them, Lap Spread,Granny Blanky,Couch Robe,Lap Wrap,Ghan,plus a few more, and one ladies Husband calls his a Togger!!!??? We will never stop making them EVER!!!!!
Bunty LoL X
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Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:34 am

No way am I going to stop making these, Like other I call them ghans or throws. They are so colourful you could call them jazzygans (let's leave out the h) or jazzythrows.

Maurie,
England, U.K.
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Re: Why is a knitted or crocheted coverlet called an afghan?

Post by agilebcs » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:44 am

Hi, you are right, here I am from Australia and even here the coverlets which are made of knit are relate to this country! I have just checked in Australia for coverlets [spam link removed — Forum Admin.] but I couldn't get such designing online here in Australia!
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