A tartan is a plaid of woven fabric, traditionally wool, created for a family or clan, to be worn only by that clan as a mark of identification. Tartans were very important at one time as they served as a uniform in battle and the Scots were great warriors. There are many official tartans, but there are only a few tartan kilts, that according to the tartan rule, any individual is allowed to wear. These are Black Watch, Jacobite, Caledonia, Hunting Stewart (not the Royal Stewart)†. I have found no reference to this rule being applied to afghans.
A tartan is made of 3 or 4 colours, strong and clear in nature. The configuration of the pattern is squares, rectangles or lines and the variety of these is multifarious. Although all tartans are plaid, not all plaids are tartans.
Yarns that are not smooth but are fuzzy or somewhat “rough” are desirable for crocheted tartans as they help to hold the shape. A tartan/plaid afghan made with knitting worsted is quite heavy and the squares can be quite large, resulting in very few repeats. A lighter yarn will produce a lighter afghan with a smaller pattern and more repeats.
Read more in our Spring 2014 issue.
Designed by Ruth I. Forbes
instructions available at nanaruth.com/store
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