Knitting Instructions for Making a Breast Cancer Afghan

By Renee O'Farrell
Knit a breast cancer awareness afghan following these simple instructions.

A breast cancer afghan can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but they all have one thing in common – pink! Also, most have a motif that incorporates the breast cancer awareness ribbon. The motif pattern used in this afghan is an illusion pattern, creating a combination of knit and purl stitches to create a relief of the awareness ribbon. This afghan uses the relief eight times across its width to produce an afghan that is 65 inches wide, repeating the relief ten times to produce a blanket that is 81 inches long. You can adjust the size of the afghan by changing the number of repeats. This breast cancer afghan may be a challenge for beginning knitters, so read the pattern carefully before beginning the project.

Start by casting on five stitches plus 38 stitches for each motif repetition. One 38-stitch motif measures approximately eight inches square. For example, a 65-inch by 65-inch blanket would have eight motif repeats across the width of the blanket, requiring you to cast on 309 stitches and repeat the pattern rows eight times. For a smaller blanket, subtract 38 stitches from the given cast-on amount for each eight inches less you desire.

This breast cancer afghan uses a moss stitch edging. For the first six rows, knit one stitch then purl one stitch to the end of the row, ending with a knit one stitch. The abbreviations are k1 for knit one and p1 for purl one.

The motif rows are worked as follows: Row 7: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k33, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 8: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p33, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 9: Repeat Row 7. Row 10: Repeat Row 8. Row 11: Repeat Row 7. Row 12: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p4, k4, p16, k4, p5, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 13: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k6, p5, k12, p5, k5, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 14: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p5, k6, p10, k6, p6, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 15: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k7, p6, k9, p5, k6, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 16: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p6, k6, p8, k5, p8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 17: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k8, p6, k7, p5, k7, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 18: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p7, k6, p6, k5, p9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 19: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p5, k6, p5, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 20: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p8, k6, p4, k5, p10, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 21: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k10, p5, k4, p5, k9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 22: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p9, k6, p2, k5, p11, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 23: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k11, p5, k2, p5, k10, (k1, p1) 2x, k1.Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 24: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p10, k5, p1, k5, p12, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 25: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k12, p4, k1, p5, k11, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 26: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p11, k6, p1, k2, p13, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 27: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k13, p1, k1, p6, k12, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 28: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p12, k7, p14, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 29: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k12, p8, k1, p1, k11, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 30: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p10, k3, p1, k8, p11, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 31: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k10, p8, k1, p5, k9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 32: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p9, k6, p1, k7, p10, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 33: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p8, k2, p6, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 34: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p8, k5, p4, k7, p9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 35: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p6, k5, p5, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 36: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p8, k5, p6, k5, p9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 37: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p5, k5, p6, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 38: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p8, k6, p5, k5, p9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 39: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p5, k4, p7, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 40: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p8, k7, p4, k5, p9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 41: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k9, p16, k8, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end.
Row 42: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p9, k14, p10, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 43: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k10, p14, k9, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 44: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, p10, k12, p11, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Row 45: (k1, p1) 2x, k1, k13, p8, k12, (k1, p1) 2x, k1. Repeat from * to * to row's end. Rows 46, 48, 50: Repeat row 8. Rows 47, 49: Repeat row 7.

For every eight inches of length you want for your afghan, repeat the preceding rows. To make a blanket that is 65 inches long, you would repeat rows one through 49 eight times.

When you reach the length you want, finish by knitting six rows of moss stitch (k1, p1 to the last stitch, ending with a k1).

Finish the afghan by binding off the last row and weaving in any ends.

Tip

Gauge is not really important for this project; blankets can vary in size.

This pattern is easily customized. Make one square to make a dishcloth, knit one square after another to make a scarf, or repeat the motif several times to make an afghan that can be pieced together, if you knit each square separately.

About the Author

Renee O'Farrell is a freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for people looking for ways to save money, as well as information on how to create, re-purpose and reinvent everyday items. Her articles offer money-saving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics. O'Farrell is a member of the National Press Club and holds advanced degrees in business, financial management, psychology and sociology.