emily explains · free knitting pattern

Emily Explains: Modifying Norah’s Vintage Afghan

Update: Please make sure you have the most recent file of the pattern—version 7.
First designed as a block of the month club, Norah’s Vintage Afghan is made up of 20 unique cabled blocks worked in 5 colors to measure 48″ x 60″. Due to the blanket’s huge success and popularity, we decided to release the pattern as a free PDF!  Now everyone can knit the blanket and there are a variety of ways to make it your own.


First choose your yarns…

The blanket is worked in Berroco Vintage, butBerroco Ultra Alpaca is a great substitute if you are looking for a 100% natural fiber. Like Vintage, Ultra Alpaca has a huge color palate to choose from and will keep you cozy and warm through the cold winter months.

In the original pattern, Norah designed 20 different cabled blocks to make up the blanket. It is beautiful!


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But if you are feeling like making it a little more manageable for yourself, you could simply choose a one or a few and repeat them!

I tend to like more simple pieces so perhaps I would work Block 1 in one color and repeat it 20 times. I love that it looks like ripples in the sand at low tide. Follow the construction of the pattern, including orienting the squares according to the arrows, but work only the chart/charts that you want!

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If size or price are an issue, you could make it a bit smaller working only 16 squares, measuring approximately 48″ x 48″.

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Or just a bit smaller for a perfect baby blanket or lap blanket, at 36″ x 48″.

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After we released the pattern PDF yesterday, people wrote in asking if they could knit the blanket in strips and then seam the strips together. The answer is yes! BUT this will require just a little bit of planning and change the orientation of the knitted blocks, making your blanket look a bit different than the original. Referring back to the schematic, you could knit column one (Blocks 17, 13, 9, 5 and 1), column two (Blocks 18, 14, 10, 6 and 2), column three (Blocks 19, 15, 11, 7 and  3) and column 4 (Blocks 20, 16, 12, 8 and 4). Then seam the four columns together to form the blanket.

That blanket would look something like this…

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The list of ways to modify the Vintage Afghan could go on and on. The choice is up to you! That is the fun part : )

Happy Making!



17 thoughts on “Emily Explains: Modifying Norah’s Vintage Afghan

  1. I’m having a terrible time working chart1 row 2. I am short stitches to complete row. And too many if I stop pattern to do the ending. Any tips?

    1. Hi Shery,

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble! First, let’s make sure that you have the correct number of stitches. You work an increase row before working row 2, giving you 86 stitches. Fourteen of those (nine at the beginning and five at the end) are outside the repeat box. That leaves 72 stitches to work the cables. Each repeat is 6 stitches, which should give you 12 repeats (6 x 12 = 72). Let us know if this helps! If you’re still having trouble, you can email us at patternsupport@berroco.com.

      1. Thanks but doesn’t the blue box symbol mean to slip 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back. Then knit 2 stitches from my left needle then go back and purl 2 on the cable needle. That takes up 4 stiches for 1 blue cable symbol which covers 2 squares.i do have 86 stitches by the way

      2. Yep, that’s what that means! You’ll knit the 7 stitches before starting the cable, slip those 2 stitches to the cable needle and hold in back, then knit 2 stitches from your left needle–moving those 2 stitches “outside” of the pattern repeat and making up the last of the 9 stitches outside of the pattern repeat. The 2 stitches that were slipped to the cable needle and then purled become the first 2 stitches of the pattern repeat.

        If it helps, imagine that the pattern repeat line starts to the right of the blue cable box and ends before the second blue cable box. It’s kind of tricky when the pattern repeat starts in the middle of a cable set, such as this does, but it should work out.

  2. I’m having a problem with square one…row 7 .. according to the chart, the cable pattern changes from cable 4, p2 to k5 p2… is this correct? when I do this, it isn’t a consistent change… as the row goes on I am knitting over pearled stitches in some cables, and knitting over knitted over knitted stitches in other cables..

  3. I would really love to make this but I have trouble with charts. Anywhere I can get this pattern written out?

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Unfortunately we don’t have a written out version of this pattern and aren’t looking to make one any time soon. Perhaps someone at your LYS can help with translating it into written instructions?

  4. Thanks for doing all the math on sizing the squares. I made an afghan, similar idea, but created my own patterns. Then I knit all the pieces together , in the end its the size of a 12ft by 8 ft blanket, my husband called it a parachute! My 6ft 3in son loves loves it. It weighs 13 pounds. This next one is for my daughter it won’t be quit as big, but I plan on doing 25 blocks instead of 20…loving the different plan for each block. I get bored if it’s too easily memorized! Great for a quieter night shift for this nurse!

  5. Thank you for the full picture of the individual squares, I wish it was included in the pattern! Is there any information on the dimensions of the individual squares? I plan on blocking them before finishing and I want to get them blocked out the same size.

    1. Hi Auburn,

      The finished dimensions of the blanket are 48″ wide by 60″ high; and at 4 blocks across and 5 blocks high, those dimensions tell me that each block should be 12″ on all sides. Hope this helps!

    2. Having problems with row 11, the written instructions state to start on wrong side, so do i start with row 2 of the chart?

  6. I am still confused on chart 1, row 1. With the repeats, there are 26 stitches. 26 does not divide evenly into 86.
    D to C=5, C to B=6, C toB again=6,B to A=9. 9+6+6+5=26 Ant suggestions? Thank you

    1. Hi Vicki,

      That’s not quite how the chart repeats work. You’ll work those first 9 stitches, then work from B to C, repeating those six stitches within the repeat box (the red lines on either side of B and C), until you’re at the last 5 stitches.

      Another way to look at it—the square is 86 stitches. You’ve got 9 stitches worked at first, and then 5 stitches worked at the end. So you subtract those 14 stitches from 86 and are left with 72. Divide 72 by 6 (that’s the number of stitches between B and C) and you get 12. So you work the 9 stitches, then you work the 6-stitch repeat 12 times, then you work the last 5 stitches. Does that help?

  7. Stuck on block two.
    Help with block two stich. Sl4 st to cn and hold back p1 k1 p1 sl last st from cn to lh needle and purl it then k3 from cn. Not sure which st is the last st on the cn. Is it the one on the left of the cn or the one on the right? If anyone has a video on YouTube please let me know the link.
    Berroco Norah’s Vintage Afghan

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