An afghan is a blanket, wrap, or shawl made of colored yarn. It is knitted or crocheted, often in geometric shapes. It can also be referred to as a "throw". Afghans were first made in Afghanistan and commonly featured geometric designs with many holes in the pattern. They are hand-stitched or knitted. In North American craft tradition, afghans are draped over sofas or large chairs for decoration.
There are three main styles of afghan: mile-a-minute afghans, join as you go afghans, and motif afghans. Mile-a-minute afghans are usually made in one piece and with a minimum of stitches; they are the simplest style to make and are especially popular with beginners. Join as you go afghans are made up of many different pieces, one of which begins where the last leaves off. Motif afghans, such as the granny square, are composed of many different small pieces, called motifs, squares, or blocks. These motifs may be all of the same design or of different designs, but they are typically the same size, for ease of joining. Some favor the motif style because of its portability and versatility of design. The motif style is still a very popular and a complex design for making blankets, scarfs, etc.