Manly Sports Lapghan (Illini) [Pattern]

29 Jan
Illini Lapghan

One struggle I’ve always had with making items for men is that crochet is just not a manly looking craft. many of the stitches are frilly or open – and let’s face it, the manly men just don’t like it too much. I have successfully been able to make manly scarves, hats, and afghans for male family members and friends, so when my husband was complaining of being a little chilly in the living room, I thought this was a good opportunity to make him a lapghan for his recliner.

The colors he wanted: Illini Blue and Orange.

My final lapghan ended up being 21 stripes long which was long enough to go from his mid-waist and cover his feet, giving him a little extra room for when he lays back in his recliner. Basically – this is a LONG lapghan that covers your lap, legs, and feet. You can make it shorter if you want by simply not doing as many stripes.

Leave it to my husband to want something sports related. I thought about a good pattern that would incorporate both colors and not be too loud or too girly – and this pattern is the answer.

By Cris

Hook Size: J
– 3 skeins Red Heart Super Saver Royal (Color A)
– 2 skeins Red Heart Super Saver Pumpkin (Color B)

Note: The sports fan in your life doesn’t have to be an Illini fan to make this lapghan. If he or she likes a different team, just find those two colors and replace Color A with the darker of the 2 colors and make Color B the lighter of the two. Simple as that.

ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
bp-hdc = back post half double crochet

The hook goes into the back of the work for bp-hdc

The difference of a bp-hdc to a regular hdc is that the hdc is done using the top two loops of the stitch below it. The bp-hdc is done by inserting your hook around the back side of the work, around the post of the stitch below, and pulling your yarn through (as illustrated you can see where the needle should be).

The bp-hdc creates a raised “ridge” down the work by pushing the top loops of the stitch forward. All the bp-hdc ridges are on the same side of the lapghan to give an interesting stripe within a stripe texture.

NOTE: A “stripe” is defined as a block of the same color. A single stripe consists of multiple rows of a single color.

Finished size is approximately 31″ wide and 52″ long. I say “approximately” because gauge is not important and you are encourage to modify the patternnto be exactly the dimensions you need. This is a multiple of 1 pattern so you can add and subtract width as needed to fit your needs.

stripe 1
Ch 126 (or whatever number you feel fits the width needed for your lapghan)

Row 1
sc in 2nd ch from hook
sc in every st until you reach the end

Row 2
ch 2 and turn work
hdc down the row

Row 3
ch 2 and turn work
bp-hdc down the row until you get to the ch 2 (from previous row)
hdc in ch 2 to finish row

Row 4 – 6
ch 2 and turn work
hdc down the row

Row 7
ch 2 and turn work
bp-hdc down the row until you get to the ch 2 (from previous row)
hdc in ch 2 to finish row
Tie off and attach Color B where you tied off

A better view of the raised stitches created by bp-hdc

REGULAR STRIPE (in color opposite of previous stripe)
stripes 2 – 20
Row 1
ch 2 and turn work
hdc down the row

Row 2
ch 2 and turn work
bp-hdc down the row until you get to the ch 2 (from previous row)
hdc in ch 2 to finish row

Row 3 – 5
ch 2 and turn work
hdc down the row

Row 6
ch 2 and turn work
bp-hdc down the row until you get to the ch 2 (from previous row)
hdc in ch 2 to finish row
tie off and attach the other color where you tied off

REPEAT the REGULAR STRIPE row pattern until you reach the length you desire. Using 2 skeins of each color, approximately ____ “regular stripes” (not counting starting stripe) should be able to be completed before doing your finishing stripe. Your regular stripe pattern repetitions will stop with Color B so you can finish the last stripe in the darker color.

stripe 21
Repeat Rows 1-6 of the regular stripe pattern but do not tie off at the end of row 6

Row 7
ch 2 and turn work
hdc down the row

If you do not want to put an edging on your lapghan, you can snip the yarn and tie it off now. Weave in all your ends and your lapghan is done. I prefer to edge practically everything I make so if you are wanting to edge your piece, do not snip the yarn.


edge row – Color A
ch 1 (at the corner) – do not turn the piece
1 sc into the cornr
*sc down the side of the piece
in next corner, put in 2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc*
repeat between * until you make it back to your starting corner.
for the final corner, put 2 sc into the starting st, ch 2 and sl to close
tie off

You can stop the edging after one row or continue on with more rows of sc either alternating colors OR in the darker of the two colors.

1. You can increase the hdc rows between the bp-hdc rows in the stripes to make the overall stripe width wider. If you choose to increase the thickness of the stripes, you have to increase it by 2 more hdc rows at a time. The number of hdc rows between the bp-hdc rows must be an odd number.

2. By making a longer starting chain, you will have a wider lapghan

3. Making a wider and longer lapghan turns it into a very warm afghan for any bed.

4. Add fringe

5. Make your chain length the actual length of the lapghan instead of the width and you will have vertical stripes instead of horizontal (in relation to your lap)

Remember – if you modify the width of the stripes of the lapghan itself, you will need more than the 2 skeins of each color.


Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Original Patterns


35 responses to “Manly Sports Lapghan (Illini) [Pattern]

  1. wwillow15

    January 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    This is just what I was looking for. But I'm going to use more 'feminine' colors since I will make it for a female. Thank you.

  2. Merri

    January 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Love the ORANGE! My kids tease me about my inner hippiness! I love the colors of the 70s LOL!

    I really like the stitch combo using the bp-hdc. Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

  3. Chris

    March 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    How much yarn did it take? what are the dimensions?

  4. Cris

    March 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    The amount of yarn is listed in the pattern and it yielded a lapghan that was 31″ x 52″ in size. Granted, if you make it wider, you'll need more yarn.

    I didn't take exact yardage mostly because I do not have a tool to measure it.

  5. Chris

    April 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    How much yarn did it take? what are the dimensions?

  6. wwillow15

    April 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    This is just what I was looking for. But I'm going to use more 'feminine' colors since I will make it for a female. Thank you.

  7. Rockymtnleadville

    July 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    i reallly like this pattern instead the single crochet for the foundtion instead i tried the half-double crochet for the foundtion and i even use double-crochet for the rest of the pattern!

  8. jtekansik

    July 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    i use different colors for the patternlike it saids in the instructions for this pattern and use half-double crochet instead of single-crochet and i use double-crochet instead of half-double crochet for tihs pattern

    • Stacy Harris

      January 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      can you explain your pattern with the double crochet and half double…..which did you start with, etc? im trying to do a full afghan for my son, and would like to get to it quickly. thank you

  9. Mamamoose133

    September 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Great, easy pattern and go U of I!  I made a similar afghan in our high school colors and have had several requests from fans.  Spread lengthwise it can cover several people's laps.

  10. Cris

    September 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Simple as pie! :) I can imagine making one 10 feet long to cover everyone's laps at once hehehe

  11. Marlena_ritter2000

    September 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for the pattern. My husband would love something like this in different colors and it will work with the modifications for him in his wheelchair.

  12. Cris

    September 30, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Glad you like it – if you make it and post a picture, do leave a link so I can see your finished project :)

  13. Broome Robin

    September 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    My husband will LOVE this!  The colors are perfect.  He will beg to differ on the school.  Those are Auburn colors! :)

  14. Augrad1988

    October 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    War Eagle!  I am making it for the Auburn colors, too!!

  15. JRose101

    November 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    does anyone know how to actually put the word AUBURN in the quilt my ex-aunt who resides in alabama used to make them when i was a child and would love to learn how she done this.

  16. Cris

    November 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    If you are crocheting or knitting, look up references on how to do a “graph-ghan” – otherwise if it was a quilt and the verbiage was done with the colored pieces, you just need a letter chart. If she did it with the quilting itself, then BOY was she a patient woman :) I'd need to see a picture to really give you a better idea of how she did it.

  17. Kathy

    December 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Sound like it is easy an just what I am looking for.  I spend a lot of time looking for a “manly” afgan.  This will be just perfect. 

  18. Betsy

    January 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I live in a senior residence and when people leave here, there is many times, yarn left over.  It usually is given to me and I crochet afghans and shawls that our Service Coordinator can give to those in need.  This will be a beautiful new way to make them.  I probably will start one today.  These will be various colors, because that is what I am given.  I will use one main color and make the secondary stripes a variety of colors.
    Thank you so very much for this wonderful suggestion.

  19. Tammy Renee Scott

    January 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    LSU fan here. My brother-in-law is a HUGE LSU fan. I think I might make this for him. But, I'm sure it will take more than the 2 skeins each. He is over 6ft tall. lol

  20. Tammy Renee Scott

    February 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I am almost done with this project. I made it for a friend that loves the Steelers. It looks great and the pattern is so easy to follow. I did add a trim to the ends just to even it out.

  21. Cris

    February 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

     Fantastic! I'm glad the pattern worked out well for you :) Perhaps you can come back and post a link to any finished photos or a blog that shares photos of it complete. Would love to see it :)

  22. Cris

    February 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

     OHHH I bet a multi-colored ghan would look very pretty – would love to see a finished  one :)

  23. Barbara Sinclair

    March 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Cris: I found your pattern for crocheting for men a couple of months ago and started on it right away.  Instead of using only two colors, I used 6 colors from left over yarn and it turned out so nice and my husband loves it!  He is blind, but knows what colors were used and feels its warmth over his cold legs and feet.  Thank you for creating this type of lapghan!  It took me two months to crochet it but it was worth every time!

  24. Cris

    March 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

     Oh I bet it is LOVELY in 6 colors. If you have any photos you could share I'd love to see it. I am so glad he enjoys it!

  25. Jenny Benoit

    April 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Cris! I am the current editor of and I see we have your pattern featured on our site, so thank you for giving us permission to link to your
    projects on our site. As our user base is 
    constantly growing, you'll more than likely be receiving more traffic to your
    blog or site than you were  before! On that note, I also wanted to discuss
    another opportunity with you. We also create eBooks that our  users can
    download for free. The eBooks include full projects with instructions and

    I am interested in using your project Garden Trellis
    Afghan in an upcoming eBook. Although you've already  granted us
    permission to link to your project, I wanted to ask your permission to use the
    project in it's entirety.


    Points of Interest:


         * This is a special
    “blogger only” eBook which means we will include a blog link in your

         * You can promote this free
    eBook to your readers as well.

         * Since other bloggers will be
    blogging about it too, you'll receive even more traffic.


    As a savvy blogger, I'm sure you can see the value in
    this opportunity.

    Please let me know at your earliest  convenience if
    you will allow us to add the entire project and photos to the eBook (and
    provide a link back to you!)


  26. Modified_doll

    July 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I can't wait to start on this and the colors are perfect for my dad, will be a great Christmas gift this year for him. :)

  27. Kathy

    September 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I am crocheting a blanket. When I fold it widthwise the corners match and it looks even; however, when I fold it lengthwise, the corners do not match and it is crooked. I just don't understand what has happened. Can anyone help me with any suggestions please?

  28. Cris

    September 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Hi, Kathy –

    Normally this is related to one of 2 things:

    1. You have missed a stitch somewhere. Crochet can be especially tricky with making sure you hit the last stitch, which is usually a chain on a turn. I know with a blanket its hard to “go back” because you have already put a lot of work into it – so its a matter of “how bad” the issue is and of course, who you are giving the blanket to. For me, if its personal use, then I tend not to worry so much about it if its one or two missed stitches. If its too bad, I won't even use the blanket for myself. :/

    2. Your gauge has changed (what I'm guessing is the issue). When you work on really large projects, especially if its one piece, there is a good chance your gauge has changed. As you go along you may get looser or tighter – not enough to notice in the stitches, but when you go to fold the item, then it starts to become apparent.  Depending on how bad it is, you may get lucky if you wash the blanket because the tighter gauge may relax a little and work out the shape issue, leaving you with a good shaped blanket (or at least a not so obviously asymmetrical blanket).

    If you want, you can email me some photos and I can take a closer look – its hard to diagnose the specific problem you are having without seeing the item, but normally, it is one of the 2 aforementioned issues.

  29. Betty Doughty

    November 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    How do I print these directions?

  30. Cris

    November 12, 2013 at 3:28 am

    The easiest way is to just highlight the parts you want and click File>> Print then choose “selection” – you can also highlight it and copy it into your word processing software (word, wordpress, etc) and then print it there. I didn't provide this pattern as a pdf so unfortunately the print options are somewhat clunky.

  31. Jacqulyn Fay Cavins

    December 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    hi is it ok if i use this pattern for my page? im crocheting things for people and i sell them as well. i just want to get ur permission to use your pattern so its not consider copyrighting. thank you

  32. Cris

    December 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    If you link to my pattern, it is ok. Please do not copy and paste it directly to you page.

  33. Stef

    September 30, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Love this pattern and the colors work very well for my family. My sister is an Illini Alum, these are my siblings and my high school colors plus we are bears fans. Thanks for your ncluding the color names! I'll be starting this project this weekend. I will also be trying it in other colors also.

  34. Betty

    November 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I I am going to try making this in the Bronco colors.Thanks for the pattern.Im sure my grandaughter will love this.Thanks again.


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