Crochet Pattern: Starburst Throw

By Erin Burger – 32 Comments

Vintage Crochet Pattern Series: Week 1

“…model and tool, craft of culture, how we go on.”
Axe Handles Gary Snyder

Crafting items by hand is one of the oldest and most revered traditions we know.  Crocheting is one of these traditions and a way we have of passing down our knowledge is by making patterns.  This pattern is for a Starburst Afghan and is from a very old handwritten pattern, one of many that will be featured in the ‘Vintage Crochet Pattern Series’ over the next few weeks.  It’s been changed a bit from the original, mainly being turned into a throw size afghan rather than a Queen sized one and changes in the pattern’s phrasing, but in essence is still the same. Using two or three colors in corresponding rows of two creates the starburst effect.


Skill Level: crochet skill level intermediate

Finished Size: approx. 40″ (101.6 cm) wide and 60″ (152.4 cm) long

Medium Weight Yarn
(approx. 530 yards of each Colors A, B and C or just under 1000 yards total)
Crochet Hook J (6.00mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge: one starburst is 2 1/2″ (6.35 cm) across

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart!

Crochet Pattern: Starburst Afghan

Row 1: with Color A, ch 130, sc in 2nd ch from hook, *skip 3 ch, 9 dc in next ch,  skip 3 ch, 1 sc in next ch, repeat from *across, break off: 144 dc and 17 sc

Row 2: attach Color B, ch 2, (yo, pull up loop in first dc, yo and pull through two loops on hook) 4 times, (5 loops on hook), yo and pull through all 5 loops, ch 1 (makes one half starburst) *ch 3, 1 sc in next dc, ch 3, (yo pull up loop in next dc, yo and pull through two loops on hook) 9 times, ch 1 (makes one whole starburst), repeat from * across, ending with 6 loops on hook, yo and pull through all 6 loops, ch 1 (half starburst made): 2 half starbursts, 15 whole starbursts, 16 sc

Row 3: ch 3, turn, 4 dc in ch-1 of half starburst, 1 sc in next sc, *9 dc in ch-1 of next starburst, 1 sc in next sc, repeat from * across, ending with 5 dc in ch-1 of last half starburst, break off : 144 dc, 17 sc

Row 4: attach Color C, ch 1, turn, *1 sc in dc, ch 3, (yo and pull up loop in next dc, yo and pull through two loops on hook) 9 times, yo and pull through all 10 loops, ch 1 (makes one whole starburst), ch 3, 1 sc in next st, repeat from * across: 16 whole starbursts, 17 sc

Row 5: ch 1, turn, *sc in next sc, 9 dc in ch-1 of starburst, repeat from * across ending with sc in last st, break off: 144 dc, 17 sc

Rows 6-60: repeat rows 2-5 alternating Colors A, B and C ending in a full row of Color A, don’t finish off, continue with border.

Border: with Color A work on the three remaining sides of the afghan both sides and the bottom with 9 dc in the middle of the starbursts and 1 sc between them.

Modernizing this pattern was challenging, but very rewarding.  Do you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to comment here!

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  1. Denisse says:

    This is so beautiful, i’d like to do it, but I should buythe yarn first 🙂

  2. I love this! I was looking for something sweet for an upcoming new niece/nephew! Now, she’s gotta find out which version it will be!

  3. Angie says:

    Very pretty…I don’t know if I’m skilled enough to try it yet though.

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Angie! You won’t know till you try! You might just surprise yourself. If you get caught or need help ask me on here, I’ll do what I can to help you through it.

  5. Sally says:

    Hi Erin
    Do you have a photo of what the rug looks like from further away? It looks fabulous in the close up, but as I haven’t seen this type of pattern before, I am wondering what the whole rug / effect looks like. Kind regards.

  6. Paige says:

    I love this. Do you know what sort of yarn is used in the afghan in the picture?

  7. Angie says:

    Your right Erin, I will put it on my to do list. Thanks!

  8. Erin says:

    Hi Paige,

    The pictured afghan was made for a customer who was allergic to wool, so I had to use acrylic yarn. It’s the Vanna’s Choice from Lion Brand.

  9. Alicia says:

    Hey Erin, Row one wasn’t working out for me as written. I ended up with 2 extra chains and was short a single crochet. So here is what I did…
    Chain 130, sc in 2nd ch from hook, *skip 3 ch, 9 dc in next chain, skip 3 ch, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across.

  10. Erin says:

    Hi Alicia!
    Thanks for the info. I can’t believe I missed the sc in 2nd ch from hook.
    I will change it right away!

  11. Erin says:

    Hi Sally: I don’ t have another photo because I already shipped the blanket out to a customer. It might help you to know that the pattern is for a blanket and not for a rug. ‘Throw’ referring to a smaller ‘lap-sized’ afghan.

  12. sara says:

    I really like this stitch especially when using multiple colors. You can make a warm color, cold color, or even a rainbow color and it just brings the stitch out even more. I really like this one in graduated colors like greens, blues, or purples. I’m am looking forward to this series. 🙂

  13. connie says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I must be doing something wrong in row 2… it says “(yo pull up loop in next dc, yo and pull through two loops on hook) 9 times, ch 1 (makes one whole starburst), repeat from *

    I assume I need to yo and pull through all 10 loops on the hook is that correct? If it is, is it supposed to be creating this bubble like effect? The picture doesn’t look like that, so I must not have this figured out correctly.

    Also when you are doing the above steps 9 times are you skipping the single crochets?

    Please help


  14. Bardees says:

    Love it, Will definitely try it

  15. Darlene says:

    Did an afghan in this pattern years ago, but didn’t care for it after it was completed as it had a tendency to really stretch apart and looked awful.

  16. Vick says:

    I made a swatch so far. Seems like a great texture and pattern 🙂
    Maybe it was the type of yarn or hook size you used that made it stretch so much?

  17. Darlene says:

    Probably the yarn, but this was 30 – 40 years ago, so I don’t remember much except for the fact that it stretched apart.

  18. Heather says:

    I’m a beginner with crochet, but I think I’m going to try this! I even love the colors you have pictured, might do those.

    One question though – does this throw need to be “blocked” once it’s done? Such a beginner, I’ve never had to do that and not sure when it’s needed or not. I don’t have a blocking mat though.

    Thanks for the pattern – I’m looking forward to giving it a try!

  19. Erin says:

    Hi Heather,
    I made this afghan for a client and didn’t block it. I did however, pull apart all the starbursts because during the crocheting some of them got bunched up.

  20. […] and mostly impossible to decipher. I have shared some of these patterns in previous posts, The Starburst Throw, Star Washcloths in Two Sizes and the Giant Granny Square Blanket with […]

  21. Nicole says:

    How many more should I chain at the beginning to make this queen size? I love this pattern and would love to make one for our bedroom. Thank You so much!

  22. Melissa W.B. says:

    I am upset too by how this is going. I was so excited and hoping this would come out well. Instead of starbursts with nice stitch definition and everything, something I have been capable of in the past with non starbursts, I have Connie’s problem, although I would call them chunky bubbly shells. No clue here Erin so please assist. Is this what happened when you said they bunched up?

  23. Erin says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I suppose you could call the two separate parts of the starbursts ‘chunky bubbly shells’. Then when the two rows with the same color are finished, the starburst is created.

    I just made this blanket for another client, this time in superwash merino wool and I had much better stitch definition.

  24. Melissa W.B. says:

    Thank you Erin! I am so glad to know that I wasn’t tanking for some unknown reason! Wootles! Will continue! Bernarda gets her Christmas after all!

  25. Amy M. says:

    I had the same question as Connie I was also getting little bubbles I’m not exactly sure how i’m supposed to continue after I YO and pull through 2 loops 9x’s.

    Please Help,
    Amy M.

  26. Lee says:

    Row four states that the repeat starts from *1 sc in dc, ch 3, and so on. However, there is another sc in the same sequence, and crocheting the entire repeat as it is written throws the entire stitch count off, ending the row with far more sc than the pattern states there should be.

    I’m assuming that the aterisk was just placed in the wrong spot and should have gone before the first ch 3, but if I’m wrong, please tell me why.

    For the (yo pull up loop in next dc, yo and pull through two loops on hook) x times, I would suggest that the dc be replaced with st, as double crocheted stitches aren’t the only stitches that one is pulling loops from; there’s the single crochet in the middle of the nine repeats of the instruction, for example. Such a change might reduce confustion, but this is just a suggestion, though.

  27. Tera says:

    yeah something is definitely wrong with row 2! when doing the (yo pull through 2 loops on hook 9x’x) it looks like a cluster stitch! Am I missing something here?

  28. Inge says:

    I’ve been making amiguri for a while now and thought of starting something a bit more challeging but this keeps curling up and it looks nothing like in the picture.
    I also seem to have a short blanket… How long is the chain of 130 supposed to be?

    It’s a pitty I really liked this pattern!

    • Inge says:

      Gave it an other try and its looking better, still got bigger openings than you do though and I don’t really understand what you mean by the border, is the 9dc’s supposed to go on all 4 sides? Cause you don’t really have middles of starbusts on the two vertical sides… I would just sc those all the way or won’t that look good?

  29. Alena says:

    Hi, I want to try and make the Starburst Afghan for my sister. I have already bought the yarn but she want it to measure different the pattern. how do I change it? she wants a 57″ x 79″ how many to I cast on for that length?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Alena, it looks like the pattern uses a multiple of 8 chains in the repeat, then adds 2 more chains. So you can make a chain as long as you want your blanket to be (57″) as long as the chain is a multiple of 8. Then add 2 more chains.

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