A few years ago I decided to make both my children an afghan they could have to take with them to college or their (some day) own homes. Pretty much a grown up afghan. Of coarse, I was planning ahead--alot! My Great Grandma Opal had crocheted gifts and afghans for holidays and birthdays for as long as I could remember-- all through my childhood and young adult life. She always had a WIP going and was the type that could sit and crochet with no pattern. So, thats the way I learned too. I did learn the very basics when I was little ...either from her or an older neighbor that lived down the street from us. Mom was always a good sport and bought me a skein of yarn and one crochet hook. She probably figured it would keep me busy and out of trouble for a while. I still have the gifts Grandma Opal crocheted for all us great-grandkids and cherish them. However, she never knew that I actually took up crochet later on.
At one time, she had asked me what I wanted for my 16th birthday....I chose a blue and white afghan and told her to surprise me with the pattern. So that year I received a blue and white ripple afghan. A very special gift made just for me.The afghan has survived years of "love" and still washes up to look brand new. It's still one of my favorite things and is like wrapping up in one of her big 'ole hugs. In wanting to pass on the tradition of giving and receiving afghans to my kids the Rainbow Waves and Indian Summer afghans were the results of my efforts. Maybe some day they will get fancier ones, but for now we are all happy with these.
The pattern is available here: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/projects/august98_crochproject.html
This pattern was used for both afghans.