I decided on 12-inches of my favorite basket-weave pattern around the center panel. Then I decided 5 cables in the 24" x 48" center would fill it nicely, 2 Celtic braids and 3 Aran braids on reverse stockinette.
One thing I learned was that cables pull in and you will have to add stitches to get it to lay flat without heavy blocking when going from one pattern to another. I had to add 4 stitches/cable on the set-up row before beginning the cables.
I still got some rippling after washing the afghan as you can see in the picture above. I didn't dry it in a dryer so I don't know if it would have dried tighter or not. (Laundromat dryers are notoriously hot!) Nor did I block it very hard.
The basket weave pattern I used is:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2, 4 & 6: K6, P4
Row 3 & 5: K4, P6
Row 7: Knit
Row 8, 10, & 12: P5, K6, *P4, K6*, to last 9 stitches then P4, K5
Row 9 & 11: P5, K4, *P6, K4*, to last 11stitches then P6, K5
I built myself a chart in Microsoft Excel for the center panel.
I highlighted the two spots I kept screwing up the crossovers. It is a pain to un-knit that part of the cable and re-knit it up to get the crossing right when you notice you screwed-up several rows down. And, I did it a time or two even after I highlighted it! Shesh!!!
So there you have it! I saw a concept on Ravelry that I liked and made it my own. It only took me 3 years to finish it! And no, my dearest sister I am not going to send it to you! You have to knit your own.