Monday, June 16, 2014

Crochet Graph-ghans

Bear Chart
My latest hobby is crochet. I find that it really helps me de-stress and focus in the evenings and I love being able to gift my family and friends with handmade hats, scarves, and blankets.  Lately I've been teaching myself how to crochet from a graph and it has most definitely been a lesson in patience! Crocheting from a graph allows for really beautiful intricate patterns to be worked into blankets, pillows, and more, but it is extremely time-consuming and you have to pay VERY close attention to your work.  I'm currently working on a few smaller pieces to join together into a throw, but I have grand plans to complete a few afghans this year as well.  What I love about crocheting from a graph is the incredible level of customization you can add. I found this website: http://www.stitchboard.com/pages/pattern/freePatternWizard.php where you can upload your own design/picture and almost instantly have it converted into a graph!
Deer Chart

Now, there are some things to keep in mind when planning a graph design:
  1. Keep it simple to start with. Maybe choose a geometric border design for a small throw blanket so you can get the hang of it. 
  2. Choose an image with a simple color scheme, and simplify the colors on the pattern maker. There is an option to choose custom colors and I recommend choosing the closest 2-4 colors depending on your design. 
  3. If you use any of the patterns that I linked to, be aware that the coloring isn't perfect, especially on the Ohio State logo.  Use common sense and simplify the color scheme as needed. For this one in particular I was planning on a gray or white background, and then using one shade each of a green, a red, black, and brown. So 5 colors total.  
  4. Be aware that the patterns are based on single-crochet stitches so they are fairly time consuming.  The best yarn to use is usually a worsted (4ply) or sport (3ply) weight yarn and a size G or H crochet hook.  
  5. Be mindful of copyright infringement. If you're using someone else's design or a trademarked logo, please don't try to sell the pattern or finished product(!!!). This is illegal(!) and could get you in some serious trouble if you get caught.  
  6. Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment! The only way to get better is by practice so start small and work your way up to larger projects. Soon you'll be able to make custom afghans and throws to gift your friends and family! 
  7. If you would like either the Ohio State or IU pattern, please email me and I will send you the full size chart as a .jpg image. I will hopefully have them hosted somewhere in the future but for now I can only email them as attachments.