Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Church Gifts

It's Friday again, which means another free pattern post from me.  Today I'm focusing on patterns that would make wonderful gifts for your favorite pastor or church staff member.  I was inspired to make these patterns when the pastor from my church in high school announced he was retiring this summer.  All of these would make nice gifts for a retiring pastor, or to thank your church if you are moving away and no longer will be attending.  The first three patterns are my own creations made using, the rest are links from other various free pattern websites. Enjoy!

Christian Fish Pillow
1. I want to start out with a simple pillow pattern.  This fish symbol would be a cute gift for your church staff or to donate to your church's youth center or community center as decoration.  It's a relatively simple pattern that I think anyone with a basic knowledge of crochet could figure out.  This graph is available for download on the free pattern shop.

Email Me for Pattern
2. My second pattern is a throw blanket featuring the emblem of the Lutheran Church (the Luther Rose).  This is most definitely a pattern for the advanced crocheter and will probably take a few weeks-months to complete, depending on your skill level.  Also, if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not 100% satisfied with the way this pattern turned out.  I need to make some more corrections, but it should at least be workable as is. If you would like this pattern, please email me (email address at top of blog) and I will send you a .jpg of the graph.

Email Me

3. The last graph that I personally made is the emblem of the United Methodist Church.  My husband and I are still finding a church that fits us best since we moved, but we really like our local UMC congregation.  I'm hoping to complete this to give to the lead pastor before we move again in a few years.  This pattern is also available by email so just send me a message and I'll get you the .jpg as soon as possible.

Now for some bonus patterns from other designers on other sites.  Happy crafting! :)

Crochet Lord's Prayer
Cross Bookmark
Lion and Lamb Pillows

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tutorial Part II: Editing Your Crochet Graph Pattern

Hello again, I hope you enjoyed part I of my Free Pattern Wizard Tutorial.  Sometimes your pattern will turn out perfect right when it comes out of the program, but most of the time you will have to clean up a few lines here and there. My preferred program for editing my graphs is MS Paint because of how simple it is to use.

1. Open the file of your new graph. The Free Pattern Wizard outputs the graphs in .gif form so right click on the file and choose "open with" then choose MS Paint.  Once in paint, zoom out and in a few times to assess where any corrections need to be made to your graph.  On the example below, there are spaces with yellow that break up the smooth lines of the pattern (indicated with red arrow). These need to match the white background so the star looks smooth and uniform. There were also a few extra white spaces going into the body of the star and I already corrected those.

2. To correct these errors (and any similar you may find on your own patterns), simply use the "dropper" tool to match your colors and then choose the "paint bucket" tool to fill in the space with the appropriate color.  This is a very simple process, but it can be time consuming if you have a large graph. Also, be careful not to accidentally click on the grid lines while you are filling in squares. Doing so will change the color of the lines and you will need to hit the undo button if this happens.  After you make all desired corrections, you should end up with a complete finished graph that is ready to use.  

3. If everything has been corrected, go ahead and save your pattern. If you would like it in another format or to have another file name, go to "File", then "Save As".  I like my graphs to be in .jpg format so I choose the JPEG option and rename my file before clicking the "Save" button.  And with that, you have a unique crochet graph pattern that you can use to create many awesome, personal gifts.  

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tutorial: Using the Free Pattern Wizard to Create a Crochet Graph

Hello everyone! If you've been following my blog, you know that my latest addiction is making graphghan patterns using the Free Pattern Wizard on  So far, this is the best, most user-friendly tool I have found to make crochet graphs.  It is really simple to use, and pretty intuitive to figure out, but here is a tutorial for those of you who are interested.  This tool is much easier and quicker than using a spreadsheet to transfer your design to a graph format. 

1.  First of all, choose your image. I recommend using a simple image such as a logo or silhouette to start with, but the Free Pattern Wizard can be used for almost any image you can think of. For this tutorial, I chose to use a simple star shape that I made in MS Paint.  

2. Open the Free Pattern Wizard on Anyone can use this online tool, even if you don't have a registered account on stitchboard.  I highly suggest creating an account, though, because you have access to a lot more options if you are a registered member. Plus, they NEVER send you junk email, ever.  As a member of the site you also have access to many crafting forums and the admins are really helpful.  The pattern wizard should look like this: 

3. In the first box, where it says "Image to Convert into a Pattern", click the "choose your file" button and upload whatever picture you want to turn into a graph.  Choose your crafting category in box 2. I mainly crochet, so that's the option I picked.  Next you choose your stitch type in box 3. I usually just choose standard, but if you like to work in filet or tunisian, choose one of those.  In box 4 you pick your stitch shape. Since I chose "Standard" in the previous box, standard shape is the only option available to me here.  

4. Now it's time to choose your color palette. I make patterns without thinking of a specific brand of yarn, so I stay with the standard. stitchboard palette.  Sections B and C here will depend on your specific image.  I chose a very simple image to convert so I went with the simplest options here.  The automatic color match is good for images that don't have many colors or shading, but choosing your own colors can be good if your image is slightly pixelated or has a lot of shading.  I chose to limit the number of colors to 2; white and yellow, just to ensure that it transferred without getting messed up.  If you have an image with 3 or more colors, I would recommend choosing to limit your colors and then choosing your desired colors to match the number of colors you want.  
5. Box 6 asks you to choose the size of your graph.  Non-registered users can have a maximum of 100 stitches across, which would make a very small size throw. This is another reason I recommend registering because stitchboard members can request up to 300 stitches across as a default, and the admins may also give you additional stitches if you request it for a specific project. I think 200-300 stitches make a good size blanket, and 30-60 stitches across can be used to make pillows or smaller blocks that can be joined together to make a larger project.  I chose 100 stitches for my tutorial image just because it seemed like a good even number to use.  

6. Next you will choose your output format in box 7.  I always choose to display on screen because I like to download and clean up my patterns. Box 8 allows you to adjust your image before it is converted into a graph.  There is a bit of a learning curve to using this part and I admit I don't know exactly how to use all of the options here. I like to adjust to smoothness to a 5 or higher to smooth out the lines of my graph so I have less to clean up on the finished product.  I also like to check the Stray Pixel Cleanup box with the "light" option just in case my original image isn't as neat as I thought.  For a more detailed explanation of all these options, check out the Stitchboard help page here
7. Finally, in box 9, click the "Let's See My Pattern" button to get your graph on a new page.  It will look something like this:
8. You will have several options on this page. I always choose "Download Pattern" so I can save and edit out any kinks or weird spots in my graphs.  If you aren't satisfied with your graph, don't worry, you can always trying changing the settings or simply erasing and starting over. You may have a lot of trial and error until you figure out how you like your graphs to look and what settings you prefer, but experimenting is part of the fun! 

That concludes this tutorial on how to make a crochet graph pattern using the Free Pattern Wizard on  Check Part II for tips on cleaning up and editing your graph using MS Paint. 

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Floral Designs!

Happy Friday everyone! For today's free patterns I'm showcasing my own floral design afghans that I made over on! All three of these are perfect for summertime with their cool floral inspired motifs.  While each of these would be a good size blanket to take on picnics or to wrap up in on chilly nights, you could also customize each one with a nearly endless variety of borders if you so feel inclined. As usual, these three patterns are hosted at, which does require a completely free registration. I promise, registering at stitchboard really is completely free and easy, and they definitely will not spam your email at all.  I've been registered over there for several months and haven't received a single email from them :)

Kaleidoscope Flower
1. Feel free to change up the colors on this bright floral kaleidoscope piece.  Any 5 or 6 bright, solid colors would look great. Add a few rows of complementary border and this throw blanket would be great for a teenagers room or as a stunning picnic blanket.

Lotus Afghan
 2. This next afghan pattern is ultra chic and elegant and would be perfect for the more sophisticated and zen people in  your life.  I love the calming feel of blues and purples, but this could be made in any color to match your decor. Add a wide matching border all the way around and this blanket is sure to add a spa-like atmosphere to any space.

Harvest Wheat

3. Lastly, this golden wheat afghan is perfect for the lazy dog-days of late summer and into the Indian summers of early fall.  I can imagine curling up with this blanket on an evening hay ride or taking it to the county fair. It would also make a gorgeous housewarming gift.  I would recommend using a deep golden yellow yarn to make this, and maybe adding just a few rows of solid border, or some type of decorative geometric border.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy July 4th!

Happy Independence Day to my American readers! It's a busy day for my family, so here is a quick post with some links to FREE 4th of July and Patriotic themed crochet projects! Enjoy.

1. This patriotic bunting would be adorable draping the side of a little red wagon as you pull your little ones in a 4th of July parade or take them to a festival. It could also probably be made in a larger size and used as porch or patio decoration for a barbecue or party.
Patriotic Bunting

2. If the beach is more your style for the holiday, check out this cool 4th of July Beach Bag by Lily Sugar N' Cream. It would be just perfect to carry some sunscreen, towels, and maybe a cover-up for evening while you watch fireworks over the ocean or lake.
Beach Bag
3. These Stars and Stripes Cushions are just the right size to take along to a summer get-together. Add a little cushion to your lawn chairs or benches while showing off your patriotic spirit.  
Stars and Stripes Cushions
4. Use this patriotic granny square by April Moreland to create any number of 4th of July themed household decorations. Make a lot of them and join together to make a throw or blanket, or make them individually as trivets or dishclothes.
Patriot's Pride
5. Even though July is usually too hot for blankets, this Colors of America Throw by Redheart would be nice to keep the chill off while watching fireworks or sitting out on your patio late into the evening.  Make it during those long winter days so you don't overheat working on it during the summer.
Colors of America Throw
6. Last but not least, showcase Old Glory with this American Flag Afghan. Just big enough to cover your lap, this throw would be a beautiful decoration for your home.
American Flag Afghan

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Free Crochet Patterns: Beautiful Birds

The theme of today's free crochet patterns is beautiful birds! These are more advanced graphs because they contain many intricate details, but with enough patience and focus they should be doable for anyone with a knowledge of basic crochet skills.  As always, I created these patterns on using designs I created with free openware fonts on And again, as always, please only use these patterns for your own personal use. 

Peacock Motif

This first pattern is a gorgeous Asian inspired peacock motif.  It can be kept simple by working in one solid color on another solid color background, or you can personalize it more by making the feathers in an array of colors.  

Toucan Motif

This next pattern is a beautiful toucan bird in a jungle background.  As with the above peacock motif you can keep it simple by working the pattern in a single color, or make it pop by using different colors for each of the different elements of the motif.  

Eagle Banner

This eagle banner is only 100 stitches wide by 60 stitches tall so it is meant to be incorporated as part of a larger project.  It would look great in a patriotic themed afghan or perhaps as a very long decorative pillow.  

I hope you enjoy using these beautiful bird motifs.  If you are interested in a complete tutorial on how I make these gorgeous crochet graphs, check back in a few days for a walk-through on how to use the free pattern wizard.  If you have any requests or suggestions for future patterns, feel free to let me know in the comments! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Free Crochet Patterns for Baby

Here are my latest free crochet graphs. This week I'm posting a selection of adorable baby blanket and nursery decor patterns.  All of these patterns are designed to be made using the single crochet method, with one block equal to one stitch using a worsted weight yarn and size H hook.  Enjoy!

*If you would like to make the piano blanket with a different initial, just let me know and I can make one for you. I'm spend a few hours on each set of patterns to make sure they are easy to follow and look good and I am providing them all free of charge so please do not sell my patterns or the finished product.*

Floral Bright Baby Blanket

Child's Giraffe Pillow

Piano Baby Blanket

Teddy Bear Afghan

Valentine Bear Afghan

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

More Free Crochet Patterns- Modern Pillow Patterns

I like crocheting my own decorative pillows because it saves a TON of money! Pillows are expensive, especially if you like to change your decor seasonally.  It doesn't take much time to crochet these pillows and you can make them in the exact size, pattern, and colors that you want.  A basic skein of RedHeart brand yarn costs less than $5 and can be used to make several small-medium sized pillows. For a lot of the modern, intricate patterns that are in fashion right now I recommend making a single-crochet background square and then cross-stitching your design onto that. Here are several free designs to get you started: 

Scale Pattern Pillow

Modern Pillow #3

Leafy Pillow

Modern Pillow #1
Modern Pillow #2

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: 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.