Why does it seem that knitters have more fun with grids and intarsia? Pictures, patterns, and color changes are fun and easy with crocheting as well. Simple designs and more complex pictures can be turned into graphs and made into scarves, blankets, hats and more.
After seeing Peggy Jean Kaylor’s Special Olympics logo scarf on Ravelry and Crafty Knit Chick’s star scarf, I decided to make my own chart using grid paper. I chose a snowflake since I wanted to make a scarf for the Special Olympics winter games.
My first pattern was tested by my sister and was a disaster! I designed a pattern with lines that were only one stitch wide. It made it hard to see the design clearly.
Tip 1: Patterns and lines are easier to see if they are at least two squares/two stitches thick. That doesn’t mean you can never do things one stitch thick. It just means be careful with the width of designs.
I worked up the second design with thicker lines. It turned out much better. Check out the pattern on the Intarsia for Special Olympics post.
Many shapes can be turned into charts using grid or graph paper. Here’s a few tips to make it happen.
Tip 2: Determine the dimensions required ahead of time if that’s critical.
For instance, draw a rectangle or side lines for the outer limits of your project or graph work. I wanted a symmetrical shape for a scarf only 6 inches wide so I drew a square 23 x 23 on my graph paper then worked on the snowflake inside those lines.
Tip 3: If the shape is not symmetrical from top to bottom and it is going on a project like a scarf, the shape needs to be flipped upside down for the second half of the project.
I completed one scarf before I realized the image looked upside down on half the scarf. Technically stars don’t have tops or bottoms so it was fine, this time!
Tip 4: If you don’t want the image to go all the way to the sides/ends of the project, be sure to include “blank” spaces around the shape on the graph/chart.
Sometimes you can add the extra rows or stitches on your own, but it’s easy to forget them if they are not included on the chart.
Tip 5: For larger images, each square on the graph paper may represent more than one stitch, though it would may also need to represent more than one row.
Large or intricate images may require multiple sheets of graph paper to draw out to scale. Though cumbersome, it could save time when actually making the project.
Tip 6: Patterns will work up differently if you use sc, hdc, or dc. Sc usually makes square stitches. Hdc and dc makes taller stitches and will elongate the shape.
Using hdc for the star pattern made long stars. I think it would have looked better in shorter stitches. This may turn out to be a matter of personal preference.
These tips should get you started. There is almost no limit to what you can crochet. If you can graph it, you can crochet it!