Graph It!

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!

Fair Isle for Special Olympics

Many states are collecting scarves for the 2011 Special Olympics. And because I can’t do anything basic, I decided to make some scarves with Fair Isle! Thanks to Peggy Jean Kaylor and Crafty Knit Chicks for the Special Olympics logo and star graphs. Wanting to create a little Fair Isle work myself, I came up with a snowflake chart/grid, with the help of my sister. (I gave my sister the first pattern, which didn’t turn out too well! My second attempt turned out much better.)

The graph for the Special Olympics logo can by found on Ravelry. The star chart can be found at the Crafty Knit Chicks website. Though they are both written as knit patterns, they both can be crocheted using single crochet. I did the star with half double crochet, but that elongated the star a little bit.

The scarves are approximately 23 stitches wide. Per the requirements, the scarves are crocheted with Red Heart blue and turqua yarn. They are all approximately 6 inches wide x 54-60 inches long. They were made with a size H hook, though the requirements for the Olympics scarves project doesn’t mandate a specific pattern or hook size.

Not sure what Fair Isle knitting or crocheting is? Check out my post on Fair Isle vs. Intarsia.

Snowflake Scarf pattern – PDF

Basic snowflake scarf instructions

Pattern

Color A

Chain 23

Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from hook and each stitch across. Chain 1, turn.

Row 2: (1sc, 1dc) in 2nd chain from hook. Skip the next stitch. *(1 sc, dc) in next stitch, skip next stitch* across to the last two stitches. Sc in last two stitches.

Rows 3-25: Follow the pattern on the chart using sc for each stitch. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. (The chart can be found here in the Snowflake Scarf pattern.)

Color A for the X’s, color B on the blank spots.

Row 26: Repeat row 2

Row 27: Chain 3 (count as first dc). (Dc, ch-1, 2dc) in next stitch. Skip 3 stitches. *(2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next stitch* across. The last dc should be made in the last stitch.

Row 28: Repeat row 2 except skip all the ch-1 spaces of the previous row.

Row 29-30: Repeat rows 27 and 2.

Row 31: Chain 3, dc across.

Repeat Row 31 until the scarf measures approximately 50 inches in length (about 76 rows).

Row 107-110: Repeat rows 2 and 27 twice.

Row 111: Repeat row 2.

Rows 112-134: follow the snowflake chart.

Row 135: Repeat row 2.

Row 136: Sc across. Tie off; weave in end.

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