Tutorials

A Guide to Graphgans/Stitch Fiddle

Football season is offically here!! I am so freakin excited!!!!!! Not sure if you can tell how excited I am from all the “!!!” hahah, but seriously though, it’s football season. Even though where we live in California its still hotter than hot outside, it’s getting close to that time of year where you want to cuddle up with a warm blanket and support your favorite team.  Mine happens to be the Green Bay Packers (GO PACK!) and Jen and her family are Broncos fans.  So in the spirit of football season I have decided to make patterns of team logos which are available in my Etsy store.

So making a blanket with your favorite team logo may seam daunting, trust me when I first started out crocheting I thought there was no way I’d be able to come close to making such a thing, but with the new fad of “graphgans” it’s pretty darn easy if you already know the basics of crocheting.

There are two different methods for a graphgan, there’s corner to corner crochet (C2C) and tapestry crochet.  Both methods use basic crochet skills; for C2C the following stitches are used: slip stitch, chain, and Double Crochet (US); for tapestry crochet all you need to know is single crochet!

There are a few different websites that allow you to turn photos into graphgans, however my favorite website and the most user friendly in my opinion is Stitch Fiddle. This website is also another one of my favorite things…FREE!! Not to say there aren’t benefits to joining their paid option as well, but you can absolutely get by without paying anything.

How to use Stitch Fiddle Step by Step

So now the fun stuff.  How do you actually use Stitch Fiddle to create yourself, or better yet, a gift for someone. So since we’re on the football theme here I’m going to use a football logo as an example and plan a tapestry crochet pattern.  So go to your favorite search engine and search images for your favorite team, and you’ll get results like this:

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So the trick is to find a logo without a bunch of unnecessary junk like the second down from the right. The city scape that is below the logo won’t translate well to our graph. So lets pick this one:

49er

This has simple, clear cut lines with minimal colors which is exactly what we want. So after you log into Stitch Fiddle it will look like this:

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You’ll go on to select Crochet – Crochet with Color – From Picture where you’ll upload your photo.  So at first your photo is going to look like this:

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Doesn’t look the greatest…really pixelated and blurry, but do not fret! we will fix this! The next step is to gauge your work. If you don’t know how to gauge, no problem! Stitch Fiddle actually explains it pretty decently for this process. Looking to the left side of the above photo you’ll see a section that says “Gauge” with a blue link that says “Size Calculator”, go ahead and click on that to go to our next step.

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This is where we will figure out the size of our blanket. I typically make throw or lap size blankets, which are perfect for cuddling up on the couch with. You can find measurements for any size blanket on Google or Pinterest. So a Throw is generally about 50″ x 65″.  So I’m going to be using a size J-6.00 mm hook with 100% acrylic medium weight yarn, my favorite yarn is “I Love This Yarn” from Hobby Lobby because it’s so soft! I’m not gonna lie I HATE dong gauge swatches, it’s so boring, but oh so necessary. Go ahead and make yourself a swatch with your yarn of choice and hook for choice,  I usually make a chain of 25+1 so I can make a row of 25 single crochets then make enough rows to get a 2″ measurement.  Once thats completed you’ll fill in the form above. The first box asks us for the width in inches, so mine was 9″ across with 25 stitches; we then go below and fill out the height, mine being 2″ with 8 rows.  To the left you’ll enter how big you want your final product to be.  So we know we want a throw that is 50″ x 65″, and then it will calculate how many stitches and rows you will need.  You should now be looking at this:

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Bam! Calculations done! Next hit create chart where it may ask you to select Crochet with Color – From Picture again. So now we have this:

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The blurry pixel logo is gone, yay!  But now it’s cut off on the sides.  No Problem Stitch Fiddle has our back and we can rotate it by going to the top left of the page and clicking the rotate arrows!

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So there’s still a bit of our ends cut off but thats ok, we can fix that! Increase your height on the left until your logo is all the way in like so:

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Now looking to the left under yarn colors it says there are 10 colors being used. I know what you’re thinking “Umm Katie there’s only 4 colors there”, I know, you and I only see 4 but Stitch Fiddle gives you ALL THE SHADES! It’s tempting to lower it down to 4 now but I Have a better trick for you in the next step. So go ahead and click “Save Chart” at the top of the page. The next screen you get go to View and choose “Fit Width” so you now see this:

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Next we are going to narrow our colors down to four: black, white, gold, red. Go to “Edit” and “Edit Chart”.

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All of our colors are to the left. I already know we want to get rid of all the colors in the right column and the brownish color above the red. We are going to remove these colors one by one and replace them with one of the colors we want to keep. Right Click on the light grey at the top of the right column and select remove, and replace it with black.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.11.46 AMScreen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.12.05 AM

You’ll keep eliminating the colors until you’re down to the 4 main that we want. I’ll refer to each number and what I replaced it with; however it’s just a matter of looking at your logo and and replacing each unwanted color with it’s closest match. IMG_8397So we’ve already replaced 2 with 3. Next will be: 7 with 5, 8 with 9, 10 with 9, 6 with 3, and 4 with 3.  You should now be left with our 4 main colors. After all the color swap outs you’ll end up with something that looks like this:

IMG_8399.jpgAs you can see there’s some editing you’re going to need to do.  It’s very easy, just time consuming.  Fill in the squares with the appropriate colors until you are satisfied with how your logo looks.  I don’t think you’ll need help with this part but if you do please contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help you.

Now that you have all your colors fixed you’re just about ready to crochet!!!! Yay!!! So now that you have your graph you can print it if you’d like or you can use Stitch Fiddle’s cool progress tracker feature! You access this by going to “File – Progress Tracker”.

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I’ve upped the progress so the visual is better, but it highlights what row you’re on so you can count more easily. So each square on the graph is a single crochet stitch. So this graph shows 139 squares across the top, which means your foundation chain will be
139 +1. So you’ll follow your progress tracker along changing colors as your graph shows. If you don’t want to use the graph, you have another option of printing out written instructions; however this option requires you to opt for the payment plan, which works out to be about $13 a year if I remember correctly.

I hope this was a helpful guide for you, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  I’ll gladly help you in any way I can. Also, if you have any crochet tutorial suggestions I’d love to hear them!

Until Next time!

Katie

 

 

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