An Ode to Graphghans
Sorry, no actual “ode” or poem here. But it’s no secret: I love making graphghans. One look at this website will show that many of my crocheted projects are blankets made from graphed designs, like my Harry Potter-themed blanket or my Dinosaur-themed blanket.
I love graphghans because the design possibilities are limitless. Even if you just make the same graph in a different stitch, you’ll end up with two projects that look very different!
Graphghans are also deceptively easy to make. True, there are a lot of different factors to take into account when designing a graphghan (like size, stitch, etc.), but when you get right down to it, a graphghan is just a combination of stitches and color changes made to mimic the design of a graphed image.
There are a handful of stitches that work best for making graphghans, but here’s the beautiful thing: all of these stitches are based on the very basic crochet stitches (chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet). This means that if you can make the most basic of crochet stitches, you can definitely learn to make a graphghan!
Don’t believe me? Take a look at these photos:
Each of these squares were made using the Corner-to-Corner (C2C) stitch. This is my favorite stitch for many reasons, but I love it most because it uses just three basic crochet stitches: the chain stitch, the slip stitch, and double crochet.
C2C was the very first stitch I learned to use when making graphghans several years ago. Even though it uses basic crochet stitches, it delivers a big punch of texture!
The squares pictured above are part of my upcoming Marine Life blanket CAL, which starts September 7th. While I’ve made them in C2C, you can use these same graphs with any stitch suitable for graphghans–so if you’d rather use double crochet or bobble stitch, you can definitely do so!
Want even more graphghan inspiration? Here’s a few more photos of other projects I’ve made in a variety of different stitches:
Here we have, from left to right, squares from my Firefly graphghan (made with mini C2C), my triangular Kraken Shawl (made with filet crochet), and the center panel for the Star Wars graphghan (made with half-double crochet).
Each of these designs has a unique and very distinct look and feel. Even though they were made with very different stitches, the know-how involved to plan and implement these designs was exactly the same for each of these projects. You just need to follow the same steps for each project–no matter what you’re making!
What are those steps, you ask?
The 5 Steps to Making Graphghans
I’ve broken down the entire graphghan-making process into five small steps. By following these steps in order, you’ll be able to easily work your way through the process of designing and actually crocheting your own graphghan. And the best part? These five steps work for any crocheted graph project!
Step 1: Sizing
Sizing is critical when making graphghans because, of course, you want your project to be a certain size in order to meet a specific need–and there are a lot of different things that factor into sizing your graphghan! If you want to make a baby blanket, you don’t want to end up with a project that’s as large as a queen-sized blanket, right?
Step 2: Choosing a Stitch
There are lots of different stitches that work well for graphghans. My favorite is Corner-to-Corner (C2C), but there are several other options to choose from, too, such as: mini C2C, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, block stitch, bobble stitch, and even filet crochet. All of these stitches work great for graphghans, and some even have other variations, like mini block stitch!
Step 3: Designing Graphs
Personally, I think that designing the graphs for my projects is almost more fun than crocheting them! Design possibilities are absolutely endless, which means there is a lot of room for creativity. There are lots of ways to design your graphs, too! Drawing them out on graph paper is the most low-tech option, but there are a bunch of other more “techy” tools available as apps, computer programs and websites.
Step 4: Figuring Out Yarn Requirements
If you’re not a mathematically-included crafter (take me, for example), figuring out how much yarn you need for a project can seem like a daunting challenge. However, it really just boils down to how much yarn is required for each block on your graph for your project. Once you know that measurement, a little bit of math can help you figure out how much yarn is required for your entire project–as an estimate, of course!
Step 5: Adding the Finishing Touches
What kind of finishing touches? Well, borders are a great example of a finishing touch you can add to your graphghan to make it look polished and, well, finished! Even if you add just a plain single crochet border to your graphghan, you can make your project look one step ahead. Plus, there are lots of other fun borders you can add to graphghans (crab stitch is a fun one!), so there are a bunch of ways you can use borders to add some extra personality to your project.
Again, these five steps work for any graphghan project. Take my TARDIS Cowl, for example:
- First, I had to determine the size my project needed to be.
- Next, I picked the stitch I wanted to use for the cowl (single crochet).
- Then came the designing process, which was very fun (a little finicky, since I had to factor the 360 degree aspect of the cowl into the graphed design).
- After that, I did a little bit of math to figure out how much yarn I would need to make the cowl.
- And, lastly, I added a simple ribbed edge to finish off my cowl and make it look clean, polished and professionally-made.
And it turned out pretty great, don’t you think?
I’ve used these same exact steps to make the squares for the Marine Life blanket CAL, which was a completely different type of project! By using these five steps, you’ll be able to apply them to any graphed project you want to make.
The Graphghan Boot Camp course (or GBC for short) breaks these five steps down even further. In the course, we’ll go over all five steps, breaking each one down into smaller, actionable tasks. Even if you’ve never heard of graphghans before now, let alone tried to make one, this course will give you the tools and the know-how to make any kind of crochet project based off of a graphed design.
Graphghan Boot Camp is happening now! GBC contains hours of detailed video tutorials to walk you through each of these five steps to making graphghans. In addition to the videos, you also get access to more than two dozen printable “cheat sheets”–think of them as the study guides for the course. You can watch the videos at any time, and you can print as many of the cheat sheets as needed!
Remember, this course is 100% self-paced, so you can complete the video lessons whenever fits best for your schedule. Plus, you get lifetime access to this course and all of the bonus course materials when you sign up!
I’m pretty comfortable saying that Graphghan Boot Camp is the most comprehensive guide to designing and making crocheted graph-based projects currently available online. This course is a fantastic resource, and it contains every last tip, trick, and tidbit of information in my brain about making graphghans. Every “industry secret”, everything you need to know–it’s all included in this course, designed to set you up for success.
Plus, GBC even comes with a fillable chart that does all the hard math for you when it comes to figuring out the yarn requirements for your projects…and you can fill and use this chart as many times as you need!
Not sure yet? Take a look at what others have to say about it:
My GBC Promise to You
I honestly believe that there is something new for everyone to learn in Graphghan Boot Camp. Whether you’re brand new to graphghans or you consider yourself an old pro, I know you’ll find the videos and the PDF printable cheat sheets included in this course to be very helpful.
If for any reason you’re not happy with the course, just let me know–I offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. That’s considered by many business owners to be potentially risky offer for an online course with downloadable content, but I want you to feel comfortable knowing that if you just don’t vibe with my teaching style, that’s totally okay.
Registration for Graphghan Boot Camp is open right now, which means you can now sign up and save yourself a virtual “seat” in this online class. Again, you’ll get an email on Saturday when the course materials become available.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions! I hope to see you at Graphghan Boot Camp. Bring your yarn and your hook…it’s going to be amazing!