Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to Crochet from a Chart

Step 1: Create your Chart
Each square on the chart, represents a single crochet stitch. I started with a foundation single crochet of 68 or you can do a chain of 69. What I would do differently is to flip the chart sideways and crochet my rows from the side of the chart, starting with a foundation single crochet of 75 or a chain of 76. There are many different free sources online, where you can create a detailed chart.

Step 2: Purchase Your Yarn Colors and Materials
For this piece, I used 4-ply yarn of different brands and a size G crochet hook. I used 6 colors for the main crochet. A 7th color was introduced for the cross stitch.
I purchased a document protector from my local office supply store and a grease pencil. As I finished each row, I would mark the row with the grease pencil. I can reuse my document protector a few times by removing the the grease pencil markings with baby oil.

I created my yarn chart to eliminate confusion. This was to keep track of yarn strand placement and where I am using them on the color chart. It is going to be difficult to match the yarn exact to what is printed. Fairly close is going to be good enough. You can mix colors when you are finished through cross stitch and embroidery. It really opens the door to some unique and different artwork through crochet.

Step 3: Follow your chart to create your masterpiece

Since it is done with single crochet, it is pretty easy to do. It is just a single crochet piece with color changes. Don't be intimidated by color changes. I changed colors by cutting the yarn at each color change and pulling the new color through the two loops of the last single crochet. I started out sewing in some of my tails as you can see at the bottom of the image. Because I had so many tails in such a small area, it distorted my piece, making it to full. I decided on a front side and back side of my work. From that point on, I cut tails and tied a knot on the back of my piece. If you are changing colors less, you may find that sewing in the tails will work for you, therefore making your piece reversible. It can be done with knots or tails. Both ways will be correct.

Step 4: Color Blend your piece by Cross Stitch and Embroidery

When I purchased the pink, I thought it would be a softer, more subtle pink. It popped to much so I softened it with a cross stitch of light brown from my color chart, over the top of the pink. I separated a 4-ply strand of yarn, in to a 2-ply strand of yarn for the cross stitching. The forehead shows the blending process.

I still had two browns that were to close in color. My solution was to introduce an off-white cross stitch to the external medium brown. That just brought it all together and saved the piece that I came close to throwing away.