Crocheter’s Spotlight: Open Skye Creations


Another BLOG takeover!!! This time, I’d like to introduce my very good friend April! She runs the amazing shop, Open Skye Creations and is a master at all things graphghan. I asked (okay… I BEGGED) for her to explain her process and break it down for the rest of us–and she said YES!!

Graphghans

From This

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

To This!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

I get tons of questions on a regular basis about my graphs. About how to take a graph and turn it into a blanket or a pillow or a scarf. Let me tell you- it isn’t as hard as you think! Crochet by Numbers is complicated and can take a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, creating a graphghan can take months to complete. It all depends on your skill level, speed, and time capabilities to spend on working on it. But if you can single crochet and color change you can definitely do it! I’ve put this post together to give you some of my favorite hints and guidelines to completing your own! And if you’re a seasoned pro- you can see how I do mine.

Single Crochet, Half-double, Tunisian- it doesn’t really matter. The tips are still the same and hopefully the hints I provide will make sense to you!

To start it off- These are the MUST HAVES to completing a graphghan.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

First you have the hook. I recommend an “I” hook and medium tension while working up a graph. Second you have the graph itself; I always print mine out on multiple pages and tape them together so I don’t go blind while trying to read it. Third I have BOBBINS! I can’t stress enough how much time and energy these puppies have saved me. They help prevent and reduce tangling (nothing you do can eliminate it 100%) and they just make it easier to hold on to.  Fourth I have a pen, piece of paper, and a highlighter- note I put them as one item because they’re writing utensils and writing utensils are very important in any crochet project.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

And then you have the yarn itself. Every graph I sell I include a yarn usage estimator. Keep in mind that not all graphs will have this so make sure you always round up. Having the same lot and dye number is extremely important when working on any crochet project- but especially when you’re working up a graph. The last thing you want is a picture ruined by two conflicting shades of black or red. The picture above shows the lot and dye information in case you don’t know where to look for it. It is always on the yarn label itself!

Now here is where things change a little bit. I write out every line of a graph that I’m doing. BEFORE I WORK IT UP. This has multiple purposes. When you write it out, you get a feel for just how much work there is going to be. It also helps tell you how many bobbins you are going to need. Every time you do a color change, you should be changing your bobbins (By changing bobbins every time you prevent having a different color running through the color you’re currently working on and keeps the picture looking clean). It also lets you determine which direction you’re working on the graph.

When working on a graph I work from the bottom up. When I do my initial chain +1 (you always sc in the second chain from the hook when you’re working- like the chain 1 and turn scenario) I then work the next row from Right to left. That is my row 1. My row 2 is done from left to right, row 3 from right to left and so on. When you have the rows written out you can use an arrow or other measure to tell you which way to work it up. Now- if you are working it up in Tunisian stitch you are working it up reading from right to left on every row.

These are the most common things I encounter when working up a graph, and the questions that people ask when they get me one on one.

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People always post nice clean photos of their WIPS (work in progresses) but this is hardly the case. They are actually messy- but no one wants to admit that they have a tangled mess of yarn. Don’t worry- its normal! The picture on the left is a graph I worked on that was easy to keep clean and untangled. Note- the bobbins that are nice and orderly at the top!! The piece on the right is NOT clean. And it was done by someone who has done graphs for a long time. Don’t worry about the mess!! You can always fix it later.

I get asked a lot how I recommend doing color changes. The best way I can describe it is this. In the LAST SC of the first color you push your hook under the top two strands of yarn and yarn over with the first color; pull back through. Yarn over WITH THE NEW COLOR and complete the stitch. The videos I have a link to below should help with it if you need to see the walkthrough. It creates a complete stitch with the first color while allowing you to start your new stitches with the second color. *HELPFUL HINT* I always gently tug on the first color that I dropped to help reduce gaps and keep it from being too (loose) for lack of a better word. Don’t worry if you tug it a little too tight, it won’t mess up as long as you remember that stitch when coming back on the next row.

When you’re working a row and bring up the yarn from the previous row, if there is a long strand, crochet over it like you would crochet over your ends when doing a color change in a hat or an amigurumi. I have videos on my youtube page that explain it simply (and in a setting you’ll all know- my lap sitting on my plaid oversized chair!) http://www.youtube.com/user/canavanapril <- that’s my channel. Feel free to watch the videos and subscribe!

I know this sounds really bad, and tedious- and really a question that people wouldn’t think to ask- but here it is anyways. At the end of EVERY ROW you chain 1 and turn. If you don’t do this then you’ll end up with different row counts.

Find April at: www.openskyecreations.com or on facebook at: www.facebook.com/openskyecreations

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

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13 thoughts on “Crocheter’s Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

  1. Carol January 30, 2016 at 8:04 am Reply

    Wow! Great information and you make it understandable for beginners.

    Like

  2. Laura Dickson November 19, 2015 at 10:50 pm Reply

    doing one in hdc and its coming out on an angle BUT I was told work right to left at end finish off and start over from right side again

    Like

  3. Charlotte High June 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm Reply

    How big does this graph measure? I want to make a tote bag n thot this would be cute if its small enuf

    Like

  4. janet December 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm Reply

    You mention working left to right does it matter if you work right to left? I have always worked right to left am I wrong?

    Like

    • Tanya Naser December 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm Reply

      You will create a mirror image on the reverse side so it really doesn’t matter as long as the design you are doing doesn’t require words in one place and an image in another. But that’s for advanced graphghans and shouldn’t really apply to anyone just beginning 🙂

      Like

  5. Carole September 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm Reply

    Do you fip over your work back and forth like you would any other blanket or are you doing a reverse sc while working the blanket? Hope that makes sense.

    Like

    • Tanya Naser September 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm Reply

      You’d turn and work back the other way just like with any other blanket 🙂

      Like

  6. Sara June 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Silly question…what do you write down? I mean how do you convert the graph to instructions? I thought I understood, but it doesn’t look like you’re writing down every row? Thanks for the info! I think I’m almost ready to give graphs a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April Marie Canavan June 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm Reply

      I actually do write down every row. So starting at the left side of the image (I start at the bottom- and everyone does this differently) But I start at the bottom left side of the image and count the squares of each color before the color change and then each box like that. So for example a graph that has 150 squares in it and only 149 are red without interruptions and the last square is white it would be
      149R 1W
      And I do that for every row, always starting with the left side while I’m writing them down. Then, I put arrows to designate which direction i’m crocheting. Because with SC you crochet from the left to the right, and then chain 1 and turn the piece- and then you’re reading the graph from right to the left, and then chain 1 and turn. (repeating left to right and right to left- alternating)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Keep Calm and Crochet On UK February 1, 2014 at 2:54 am Reply

    Really enjoyed the post!

    Like

  8. Jennifer Crewe January 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm Reply

    This is just the sort of information I was looking for as I contemplate beginning my first graph pattern. One question I haven’t found answered. The best place to sit to work on this type of project. I usually sit in my easy chair and enjoy listening to tv as I crochet. I can’t see doing that with bobbins etc but I don’t look forward to sitting at the dining table!! Seems that would be not restful at all. How do you work?

    Like

    • April Canavan March 17, 2014 at 12:44 am Reply

      Jennifer! I sit in my chair and read the graph as I go. Bobbins make anything hard but unless you want to sit at a table and work on it all the time making your back hurt, its not a big deal with the bobbins. I mean, actually its a bit easier because if I drop one I can find it really quick.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Crewe March 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

        Thank you for your help. I haven’t started as yet. I am finding every project that needs finishing and even starting and finishing other small things other than to get started on my locomotive. Procrastination for sure. I really must get to it. But it will be the chair for me

        Like

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