Friday, October 16, 2015

Crochet Graphghans - How to change color

Since I've been designing several graphghan patterns many people have asked for a tutorial. I'm working on a tutorial video series. Unfortunately my video camera is not playing nicely with my computer. As soon as I can get it working I'll post the videos. In the meantime, I've taken a few photos to do a short picture tutorial. Please forgive the lighting in the pictures. It's been rather cloudy so it's been difficult to get good natural lighting but I wanted to get this tutorial up.

To create a graphghan you'll first need a pattern. Here is a practice graph to get you started. It's 15 stitches wide by 15 rows high. You can right-click to save it.

No matter what size graph you use, know that each square on the graph represents one stitch. To create this in single crochet you'll first want to chain the number of stitches in width on the graph + 1. In this case 15+1=16 chains. This foundation chain does not count as your first row.
Chain 16 for the practice graph.
Now you'll start reading the graph in the bottom row. If you're right-handed you'll read the graph from right to left for odd-numbered rows (right side) and left to right for even-numbered rows (wrong side). If you're left-handed you'll read it in reverse. For row 1 you'll single crochet (sc) in the 2nd chain from the hook and in each chain across. You should have 15 sc in this row.
Sc in 2nd chain from hook & in each chain across.
Chain 1 and turn. The ch-1 doesn't count as a stitch. It's just to raise your stitches up a row. For the second row and each remaining row you'll sc in each sc across following the color pattern on the graph. Chain 1, turn.
Ch 1, turn. Following color pattern on graph, sc in each sc across the row.
To change colors, insert the hook into your next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop but don't finish the stitch yet.
Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over & pull up a loop.
With your new color, leave a long tail (that you'll weave in later) and use the new color to yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook to finish your stitch.
Pull the new color through the two loops on the hook to finish the stitch.
Now you have the new color on your hook and you can do the next stitch with the new color.
Next stitch done with the new color
Here's a little more of the graph done.

I hope that makes sense and helps. If you have any questions please feel free to comment. You can also send me a message on facebook. I've also recently started a facebook group for graphghans called KD Graphghans. There are several free and paid graph patterns there as well as more practice graphs. This is a place to learn and share. I've set it up as a closed group so that progress pictures can be shared without family and friends possibly seeing a gift in progress (unless they're also a member of the group). You just have to send a request to join. We'd love to have you! :) Kari


  1. Do you carry the beginning color[white]? Are do you cut work end loose ends then start white again.

  2. I normally attach a separate bobbin or ball of yarn for each color change rather than carrying the yarn, especially if there is a big difference in the yarn color (white under a dark or vice versa) because the carried color tends to show and not look very good. So when I come to a color change I'll drop the color currently in use and pick up the new color. Then on the next row that yarn will be available to use again. Hopefully that makes sense.

  3. What do you do with the yarn while working the new color?

    1. Once I change color I drop the old color to the back. Then it will be in place when I get to it in the next row. If I won't need any more of that color in that particular section then I'll tie it off leaving a long end and sew in the yarn end later.

  4. I am working on a graphghan done with a simple stitch with 164 stitches per row. I am currently working on some rows where I have 8 yarn bobbin changes in a row, even though I am carrying anytime I have two or less of a new color. Tips on managing all those bobbins? I am thinking up putting an old fashioned drying rack in front of me and handing the bobbins off of that?

    1. Thanks for asking. I've seen many people use a drying rack to hang the bobbins on and it works well. Most of the time I either clip my clothes pin bobbins to my work and just unclip them as I come to them or I'll clip them in order to a box. When you turn your work it usually will get a bit tangled, but if you turn it the opposite direction when you turn the next row it will get untangled.

  5. Thank you so much for this easy to read and understand tutorial. Everything else I found was long winded with few images to show what they meant. You managed to explain what this in exactly the way I was looking for.