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A Guide to Graphgans/Stitch Fiddle

Posted by Katie Ray on

The end of summer is my favorite time to start a good blanket project, with hopes that I’ll be able to finish it just in time for the fall/winter seasons.  One of the best tools out there to make a blanket with one of your favorite logos or picture is Stitch Fiddle.  It’ll turn almost any picture into a pattern for you!!! How flipping awesome is that?!?!?! Let me just tell you how excited I was when I discovered this site…. REALLY REALLY excited!!! So let’s get started with the “how to” portion.

Making a blanket with your favorite logo may seem 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 - hence this is my go to!

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 you actually use Stitch Fiddle to create yourself, or better yet, a gift for someone.  Since we’re on the logo theme I’m going to use our logo and plan a tapestry crochet pattern.  You can go to your favorite search engine and search images for your favorite logo, but for this demo we will be using the Hedge & Fox Logo.  Now the trick is to find a logo without a lot of thin lines or extra patterns in the background.  We have a couple of different logos and for this project I’d forgo the option on the left because of all the smaller details that would be hard to translate into crochet (not that it’s impossible, but definitely more difficult and time consuming). So I’m going to go with the logo on the right that is more simple.

             

The second image has clear cut lines with minimal colors which is exactly what we want. 

After you log into Stitch Fiddle it will look like this:

    

You’ll go on to select Crochet - Crochet with Color - From Picture; from there you’ll upload your photo.  At first your photo is going to look like this:

Doesn’t look the greatest…really pixelated and blurry, but do not fret! We will fix all of 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 well 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.

 

This is where we will figure out the size of our blanket.  I typically make throw or lap sized 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”.  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 SOOO soft.  I’m not gonna lie, I HATE doing gauge swatches, it’s so boring, but oh so necessary.  Go ahead and make yourself a swatch with your yarn and hook of 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 that’s 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.  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:

Bam! Calculations done! Next hit create chart. It may ask you to select Crochet with Color – From Picture again.

So now we have this:

 

The blurry pixel logo is gone, yay!  Now depending on the picture you’ve chosen your picture may be cut off on the sides or too long.  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! These images are from a previous project but same concept!

Or if your picture is too long you can adjust the height and width to add a few extra rows to make your image fit.  Again, old images.

Now with our current logo we can see that our photo isn’t exactly centered where we’d like it.  That’s ok, we’re going to fix that in a bit.

Next looking to the left under yarn colors, it says there are 10 colors being used.  I know what you’re thinking “Ummm Katie there’s only five colors there”, I know you and I only only see five colors, 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 the top of the page and click “View” and choose “Fit Width” so you now see this:

Sorry for the gray out - it does that when i screen shot, so your screen will have a white background not dark gray

Next we are going to narrow our colors down to five: black, orange, white, brown, tan.  Go to the top of the page and click “Edit” and “Colors & Symbols”.  

You should now be looking at this screen.

All of the colors are to the left. We are going to start with the obvious colors we want to get rid of and replace them with the colors we want to keep.  On the right hand side you’ll see an “X”.  When clicking the “X” it will delete that color but ask what you want to replace it with.  So I’m going to start with the bottom color and replace it with the lighter tan for the face of the hedge hog.

         

    

My picture currently looks like this after deleting the unwanted colors.  As 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 put 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!!!  You may have noticed, but in my case my image is still not centered.  This is super easy to fix, you select rows from the bottom and remove them and then add more rows to the top.

Left click on the side close to the edge of the graph and you should see the white cross, and you can select multiple rows at the same time by holding shift and the down arrow button. Then right click and delete.  Then go to the top of the screen and right click to add more rows.  Just make sure you’re keeping track of the amount of rows you’re deleting to keep the size of your piece correct.

                                          

Now that the graph is all good to go 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 the top of the page “File - Progress Tracker”.

On the right of the screen you can click as you go and move your progress along!  For these graphgans each square is a single crochet stitch.  So this particular graph shows 139 squares across the top, which means your foundation chain will be 139 + 1.  You’ll follow your progress tracker along, changing colors as your graph shows.  If you don’t want to use the graph there is another option; you can print 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 (not bad!!).

I hope this was a help 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 want to check out what Hedge & Fox has to offer please check out our store at www.hedgeandfox.comWe launched an online store in 2018! Check out our unique handmade jewelry designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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