I recently got this comment:
"Do you do charts for crochet?? I am a recent follower, and I ask because my nephew has asked me to find a pattern for an afghan he wants. I haven't looked around, have no idea where to start, but he wants one with the Harley-Davidson logo across the top half and with flames coming up from the bottom half. Sound like anything you would be able to do? Or do you have any suggestion where I should look?? Thanks for your help." Darlene
I love a good challenge, so here's my rendition:
I realize there's no way you could crochet this afghan from this tiny picture, so if you want the chart email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what format you want it in. (Excel--editable .xlsx, Adobe .pdf or picture .png, I recommend the .xlsx or .png files because the pdf splits it up into several pages.)
Read further for more information on how to do Tapestry crochet. I have a new tutorial on how to read a chart where I spell it out more clearly. You can find it here.
I've just uploaded a video on how to read the chart, how to change colors, how to carry yarn and how to use yarn bobbins. I'm only crocheting a middle section of the chart. You will start at the edges of the chart to complete it.
Update, here is a finished version of the afghan by Penny Jones.
Each square on the pattern counts as a single crochet. It has 147 stitches across and 176 rows. The gauge of the pattern totally depends on the size yarn and hook you use. I measured my gauge for worsted weight yarn and an I hook at 4 sts and 4 rows = 1". With this gauge the afghan would measure 36"x44". If you want to make it wider or longer, I'd add black stitches on either side of the pattern for width or more rows to the top and bottom of the pattern to make it longer. I don't knit, but I think you could use this for a knitted afghan as well.
I've had several people ask me how much yarn to use so I estimate that it will take 500 yd skeins of worsted weight yarn (I recommend Red Heart Super Saver or Red Heart Super Saver Economy ), 3 each in black and orange and 1 each in yellow, red and white. As Andrea pointed out, carrying the yarn will make it so you will need more yarn. This is just an estimate, I haven't actually made the afghan yet.
I Just got some tips from Marsha, who made this intricate afghan.
I've crocheted several blankets from grids and when you are working with several colors, the best piece of advice I have is to find a large flat surface or table that you can spread out on. It keeps the yarn from getting tangled and when you start a new row, you just walk around to the other side of the table. That way you don't have to shift all those balls of yarn.
I usually make up several small- to medium-sized balls of yarn from the main skein if a color is repeated at several intervals across the work, but there are other colors in between. To keep the balls from unraveling, I place them in sandwich size ziplock bags. However, if I'm going back and forth with a couple colors every few stitches, I just carry the opposing color strand through and crochet over it as I would if I were changing yarn in the middle of a row and hiding the tail. This does tend to make the project a little thicker, however, so you have to be selective about where you apply this technique.
A tip from Janice about how to do Tapestry Crochet:
"Chart Afghans are my favorite type of afghan to make. I have made several. One trick I have learned over the years is to thread your yarn from the bobbins in a straw before you start your stitch this keeps the bobbins from tangling. I never used a table to crochet/knit/Tunisian Afghans I always sit in my rocker so I am not sure what method is being used here. Also to keep the back as neat as possible I don’t carry the yarn I use different bobbins for each color and then weave the ends into the afghan. I keep track of the right side and wrong side to hang the bobbins on the wrong side never on the right side. An easy way to keep track is the odd rows are the wrong side and the even rows are the right side or vice versa which ever you prefer as I turn with each row I do not end and start over."
Here's a tip from Kelly on dealing with all the yarn:
"I am in the process of making this blanket, lemme tell you, you need a long table, at least 20 bobbins (to hold your strings). I'm needing at the moment 19..Annies sells them 6 to a pack..when you need to carry make sure the color your using is laying closest to your body and the color you are dropping at the moment is behind..don't carry farther then 4 and most importantly, well for me anyways DO NOT TURN BLANKET end with black every row."
Here are Kelly's afghans in progress:
"I'm not a fan of this method and heres the reasons, uses a lot of yarn, a lot of bobbins, you can see unused thread from right side and the work isn't tight. Since I started one in the afghan stitch using the extra long J hook , I honestly don't want to go back to the double crochet method."
"the afghan stitch is tight, uniform, no mess with bobbins, thicker, and I'm lovin' this because I can rock in my chair instead of leaning over a table..you can hide the extra yarn in the back as well."
If you would like to ask Kelly about making the afghan in afghan stitch you can reach her here.
Here is a video of Kelly showing how to do color changes in afghan stitch.
This is a picture of the finished afghan in Afghan Stitch by Doris.
If you have any questions for Kelly, post them in the comments below. As soon as Kelly gets her blog up I will post the link.
Here is my version in single crochet:
I'm finding the best way to keep the integrity of the design is to crochet each row in the same direction. That means I have to cut the yarn at the end of the row (I'm crocheting right to left since I'm right handed) and then join it again on the next row at the beginning of the row. I start on the right with the black yarn then add each color as it comes up in the design and then drop those colors as they end in the design ending with the black yarn at the end of the row and tying off. I've decided that I'm not happy with method and have changed course, you can read about it here.
If you are really talented (and somewhat ambidextrous) you can switch the hook to your left hand when you get to the end of the row and then crochet back the way you came like Carol Ventura does. If you aren't ambidextrous, try this tutorial from Interweave.
This is another video tutorial by Red Heart Yarn.
If you are new to crochet charts check out my Skull iPad Case pattern below, it has a tutorial on how to read a chart. If you would rather cross stitch the details of the chart, I would crochet the major black and orange areas and then you can have a look at my Day of the Dead Banner (also below) pattern for a tutorial on how to cross stitch on single crochet.
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