Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How To Make a Graphghan!


Before starting your blanket, you might need to go to your local yarn or hobby store. You can also buy the majority of these items pretty easily online. If this is your first time making a graphghan, I recommend buying your supplies in person, so you can touch the yarn. Plus, if you have questions, the staff can help.

YARN:
Remember to match your dye lot numbers! Colors can vary slightly with each dye lot, and you don’t want your background color to vary slightly. I created my blanket with Red Heart brand yarn, which doesn’t use dye lots, which means I didn’t have to match any numbers. Just check the label, and if it says “No Dye Lot” you have one less thing to worry about. If you are making your graphghan in the same colors, here is my list (they are all Red Heart Super Saver brand):
Light Blue – 3 skeins                                                    
Bright White – 2 skeins
Black
Cherry Red
Pretty ‘n’ Pink
Turqua
Royal
Bright Yellow
Dark Orchid
Spring Green
Hunter Green
Pumpkin
Gray Heather
Charcoal

OTHER CROCHET BASICS:
Size H 5.0mm hook – I recommend spending the extra money and getting one with an ergonomic handle. Your hand and wrist will thank you later.
Tapestry needle – Again, I recommend spending a bit more and getting a metal needle instead of the plastic ones. I used to use plastic, but when I broke my third one, I realized a strong metal one is actually more cost-effective.
Scissors – Nothing special, just a pair that can cut through yarn.
Stitch markers – These are optional, but they can be a lifesaver if you need to stop mid-project. You don’t want your hard work unraveling!
Hair clips – Just basic hair clips. They help your balls of yarn turning into a hot mess of tangled colors. These are also optional, but if you have a few lying around your home, they can be very helpful.

PREPPING YOUR YARN:
Now that you’ve brought all of your new yarn and accessories home, you need to ball your yarn. I recommend making a ball around the size of a baseball. You should get 3 or 4 balls of yarn out of each skein. Use a hair clip to fasten the end of the yarn to the ball.

GRAPHGHAN STITCHES:
A graphghan blanket is essentially a series of squares, created diagonally. If you have never made a graphghan, make a few squares, just to practice. Your work will look like a triangle, while you are increasing rows.
1.      Chain 5 stitches
2.      Starting in the 3rd chain, double crochet in each of the 3 chains. This is your first square!
3.      *If you need a new color, change here* Chain 5 stitches
4.      Starting in the 3rd chain, double crochet in each of the 3 chains.
5.      Turn your work, *if you need a new color, change here* and make a slip stitch into the top right corner of your first square.
6.      Chain 2 stitches
7.      Make 3 double crochets into the chain in your first square. Your second row is done!
Continue repeating steps 3-7, and continue making your triangle grow. Each row will have one more square than the previous.
When it is time to start decreasing, make a slip stitch into your previous row. Now continue making your graph following these instructions.
1.      Turn your work. Make 2 slip stitches into the side of your previous square
2.      *If you need a new color, change here* Chain 2 stitches
3.      Make 3 double crochets into the previous row’s square
4.      Continue making squares the same way as before. When you get to the end of the row, make a slip stitch into the previous row.
When it’s time to change colors, leave a long end. You want 4 or 5 inches, so weaving in the ends later will be easier. Also, if you want your blanket to look nice on both sides, don’t carry your yarn over unless it can hide easily. Yes, this means you’ll have a lot of ends to weave in, but your work will look so much better.
To weave your ends in, thread an end into your tapestry needle. Now weave the end into the same color, through at least 3 stitches (I like to do 4 or 5). Then weave it back through the same stitches, but skip the very first one. Finally, weave it back through a third time, skipping the very first stitch. This will stop your yarn from unraveling or fraying. I have put my blankets through a washing machine, and the ends do not come out!

Now you are ready to begin your graphghan!

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