A graphghan, as the name suggests, is a crochet afghan designed using a graph. Although you use the same basic crochet stitches that you would use when working with written instructions, you rely on a graph to create the image that results in the final blanket design. Graphghans are amazing because they allow you to turn basically any image at all into a crochet blanket. There are different types of approaches to making a crochet graphghan, including my favorite, which is to use corner-to-corner crochet.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Turn Any Image Into a Graphghan
The graphghan is based upon a grid system. Essentially, you take an image, lay a grid over it, and use that grid as the basis for your crochet design. Each square of the grid provides information to you, generally about which yarn color you’re going to use in that spot. The stitches that you’ll use depend upon the type of crochet graphghan that you want to make.
You can take most images and turn them into graphghans. For example, print out a favorite picture and lay a grid over it. Alternatively, draw an original design on a piece of grid paper. You can have a lot of fun with this. I know that I do!
Crochet Blankets With Words on Them
In addition to crocheting images, you can use graphs to spell out names, phrases, and other words. This is a great way to incorporate text into your crochet projects. For example, I have an alphabet crochet graphghan pattern. Or check out my “Baby It’s Cold Outside” blanket, which uses two different fonts:
Types of Crochet Graphghans
As aforementioned, there are several different ways that you can approach these graphic crochet blankets. My favorite option is to use corner-to-corner crochet. However, there are other options as well. In other words, you could use the same graph with different stitches to replicate the image.
Corner-to-Corner Crochet Graphghans
I love working with corner-to-corner crochet. C2C crochet is a specific technique where, as the name suggests, you work from one corner to the opposite corner. You start with the bottom right square, select the yarn colors shown on the bottom right square of your graph, then work diagonally, changing colors as the grid tells you to do so.
It probably helps to have a visual for this, right? Here’s an example of how I begin a C2C graphghan:
Note: If you want to learn all that there is to know about how to corner-to-corner crochet, then take my C2C Course.
Single Crochet Graphghans
Even though C2C crochet is my favorite approach to using graphs, it’s not the only option for crocheting graphghans. Single crochet graphghans are also popular. In this instance, you start in the bottom right corner of the graph, again. However, instead of working diagonally, you read the graph from right to left, exactly like you crochet it. Note that you’ll have to read every other row “backwards” (from left to right) because you’re turning your work as you go. Each square on the graph is one single crochet stitch.
Double Crochet Graphghan
Of course, since C2C crochet uses double crochet stitches, the size of your finished graphghan is going to be a lot smaller if you use the same graph to create a single crochet graphghan. You can, of course, use double crochet for each stitch instead of single crochet. In that instance, each grid of the graph translates to one double crochet stitch.
Happily Hooked explains that you can also use half double crochet, puff stitch, and other common crochet stitches.
Granny Square Graphghans
On the other hand, you could decide to make each square of the graph its own granny square. For example, you might use a three-round granny square.
The nice thing about this option is that you don’t have to change colors as you go. You can count up how many brown squares there are on the grid, how many red squares, how many blue squares, etc. Then you can crochet the correct number of three round granny squares in each color. After that, you lay them out in the correct order according to your graph, seaming them together accordingly.
Of course, if each grid on the graph is a full granny square, your graphghan will turn out larger than if you use the same graph but work it in C2C crochet or single crochet. If you want to make a large blanket, this is a great option. For example, you might use just one of the graphs for my multi-panel C2C grapghans, such as my unicorn to create a granny square graphghan. My Farm Animals Crochet Blanket has six crochet panels, so you could turn one of them into a granny square graphghan.
Filet Crochet Graphs
Have you ever tried to filet crochet? If so, then you know that this type of crochet also uses a graph system. In fact, just like corner-to-corner crochet, you use double crochet to create filet crochet.
However, the technique is a little bit more intricate. Each square on the grid represents a set of four double crochet stitches, worked in order from right to left as normal. If the square is colored in, you crochet all four dc stitches, to create a solid square. If the square is not colored in, then you leave the two center stitches out to create a space or an open square. Filet crochet is all one solid color, so it only works for black-and-white graph images (although of course you can use any yarn color that you want.)
Interested in learning more about this technique? Here’s a filet crochet book to get you started.
Tunisian Crochet Graphghan
Do you know how to Tunisian crochet? This is a unique type of crochet that uses longer-than-normal hooks and a technique that combines crochet with knitting. If you enjoy this niche craft, then you’ll be happy to know that you can use it to create graphghans, too!
Crochet Graphs Aren’t The Same as Crochet Symbol Charts
You might hear people talk about crochet charts. These, however, aren’t the same as crochet graphs. Graphs are the grid-based images you see throughout this post. Crochet charts, on the other hand, use crochet symbols. Each crochet stitch has its own symbol associated with it. Any written crochet pattern can be turned into a symbol chart. This allows you to be able to crochet patterns that are written in other languages. Therefore, it’s definitely powerful to learn how to read crochet symbol charts. Crochet graphs, however, are easier to learn how to read. Basically, you just look at each square to determine the color of your next stitch. Once you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll see how easy it is to crochet graphghans!
Start Crocheting My Corner-To-Corner Crochet Graphghans Today
Browse through my site and you’ll see that I’ve designed so many different crochet graphs for you to use. They’re intended for use in corner-to-corner crochet, although you can adapt them to some of these other techniques as well. A few of the crochet blankets that you might want to start with include:
Do you have a favorite animal, plant, or image? Turn it into a beautiful graphghan today!