People have been knitting and crocheting yarn into blankets, called afghans, for years, but now “yarners” have taken the art of making afghans one step further. The latest trend is to knit or crochet a blanket size picture called a graphghan.
A graphghan isn’t your typical granny square, zig-zag or frilly afghan. Oh, no. This really kicks it up a notch. The graphghan can display the logo of a favorite sports team, college, high school, branch of the military or company. Of course, you get to choose the colors as well as the pattern, so anything goes.
I’ve seen ghaphghans of cartoon characters (Dora the Explorer and Hello Kitty seem to be very popular), beloved pets, houses and even family photos. The background colors can be chosen to match the decor in your home or, as is often the case with family photos, the graphghan can be done in sepia tones.
There are free graphghan generators online for both knit and crochet. To use them, all you need to do is upload a .jpeg and choose the blanket size. The generator then prints out a pattern for you. (I’ve found the best online search terms to be turn, picture, knit/crochet and chart/graph/pattern. For example, go to Google and type “turn a picture into a knitting chart” or “how to turn a picture into a crochet pattern” in the search box.)
I’m more of a crocheter than a knitter, so I wondered how one would go about crocheting a graphghan. I found out it’s the same stitch for the entire afghan with a lot of color changes and weaving in of ends. It’s sort of like doing a counted cross-stitch pattern, except you’re crocheting. Crocheted graphghan patterns are also sometimes referred to as crochet by numbers.
Knitted or crocheted, a graphghan makes a very special gift that’s likely to be cherished for years (and maybe even generations) to come.