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Learn the secrets of how to make a Graphgan or Portrait from an existing photograph with this tutorial.
I made a crochet portrait of my late boss (Daniel Salomon, M.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA) to give to his wife who absolutely loved it which made me very happy. When posting a finished picture of it on social media, I was asked how I made it. Well, this post will hopefully answer all the questions on how I made the crochet portrait.
First of all, there is no real pattern on how to make a crochet portrait. It is a graph that was designed using THIS LINK, by uploading a picture that I wanted to make into a graphgan.
Though I did not try the WinStitch/ MacStitch program I was told it lets you upload a picture and turn it into a written pattern. In case you are interested in that HERE is the link. No guarantees that it works as I never tried it. But hopefully will soon though.
I had a picture of my late boss, but changed the colors of the picture from colorful to black/white/grey using powerpoint (yes, you do not need any fancy tools to turn a great looking picture into graphgan).
Once I uploaded the picture to the link mentioned above (microrevolt), I clicked on the “big” size as well as the “crochet” stitch size. I printed it out and used it as a template to get my yarn to use for the project.
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Since I did not know how much I would use (as that is hard to determine considering everyone has a different image, tension and different color amount), I bought 4 skeins (1 white, 1 black, and 2 different grey tones) of Caron One Pound. I have plenty of it still left over, but I used more white and black, as you can tell from the picture.
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I used all single crochet for the crochet portrait, meaning one single crochet equals one tile on the graph. You can also use the Waistcoat Stitch instead of single crochet as that probably looks neater in the end. HERE is a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch.
Also, I created recently a tutorial on how to change colors using the bobbin method! Check it out HERE! It sure will help you keep your colors organized!
I went back and forth in rows, meaning I turned my work and did not crochet only in one direction. Using a 5.0mm hook and the “big” size graph my crochet portrait turned out to be a 24×30 inch picture, perfect for a frame that size.
By the way, the frame I bought had plexiglass, because crochet creations usually are not the thinness of a paper, so it would have never fit into a frame with glass.
However, some people also make it into a blanket by sewing a fabric to the back of the portrait to hide all the ends (saves on time not having to weave it in) which is the reason I used a frame for the finished display.
After finishing the crochet portrait, I went all the way around it to make an edge using 1 double crochet per stitch (3 dc in the corner stitches) before weaving in or tying off some of the ends not to be shown in the front.
To better explain how you can make a graphgan, I created a video using a small image of a heart to show how to change colors and create a good (right) side and a bad (wrong) side. The wrong side has all the yarn accumulations where as the right side shows the actual image that is created.
I hope this post as well as the video below helps you to make a beautiful graphgan on your own. It really is not that hard. I think patience is the only thing I recommend you to have, as it is not a project that is finished overnight. I took about 2 weeks, sometimes working on it all day.
Also here are some progress pictures and pictures of the finished project. As you can tell on the pictures, I used a green pen to mark off when I finished a stitch or to count stitches. I usually marked every 10 stitches which made it easier to count when one colors was a long row.
Please see the picture below on how I clipped my yarn balls onto a board to keep them from tangling. It also helps and makes turning your work so much easier.
Here is also the Video tutorial on how to make a crochet graphgan/crochet portrait on a small example (UPDATED VERSION):
Here is also the Video tutorial on how to make a crochet graphgan/crochet portrait on a small example (ORIGINAL VERSION):
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