Saturday, March 17, 2018

T.A.R.D.I.S graph-free pattern

We've recently become fans of Doctor Who. Well, a couple seasons or so into its reboot. It is so popular that our son started asking us about it, after seeing tee shirts and hearing things at school and we had no information to give him.  So we started watching and we love it!

Before that happened, I was asked to make a T.A.R.D.I.S. afghan.  I had no clue what that meant so I did some research and found out that it's a time machine-how cool is that!? "Time And Relative Dimensions In Space"=T.A.R.D.I.S. And... it is bigger on the inside!

We have since gone back to the original series from the 50s and watched every episode from the very first.  We are extremely excited to find out if we like the new doctor (13th) and disappointed that we have to wait to find out! We did see the Christmas episode that introduced her, but she was on for about 10 seconds and said maybe 2 words.

For your Doctor Who fan, you can crochet this full-sized bedspread with overhang with 2 dc per graph square and an H hook, or if you would like a twin size, leave 15 rows off each side.  To get a throw size, use a J hook and 1 sc per graph square while decreasing the rows by 15 on each side and increasing by 15 on top and bottom.  Leave me your comments below or email me at for the pdf of this graph with "Tardis" in the subject line.

Friday, March 16, 2018

How to crochet a graphghan-with FAQs

I post a lot of graphs on this blog, some free, some paid, and the questions I get asked most is how to actually create the afghan from the graph.  I try to post general instructions on each graph because there are several ways to crochet from a graph.  There's the newer C2C (corner to corner) method (no, I do not have any c2c patterns, sorry, but if you try to use this black bear for a c2c let me know how it works out and I'll try to make some! It may make a decent lapghan), you could sc each graph square, or my favorite, 2 dc per graph square.  That seems to be the confusing one.  Most graphs aren't worked that way.

Take this black bear graph above as an example. I made this graph to make my brother a pillow for Christmas a couple years ago (see photo below), so the graph is small and perfect for a practice project. (larger graph below) By the way, he loved it.  He even asked for a second one to match so he could have one on each end of his couch!

tunisian crochet pillow
Even though this pillow is in the tunisian simple stitch and that post about tunisian crochet was a couple days ago, I'm showing you this picture because it's what I made from this graph (thanks for the photo, big brother! I should have taken one before I gave it to you!).

*(the pillow seen here was made with 1 tss (tunisian simple stitch) per graph square with a size J afghan hook-the kind with the stopper at the end (see "that post" linked above).

The first thing you do is to count the number of squares along the side where you'll begin.  Some people like to work from top down, some from bottom up, and sometimes I tell you to work it from the side to avoid color changes all happening in the same rows.  On this graph, no matter which way you do it, there are 50 squares.  Double that 50 to make 100 and add one more for turning.  If you don't add that one to your total starting chain, when you dc in the third chain from the hook to start the row, you'll end up a stitch short. So we chain 101 with our tan and then dc in the third chain from the hook. Dc in each chain to the end.

FAQ: Do I put 2 dc in each chain?
Only 1 dc in each chain, a lot of people email me saying they put 2 dc in each chain stitch and it doesn't look right.  You don't need to do that.  That's why you double the chain count.  If you put 2 dc in each chain, it will ruffle and try to corkscrew. 

Now you've done the first row of dc.  That means you've also done the first row of graph squares.

FAQ: Do I double the rows as well?
 No.  This will make the afghan twice as long as you want it to be and skew the design to be tall and skinny.

From the bottom (where I like to start) there are 3 rows of tan before any color changes.  Go ahead and work three rows, 1 dc in each dc, counting the beginning chain 3 as a stitch (off topic a bit, but I prefer to chain 2 at the beginning of a row.  3 chain stitches makes my ends loose and baggy-yuck).  Now you come to a color change row.  When I get to a color change row, I start from the right and count to the left.  This makes sense to me because as I look at the work I've crocheted so far, my hook is on the right and I'll be crocheting to the left.  Left handers will probably read the graph the other way unless otherwise told.  That's fine. So there are 20 graph squares of tan before changing to black.   That means 40 dc stitches. So I will chain 2 (or 3 if you prefer)and dc 39 more because the chain stitch counts as one. The next one counts as the rest of the first graph square on that row. Then there are 11 black squares.  So you'll crochet 22 black stitches. And 19 more tan squares makes 38 tan dc to finish off the row.

*updated to add: the next row will be read right to left. this is a symmetric design, but in order to get an even 50 graph squares, I had to have one more tan on one side than on the other. The second row I would make 34 dc in tan, then 30 black, and end with 36 tan. Then back to reading from right to left on the next row.

Tip: Leave the tan behind instead of crocheting over it (tapestry crochet) with the black.  Start a second strand on the other side of the bear. This means you won't see the tan through the black and you will keep a crisp picture.

Recap: 1. Count the number of graph squares and double it.
2. put only 1 dc in each chain, starting in the third chain from the hook.
3. Count out 2 dc stitches (counting the beginning chain three as a stitch) for each graph square, changing colors as the graph changes.

That's it!  Can you crochet this black bear graph from these instructions?  It's just a sample so it's no matter if it doesn't work out for you, it will give you a place to start.  Let me know if you have any questions, either in the comments below, or contact me at  Post a picture and let us see how you did!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Colorado Avalanche

I was asked to make a rug for my cousin a few years ago with the Avalanche logo on it.  I didn't have my software accessible at that time so i had y husband draw it on a piece of graph paper and blocked it out from there.  It was a small rug, about 2 or 3 feet wide.  I don't have any idea where that graph went, but when I got my PCStitch software accessible again I made a graph for a throw.  It's larger than my usual, taking a J hook and 1 sc per graph square to make a large throw (appx 5.5 ft x 6 ft).  If you want smaller, try using a smaller hook.  If you want it to fit a full sized (double) bed, use an H hook and 2 dc per graph square.  If you make this I'd love to see how it came out!  For the pdf of this graph, please email me at wih "Colorado Avalanche" in the subject line. If you have any questions, please put them in the body of your email or in the comments below.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day-a nerdy crochet round-up

I know not everyone is a math  nerd like me, and not everyone loves crochet, and even fewer still who fit both categories.  But for us (and those math nerds we crocheters love) there is a surprising amount of Pi (3.14 in the math world-the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter) projects.

Before I get to those, may I just say RIP Stephen Hawking. For a world-renowned physicist to die on Pi day has a kind of poetic irony to me.  Oh, and in case you didn't know, it is also Albert Einstein's birthday.  (Where's the crochet, Kendra? Here it comes:)

  • I think my favorite by far is this pi digits blanket found here, but unfortunately I could not find a pattern for it.  Look closely at the stitch she used-how cool is that!?

  • A free pattern for the pi symbol is found at Alicia Kachmar's blog, Create! Look at the little guys face!  He looks so happy just to be Pi!

  • I was excited to see this crochet c2c pi pillow at! So many things to love about it. It's C2C, it's the 𝜋 symbol on one side, and the numeric abbreviation on the other side. The pattern isn't written on the website, though, it's a downloadable pdf.

  • I am glad that someone out there has a sense of humor like mine.  Rebecca Breed Pepper's blog has a whimsical little pun of a "pie" crochet pattern here.

What are your favorite pi crochet patterns?  Leave a link in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tunisian crochet-an overview

One stitch that I feel doesn't get enough attention is the tunisian stitch (also called the afghan stitch).  If you're unfamiliar with tunisian crochet, there is a great site for beginners here that covers the basics really well.

tunisian crochet hook with cable and stopper
In tunisian crochet, you work with a long crochet hook (the one I use has a cable attached to the end, with a stopper at the end of that) and load all your stitches on (like with knitting) and then work them off.  Sometimes when we crochet it can be confusing about which side of our work is the front and which is the back (sometimes it doesn't matter!), but with tunisian crochet, the front is always facing you.  You don't turn your work to go back across.  You can always tell which was is the right way!

There are different ways to create designs using tunisian crochet.  One is with different stitches. There are really only a few different tunisian stitches to learn.  See the link above for the different stitches used in tunisian crochet.   I recommend once you learn the basics, to check out and look through her tunisian crochet section.  She also has hundreds of free patterns to look through-not just tunisian (and they're all very good!).  She's one of my favorite designers.

afghan with cross stitched design
I made a graph for someone a short time ago and she sent me a photo of her finished afghan.  She used tunisian crochet to make the entire blanket in a solid color and then cross stitched the design on it in the yarn colors on the graph (thanks for the finished photo, Charlene, I love it!). This is a fun and simple way to incorporate color work into your projects without the hassle of changing colors during the crochet process.  Less chance of a tangled up mess occurring, too!   The graph for this Texas afghan, by the way, is available for sale from me.  Email me for details.  (It doesn't have to be made with this crochet stitch.😉)

Super Mario Brothers blanket
If you're comfortable with the tunisian simple stitch (usually the first stitch you learn) and ready to  move on to color changes, what fun you can have!  I graphed out a bunch of Super Mario Brothers characters for my son for an afghan for Christmas.   Unfortunately, he doesn't like "blankets with holes" as he calls afghans, so I used tunisian crochet to create this blanket for him.  Each character is in its own block, and then sewn to the block next to it. It forms a solid, squishy fabric without gaps between the stitches so I figured it would be perfect for him.  What I didn't think about was the back of the design.  With tunisian crochet, you don't cover the unused color with your working yarn like with tapestry crochet.  It hangs behind the work and gets picked up again later in the row when you need to switch back to that color.  This leaves a strand looped behind the work.   2 problems: 1. it looks ugly and 2. it catches your toes every time you move.  Solution?  I took an old sheet we didn't use anymore and sewed it to the back. Then I covered up the edges with quilt binding.

*designs do look a bit tall and thin when worked in tunisian simple stitch.  The stitch is taller than it is wide so it doesn't make a nice square like the graph square shows. I had to adjust some of my graphs to accommodate the nature of the stitch.

close up of design on block
A couple tips for the first time you use color work in your tunisian projects: 1. twist your yarns together once before changing colors. Otherwise, there WILL be a gap where the colors change. 2. give the unused yarn a little tug to firm up the stitches or it will be loose and baggy.  Not to tight though or it will warp the fabric a bit (look at the right side of the game controller in the close up picture.  See how it dips in? My fault.  Pulled too tight.  Don't do that.
 Have fun with your crochet!  Learning new stitches and trying new methods is a great way to improve yourself and your crochet as well as keeping it interesting.  I love learning new ways to crochet.  What is a stitch you've been wanting to try?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Free Koala graph

Koalas are just about my favorite animal. You'll probably  notice me saying that about a lot of animals!  But koalas are special.  They're marsupial, so they have pouches like kangaroos, they are adorable and ferocious at the same time (like me! 😉),  and they carry their growing babies like a backpack! They sleep up to 20 hours a day to conserve energy from their low-nutrition diet of eucalyptus leaves, which are tough and fibrous and often toxic to other animals.

Did I mention they're adorable?  This one sure is!  Clinging to a tree with a sweet look on her face, just begging to cover you with warmth and snuggles.  Best of all, she's free (for now).

Should I name her?  What do you think?  Give me your suggestions in the comments below, along with your thoughts on the pattern.  Feel free to share with the buttons below.

If you want her for yourself, email me at with "koala" in the subject line.   If you'd like me to make it for you, I can do that too.  Email me for pricing.  If you make it yourself send me a photo!  Share it to instagram and tag #kendrascrochetedcreations in it!

Use an H hook and 2 dc per graph square for this throw sized blanket.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Whitetails Unlimited

Here in the mid west, we take hunting very seriously.  There are businesses and schools that even close for the first day of deer season! They figure since so many of their employees and school children will be out in the woods, they may as well not conduct business or classes. We teach our children to hold and shoot guns safely (and to never even aim it unless you intend to use it-NEVER at another human being!),  we believe that keeping the population of the deer down through humane hunting practices (go for the shot that kills, not injures or maims) will help those remaining to have a better life in regards to food supplies and overcrowding, and we believe that venison burgers, venison sausage, and venison steaks are a great way to feed our families!.  Whitetails Unlimited is an non-profit organization that promotes conservation. They raise funds to support educational programs, habitat conservation (including habitat enhancement and acquisition), research, wildlife agency assistance, and cooperative projects with conservation organizations.  

Because there is text on this graph, I'd suggest working it from the short side to avoid all the color changes in the lettering happening at the same time.  If you like the deer only, simply omit the text!  If you'd prefer a smaller throw (as is, working this graph with an H hook and 2 dc per graph square will give you an approximately twin sized afghan), then use a J hook and 1 sc per graph square, increasing the top and bottom by 5 rows and each side by 15.

If you'd like the pdf of Whitetails Unlimited for your favorite hunter (yourself included!) please email me at with "Whitetails Unlimited" in the subject line.  Any questions should be in the body of the email.  If you'd like me to make it for you, please contact me for pricing.