Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meet Sarah Chapman a Graphghan Expert and learn about tapestry crochet

In my social media feeds I have noticed an increase in beautiful crochet blankets that are all sc and changes colors to make a picture! I have seen Disney characters, video games themes, symbols for everything from music, sports teams, to logos! I thought it would be fun to interview another woman in this industry whom is super sweet, successful and extremely talented in this area as well as other crochet types! 
Here are some interesting facts about tapestry crochet (most tapestry crochet patterns use a graph, to make checkered, hearts and more intricate patterns, I have also seen it called color work, intarsia and knitting refers to it as fair isle ) * note that while they all use graphs some have different ways of changing colors or use sl and hdc in addition to all sc like graphghans do! 
Did you know that Mayan men and women in Guatemala use crochet tapestry bags with cultural themes? 
While trying to find more info on how graphs first started to be used I found this WEBSITE which gives lots of info and lots of amazing photos!
Look at all those BOBBINS!!!!! Sarah says that is really important for when you crochet graphghans! 
Learn more and see some awesome patterns Sarah Chapman makes and sells on her website

What age were you when you started crocheting? I was about 9 or 10 when my mom taught me to double crochet and make a blanket. I started again about 8 years ago. 

What is your favorite hook size ( brand)? My go to size and brand is an I hook and Tulip brand.
Do you make blankets for gifts or to sell or both? I've done both. Both my kids have a few blankets and I've sold a few. 

What is your favorite brand to use when making graphgans? I usually use Red Heart Super Savor due to the wide color selection.
Here is Sara's first graphghan she made for her husband

What got you started and why do you love it so much? I saw some awesome blankets someone did and decided I was going to make my husband one for Christmas. I got a hold of a pattern and with trial and error and a lot of frogging I finally got it finished  

On average how long does it take you to make a chart? A chart can take me 5 min, or 5 hours. It really depends on the design and how complicated it is.
Do you have a good fail story about learning to chart or trying to learn to read them? My first one I made I ripped out probably a million times. Carrying the yarn up the blanket just wasn't making sense to me. Then it just "clicked" and I was able to finish it pretty quickly working on it while he was at work during the day

This is a blanket she made for her daughter! 

** I will say from personal experience.... Start out small The first one I tried was over 500 by 500 and it didn't go well for me! might have gone better had I used bobbins and printed out the pattern! **

Do you have have any tips to share? Make sure you print your chart and have a highlighter to mark off your rows so you don't get lost. I can't suggest enough about bobbins. They are your lifesavor and will help you soo much.
I love the level of detail in this one she made for her daughter! Hmmm If only Sarah and I were not close in age I would want her to adopt me so I could have an awesome blanket like this! 

You can find 2 video tutorila on Sarah's youtube  
She also has a very friendly facebook group full of crocheters of all skill levels that love to help each other!

And one last question... Is there a difference between you and the Crochet by numbers craze? Oh.. and the diff between CBN and me, is Mine are reversible if done correctly. You don't cut and tie at each color change, you carry the yarn up the blanket. You can't do a picture of a real person with my method though. That is something that really only works well in CBN.

Below are a few links to patterns I made by using colored pencils and graph paper (no where near as advanced and detailed as Sarah's, she is such a talented artist!) however I wrote out the color changes instead of posting the graph because at the time I have no clue how to make a graph on the computer!

Crochet Chiq: Batman Tapestry crochet- written out pattern inste...: This is a written out version to make the batman logo in a square! This is perfect for crocheter that are thinking about filet crochet but d...

Crochet Chiq: Cross Tapestry Crochet square: It's Holy week so I thought I would come up with a simple cross that is a great introduction to tapestry crochet. The color changes are ...

What do you think of graph work? Comment below!

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