What does Craftster mean to me? It's a place of inspiration, to learn & share techniques and ideas. Plus, it's a place to share the cool things we make with other people who appreciate and understand the time & effort involved in making these pieces.
For this challenge, I tried out a new technique I'd been wanting to try for a long time - a crocheted portrait. I'd seen a few done and they always look so cool, but super complicated. The only actual patterns I'd found were either of things I didn't want to make, or cost money to get. I wanted a free pattern and to use my own picture!
My picture to completed crocheted portrait!
So I did a little internet research, and came across this really neat site from which you can create your own patterns for free - Stitchboard.com. It's free to use, all you have to do is create an account. From there, you can upload your own picture to create the type of pattern you want. You can choose the type (crochet, cross stitch, etc), colors, number of colors, number of stitches, etc. You definitely need to play with the settings a few times to get what you're looking for.
For my crocheted portrait, I started out with this picture of my dog Freddie. I found with my random picture testing on the website that a really close up picture works the best.
I used the following pattern creator settings:
3 colors - in shades of gray/black/white
This is how the pattern turns out. I had it emailed to me as a pdf, which ends up being multiple pages. So I printed a copy and cut and pasted all the parts together into one big color coded chart. You can see where I've marked my progress and modified some of the color choices.
I pulled out black, gray, and white yarn from my stash and set to work using a H hook. I worked the pattern starting from the bottom left hand corner of the pattern. I used single crochet (sc) stitches, turning at the end of each row, working each row left to right, turn, right to left, turn, left to right, turn, etc. I carried each unused yarn through my stitches as I worked, so there weren't any hanging tails that needed woven in or new color to be added. Doing so definitely used a lot more yarn, but I wasn't concerned given the size of the piece I was making.
For a long time during the "creating" of this piece, it looked like nothing - just a swatch of colors in random places. It wasn't until about halfway through the pattern that I was able to see the picture I was creating. Overall, I was really pleased with the way it turned out, and it ended up much bigger than I had anticipated.
Here's my finished product!
Side by side with the original picture and pattern:
For now, I actually have this hanging on an empty wall - I hung it to try to get a decent picture. I'd like to make a few more of these portraits and piece them all into a big afghan - maybe a family portrait blanket!
Another technique I considered trying is the Tunisian crochet style. I decided against it due to the way the back would have looked - really messy. But you could use this method and then just add a backing to hide the messy yarn ends. Plus, I think this would give the pattern a slightly more uniform look. Maybe next time!
Thanks for looking!!