From Image to Crochet Chart

March 01, 2017

From Image to Crochet ChartHave you ever wanted to put your own photo or image on a pillow or an afghan? You could also make a corner to corner (c2c) blanket or use the same technique for a filét chart or a sweater.

From Image to Crochet Chart

What you need is:
  • an image
  • a crocheted stitch sample
  • a computer
  • time

You could use a cross stitch program. There are plenty of those out there. But most of them don't handle gauge, so they only work for you, if you have completely square stitches. (E.g. 16 stitches and 16 rows, making a complete square.)

The better programs should ask for your gauge. Because this gives you an endless row of possibilities as YOU choose, what stitches you want to use for your crocheted image. This way you could actually incorporate an image into an existing sweater pattern, if you wanted to.

This is where your crocheted stitch swatch comes in. Check my post about gauge.

The best FREE program, I'm familiar with, is Stitch Fiddle. It is pretty simple to use, but still gives you good tools to enhance your output.

And I'm not - in any way - paid to say so, I just love that tool


Below is how you work with Stitch Fiddle. Most of the programs have similar options though.
  • choose CrochetCrochet with colors > Upload picture
  • upload your desired image or photo.
  • set your gauge first - check it on your crocheted sample.
  • then choose the amount of columns and rows you want to end up with (Size).
  • now you can adjust the amount of colors until the image looks good to you.
If your image is very simple, you are probably done by now. Otherwise, you can edit the chart.

Edit the Chart

StitchFiddle Edit Chart
With the chart open, you can change the color of any of the stitches as you want and add symbols to your chart. You can also replace a color with something else. Click on the 'more' bottom below the color palette and edit the colors in the palette one by one (click on the wrench symbol). This is useful, if you want to reduce some details - like a gradient background - so you have less colors you need to work with.

If you think it is fun, then explore other functionality here. You might find something useful.

About Images

Choose something easy to begin with. The better image you have to begin with, the better result you will get. In this case, 'better' means 'simple', with few colors and few details. When you get more advanced, you will need to know, how you prepare a huge and detailed image, before you turn it into a chart.
Stitch Fiddle supports a max of 250 columns and 250 rows. If you need something larger, you can split your image into more files before uploading it to Stitch Fiddle.

A Note About Copyright
Please remember: When you take a photo or make a drawing, you own all rights to that image. If you put it online, other people are only allowed to use the image in private, unless you specifically tell them otherwise. If they want to use it for a product they sell, they have to ask you first.
The same rules apply, if you want to use other people's images.

Stitch Fiddle, Shared Charts and Other Options

The base version of Stitch Fiddle is FREE and I have never gotten any spam from there, so don't hesitate to make an account. You can have 15 private charts in a free account. And all the shared charts you want. Get inspired, go see all the shared charts they have today. Some are funny and some are very beautiful.

There are also paid services and Facebook groups that can help you make graphgans. Before you buy anything, then remember to ask, if the gauge is handled as some might only do 1:1 squares.

Search for graphgans (or graphghans) on the internet or in Facebook.

StitchFiddle Shared Charts

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  1. I love stitch fiddle as well. They have also a forum on Ravelry, where you can find charts as well. I use the programma to make my charts for tunisian crochet as far as it is possible right

    Marjolein Kooiman

    1. Thank you for sharing this info with the Ravelry forum Marjolein!

      Btw: Sry for the delayed answer. Somehow the comments didn't work well and I just found out.

  2. What is the best / easiest / your favourite stich to use when converting a picture to pattern for a twin size blanket? Horizontal vs c2c?

    1. Hi, I would try a couple of things with a swatch too see what worked best for the yarn. I like horisontal work and I would first try: A) the Tunisian Simple Stitch. B) Regular crochet, Moss Stitch Pattern, and C) Regular crochet waistcoat stitches - using an extra large hook.
      Because these 3 stitches are fast to work with (with the right hook) and they give you a great soft structure.


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