So I thought I'd explain a bit on how the graphghan project is done. First, I need to find a picture to use. I've done that and I have actually already graphed it with the PCStitch program, although the correct procedure is to do a swatch in the technique I'll be using so that I know how many stitches per inch my gauge will be. Then I would normally do the graph in whatever size most fits my gauge and final required size.
But I skipped my gauge because I was excited to get started. So technically I graphed two options, and I'll do the gauge and then choose whichever graph fits it best. Or, I'll have to make a new one. You can see why it's better to do a swatch first. Anyway, I was allowed to go to Joann's and buy some bright yellow yarn since I don't have any yellow appropriate for the flash. I had a coupon so I got 3 skeins for $6. Not the best price, but better than the regular price of 3 for $9.I have all of the rest of the colors.
I still need to decide on what color I want the background to be. The graphed background is a light sage color so that the graph is easy to see, but I don't know if I want to keep it that color. I'm planning on doing it in the tunisian stitch, with a border of honeycomb stitches to keep it from curling up. It also looks nice and removes the need to do a border after it's done. Doing a swatch lets me practice the techniques I'm going to use so that I can see what problems rise up, or see how many rows of such-and-such to do.
For example, here is my Gauge swatch:
You can see that the border of honeycomb is off. This is because I tested 4 rows for the bottom, 4 rows for the right side, and 2 rows for the left side and top. I can say now, seeing them both that I personally prefer at least a 4 row border all around. Also, I do like the border being the same color as the background of the graph; but I have seen them done in different colors, and that also looks good. So I'll need to make a decision on that one.
Next on my list is to figure out my gauge from my swatch, and use that to build a graph. I measured only the stitches inside the border. With that, I get 11 sts to 3.5 inches, or 3.14 sts per inch for my width. The small version of the graph I made is 100 x 153 squares. I need to cross multiply, and my equation becomes 100= 3.14x, or x=100/3.14 for my width, which comes out to 31.84 or to round up, 32" wide. For my height I get 12 rows to 4" which comes out to 3 rows per inch. The equation is 153=3x, which comes out to 51" Tall. Now that doesn't mean much until we factor in something for scale.
A twin bed (like the one ben sleeps on) is 39" wide and 75" tall. Now lets say that we take away 1/4 of the height to allow for a pillow and head. That would make the bed where his body lays (and which he would be using a blanket with) about 56". My blanket would cover all but 7" of the width and 5" of the height. Now, with 4 rows of a border I'd get an extra 2.5" all around. For the width, if I do an 11 row border, I'd get an extra 7". For the height, I would need only 8 rows to get my extra 5". Then my final blanket would be about 39" wide and 56" tall. Perfect.
You may think this is boring if you aren't interested in this craft yourself. But I wanted to illustrate the process. By doing my swatch, I found out that in order for my end cap on the left side of the blanket to look nice, I need to make sure I have an extra regular tunisian stitch to keep it uniform. That means that I need have 11 sts of border, then the chart sts, then 11 sts of border, and then the 2 end cap sts to keep it looking nice.
I can estimate the total number of sts with this information. With the border, I will have 124 x 169 (with the two extra cast on and off rows) sts, giving me 20,956 sts total for this blanket. The only thing I haven't been able to estimate (mostly because I haven't needed to) is how much yarn I will need. I have a large stash of worsted weight yarn so I am fine as long as I have the color I need. I guess I could do an estimate by weighing my swatch and calculating it all out, but I'm too lazy.
So there you have it. That's the process for getting started with a graphghan. Knowing your technique, and yarn help a lot too. Also, I need to make sure I have all of the bobbins I need. When I look at my chart, the most times I change color in one row is 13 so I need at least 13 bobbins. I have that more than covered, so I'm good. Well, I believe that is all the info I need to get started. I'm going to go pick out some skeins of yarn, and wind them up into yarn cakes.
Hug some yarn for me!
Update: I have my yarn cakes ready:
I decided to do the background in blue, and you'll notice that my graph colors are off cause my yellow ink is broken. It's full, just not coming out no matter what I do.
And I picked the border colors:
This is just a test picture so I can see them together. Yay!
Project page on Ravelry.