How To Make a Graph for a Crochet Picture Afghan

How to Make Picture Crochet Graphghans

How To Make A Picture Graph Afghan

Making a picture afghan isn’t that difficult as long as you get the picture and basics under your belt.

The key to getting started is to figure out how to graph your picture to be set into an afghan. There are people who will charge to have your picture converted to a pattern. In fairness to those people who do this, I have promised not to reveal their techniques on the way the pattern is written. This method I am about to show you requires you to follow along with a graph that you make using a very simple & free program online.

Mikey on a Shoreline Rock
Mikey on the shoreline Rock.

Selecting Pictures Tips

  • Choose a picture where there isn’t a lot of colour variations.
  • Pick a picture that doesn’t have a lot of fine details.
  • On the right is a picture of me. I like that I am not in the centre of the photograph. Crop the pictures as you need to fit your own personal needs.
  • The picture cannot be more than 1 Megabyte in size. Prepare to compress your photo size down under 1 meg to work.

Making A Graph

There is a free program that is designed for cross stitching that I have found to be really useful. You just need to understand that 1 Box equals 1 Single Crochet. The free program is called

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  • Select Your Image.
  • Choose the largest available size.
  • Choose the number of threads… This simply means how many yarn colours you plan on using. Typically, graph afghans are done with 5 or so yarns but don’t go any more than 10. Finding specific yarn colours to match the shades will be difficult with the more thread colours that you choose.
  • For the type of graph… choose Both colours and Symbols. This will make it easier for you to follow along.
  • You can choose the colour or grayscale. You don’t have to use gray when choosing the grayscale but it gives you a rough idea.
  • Then click Make Pattern to process it.

Pattern Suggestions

  1. Crochet Double Layered Braided Cowl Pattern
  2. Wayuu Crochet Key Card Holder + Tutorial
  3. Crochet Preemie Hat Pattern
  4. Crochet By Numbers by Todd Paschall
  5. Crochet Graph Afghan Series

Picture Results

This is an example of 10 colours. So I will need to look for 10 colours that are close to what is seen in this picture.

How to Crochet Your Own Picture Afghans
How to Create Your Own Crochet Picture Afghans


This is the grayscale version. I chose only 5 colours.

Grayscale Picture Afghans
Grayscale Picture Afghans. Using only 5 Colours


If you are satisfied with your image… It now types to get your free pattern. Simply click get the pattern.

Make The Pattern

The pattern will be provided in the form of a graph. I requested the graph to have 10 colours and I am doing this in 10 colours. The goal for me is to select the colours I need to match this as close as I can. You have creative license to do whatever you want.

  • A friend of mine suggested putting a label of each of the yarn balls that is very clear that has the DMC Number and CODE SHAPE. You don’t want to accidentally mix up your shades and start to second guess yourself as you go.

You can see by the key code, there will be 4 pages that will make up my pattern. I would tape them together so they are one big pattern. Using your own skills, mark up the graph so it’s easier for you to follow. For me, I might highlight every 10 boxes with a red pen to help me keep an accurate count.

Getting Started

Firstly and foremost, trust your graph. When crocheting you may start to second guess things and deviate from the colours it suggested. If you are going to deviate… do it from the start. You don’t want to get partially done and realize you have a mess on your hands and your project hasn’t worked out.

  • Every square equals 1 single crochet.
  • I would either start at the bottom and work my way up the rows or I would turn the picture sideways and my rows are working the pattern in the vertical fashion.
  • What I would do… look to where the colours stay the same the longest. For example, see the blue horizon, I may just start at the bottom of the picture and go up in rows because I know when I get to the horizon I will have clean solid lines going across instead of having to deal with doing partial blues each time I get to the top of the picture if the picture is being constructed sideways.

The Difference Between a Paid Pattern and This Concept

You will notice that some people do this service for a nominal fee. The results they tend to give you are very different than what I have suggested for you. Technically, I believe they are easier to follow as well.

This type of concept requires you to watch your graph and remember which direction you are crocheting in. Paid patterns usually have it spelled out for you that is hard to get it wrong. Depending on your budget, this may be a worthwhile service for you.

This type of concept puts more control in your hands to try different photos to see what it will look like. I find with the pixelation effect, not everything looks great as a graph. This way, you can double-check to see what it looks like first.

You may even want to use this program to show you the advanced look of what your project will look like. Then have a specialty website do up your pattern for you. Up to you really.

Other Graphing Techniques

I know some people use Excel or spreadsheet programs to overlay the pictures to make up their own graphs… I even know some people get really into it and eye out their own graphs to follow along. I like the simplicity of My Photo Stitch as it allows you to simply make a graph and get on your way within minutes.

Now that you have seen this free program on how to do graphs, you may find other programs free or paid for online that can allow you to size your projects better. Based on 1 Box equals 1 Single Crochet, my project will be about 100 stitches across which is a fair size. This would allow you to make this picture… then do some rounds around it to frame it better and then finally put on a wicked border.

The sky is the limit with creativity. I know I am requested 100’s if not potentially 1000’s of times on how to create a graph to crochet an afghan. I know this website comes up a lot in a conversation between crocheters. Hopefully, you have found my advice helpful.

Crochet Graphghan Pattern Ideas

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  1. Lora

    Nice info! I used excel. I made a small square of single crochet and counted the number of stitches wide and tall (per inch). Turns out that for a 16×16 pillow cover there will be 64 stitches wide by 72 tall. Im a beginner and changing colors is still not fun, but so far it’s looking good.

  2. Tina Carp

    I love your designs and patterns are wonderful! I also enjoy reading emails. However, this is the 60th email I received from Crochet Crowd this morning. All different, pouring in within seconds of each other. I don’t appreciate having my inbox flooded with these, so I’ve removed myself from your mailing list.

    • Mikey

      Tina… I have no idea how we got your email address. I’m glad you removed yourself. I have to investigate how you were able to be a logged in user. You’ve given me some homework.

      We had to replace a lot of articles, so when I put them back, it caused that.

      I wouldn’t appreciate it either and I appreciate your blunt feedback.


  3. Juanita Romero

    I want his name added to this EMILIO

    • Follow the steps on the blog to create what you are looking for.

  4. where can I get a professional crochet graph from a picture. I cannot make a decent one myself.

    • I have found a few free programs online doing a google search for making my cross stitch photos, they would work for a graphgan.



  5. JoAnne

    hello everyone. I am new to this site but i have been crocheting for over 20 years. This is the first time I will be doing my own graph and the question I have is the picture is pixilated is that they way it will turn out when i start crocheting. I have done graphs before but they were already a pattern.

    Thank you

  6. Cheryl Highland

    I am left handed and finally learned to crochet in my 40’s. I am now 61 and have just discovered your videos. Love them and am thankful for such easy to understand stitches. I am wanting so bad to learn the filet crochet of names and have no idea how to do it. I have not found any instructions for lefties. Do you have any videos on this?
    Thank you

    • Mikey

      I don’t have any left handed videos. If I do a video flip like usual, the words will appear backwards. It’s the same principle of doing the graph.

  7. Diana Garren

    I have a chihuahua head on a graph…it was made for cross stitch….I want to crochet it in a graphgan. I know to put one sc for each square across but I cannot figure out where to put the stitches coming back across after I turn my work.

  8. Nancy Burns

    I’m so frustrated. I’ve been trying to make a couple graphs of pictures and it only comes out blurry. Even when I cut the picture down to just a face. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. Can you please help me. Or should I pay for the graphs. If I pay for a graph will it turn out blurry too? Help please

  9. KES

    What I’m trying to understand is how a single crochet can be used. The “pixel” or square in the photo is a perfect square, but an SC is a rectangle. The photo would come out distorted.

  10. Cathy Matrisotto

    I went to the website you suggested and all I find is domain name for sale.

  11. Vicky Thornburgh

    I made my graph using using the largest setting. About how big of an afgan will it turn out to be?

    • Amanda Fudge

      Could you use this program for a C2C as well? How big do you think that would that come out to be? I also used the largest amount of stitches the program has. Would it fit a queen size bed you think? Thanks for all your help. Love your videos.

  12. katie

    Hey friends,
    Does anyone have a suggestion for matching yarn colors to the DMC colors listed on the graphs? Do you just eyeball it? Or might there be lists of corresponding colors that I just can’t find? Thanks for the resource!

  13. Janna Stacey

    Thank you for this I have been wanting to do a picture graph afghan. One thing have found that can help keep colors straight is different colored highlighter pens. They come in several colors.

    • Joy

      Hello. I just wanted to let you know I’ve watched your videos on YouTube and have come across this link twice in the past year. You have a gift of crocheting AND being able to explain it. Thank you! Keep it up!


  15. I’m struggling with the My Photo Stitch site. I have a graphic image that I’ve edited to have only 4 colors…black, white, gray, and red. I can’t get this program to read the red. When I select a max of 4 colors, it adds a second gray. If I select 5 colors, it adds a light blue. I am really getting frustrated! Any tips??

  16. Anika

    I loved this article. I printed out my graphic design and ready to go stitch. Thanks again. You are awesome.

  17. Arlene

    What other programs can be used ? Not happy with how they come out of printer.

  18. Anita

    Do I tie off for every color change? I like doing afghans but usually do ones with stuff you sew on and I don’t know anyone who’s done graph afghans only follow pattern! So how dose it work?

    • Kim

      There are really great YouTube videos on color changing when crocheting.

  19. Annetta

    Out to lunch. I still didn’t find out how to convert a photo to a crochet pattern. This link just send me in circles.

  20. Well I know where everyone is right now as the site is giving an error saying it is over quota and try again later. I will definitely look into this as it is just what I needed to make a special afghan for my nephew. Thank you Mikey!

  21. Kim

    My brother in law graphed a photo of his daughter by hand when she was little. Of course, he also cross stitched a six foot picture of the Copenhagen skyline! LOL! More talent in his little finger. . .

  22. Lauri Kennedy

    Awesome. Thank you 🙂

  23. Lauri Kennedy

    Hello Mikey,
    I’m Lauri, I just found a site called stitchboard. It gives written pattern as well as the graph. Is there a difference between the sites?

  24. Sheila LeMasters

    I can’t wait to make one of my own. I wanted to PIN this but when I try it says that the page has been “moved”. I don’t want to lose this.

  25. Holly Hawkes

    There is another free website for turning pictures into graphs for crochet… I’ve used it to make some graphs and it’s fairly easy. 🙂

  26. Deanna Hill

    Thank you so much! Been wanting to do one for my son. It is a licensed image so i can’t buy it legally! Glad i can do it here and make it for him. he will be delighted! The fact that it’s for personal use not for sale makes it good for me! YAY

  27. Red

    Though I have been crocheting for awhile I have never learned to change colors without cutting and tying off. I want to do a graph but don’t know how to keep colors running.

  28. Susan

    Loved this article! So much good info! Thank you.

  29. Sharon-7

    My photo stitch. If you go there This message is all I get

    Over Quota

    This application is temporarily over its serving quota. Please try again later.

  30. whyvee

    This is fab! I would love to do one for my husband of his guitar. Could it be done all double crochet instead of single? Either way gonna give it a try. Thanks Mikey!

    • You can double crochet but it looks better in single or half double crochet. It also looks good using Tunisian crochet.

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