Crochet Graph Cushion – Tutorial

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I’ve long had a fascination with mathematical ‘shapes’ and I had an idea a while ago that I’d love to represent something mathematical in crochet (which I find follows so many of the same mathematical rules).  So, in my head I kept grinning over the idea of a crochet graph, which started to turn into a reality a couple of months ago and eventually this cushion was born. As my week progresses, the need for cake increases and thus the idea was complete.  I LOVE the colours, and I’m so pleased with the finished cushion.  Crochet is just the most versatile medium I love the fact that you can make something that looks so very precise like this cushion or that looks (deceptively) far more random like Jo’s Wiggly cushion here.

Which kind of crochet do you prefer?  If you have any comments or thoughts, do let us know here.

I used an orange palate for this cushion (details of colours used below), but that’s only because it matches the curtains in my living room.  You could easily adjust this concept to any number of graph bars or any colours that suit you.

Lots of lovely colours

Sunset colours

You will need:

  • Drops Muskat – Black (17) – small length for the graph axis
  • Drops Muskat – Light Grey (19) – 200g

then – in order from right to left

  • Drops Muskat – Bordeaux (41) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Rust (21) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Orange (47) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Dark Orange (49) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Warm Yellow (51) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Vanilla Yellow (30) – 50g
  • Drops Muskat – Light Yellow (07) – 50g
  • 4mm hook
  • cushion pad (I used 45cm square cushion as I wanted it to be nice and firm)

The yarn was all purchased from http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/

This pattern is written using UK crochet terms.

Tension: working in rows of double crochet with a 4mm hook 5cm = 12 stitches wide x 12 stitches high – My stitches do tend to be quite tight, so do check your tension before you start. This pattern makes a cushion which is 40cm square.

Making the graph

I made the graph square in double crochet, using the diagram below as a guide for the colour change. Each square of the diagram represents 3DC wide by 3DC high. You really could make the graph bars whatever height you like, but I like the ‘stepping down’ look I’ve created.

Each square represents a 3DC square

Each square represents a 3DC square

The graph panel is going to be 72 stitches wide by 72 rows high. However, in order to make the colour change as easy as possible, we are going to work the whole panel sideways from the right of the chart to the left. That way, we only need to concentrate on one graph bar colour at a time.

To start, work a chain of 73 stitches long in the Light Grey yarn. This will be the right hand edge of the diagram above.

Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook, work 1 double crochet in each chain along.
At the end of the row, work 1 chain and turn.

*1 DC in each of the 72 DC from the previous row, 1ch, turn* work from * to * 5 times so that you have 6 DC rows in Light Grey.

On the next row, we are going to introduce our first graph bar.

DC 5 in the Light Grey, on the 6th DC, yarn over and hook a loop through (see 1. below), then switch to your new graph bar colour (see 2. below), using the new colour to complete the stitch (see 3 below).

You will need to carry along the Light Grey yarn that you’re not using, forming the double crochet stitches over the top of it (see 4. below). This has the advantage of making both the front and the back of the work very neat, and means there are significantly less joins to make. To be sure that the work is an even texture, pull the yarn that you are carrying tight as you go.  (There are more detailed pictures of how to do this colour change on Jo’s Monster Maze Cushion here)

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I’ve left an area of Light Grey at the bottom of my graph, so that the axis lines and labels have some space.  However, I chose not to carry the bar graph colour through the grey, instead leaving it ‘hanging’ on the last stitch and picking it back up again (using the method above) when I got back up to the right stitch. REMEMBER, you need to change the colour on the stitch BEFORE the new colour block starts (see 1. below)!

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Leave the yarn for the block colour at the point that you change to the Light Grey (see 2. below), then carry on in the Light Grey to the end of the row (see 3. below). Chain up and turn your work, making DC’s up to the stitch before you change back to your colour (see 4. below, where you can also see the Orange yarn waiting for you!). Use the block colour to finish the stitch before the block starts, simply picking it up from where it’s waiting (see 5. below). Then just carry on using the Orange yarn and carrying the grey with you as before (see 6. below).

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Carry on using this method to create all of the other graph bars, leaving 3 rows of Light Grey inbetween each one, and six rows to finish off after the last graph bar colour.  Once you are done, crochet a row of DC all the way round the panel to create a frame and neaten it all up. I then carried on creating a frame in DC using two rows of Orange, one row of Light Grey and two rows of Warm Yellow.

To finish the front, you now simply need to add in the axis lines and sew on the labels.

The axis lines are made in Black by making stitches onto the top of your work. Hold the black yarn at the back of your work, and insert your hook and pull through a loop, then move your hook to the next stitch along, insert and pull through another loop, continuing to pull it through the first (effectively creating a line of slip stitches). Work this line to the correct height, then using a tapestry needle, create the arrow at the end and fasten off.

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The labels I’ve used here were from Nicollie, who makes some wonderful hand made leather tags, bracelets (with crochet hooks attached!!) and keyrings and was happy to accommodate my wording requests. Please check our her shop here!

Making the back of the cushion

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So, this is where the fun starts 🙂 The only rule is to work a panel which is 72 DC wide, by 72 rows high.  I really just had fun and changed colours randomly, bearing in mind that I needed to keep enough of the ‘framing’ colours (Ornage, Light Grey, Warm Yellow) to complete the frame on the back to match the front.

Once the back panel is made add the same border as you did the front panel (two rows of DC Orange, one row of Light Grey and two rows of Warm Yellow). Then simply lay the two sides together and slip stitch around the edge, inserting your cushion pad once you have three sides attached.

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Slip Stitch the front to the back

Now sit back, enjoy your lovely work and have a well deserved cup of tea!

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