I promised more pictures and information about my Game of Thrones blanket, so here it is! I’ve included pattern charts for the first 3 houses (Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon). I’m working on cleaning up the other 6 and making them into proper readable charts, so stay tuned.
**Update** You can find the entire blanket pattern on my Patterns page. Below is the story and first couple of patterns from my original post, and the rest can be found at the above link. Thanks!**
First, the story of the blanket
I still hold that this blanket happened by accident, and also I blame Sam. One sunny weekend in May 2013, my local nerd Meetup Group/nerd family had a ‘Nerds in Public’ crafting event at Queen Elizabeth Park. I had just fallen hard in love with Game of Thrones, and I wanted to make something GoT related. I didn’t feel like making dolls (yet), though, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted. So on the way to the event, I mused to myself on the bus and offhandedly thought “wow a blanket with a bunch of house sigils would be cool! Haha yeah right”. I got to the event and told my friend (and our organizer) Sam my idea while we waited for the others. She was, of course, supposed to say “that’s insane what’s wrong with you?”
Instead she said “oh my god you HAVE to make that!”
On the way home on the bus I found myself considering, which houses would I use? And in what order? Two houses with black backgrounds couldn’t be next to each other, but neither could red (Martell) and green (Tyrell) because they would look too Christmasy next to each other. And then I had to consider which houses thematically should be next to each other? Stark should be on the top with Lannister next to it, and I decided Targaryan should be in the middle, but beyond that… There was so much to think about! Especially for a blanket I absolutely, definitely, was not making.
But I decided I might as well pick up some more black yarn, and some off white as well, just in case I wanted to try out a Stark panel. See how it would look. And then of course I had to make the pattern – cue a few hours of trying to figure out how to turn a picture into a crochet graph.
My first attempt was too small. Way too small.
|My original attempt (far too small!) on the left, the final version on the right.|
Not only that, but with so few squares per graph there was no way that the Targaryan sigil was going to be detailed enough to look good. So back to the drawing board, where I more than doubled the size of the graph and decided to add the words. Just to, you know, make things more complicated for myself.
One year later I had a blanket.
It’s super heavy (because I lined the back with fleece to hide all my colour changes), far warmer than I need in my apartment, and both too small for my bed and too big for my couch. And I don’t care because I love it, and it’s probably the one project I’m the most proud of.
For FanExpo this year, I was determined to find a way to display it behind our booth. But it’s so heavy and unwieldy, I had given up any hope. Then my friend Anna came up with an idea for a simple wooden structure, and my friend Peter made it for me for $30 in materials and a few hours of his time. So THANK YOU again to both of you, it turned out amazing!And thank you Sam for encouraging me to make it from the start… even though I still blame you. 🙂
|My nifty blanket display stand for FanExpo|
All right, pattern time. I’ve been transcribing the messy charts I made in a drawing program into clean, easy to read charts in Excel. For now I have 3 ready to post – Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon. I’ll post more as I finish them.
All details below are based on US crochet terms.I made these to crochet, but I imagine they would work fine for knitting as well, or cross stitch for that matter. So if you decide to use one of my charts to knit a panel, I’d love to hear about it and see pictures! 🙂
- Red Heart Super Saver yarn (or something similar)
- Stark – black and off white/cream
- Lannister –red and gold (for the gold I used another brand; as long as it’s the same weight then it should be fine)
- Baratheon – yellow and black
- Size H / 5.00 crochet hook
- Darning needle
The panels are 65 x 90 pixels (one pixel = single crochet) and each one measures roughly 22” x 18” before the border is added (around 23” x 19” after the border).
Gauge doesn’t matter, just try to keep it consistent throughout. For some reason my panels ended up varying in size quite a bit – some were much bigger than others! I’m still honestly not sure why that happened, but I do tend to have trouble keeping consistent tension so that’s probably it. Blocking the panels helped a bit, but it was still a challenge to sew some of them together when they were different sizes.
How to Read the Chart
Each chart is working from right to left and bottom to top, not counting the chain. Start by chaining 66 of the first row’s colour, then the first stitch of the first row is the first pixel in the bottom right corner of the chart. One pixel corresponds to one single crochet. For the odd rows you’ll be working from the front, and for the even rows you’ll flip it and be working from the back.
I subdivided each chart into 5×5 boxes since it helps me count my stitches. I like to make a little mark beside each row so I know which direction I’m going, and I cross off/scribble out each row in sharpie as I finish them. Like this:
|(this chart is the Hawkeye panel for an Avengers blanket that I’m definitely not making right now… more on it in later posts as I continue to not make it!)|
There are various techniques for changing colours, so it really just depends on your preference and whether or not you care about what the back looks like. I decided to line mine in fleece so the back could look as terrible as I wanted. I personally carried each colour behind as I worked, so I ended up with a ton of loops at the back of each panel. Sometimes I would also cut a colour and pick it up later, depending on how far it would be until I needed it again. I hate weaving in ends, though!
If you don’t want to line the blanket, you can either crochet over the colour you’re not using (though it tends to bleed through, I find) or cut the yarn each time you change colours. There are a LOT of colour changes, though, so this may drive you insane! You could also do a combination of the two, crocheting over the unused colour when you have a lot of quick colour changes, and then cutting the yarn when you have larger gaps between colours.I also found that because of the nature of crochet stitches, there tends to be gaps sometimes between colour changes, which can be an issue in particular with the words (it’ll make parts of the letters look like they’re not attached to other parts). I just filled in the gaps after with yarn – often using the yarn ends, since I had to weave those in anyway.
I added a border of two rows to each panel using single crochet. The first row I did in the contrasting colour for that panel (ie. For Lannister I used gold), and the second row I did in black. For a few of the panels (ie. Stark and Baratheon) the contrasting colour is black so you end up with 2 black rows, but oh well…
Putting it all together!
Once you’ve finished all 9 panels, it’s time to assemble the blanket! I decided to crochet them together, and found a tutorial online with different options. I honestly don’t remember which tutorial it was now do I remember the details of how I did it, but I Googled and found this one (which looks familiar, so I think it’s the one): http://www.woolcrafting.com/crochet-seams.html She has several methods, so you can choose whichever you prefer.
And the charts!
Click on the picture or caption to download the PDF charts.
For Baratheon, you’re need to add a bit of embroidery with black yarn to make the crown – I’ve just drawn it in with lines and a couple of circles on the graph.
Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any questions!