Plaid Is In! Here Is An Easy How To Guide To Crochet In Gingham For Beginners
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Elizabeth Miller. Find them on Instagram at @Lizzy_7979. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fall, it seems like plaid is back! I’ve been seeing light flannel shirt jackets everywhere in-store and online. As an avid crocheter, I couldn’t help but think of ways to crochet plaid patterns. I love to make my own clothes and accessories, especially when something is trendy and other people would be interested in making their own clothes too. So, if plaid is going to be big this fall and winter, I want to get my technique down so my projects will be finished in time for the weather shift. One of the easiest plaid crochet patterns to make is gingham! Here are my two favorite easy methods for crocheting gingham. The best part is that these methods can also be used for buffalo plaid when upscaled.
To crochet in gingham, you will need three colors of yarn. Most gingham prints use white as one color and then have a bold color, and the third color is a mix of the two. For example, your traditional picnic tablecloth gingham is probably white, red and pink, or white, blue and light blue. The same can be done with black instead of white. For example, the iconic buffalo plaid uses black, red and maroon. Or, you can use analogous colors, like red, yellow and orange. The color combinations are endless!
For the pattern, you will need twice as much of the mid-tone color as the two bold colors. Each row of the pattern alternates between white and the mid-tone, and the color and mid-tone. If you are using a project pattern, check the supplies list to see how much yarn you will need.
The most basic list you will need is:
- 1 skein of white yarn
- 1 skein of a bold color yarn
- 2 skeins of a mid-tone color yarn
- Recommended hook size to use with the yarn
Changing Colors Method
For this method, you must know how to change colors while crocheting. It is recommended you understand how to follow pixel patterns. For a brief explanation of pixel patterns, read about banner projects in this article about crochet. Pixel patterns follow an order of squares back and forth a grid as you crochet rows. Experiment with a few test swatches to figure out your preferred size of squares for your thickness of yarn. This could be small, like two half-double crochet stitches in one row, or bigger, like five rows of five stitches of single crochet stitches. For this example, we will stick with two-half double crochet stitches = one square and use white, red and pink as the colors. Because we need two squares for the pattern to repeat, we need to chain in multiples of four plus the turning chains at the end of the row. This is so we can complete each row by doing two hdc in red or white, then two hdc in pink, and then repeat until the end of the row.
For more advanced crocheters looking to apply gingham to a project pattern, test with the recommended yarn from the pattern. If the number of chains fits your preferred multiple, you should be able to do your project in gingham. It really depends on how complicated the project is. And, for the advanced crocheters, yes, theoretically my example could use just a multiple of two unless we were working in the round.
To work up the gingham using the one square = two hdc example:
Begin with white, chain in a multiple of four, and then chain two more to turn.
Row one: In the third chain from the hook make 2 hdc, but before completing the second stitch, complete the stitch with pink for a seamless transition. Then do 2 hdc in pink, but use white to complete the last stitch. Repeat to the end of the row. Use red to chain two and turn.
Row two: In red make 2 hdc, but before completing the stitch finish in pink. Then make 2 hdc in pink, completing the last stitch with red. Repeat to the end of the row, use white to chain 2 and turn.
Repeat rows 1-2 until you reach the desired length!
This method is great for larger squares and buffalo plaid. Patchwork and granny square project patterns are great with this pattern. For this method, you will make a bunch of separate solid squares and then sew them together.
First, find out how big you want your squares to be. Always make multiple test swatches to ensure consistency.
Using the white, red and pink color scheme again, half of the squares you need will be pink, a quarter will be white, and the last quarter will be red. When you finish making them, block them so they are all the same size and will lay correctly, arrange them in the pattern, and sew them together!
Tada! Now you know two ways to make your projects in gingham! Did you like these methods? What’s your favorite plaid crochet pattern? Tell us about your projects in the comments below!