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I am a huge gamer and love pixel art in general. My friend turned me onto crocheting a while ago and one of the first things I asked about was pixel art. Her response and my own limited experience tells me that it is not realistic to do. At least not ones that have many colours. I see more pixel art with knitting which I am not sure I have room for in my creative suite.

Is it possible or even advised to do pixel art by crocheting?

Could I have a single stitch one colour while having all the ones surrounding different? Is that just too many tails to deal with and would the project be weaker as a result?

  • What scale are you working at? Something amigurumi size or blanket-sized? Something that the "back" will be visible or not? – Catija Apr 29 '16 at 16:02
  • Would the problem not be the same with both? I have not done any amigurumi yet. I guess a project that would just need something like a 4.5 or 6 hook. – Matt Apr 29 '16 at 16:03
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    If you're working on flat items, check out filet lace (or fillet lace). In this technique you first crochet a mesh of squares and then fill some of them up to paint a picture. Normally it uses only one colour, but there is no reason to make it colourful. – jkadlubowska Apr 29 '16 at 16:12
  • @jkadlubowska I see the connection you are making. That would work as well. People must have a lot of patience for this an other styles like doilies. – Matt Apr 29 '16 at 17:51
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You might try a method called "Corner to corner" crochet (C2C).

It seems to be relatively "new" and was something I was really intrigued to find out about. It's often used for making diagonal-style blankets but there are certainly examples of it being used for pixel-style art work.

It has the benefit of being dual-sided and it does allow for semi-regular changing of yarns. Creating your own patterns should be relatively simple with some graph paper and colored pencils/markers. Here's what it looks like:

Christmas Tree C2C crochet example
click image to view project

As you can see, it does a pretty awesome job with pixel-style art and does allow for regular changing of colors. Here's a work-in-progress image for reference:

Christmast Tree C2C work in progress

There's a very in-depth video of how the basic concept of C2C crochet works on The Crochet Crowd. It doesn't explain the more regular color changing process but I think that's something that can be figured out using the instructions for projects like this Christmas tree.

The best part is that the only stitches needed are chains, slip stitches and double crochets, so this should be extremely simple, regardless of skill level.

Also note that, if you're interested in really small scale, you could probably go crazy with this using steel hooks (under 2mm) and cobweb-weight yarn or embroidery floss.

  • I am really happy you were able to find this for me. I honestly expected the answer to be that I could not do it. At least not on this scale. I tried holding down the voting button but it did nothing. – Matt Apr 29 '16 at 17:49
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For small areas that change colors frequently, some knitters use "duplicate stitch"--using yarn threaded onto a darning needle to mimic one or more stitches. (TECHknitting describes it well.) For crochet it would be a bit trickier but still feasible, depending upon the stitch to mimic.

If you use short lengths instead of letting the ends cross on the back side, or if you're finished with a color, it's possible to tuck the yarn ends into the next few stitches as you go--one end on the current row, one end on the next one when you come around to it. This works best when the crochet stitches form a solid ground (all US single = UK double or all US double = UK triple). I don't have a link; it's common when making amigurumi.

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Most likely a single stitch per pixel is too high a resolution. Think more in terms of at least 3, preferably more stitches per pixel.

The basic idea is that you don't cut or tie off each time you change the color - you just hold all the colors you need in continuous yarn threads and switch to a new yarn when color changes, leaving all the connections between patches of various colors on the inner side - which will be a criss-crossing mess of threads running from point to point. It's going to be tricky to keep the joint points from stretching with all the loose yarn left, so you might consider easier tasks first, if that's "one of the first things" you want to do.

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