Have you heard about ChatGPT? It’s an online AI (artificial intelligence) service that is fairly cutting edge, especially compared to other AI chatbot-type programs.
If you’ve been on TikTok or Instagram Reels lately, you’ve probably seen folks talking about it and posting some funny videos! You can ask ChatGPT to write you a poem, create a crochet pattern, or write an essay – and it will come back with fairly accurate responses.
ChatGPT is an AI, after all – so while it’s great at quickly generating content, the quality of said content is shaky (at best)!
I have to admit, as a crochet pattern designer and content creator, I felt rather relieved when I saw some finished projects that were made using ChatGPT. Talk about job security!
Here are two examples:
TikTok user @generatedcrochet created a “narwhal” using ChatGPT. He was named “Gerald the narwhal” lovingly by the community, and gives off “angler fish chef” vibes:
Reddit user CrazyinFrance asked for three separate granny square patterns, with disastrous results:
As you can see, it’s far from perfect at writing coherent patterns that work – though the results are hilarious!
Pattern 1: Owl Amigurumi Pattern
Naturally, I thought I’d try my hand at it and have it create two crochet projects from scratch for me. I wanted to try both a granny square and an amigurumi project.
I started by asking politely for ChatGPT to create an amigurumi project for me, and then watched as the project started typing away!
I was apparently going to be making an owl. At first shake, everything seemed completely normal, but then I noticed my own didn’t have wings! I asked ChatGPT about that:
The wing part of the pattern it wrote was super messed up. I already knew the wings were going to be massive in relation to the size of the body.
But in the interest of creating a pattern true to what I was provided, I picked out my yarn colors and got started.
The pattern called for a main color and two accent colors. I chose a brown-flecked cream tweed as the main color and white and brown as my accent colors.
The body seemed fairly normal and was constructed like a normal sphere. ChatGPT wrote the pattern similar to how I would write instructions to create a sphere:
It didn’t mention sewing through the remaining 6 stitches to close the bottom of the sphere off. Since it did write to weave in the ends, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and closed the bottom of the sphere like I normally would for an amigurumi project.
Eyes and Beak
Using my first accent color of white, I made both of the eyes. They seem perhaps a tad larger than what I would use, but this is an owl after all. Large eyes are a part of the package.
I added the French Knots as instructed to the center to create the pupil.
I used brown as my second accent color and created the beak. I think it’s supposed to be a triangle, but it sort of looks like a misshaped square!
Here’s where things get a bit spicy – ChatGPT didn’t include wings on the original pattern. When I asked about the wings, it wrote the pattern for them on the spot.
So they look a bit big in writing, right? However, I was thinking perhaps it was like an owl in flight. So I followed the pattern to the letter.
Here are all of the pieces together, before assembly.
Oh boy, here we go. I went ahead and attached the eyes first. ChatGPT suggested the eyes go two rounds apart, which I assumed meant two stitches apart.
The beak apparently gets attached right between the eyes. I wasn’t quite sure if it was supposed to sit flat or stick off, so I sewed it flat.
The pattern also called for a few stitches to be sewn on the top of the body, using your main color. I wasn’t quite sure what it was asking for, so I did my best!
These are supposed to be feathers:
Last, time to attach the ridiculously oversized wings! I was thinking they would get attached like so:
I asked ChatGPT and apparently, they need to be attached in the other direction, like so:
So I obliged. Here is the final product:
I’m so, so sorry, little dude. What a mess! Though, I will say, he has his own sort of cursed charm.
Pattern 2: Granny Square
Okay, let’s give ChatGPT another shot with a simple granny square pattern. Again, I asked politely for a decent pattern for users, and watched it quickly fill up the page!
I immediately noticed this pattern was also extremely flawed. Granny squares literally go pear-shaped if there are too many or too few stitches!
The first row only had three corners, which does not a square make.
I again followed the pattern to the letter, with a disastrous first row:
The pattern was actually really hard to follow, too. It didn’t make a ton of sense – take a peek below:
Surprisingly, two of the corners started to take shape after the first two rows. I sort of ended up with a kite shape with a massive, raised ball at the center:
Violà, a granny “square!”
I don’t mean this article to be a critique on ChatGPT or AI at all – rather, I wanted to call attention to a few positive things about working with it.
First, I know plenty of artists (myself included) who worry about having their livelihoods taken away or being replaced by artificial intelligence. While I know that may be a worrying possibility, as you can see above, it’s a long way off.
These crochet projects are just one example of how so much of what we do as artists really requires the human touch to create, proofread, and execute with precision.
So, for now, we’ve nothing to worry about!
Perhaps as technology continues to improve, I’ll change my mind. But as it stands, I’m feeling extremely validated in my own craft.
Next, I think working together with AI is such a unique and creative experience. It allows me to be creative within a defined construct and helps me to generate ideas quickly.
Perhaps, in crochet, AI tech worlds and human artistic worlds can happily complement each other in certain ways.
I could easily go back and fix both of these patterns so that they would work and look the way I want them to. So if I was feeling a little writer’s block, I could use ChatGPT to get the ball rolling.
Lastly, the end projects made me chuckle (as I hope they did for you, too)! It reminds me of when I was a beginning crocheter and I made some pretty monstrous-looking projects.
I can recall a scarf that I made that did something similar to the first two rows of that granny square…
Regardless, I had a ton of fun working with the program. I will definitely be adding it to my toolbox in the future!