Oftentimes, you will see plaid (also known as tartan) patterns also labeled a gingham design. While similar, they have their differences in origin and style.
Gingham is an orderly, simple checkered pattern that originated in Malaysia or France. Gingham typically has three colors: one darker main color paired with white and a lighter main color, or two contrasting colors paired with white.
Tartan plaid, on the other hand, is a busier pattern that comes from Scotland. It involves a similar checkered pattern with varying sizes of vertical and horizontal lines as well as varying colors.
Buffalo check, a modern version of the traditional plaid, is very similar to gingham. Buffalo check’s differences are in its bigger squares and its colors, which are often different shades of red and black.
Generally, a checkered pattern including white can be classified as gingham. Otherwise, it would be a buffalo check pattern.
Since it’s easier to find gingham, or just any neat checkered pattern (as they are easier), this round-up will only consist of the traditional woven style of tartan. Traditional plaid just has this cozy feel to it that gingham and buffalo check do not.
Please note that these patterns may be best for confident beginners. Some will be classified as intermediate due to the complexity of traditional woven plaid’s look.
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Easy Plaid Crochet Blanket
This plaid pattern takes inspiration from traditional woven plaid and simplifies it for an easy yet lovely blanket. Instead of sewing or weaving in multiple lines, you color change and crochet into one large piece.
This blanket is great for anyone who would rather do anything but sew. If you are a visual learner and would like to watch a video pattern, this YouTube video walks through this blanket.
Your Everyday Plaid Hat
If you have never tried your hand at a hat, this tartan plaid pattern is perfect for that. It is fairly simple while still looking stylish and traditional.
Don’t fret if you are not a fan of sewing; you will be slip-stitching to create the textured plaid rows instead of sewing. If you would like a YouTube tutorial, you can find one here.
DC Mesh Plaid Crochet
This pattern is less of a pattern and more of a guideline as its main focus is a how-to on creating the traditional plaid design for anything. It is incredibly adjustable and can fit any need or want.
It has written instructions as well as pictures to follow for weaving in the smaller, chained stripes. Most traditional plaid crochet patterns follow different variations of this general idea.
Tartan Plaid Shawl
This tartan plaid shawl is perfect for any well-dressed person in a classic style that never goes out of fashion. You will be doing a lot of surface crocheting for this shawl, but that beats sewing or weaving on every single line for sure!
You will be crocheting the base of the shawl, color changing for the short stripes. Once complete, you will slip stitch down the length of the shawl. Pin your shawl down so your lines stay straight!
Highland Home Afghan
This vintage tartan afghan is perfect for giving your home a cozy cabin-esque feel to it. Not only that, but this lovely, traditional plaid pattern also gives off the feel of the highlands of Scotland.
Since it is a vintage pattern, it is a better fit for advanced crocheters who can confidently read written patterns. While it is not a very complicated pattern, it was written back in the 1950s, so it may read slightly different from the patterns you are used to from today’s age.
Tartan Plaid Wash Cloths
This washcloth pattern is a great stash buster. It uses small amounts of yarn and has limited sewing (only weaving in the ends!). You can mix and match any colors to make your own unique cloth.
While you can find the written pattern for free on their website, you will need to create an account and log in to access it. You can also pay a small fee to receive an ad-free PDF.
Plaid Blanket Crochet Poncho
This poncho rocks the iconic warm and cozy feel that plaid gives off, no matter the colors. It is an intermediate pattern, so I would recommend this for confident crocheters.
This pattern features written instructions and graphs. If you are wanting to try this pattern but need a video, you can find the YouTube instructions here.
Blanket Dressing Plaid Shawl
Remember those blankets with sleeves and pouches that were all the rage almost a decade ago? While this shawl is sleeveless and pocketless, it is similar to a wearable blanket while still being a timeless classic for any outfit.
This is an intermediate pattern. While its design is fairly simple (a rectangle with arm holes), the plaid pattern is the most complicated part. It is recommended for confident crocheters.
Tartan Plaid Table Runner
This simple table runner is perfect for adding a homemade decoration to your table for any time of the year. It only takes three different colors, but feel free to mix and match as much as you want!
Since all tables are not created equal, there are some suggestions on how big or small your runner needs to be to fit properly on your table. It is an easily adjustable pattern that can be as wide and how long or short it needs to be.
Plaid-y Hook Caddy
This easy pattern is great for anyone who needs a hook caddy and loves the timeless classic plaid look. Confident beginners will breeze through this without much trouble.
This pattern has a general overview of how many stripes are crocheted into the base as well as step-by-step written instructions.