Crochet Guild of America's
Chain Link, September, 2007
With every new book Dr. Ventura outdoes herself!
Even if you already own her earlier classics,
this latest book will inspire and carefully guide you to incorporate beads in your tapestry crochet projects,
or to felt them, or both. If you don't own her other books, or are new to tapestry crochet,
all the necessary information is here even for beginners to start from scratch. Separate instructions
for lefties are provided. Carol's signature tapestry crochet graph paper is included.
There are 16 projects ranging from jewelry to flat bags to bowls and round-bottom bags.
They're grouped in color-coded chapters of Rounds, Tubes, Circular Spiral, and Oblong Spiral.
For me this format facilitates learning tapestry crochet and choosing my next project.
The striking geometric patterns and symbols are enhanced with selective beading
for a 3-D effect and sharpened color contrasts. Felting is a creative, fascinating option for tapestry crochet
with or without beading. I tried to single out favorite designs and can't, but the Bead Diamond Bracelet
makes me look for my hook to get started! A range of yarn weights, fiber types, and hook sizes are used,
and it's easy to make substitutions.
It's important to point out that this book benefits from being self-published
because the author's extensive experience, teaching abilities, and strong vision shine through.
Her third book in a series, Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet,
is the next progression of Carol's work. She has created projects with all beads in tapestry crochet.
It is amazing what happens when you add the beads – pure magic!
She also added instructions for felting tapestry crochet.
Instructions and illustrations are provided for tapestry crochet, with and without beads,
using both the right and left-hand. Carol explains gauge, adjusting tension, decreasing,
increasing and loading beads onto thread, including the use of a bead spinner. By the way,
that is one of my bead spinners in the photo.
The paper, print, and photos are high quality, resulting in the projects appearing
as if you could reach in and pull them out with your hands. There is an artistic quality to the whole
production of the book, and the book actually feels good to the touch and extremely pleasing to the eye.
There are seven beaded, six felted and three projects with both bead crochet
and felting combined. Bags, earrings, bracelets, amulets, baskets, and a hat are created using these tapestry
techniques. There are patterns that are completely covered with beads and others are partially covered with beads
and other areas of fiber.
For felting, there is a photo example of a bag before felting and one after felting.
The difference is a real surprise. The felting brings a soft muted finish to the bag,
whereas when worked without felting, the pattern has more clarity with an exacting appearance.
My choice of bags is the "Let's Face It Tote"; the face is abstract and yet you can see the image. At the same time, the negative space can change your view of the face to see only shapes
and diagonals lines instead.
There are color graphs for each project; and patterns set up with each row/round
listed separately instead of all jammed together in a paragraph or two.
The hat has a beautiful brim and can be sized to fit any head size when felted.
The reversible bead crocheted basket is great for interior design; the side with the beads can be set outside
or inside; both sides, with and without beads are beautiful. Carol's baskets will be a real plus to your home.
There are large oversized bags to very the small bags,
all with unique handle designs; bags with zippers and those with fold-over flaps.
You will find more than one bag you want to make.
Carol has authored a dynamic, artistic book that you can't do without!
I keep all three of her books where I can quickly grab them up and start crocheting.
Lydia Borin, Tampa, Florida
Bead & Button,
This book will show you how to create intricately
colorful bead-crochet designs while avoiding the tediousness of counting and individually stringing each bead
on a single piece of yarn. (Tapestry crochet achieves patterns using multiple yarns with one color of beads
on each strand.)
It introduces beginners to the basic art of crochet with thorough instructions
and small beginner projects like coin purses. Yet it also presents designs requiring hours of skillful
concentration, such as large elaborate bags or baskets that are complex enough to challenge even seasoned artists.
And if you'd rather challenge yourself, there are separate custom graphs to help right- or left-handers design
their own projects.
Black Purl Magazine,
Tapestry crochet, the art of crocheting with different colored strands of yarn while carrying the yarn,
produces woven-like results. But don't be too concerned if you've never heard of this technique.
Dr. Carol Ventura has come to the rescue. Though Ventura didn't invent the technique, she is surely a master of it.
Ventura is also a master of written instructions;
instructions that appeal to all kinds of learners. Patterns are graphed and instructions are written
in long-hand -- a special touch that you don't often see in pattern-writing.
Because the patterns are so easy-to-read,
tapestry crochet beginners or crochet "newbies" in general can feel comfortable and assured
that this is a technique they can pick up easily.
Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet is a well-organized book
that gives the reader several types of projects to choose from: Tapestry Crochet Basics "walks"
you through the basics of crochet (for the right- and left-handed crocheters), describes suitable yarns and threads,
the tapestry crochet technique, and provides special graph paper (which Ventura did invent).
The Rounds Projects section features beaded and felted bags. Tube Projects guide you
in creating beautiful, beaded bracelets. Learn to make baskets, bags, and hats in the
Circular Spiral Projects section.
The Oblong Spiral Projects section features my favorite, the compassionate and unique
"Awareness Purse," a purse that can be customized to honor other special causes.
The 15+ projects in Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet are unique,
varied and are sure to be head-turners. The beautifully photographed projects
and expertly-written instructions
(and patiently-written, I might add) will entice you to create every project.
Carol Ventura's new book takes the art that she loves so much to a new level. In her first two books,
Carol offered important historical information on how tapestry crochet has been practiced across the world,
as well as in-depth instruction on creating colorwork patterns and designing your own charts.
Because of crochet's tendency to slant, she also created a special template that allows one to make crochet
"pictures" that look normal. The new book teaches how to combine tapestry crochet with beads,
how to felt your crochet, and how to felt with beads, thus broadening the creative options in several directions.
It has a strong how-to section for both right and left-handed crocheters.
Carol's designs are inspired by everything from Salvador Dali to native art of Central America.
Some of the most beautiful projects are her containers. There are stunning geometric patterns
like her beaded Amulet bag, a chevron change purse, a diamond beaded bracelet,
and lovely pictorial patterns like the "Let's Face it Tote," and the Breast Cancer Awareness purse.
Carol self-publishes all her books and does a particularly fine job: layout, comprehensibility,
and photos are all of the highest professional quality. Amy O'Neill Houk
Crochet Me designer Carol Ventura is on a mission to inform and educate crafters everywhere
about the wonders of tapestry crochet. It's an admirable goal, one she's a step closer to achieving
with the release of her latest self-published book. Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet
is a generous size, and the pages lay open nicely. Large photographs and clear illustrations
make the techniques and projects seem straightforward and accessible. Instructions are given both
for crocheting right-handed and left-handed, so this book should make lefties everywhere cry from joy.
Complete with her special tapestry crochet graph paper, reproduceable for personal use only,
this book will no doubt lead to years of exciting crocheting. Kim Piper Werker