Archive for the ‘Tapestry Crochet Patterns’ Category

Bag of Skulls

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know how I feel about skulls. If not, my UnFinishedObject Bag posting will fill you in. The cylindrical UFO bag has some things in common with this one; they’re both tapestry crocheted with nylon, have skulls, and boney handles, but the Bag of Skulls has an oval base and more skulls.

Airlines allow purses of any size (within reason), so I made this one small enough to fit under an airline seat, but large enough to hold A LOT of stuff! And – the skulls are apotropaic (they scare away evil).

Bag of Skulls

Bag of Skulls, nylon, 14 1/4″ x 16″ with a 4″ wide base.

You, too, can tapestry crochet your own Bag of Skulls! Instructions for right handed crocheters and left handed crocheters are now for sale on Patternfish, a fabulous online pattern store. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Spiral Coasters

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

My reversible Spiral Coasters pattern is one of more than 30 projects in Interweave’s 2015 Crochet Home! This fabulous special issue includes a variety of crochet techniques, including tapestry crochet, tunisian, fillet, and Bruges lace.

Coasters

Front and back of Spiral Coasters, 4″ diameter, Nazli Gelin Garden size 3 cotton.

I hope you’ll take a look and give these coasters a try!

Felted Trail Ridge Tote

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Fall 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet includes my felted Trail Ridge Tote, crocheted with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (50g/110yds) in Dove Heather, Firecracker Heather, and Mist.

Trail Ridge Tote in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2014.

Trail Ridge Tote in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2014 (photo by Interweave Crochet 2014).

For those who like to crochet loosely – this project is for you – since it is tapestry crocheted with a large hook and loose stitches.

Detail of the handle before it was felted.

Detail of the handle before it was felted.

The beauty of felted tapestry crochet is that the pattern is visible on the both the inside and the outside of the project. The two carried colors really bulk up the felted fabric, so no lining is needed. The tote shrinks and felts like magic in a washing machine. It is important to make the stitches loose, though, or it will not felt correctly. The flattened size of the tote before felting was 18” wide x 16” high (without the handles). The flattened size after felting the first time was 15” wide x 16” high, then after felting it again (to shrink it a little more), it was 13” wide x 14 1/2” high flattened and 12” wide x 13” high upright as seen below.

Felted Trail Ridge Tote, 12" wide x 13"high (without the handle).

Felted Trail Ridge Tote, 12″ wide x 13″ high (without the handle).

For more felted tapestry crochet projects, please take a look at my Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet book.

Candy Cane Stocking Pattern

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

I entered the world of tapestry crochet 34 years ago with the green and red stocking below. The Dad Candy Cane Stocking shows how much my crocheting has improved since then. I wasn’t happy with the toe of the first two stockings and I didn’t like how the stripes got closer together around the heel on Betty’s stocking, so I gave it another try. I’m very happy with the new and improved Candy Cane Stocking because it has a better toe and the same amount of stitches between each stripe.

Christmas Stockings

My first TC project, Betty Stocking, and Candy Cane Stocking for Dad.

The heel was the most difficult part for me to design and crochet. While most of the stocking is worked in rounds, the heel is worked back and forth in rows. My free video shows two ways to do what I call, “flat tapestry crochet”. This technique eliminates the ridges formed from working back and forth and always places the front of the stitches on the face of the fabric.

The heel of the Candy Cane Stocking was done with the flat tapestry crochet technique.

The heel of the Candy Cane Stocking done with the flat tapestry crochet technique.

The pattern and graphs for the Candy Cane Stocking (for both right handed and left handed crocheters) are in Edie Eckman‘s new Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home, and Tree book. Alphabets for right and left handed crocheters are also included so that you can personalize your own stocking. I hope you’ll take a look at this wonderful book and give one or more of the 18 projects a try!

Bead Felted

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Have you seen Michele Maks’ wonderful new crochet pattern subscription site, Mainly Crochet? For more about this innovative business venture, take a look at Michele’s blog and Mainly Crochet’s Facebook page.

Mainly Crochet Tapestry Set

MainlyCrochet.com‘s Felted Tapestry Set (photo by Don Patty).

I’m thrilled that my bead felted tote and matching cosmetic bag are now included in Mainly Crochet’s pattern inventory. The tote is fully reversible because of the seamless one piece construction and the fact that the motif is integrated into the fabric as it is tapestry crocheted. One side has beads and the other is plain, so it’s two totes in one!

Felted Tapestry Crochet Bag before

Tapestry crochet tote before felting, 13″ high by 18″ wide, worsted wool.

Large, loose stitches felt wonderfully in a washing machine. The carried yarn makes the fabric durable, so no lining is necessary.

Bead Felted Tapestry Crochet Bag

Bead side of the tapestry crochet tote before felting, 13″ high by 18″ high, worsted wool and size 5 triangular glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems.

Glass beads are heavy, so I only put them as accents in the squares and on the arms of the crosses, for a subtle sparkle.

Felted Tapestry Crochet Bag detail

Detail of the plain (on the left) and beaded sides of the tapestry crochet fabric before felting.

Felted Tapestry Crochet Bag

Finished felted tapestry crochet tote, 12 1/2″ high by 14 1/2″ wide, worsted wool.

Bead Felted Bag

Finished beaded felted tapestry crochet tote, 12 1/2″ high by 14 1/2″ high, worsted wool and glass beads.

As usual, I experimented and made a large swatch (below) before crocheting the above bag. As you can see in the before and after pictures, the tapestry crocheted fabric shrinks more horizontally than it does vertically. The loose stitches allow specks of black to show in the white and white dots the black – but large stitches are necessary for successful felting. No problem for me because I actually like the “tweedy” look.

Tapestry Crochet Swatch

Tapestry crochet swatch – before and after felting.

I had to experiment with the cosmetic bag, too. Each of the finished bags (below on the right) have a zipper closure.

Before After Tapestry Crochet Bags

Tapestry crochet cosmetic bags before and after felting. My first attempt is on top.

I hope you’ll give this Felted Tapestry Set a try. If you have never done felted tapestry crochet, you might consider making a Felted Amulet Bag, the free introductory felting project linked to my web page that includes online instructions and a video tutorial. Please also take a look at my Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet book and web page for more inspiration.

More Tapestry Crochet Digital

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Now that the first edition of my More Tapestry Crochet book is out of print, I decided to update it and sell the second edition through Amazon’s Kindle program.

Converting the book into a digital format was actually a LOT MORE work than I anticipated. After creating new graphs for left handed crocheters, colorizing most of the illustrations and replacing the black and white photos with color images – I had to resize all the text and pictures.

I performed the entire process myself, so I did not have to pay anyone to do that enormous task. I was surprised that it took almost as long to prepare the Kindle document as it did to lay out the original print version, though!

Digital conversion was quite a learning experience, especially after Amazon changed all the fonts to “Times” and split the words in large fonts to fit on the small screen. Fortunately, I was able to resize and resubmit an updated version – one of the many benefits of digital publishing. No more errata sheets since it’s easy to fix mistakes!

Another great advantage of digital publishing is that thousands of books do not have to be printed, stored, and shipped on demand. And – this digital edition includes links in the text to suppliers and to my online videos. Additionally, this e-book is for sale on Amazon.com sites in Europe, the Americas, and Asia!

The small size of the screen is not great, though. Hopefully, readers will use a larger screen than I did to read the Kindle edition. Also, hopefully, their screens will not be black and white because the color illustrations and pictures look fabulous!

Because the digital edition does not have printing and shipping costs, I was able to set the Kindle price at $9.99. I chose to let people who previously bought the print edition of More Tapestry Crochet from Amazon to be able to buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99. I also chose to let purchasers lend their copies to another person for two weeks. In addition, this digital book is included in Amazon’s lending library and has “text to speech” enabled, too.

Also – you don’t need an Amazon Kindle to read this ebook! With Amazon’s free App, you can read Kindle books on an Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, too!

So, now it’s wait and see what happens! I look forward to hearing your opinions about this Kindle edition of More Tapestry Crochet.

Vogue Tote

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Have you seen the new Vogue Knitting Crochet? My tote is one of thirty four projects in the stylish 2013 special edition of the magazine. Members of Ravelry can see all the accessories, skirts, tops, and dresses here.

As usual, I experimented first. After finishing the brown and white bag, I emailed a project proposal with a photo to Vogue. They liked it – sent me a contract and several skeins of Prism Windward yarn – and voilá!

First and final version.

The first version is on the left, in front of the Vogue Knitting Crochet Tote on the right.

Their photo looks much better, don’t you think?

Tapestry Crochet Tote in Vogue

Tapestry Crochet Tote in Prism Windward and Windward Layers, Vogue Knitting Crochet 2013 (photo by Rose Callahan).

I hope you’ll take a look and give this project – and some of the others – a try!

Just in time for summer!

 

Mitla Purse

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

My Mitla Purse is one of more than fifty projects in Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012.

Mitla Purse tapestry crocheted with Cotton Classic by Tahki.

As with many of my other patterns, I needed to experiment. I adjusted both the size of the motif and the purse.

The first version is on the left.

The motif was inspired by one of the geometric patterns on the pre-Columbian building seen below from Mitla, Mexico. Stepped fret motifs work well with tapestry crochet and an almost infinite variety are found around the world.

Mitla wall from (photo from Wiki Commons).

The shape of the Mitla Purse was based on a change purse pattern in my first Tapestry Crochet book. It’s is out of print, but some of the patterns are available online for right handed and left handed crocheters.

Change purses from my 1991 Tapestry Crochet book.

What’s old is new again!

Arrowhead Tote

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

The Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet has several colorful projects, including my Arrowhead Tote (below).

Arrowhead Tote, Tahki Cotton Classic, 13 3/4″ wide, 2012.

I tapestry crocheted the first version (below) with some Stitch Nation Full O’Sheep wool left over from my Beautiful Basket project. The arrows looked great at first, but after the bag was felted they lost too much definition for my taste.

Tapestry crocheted wool bag on the left –  the same bag felted in my washing machine on the right.

So – when Interweave sent out a call for original designs, I submitted a photo of the wool bag before it was felted, but suggested a new version tapestry crocheted with a single handle in Tahki Cotton Classic.

I really enjoyed crocheting the colors they chose and love how the cotton bag looks and feels. What do YOU think?

Bamun Inspiration

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

I never copy exactly what I see. That would be unethical and too easy. Instead, I prefer to challenge myself by reinterpreting motifs and designs. So when Interweave asked me to write about and design a Bamum hat, I looked through my collection, chose a style, and took it from there.

My first attempt (bottom left) turned out too small. The octagonal top was produced by increasing in the same spot each time. I didn’t like the way the wedges lined up with the motifs and they were too large to allow for slight size adjustments, so I made the next one (bottom right) with several improvements.

Bamun inspired hats tapestry crocheted with Cotton Classic by Tahki.

I was happier with the second hat – so that’s the one you’ll find in Interweave’s 2012 Crochet Traditions. The circular top was produced by making more random increases. The motifs are small, so the circumference and height may be subtly changed by increasing or decreasing the number of motifs.

I’m not saying that the first hat is awful. In fact, it’s included in the upcoming Tennessee Association of Craft Artists Biennial Exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum! More about that later.

Sunrise Afghan

Friday, June 29th, 2012

So, how did my Desert Sunrise Afghan end up in Robyn Chachula’s new Unexpected Afghans book? Well fortunately, she invited me to submit a proposal, explaining that, “The book will be a designer showcase of crochet through afghans.  We will be featuring 25 designers to showcase their craft through the medium of an afghan.”

Robyn suggested I tapestry crochet a 48″ diameter sunburst, kind of like a Gothic stained glass window and my Sunburst Basket, with colors inspired by the photo below:

Sunburst Basket

Robyn selected seven colors of Caron Simply Soft yarn. She gave me the freedom to change them, but I decided to challenge myself with her selection. I eliminated one of the reds she sent, though, because it didn’t contrast enough with the other reds. The yarn and colors really took me out of my comfort zone – a good thing. I arranged them with high contrast in mind.

Sunrise Afghan
Detail of the Sunrise Afghan.

If you give this afghan a try, there is a mistake on page 80. The graph is great, but the color key on the right is incorrect. MC should replace A on the top, the pink square should be A instead of B, the orange square should be B instead of C, etc.

Robyn’s wonderful book includes twenty-eight other innovative afghans and five exquisite pillows, too! I hope you’ll take a look!

Wrap with Love

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Tapestry crocheted with Lion Brand’s Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton, this blanket is so soft and cuddly, it’s sure to be treasured every day of the year.

Patterns for both right handed and left handed crocheters are now available online.

Simply Felted Basket

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The new Simply Crochet book by Robyn Chachula includes twenty two patterns from a number of crochet designers. My felted Tapestry Basket is one of them – crocheted with Cascade Yarns’ dreamy 100% Peruvian Cascade 220 wool.

Tapestry Basket in Simply Crochet Book.

My bead tapestry crochet Master Bag featured a woven twill motif, so this time I chose a different basket weave. The colors didn’t contrast enough in the first attempt so I crocheted the final version with yellow instead of beige. The first one was also too narrow, but since the motif was ten stitches wide and there were ten increases per round, it was easy to add three more rounds to make it wider without affecting the motif.

First and final versions of the felted tapestry basket.

I love felted tapestry crochet! The large, loose stitches are easy on the hands and the projects materialize so quickly. The felted fabric is substantial and the pattern is visible on both sides.

Interiors of the first and final versions of the felted tapestry basket.

A washing machine transformed the crocheted basket below into the felted basket above.

This is how the Tapestry Basket looked before it was felted. 

Are you hooked by felted tapestry crochet yet? If so – or if not – please look at my video tutorial and at my web page and Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet book for more felted tapestry crochet projects.

Out of Print – But Not Out of Style

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Tapestry Crochet was the first of three books that I wrote to spread the word about this fabulous technique. I couldn’t turn this out-of-print book into an e-book because the publisher owns the copyrights of the layout and graphs – but I own the copyrights of the projects and text.

After Interweave said I could republish the projects, I updated the text and redrew the graphs – this time making separate sets for right handed and left handed crocheters (the written instructions are the same for both right handed and left handed crocheters, but the photos and graphs are reversed).

My second book, More Tapestry Crochet, has expanded history and design sections, so I only concentrated on making the eight most popular projects available online, grouping them together by format.

Spiral’ projects for left handed and “Spiral” projects for right handed crocheters from Tapestry Crochet, 1991.

I actually wrote Tapestry Crochet in the early 1980’s, but it took ten years to get it published! Most of the other pattern books at the time featured expensive fibers, but my Mom and her friends preferred to crochet with inexpensive synthetic yarns, so I made most of the projects with their favorites to appeal to people like them. Unfortunately, most of those yarns are no longer made – but that’s the situation with many published patterns.

I’m an artist and art professor, so the projects were designed not only to teach the basics, but also to provide crocheters with fresh ideas and design tools. I try to encourage crocheters to tweak the patterns, but even when the instructions are followed to the letter, each finished piece is still unique because substituting yarns makes them that way!

What really amazes me when I stop and think about it, though, is that these pieces were crocheted 30 years ago – but they don’t look dated – at least not to me!

Down Under Wonder

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Anne Churches and her husband live in Kyabram, a small dairy and fruit farming community around 124 miles /200 km north of Melbourne, Australia. They retired around five years ago to part of the property that used to be their orchard. Anne enjoys golf, weaving, seeing her eleven grandchildren, and of course, tapestry crochet.

Autumn and Fall, first made in 2009.

This talented artist has been designing and hand weaving stunning shaft shifting rugs on a large floor loom in her home for about ten years. While looking for something to do with the left over wool, she discovered tapestry crochet. As you can see, Anne’s unique sense of design and color have translated well. Over the past two years, she’s sold more than seventy tapestry crocheted bags at Wool Shows, Handweaver and Spinner Sharing Days, through her network of friends, and on her web site.

When asked what inspires her motifs, Anne said they develop as she explores the technique, adding that “I like free form shapes and also flowers. My most popular designs have been called ‘Organic’. A wonderful way to use up many colours.”

Green ZigZag and Felix, 2009.
Pink Waves and GreyNight, first made in 2010.

And how does she achieve the vibrant variegated colors? After purchasing New Zealand yarn from carpet manufacturers in Melbourne (similar to Jason Collingwood rug yarn), she dyes it with Lanaset dyes, 500 grams at a time in a 5 gallon / 19 liter stock pot on her kitchen stove. For the bags, she doubles the yarn and crochets them with a size G/ 7 / 4.5 mm hook with a wooden handle, specially made for her by a wood turner. Most of her bags are around 13″ 33 cm x 13″ / 33cm in size (not including the strap).

Some of Anne’s Tapestry Crochet and her hook.
Cool Kats and Caesar Tote, 2010.

If you’d like to tapestry crochet one of Anne’s bags, you’re in luck, because the pattern for her Summer Bag (below) is for sale on her website. The instructions are clear and the pattern includes several stitch diagrams photographs. Anne plans to add more patterns in the future.

Summer Bag and Organic Bag, 2010.

For hands-on workshops, Anne will be teaching how to tapestry crochet a bag in Kyabram and Wangaratta in October and November. Although students are not able to finish it during class, she shows samples of the base, the beginning of the sides, the strap, and the flap and tie and explains how to complete each step. So far, all of her students have finished their bags afterwards!

Anne, tapestry crocheting one of her wearable art bags, 2011.

Anne says it best, “I never tire of making bags. Also I am forever developing new designs. I have found an activity that can go with me anywhere. You can’t weave a rug in the car!”





This is how colors are changed
in tapestry crochet.



by Carol Ventura

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