Archive for the ‘Tapestry Crochet Patterns’ Category

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.

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

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!”

Just in time!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

If you like to crochet loosely – then this project is for you. It’s tapestry crocheted with Plymouth Galway worsted wool and a size K hook. Size 5 silver-lined gold beads add sparkle.

Both of the below baskets were crocheted following the same instructions, but the basket on the right was felted in a washing machine. Loose stitches, feltable yarn, washable beads (the color washes off some beads), a HOT soapy wash and cold rinse are the keys to successful bead felting.

Before felting (left) and after felting (right) Jack O’Lantern Baskets, 5 1/2″ high.

The Jack O’Lanterns are visible on the inside and outside! This online pattern is being sold by Patternfish for left handed crocheters and right handed crocheters – just in time for Halloween!

Online Vultures

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

I finally put my vulture bag patterns on Patternfish after Barb Holman sent me the wonderful wake-up call below.

Juvenile turkey vulture that Barb rehabilitated – isn’t he cute? 

I admire them from afar, but Barb helps all sorts of raptors and knows a lot about them. The following may be more than you want to know, but I found it very interesting. Describing the photos, she said “Anyway, here is the only juvenile turkey vulture I ever rehabbed. I’ve rehabbed several rascally adults but this little guy came to us almost right out of the egg. I wish I had photographed him then because when they’re hatched all white soft fluff with that beautiful black head, and they’re rather nice to get along with. These photos show his black feathers coming in and his black head. Their heads turn red with sexual maturity.”

“I’m sure you already know these things but just in case … They keep cool by urinating on their feet. Early in the morning, they’ll gather in groups high up in the trees and turn their backs to the rising sun to warm up. They’re easy to recognize in flight by the dihedral (V) angle of their wings and silvery grey underside of their flight feathers. Most birds have no sense of smell which is why you can put a chick back into their nest without the parent noticing. Vultures hunt mainly by smell and can detect carrion far away.”

“They actually have very delicate systems and regurgitate their food at the slightest upset. Luckily, they’re not picky and will simply re-eat it. Disgusting to most people but, like all of nature, they serve the very important role of cleaning up.”

“As adults, they can be very dangerous to handle. I once read of a rehabber being killed when he held an adult vulture too close to his face and the bird reached up and bit his neck, opening his carotid artery. I was very accustomed to handling large birds of prey and trained several as education birds. My own bird, Luna, was a great horned owl I trained from nestling age.”

“I caught and handled adult vultures fairly often as well. They’re huge by comparison to all but eagles and condors and very strong. The big difference in safety while handling them is that other raptors use their talons as their main defense while the vulture’s feet and talons are relatively weak. Its that beak that you must be very aware of.”

“We have many eagles where I live now and yesterday, moved roadkill off the road so the feeding eagle wouldn’t be hit while enjoying his lunch. Beautiful birds and try as I might, didn’t get a good photo.  Also have vultures here … We’re at the top of a hill on a peninsula overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks and I love watching them circle, higher and higher in order to make it over our roof. We have often found as many as ten of them sitting on our deck rail discussing whatever it is that vultures discuss.”

“Being on the lake, the eagles come every year and a few winter over. We even have a nest not far away and have watched the youngsters fledge. A couple of years ago, we were down the hill on the bank of the lake. It was very cold and quiet and suddenly, almost in front of us, a gull swooped low and dropped a big fish. Right behind him, a huge eagle landed on the ice and took the fish. Behind her came a smaller male and a juvenile. They made no move to take the fish she had stolen from the gull and the gull just kept going. I’m assuming their sexes because, with raptors, the sexes usually look alike (no sexual dimorphism as with most other birds) and the female is half again larger than the male. An exception to this rule is the American kestrel. Its our smallest true falcon, the sexes are marked differently but about the same size.”

She sent the pictures because of my old blog post about the Carrion Bag.

Vulture Purse and Carrion BagTapestry Crochet Vulture Purse and Felted Carrion Bag

You might already have these patterns because the Vulture Purse used to be available online, but was taken down when The Inside Loop went out of business. The instructions for the Carrion Bag are included in The Anticraft Book. Fortunately, I was able to keep the copyrights, which means that I can distribute these patterns myself. So the Vulture Purse for Right Handers and Vulture Purse for Left Handers and the felted Carrion Bag for Right Handers and Carrion Bag for Left Handers are now for sale – just in time for Halloween!

Free Wallet Pattern

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Crochet Today! just posted the pattern for my Tapestry Crochet Wallet as a free download. The November/December 2011 issue includes a picture and instructions for carrying and changing colors.

I didn’t want to line the wallet, so I tapestry crocheted it with Aunt Lydia’s Size 3 Fashion Crochet Thread and a size 1 (2.25mm) steel crochet hook with a handle to produce the dense fabric. A plain hook would have been OK, but the handle helped my wrist and hand work the tight stitches much more easily.

Even though three colors were used, there are only two colors in each round. The carried colors were switched five times in the solid rounds as needed.

A short zipper was not available locally, so I adapted a longer one from my sewing stash. (The pattern includes zipper instructions – how to shorten and sew it into the wallet.)

This project would be great for using up small amounts of left-over thread and yarn – just switch the colors more often and / or use more colors! What a wonderful gift idea!

I hope you’ll crochet this wallet for yourself or someone else – and fill it with all the money you save!


More Amazing!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I hate it that I’ve been too busy to blog, especially when there’s so much to share! Where to begin? Let me start with my trip to Asheville, NC, where I attended the WARP (Weave a Real Peace) conference in early May. It was exhilarating to be surrounded by so many inspirational women! Reconnecting with friends and making new ones was fabulous.

The day before leaving for Asheville, I realized that the amazing tapestry crocheter featured in one of my 2009 blogs lived there. So, I arranged to meet Esther at Earth Guild, where she works.

First she introduced me to her tapestry crochet hats. Esther is so creative and generous! For instance, she carries elastic in the last few rows for a better fit. What a great idea! (Esther’s pattern for the green and white pinwheel in the background of the picture below is part of her Tapestry Crochet Basics packet sold at Earth Guild.)

Esther with some of her tapestry crocheted hats at Earth Guild.
The rim is cinched in by decreasing stitches and by carrying elastic in the last few rows.

Esther also came up with a great way to carry both colors so that she can go back and forth between them without readjusting the yarns on her left hand between the changes. Tension is maintained by holding the yarns with the middle, ring, and little fingers of the left hand.

Esther holds the yarns in a way that allows her to quickly switch colors.

But the light bulb really went on when I noticed that her motifs don’t slant as much as mine. In fact, Esther made a special tapestry crochet graph paper with less slant.

The slant of the image is less noticeable!
Here is Esther’s graph paper and the tapestry crocheted motif.

What does she do differently? Let’s see if you can figure it out by looking at the photos below.

Esther crochets a little bit differently. Can you figure it out?
Notice how the hook goes under carried color to envelop it in the stitch.
Esther’s tapestry crochet technique is ingenious!

Did you see it? Instead of going under the yarn and grabbing it yarn from the back, she hooks it from the front! Eureka! I suspect that many Guatemalans tapestry crochet with Esther’s method because the motifs on most of the bags purchased down there do not slant very much. My next blog will explore these two methods more in depth.

You’ve probably also noticed Esther’s colorful yarn. Some of it is Earth Guild’s cotton Dragon Tail Yarn and the rest she dyes herself. Her hand painted yarns are sold at Earth Guild and her dying method is explained in her Tapestry Crochet: Basics, Bags, and Pouches packet sold at Earth Guild. It also includes stitch tutorials (her method for right and left-handed crocheters), patterns, design notes, several animal motifs, tapestry crochet graph paper, and tips.

Esther’s tapestry crochet is incredible!!!!

My only disappointment is that I didn’t schedule enough time to look at more of Esther’s amazing tapestry crocheted works of art!

A Lovely Opportunity

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

If you have the courage to think outside the box, “mistakes” can open new doors – taking you to unimaginable destinations! That’s what happened to Connie Worley of Toccoa, Georgia, when she tried to tapestry crochet the pillow below.

Tapestry Crochet Round of Hearts Pillow.

Connie explained, “I’m not real sure what happened . . . it was supposed to have been a pillow but that wasn’t working out . . . I misread the pattern and added an extra row between each row of increased stitches. Carol answered my e-mails immediately with suggestions. The best advice was from a former teacher of hers, ‘There are no mistakes . . . only design opportunities.’ So I took this ‘opportunity’ and turned the pillow into a small market bag.”

Just in time for Valentine’s Day – Connie’s Pillow Bag.

“I am happy that the ‘pillow bag’ turned out . . . even my 13 year old nephew exclaimed (unbidden), ‘That’s a really cool bag, Aunt Connie.’”

“The first time I saw tapestry crochet was in the Spring 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet, which featured the Spring Market Bag. I got stuck when I got to the top where you work the strap into the openings to make the drawstring. I was so impressed that I got an immediate response from Carol with an answer to my e-mail asking for help with links in the e-mail, which I followed. I followed the links to find out more about tapestry crochet and loved all of the designs. I ordered the pillow design at that time, but did not try to make it until this past January . . . my new year’s resolution was to do/finish some projects that have accumulated in the corners and closets of our house (much to my husband’s delight). The heart pillow was one of them.”

Connie’s Spring Market Bag.

“Last week I bought some more thread at Bumbleberry in Clarkesville, Georgia, to make the pillow . . . and I now have a great bag to carry the thread in while I’m working on it. I really do want to make the pillow to put on my daughter’s bed. I am using the blue thread because of a hand-made blue and white quilt that is on it. I plan to put an eyelet ruffle around the edge of the pillow with a blue and white gingham or calico on the back. I go to Bumbleberry every Tuesday with a great group of women. Mostly they all knit, but one lady who crochets and knits loved my Spring Market Bag and she is getting ready to make it for herself.”

“The Spring Market Bag does take a while to do. When I finished, I thought I would never make another one like it . . . but I recently bought more yarn (in teals and browns) to make another one.”

“I love the effect of tapestry crochet. When I finish the round heart pillow, the Handy Basket is on my to do list as well. So many patterns . . . so little time!”

I was wondering why Connie goes by connieocd on Ravelry, then I noticed the explanation. According to Connie, “When I make something, I go gangbusters and all I want to do is make that item, whether it is crochet scarves, quilling (not quilting, but quilling), scrapbooking, etc. My sister (jennylouhoo on Ravelry) says I should open up a craft shop and call it ‘Connie’s OCD Shop’ and stock it with whatever obsession I have at the time!!”

Connie is determined to make a pillow this time!

Did you notice that Connie is crocheting with her left hand? Although the pillow pattern is only available with right-handed instructions, some of my other patterns are written for both right and left-handed crocheters. They rarely sell, though, so I asked her if I should bother offering them.

Connie replied, “I LOVE it that you have the left-handed patterns. That is the version I ordered for the Handy Basket, so please keep them available. Generally, I don’t have trouble with patterns, but recently I wished I had had a left-handed pattern for a sweater I was trying to make. I can’t find the pattern for it right now, but it was made from the bottom corners up (diagonally). Putting it together proved too hard for my little brain . . . figuring out what was left, right, and which way the pattern was supposed to go . . . up, down. I gave up and went on to another sweater that had straight rows. Please keep putting the left-handed patterns on your web site.”

So, the moral of this story is: The next time you make a mistake and are tempted to frog it and start over, accept the challenge and design your own version of the pattern instead!

Felted Tapestry Crochet Bag

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

It’s always a challenge to design pieces for editors. How does it work? Well, they send out calls for specific types of projects for upcoming publications, then select the ones that best match their vision. Editors often tweak the proposal and usually choose the colors and yarn. That’s how it happened with this project, a “felted tapestry crochet bag with a simple geometric motif” for the February 2011 (issue 14) of Inside Crochet.

Some publications return the projects after the instructions have been published, others don’t. Most purchase all publication rights, others return the publication rights to the designer after a year or so. All of this is spelled out in the contract.

When the Manos de Uruguay Handspun Kettle-Dyed Wool arrived, the “voyage of discovery” began. The first step – what size hook? I tried several before selecting the size P (10mm) hook on the far right (below), because it produced a stitch that was tight enough to hide most of the carried yarn, but loose enough to produce a fabric that would felt in a washing machine.

Each of these swatches was crocheted with the same number of stitches, but different sized hooks.

This is how the bag looked before it was felted.

Tapestry crochet shrinks and felts like magic in a washing machine. Every yarn reacts differently, though, so the journey continued. Conclusion: this particular yarn needs to be washed a few times to felt sufficiently.

Details of before felting (on the left) and after felting (on the right).

The fabric became very dense after it was felted – no lining necessary.

A lining would have hidden the pattern inside the Tapestry Bag.

Fortunately, I’m supposed to get this project back – along with the publication rights. I really like how the carried colors peek through the fabric, giving it a “tweedy” look.

So, what do you think?

Master Bag

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

I’m one of those people who prefers to sit in a window seat when I’m flying. It really paid off on the flight to the 2007 Crochet Guild of America Conference. When I saw the clouds against the brilliant, blue sky, I snapped a photo and thought, “My next piece will use these colors!”

THIS is why I prefer the window seat.

The bag below that I designed for the Crochet Master Class book is the result. This Beaded Tapestry Crochet Bag project combines my love of basket weaving with bead tapestry crochet. The two different sized beads and the motif trick the eye into thinking it’s looking at a woven surface.

Beaded Tapestry Crochet Bag project in Crochet Master Class book.

The beauty of tapestry crocheting with beads is that each thread can be loaded with one bead color and only the color that is needed at the time is crocheted to form a pattern while the other thread is carried. When crocheting with beads, the bead naturally slides to the back of the stitch, so the back of the stitch is on the outside of the bag. That’s why the graph in the book appears to be reversed.

The inside of the bag is the “working side” since the beads fall to the back of the stitch, so both the inside and outside look great!

This project was tapestry crocheted with three colors, but only one thread was carried while another was crocheted. Since every row only has two colors, ecru or navy was cut off and the other one added close to the end and beginning of each color section.

Detail of the Beaded Tapestry Crochet Bag.

Several years passed before the book was published (not unusual), so I was thrilled when it was finally released! What an honor to be included with such a talented group of designers!

This book is a real masterpiece!

Crochet Master Class is not just a pattern book, but features eighteen crochet techniques. Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss, the editors, chose one designer to represent each different approach. We were sent questionnaires, then they put together the biographical, historical, and technical sections that precede each of our projects.

Jean and Rita at the 2009 Crochet Guild of America Conference (photograph by Sherri Bondy).

When I showed Jean and Rita the bag below at the 2007 CGOA Conference, they said it would be perfect for their “master’s level” book. Editors usually shy away from such complicated projects, so I was ecstatic that they were doing a book that would really challenge crocheters!

My first Bead Tapestry Crochet “Woven” Bag.

I later decided to redo the bag, though, with slightly different handles and motifs and with the colors I saw on the flight to the conference. Both of these master’s level bags were made with size 8 and 6 seed beads from Fire Mountain Gems and size 3 DMC 100% cotton Senso thread. As happens so often, this particular DMC thread has been discontinued, but other Senso threads or another size 3 thread could be substituted.

So, if you’re ready to expand your horizons, or would just like to learn more about the many faces of crochet, then Crochet Master Class is for you!

Star Power Update

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

It’s such a challenge to make a gift for someone that they’ll actually like! What style, fiber, or colors do they prefer? Being so far behind on my holiday gift list, I found myself crocheting the present in front of the recipient (who didn’t realize it was for her, of course).

Tapestry crocheting an alpaca Star Hat.

As I crocheted, I began to think that since the gift wasn’t finished on time anyway, I might as well ask Betty if she would like a hat like the one I made for Ilsy (who, as promised, managed to act very surprised when she opened the present in front of the family).

Ilsy loves her
Star Hat!

When Betty said, “Yes”, I asked her to to pick out the colors. After careful consideration, she chose black and brown Inca Alpaca. Fortunately, I was able to finish the hat before they flew home.

Betty really likes her Star Hat, too!

So, what’s the lesson here? To increase the odds that a present will be liked – and maybe even loved – ask if they would like to receive the proposed gift, then let them pick out the colors!

I hope you’re enjoying the holidays and that you’ll have a healthy and happy new year!

Geometry Tote

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I needed a sturdy oval based bag that would fit under an airline seat and would hide the dirt accumulated while traveling. So I packed some tapestry crochet graph paper, a pencil with an eraser, a size 00 steel crochet hook, and contrasting colors of #18 Omega Nylon in my travel bag so that I could work on it during my long trip to Africa.

Looking around for inspiration at the John F. Kennedy International Airport Delta Terminal in New York City, I noticed a fabulous window at the gate where I was waiting for my flight to Ghana.

JFK Delta Gate Window
Window in the Delta Terminal at the JFK International Airport

Triangles work well for tapestry crochet, but I didn’t want to copy it exactly, so I drew several versions on my tapestry crochet graph paper, then asked some of the other passengers for their opinion. Fortunately, they all chose the one I liked best!

I counted the stitches across the bottom of the motif to figure out the number of stitches in each repeat, then did the math to figure out how many stitches were needed for the base chain.

After crocheting for hours (following the increases from one of my other oval-based bags) I put it under the airline seat in front of me to see how it would fit – and to my horror – the bag was too wide! So, I reluctantly frogged it and restarted with a shorter chain that would produce a narrower bag with less motif repeats.

Carol in the Accra Bus Station
Crocheting the base of the bag at the bus station in Accra, Ghana, in 2009. I hadn’t slept for 24 hours and still had an 7 hour bus ride ahead of me!

Tapestry Crochet Triangles Bag
The finished Geometry Tote, tapestry crocheted with Omega Nylon

I later realized that two of my older projects had similar triangular motifs – not the same – but almost! I’ll probably crochet a few more projects with more variations of these small and large triangles. The possibilities are (almost) endless!

The pattern for the Geometry Tote has just been published in the February 2011 Crochet World. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Star Power

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I crocheted my newest project with Classic Elite Inca Alpaca yarn, then asked my daughter to model it for the photos. I hoped she would want a hat like this one for Christmas, so I gathered up some colorful yarn to let her pick out colors – just in case she approved the design.

Ilsy’s a real tough critic and quite the fashionista, so I was shocked when she exclaimed, “This style is really hot now, Ma! I’ll take THIS one – the colors are great!”

Tapestry Crocheted Star Hat
My model daughter, Ilsy, in her soon-to-be new hat.

Tapestry Crocheted Star Hats
Left-handed and right-handed versions of the Star Hat.

So, I spent today writing up the patterns for right and left handed crocheters, posted them on Patternfish, then uploaded pictures to Flickr and Ravelry – and now I’m writing this to get the word out.

I learned a long time ago that it’s not a good idea to buy or make Ilsy anything, because our tastes are very different and it’s almost impossible to figure out what she likes. It’s a really good sign, then, when she’s excited about something that I’ve crocheted. I hope it appeals to you and your fashionista, too!

Ekaterina’s Shawl

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

This shawl really brings me back! When I began crocheting flat pieces, I crocheted across, then cut the yarn; the same technique used for this shawl. In this case, the cut ends eventually become fringes.

The stitches on each row position themselves a little to the right, producing slightly angled sides. A parallelogram is perfect for shawls and scarves, though, but not good for rectangular wall hangings, so I eventually came up with a different technique for crocheting flat pieces with the “front” of the stitch always facing forward.

I began to crochet the shawl the day after the Dolce yarn arrived from Interweave – just 2 days before a school trip to Italy.  I finished it two days after returning home, right before the deadline.

I laid the finished shawl on a large beach towel on the floor, but noticed lots of ripples in the areas with little color changes, so I pulled on the carried yarns, where possible, to flatten it. Unfortunately, this adjustment made the shawl shorter than the require 70″ length stipulated in the contract. It was also 1/2″ too narrow!

First Version of the Interweave Tapestry Crochet Shawl
The first version of the shawl, crocheted with Cascade’s Dolce (blend of alpaca, wool, and silk).

Fortunately, I had enough Dolce left over to crochet another one. I emailed a photo and explained my dilemma to the editor and asked for more time. Granted.

For the next shawl, I switched to a larger hook, added stitches to make it wider, enlarged the inner rectangles, then eliminated the vertical stripe to make it easier to shape the shawl by pulling in the carried yarns from the ends right before blocking.

Interweave Shawl
The new and improved shawl!

Tapestry Crochet Shawl
Detail of the shawl and fringe.

How was the fringe made? It’s plied by repeatedly twisting each yarn in the opposite direction several times. Just take a look below to see what I mean:

How to Make Fringe - Step A
Twist 2 neighboring yarns of the same color clockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step B
Then put them together and twist them counterclockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step C
Twist 2 more neighboring yarns of the same color clockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step D
Then put them together and twist them counterclockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step E
Retwist the two neighboring plied yarns counterclockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step F
Then put them together and twist them clockwise.

How to Make Fringe - Step G
Make an overhand knot 6” from the shawl edge. Cut off the excess, leaving a 1” end.

Interweave dubbed it Ekaterina’s Tapestry Shawl. You can find the instructions in Interweave Crochet Accessories, a special issue of Interweave Crochet.

I prefer to crochet for relaxation at my own pace and submit the finished project for publication, but most editors prefer to choose the yarn and have tight deadlines, which stresses me out! What do you think? Was it worth it?