Sew Fine!

Thanks to the internet, one more person has discovered tapestry crochet, has mastered the technique, and has been discovered! Who am I talking about? Let me introduce you to Nina Reiderman and her fabulous tapestry crocheted bags.

Originally from Odessa, in the Ukraine, Nina and her family moved to Israel in 1995. Nina is a seamstress and knitter, and now she’s hooked on tapestry crochet. According to Nina, “Although once a hobby, crochet is now my passion and I devote a lot of my free time to it.” Judging from what she has accomplished over the last year, I think she must tapestry crochet day and night!

Nina explained, “In 2011 I learned about tapestry crochet when I saw pictures of Marina Gavrilov’s bags online. I was fascinated by her work. I didn’t know that you could do something that looked like fabric with a crochet hook. I started reading about it on the internet. It looked masterful and difficult, but I thought if someone else can do it, then I’ll do it, too.”

“I remembered that kippot (worn by religious men in Israel) were done with the same technique. Later I learned that tapestry crochet is known by many people.”

“In 2013 I tapestry crocheted my First Bag with a size 1/2.00 mm hook. I liked it so much that while I was making it, I was dreaming about the next one.”

Nona's first tapestry crocheted bag, May 2013.

Nina’s First Bag, wool and acrylic blend yarn, 7 1/2 x 8″ (19 x 20.5 cm), May 2013.

Like Nina, I also design my next project as I’m crocheting; the following piece often evolves from the one I’m making. I see a similar evolution in Nina’s work.

She crocheted the eye-catching bag below for a good friend with a size 4/1.75 mm hook and Adriafil Classic Azzurra, a blend of wool and acrylic. Winter Bag and First Bag are the same shape, but the new bag has a button closure and a different strap. The sturdy strap was tapestry crocheted, lined with cotton twill tape to keep it from stretching, then sewn to the rim.

Nina's Winter Bag, Adriafil Classic Azzurra yarn, 6 1/3 x 7" (16 x 18 cm), June 2013.

Nina’s Winter Bag, Adriafil Classic Azzurra yarn, 6 1/3 x 7″ (16 x 18 cm), June 2013.

With the same size 4/1.75 mm hook and Azzurra yarn, she crocheted the next bag (below) for her wonderful mother. It features a striped oval base and abstract pea motifs in pea green. The nylon strap was carefully placed machine sewn so that it perfectly lines up with slits in the rim.

Nina's Peas Bag, July 2013.

Nina’s Peas Bag, Adriafil Classic Azzurra yarn, 8 5/8 x 9 7/8″ (22 x 24 cm), July 2013.

The following bag is even more amazing. Nina mentioned that, “I like mosaic work, which there is a lot of in Israel.” In fact, the pattern on the exquisite bag below was inspired by a local mosaic.

The mosaic from Keysarii in Israel inspired the motif on Nina's bag on the right.

The mosaic from Keysarii in Israel inspired the motif on Nina’s Fans Bag.

She made this one for her lucky daughter with a size 4/1.75 mm hook and Adriafil Classic Azzurra yarn. I love all the details – and the round bottom is as visually exciting as the pleated sides!

Nina's Fans Bag, September 2013.

Nina’s Fans Bag, Adriafil Classic Azzurra yarn, 7 7/8 x 10 5/8″ (20 x 27 cm), September 2013.

Nina mentioned that, “I also find patterns in magazines. I am inspired by the work of other people.”

She recycled the motif from my Arrowhead Tote (from the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet) to create the stylish shoulder bag below, using a size 4/1.75 mm hook and Vitalgo Holiday acrylic yarn. I love the color choices and the button flap! The fringed crocheted strap was machine sewn to the bag.

Nina's Arrows bag

Nina’s Pocket Bag, Vitalgo Holiday acrylic yarn, 9 x 9 7/8″ (23 x 24 cm), February 2014.

A Paisley Chart, available from Marina Gavrilova’s online store, inspired her next bag, crocheted with a size 1/2.0 mm hook and Vitalgo Holiday acrylic yarn. Most people are afraid of sewing in zippers and linings, but they are no problem for Nina.

Nina's Paisley Bag, April 2014.

Nina’s Paisley Bag, Vitalgo Holiday acrylic yarn, 10 1/4 x 10 5/8″ (26 x 27 cm), April 2014.

Nina incorporated the Dancing Raven chart from Marina Gavrilova’s online store into a zippered shoulder bag that she tapestry crocheted with a size 1/2.0 mm hook and acrylic yarn.

Nina's Bird Bag, May 2014.

Nina’s Dancing Raven Bag, acrylic yarn, 9 7/8 x 9″ (25 x 23 cm), May 2014.

Nina machine-sewed grosgrain ribbon to the back of the strap to reinforce it.

Dancing Raven strap

Back and front of the Dancing Raven Bag strap, single crocheted in the back loop without carried color.

Below, Nina is tapestry crocheting a Dragonfly Bag from a chart that she found online. The concentration that tapestry crochet requires is very meditative and the repetitive motion releases endorphins, which reduce pain and stress.

Nina Reiderman tapestry crocheting

Nina Reiderman tapestry crocheting her Dragonfly Bag.

Dragonfly Chart

Dragonfly chart, beginning of the Dragonfly Bag, yarn and handled hook.

Nina says that, “I never crochet when I am in a bad mood. I try to do it when I am in a good mood so that the person for whom I am making the bag will feel my positive emotions.”

The fashionable shapes, colorful motifs, and tailored details really make Nina’s bags stand out! She will post photos of her new masterpieces on theĀ Ravelry (where she is know as nenaray) and Facebook Tapestry Crochet Group pages. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does next!

8 Responses to “Sew Fine!”

  1. anni maver says:

    I Love Her Work Too, ThankS FoR Posting This Write Up On Her!

  2. Marina (RuskaM) says:

    Nina is a true crochet enthusiast! I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing her rapid progress in making tapestry crochet projects over the past several years. She has a great eye for colour, texture and detail. Keep up the good work, Nina!

  3. Thank you for this comprehensive article about Nina and her art. I will read about and try Tapestry Crochet–I love the look you get with this technique.

  4. Nina Reiderman says:

    Anni,Marina,thank you, I am very pleased!

  5. Nina Reiderman says:

    Linda,thank you!

  6. Lida Mer says:


  7. Susie says:

    Hello, i already know how to crochet but dont really know how to make one of those bags. Have always wanted to learn i would like you to teach me. I need step by step is the best for me. Thank you oh buy the way your bags are amazing!!!!!

  8. Welcome to my world! My web page at has free tutorials. Hopefully, they will help you!

Leave a Reply