Trapper Joel

Many readers have asked, “Where do you find the people you feature in your blog?” Well, some of them email me with questions or comments and others post pictures of their work in the online tapestry crochet groups. I found Joel Erickson’s wonderful hats and bags in the Tapestry Crochet group at Ravelry, where he goes by the name, Trapper336.

His introduction to tapestry crochet is quite interesting. Joel explains, “It all started when I read the book, Snow Walker’s Companion, by Garrett and Alexandra Conover. They have winter camping skills in the book and told and showed some “Chimo” hats which I later found out are called Pang or Nasaq or Nassak made by the Inuit. I looked them up on the internet and found some for sale but thought they were kind of spendy. Now I think different.”

“Being laid up from a spine surgery I thought I would learn to crochet and see if I could make one. I’ve messed with string before – being a rancher it is everywhere. Bale twine to ropes for ranch work. I have also braided for a long time so I thought it was just another string (yarn).”

“I went to my county Extension Home Economist and got a pamphlet on crochet for 4-H ers. I also bought a learn crochet book at The Yarn Stash in Minot ND and away I went. Little did I know. I am left handed but I decided to bite the bullet and learn right handed because I thought it would be easier down the trail. I started my quest in November of 2008.”

Joel’s first tapestry crochet piece
Joel’s first tapestry crochet attempt in January of 2009.

“My Mother had some old acrylic yarn and that is what I started out with. I have since found out wool is nicer. I found tapestry crochet information on the web and watched the videos and asked more questions. I got some graph paper and drew my own designs on some and used some charts from other sources.”

Joel’s Second and Third Nassak Hats
Joel’s second and third Nassak style hats, Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted, 2009. He realized that, “The top (left hat) turned out better with the new increase tech I used with Shayne39‘s advice. I figured out how to make one square edge on the design on this one (right hat).”

Yarnfloozie (the Yarn Stash owner) got me hooked up with Ravelry which has been a good thing. I asked questions of lots of Ravelry people while I learned. Then I found out the hats were done in what was called tapestry crochet or stranded or intarsia I still have questions about all the terminology. Just a few weeks ago I found out about using the front loop or back loop only. Looking forward to trying that out.”

Joel’s Fourth and Fifth Nassak Style Hats
Joel’s fourth (March 2009) and fifth (May 2009) Nassak style hats. His instructions for the left hat are posted to Ravelry as a free download.

Joel’s Tapestry Crocheted Hats
Joel’s hats made with Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Super Wash, April 2009 (left) and Patons Decor (right)

Joel’s Tapestry Crocheted Dice Bags
Joel’s Dice Bags, tapestry crocheted with scraps of yarn, August 2009.

“I am still learning. Yarnfloozie told me to enter some of my projects in the North Dakota State Fair, so I entered my first wool Nassaq just for fun. I didn’t think I had a chance but was flabbergasted when I got a blue ribbon. Also a white ribbon on a felted solid color hat.”

Joel described the next four hats on his Ravelry project pages: “Parts of the geometric pattern (lower left hat) are from Salish Indian Sweaters by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts (photo by Yarnfloozie), it is hat two for the Bible Camp auction.”

“Pi r round… cornbread r square. This was nice yarn only a little short in length. Only had about 18 inches left. First time using a multicolored Wool Yarn. Finished off with a crab stitch.  I thought the numbers could have showed better till I saw it from a distance and it worked. Started with an increase of 5 for awhile then went to 7 and then back to 5 as I got done with the top getting more dome shaped. I hope this intimidates the crowd at Wednesday night trivia at The Blue Rider.”

Joel’s Sixth Nassak Hat and his Pi Hat
Nassak style hat (May 2009) and Pi Hat, Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted wool, September 2009

“I saw Absinthia’s Mobile Phone Pouch and had to smile. Here in North Dakota we have some turkey buzzards. They are amazing fliers and you usually have to look into the sun to see them. Also it reminded me of a cartoon in a magazine I saw once of two buzzards sitting in a tree and one says to the other, ‘Patience my ass I’m going to kill some thing.’ So that is why I had to make this hat (lower left).”

“Did a different increase sequence (lower right hat) and liked it better 5 stitches per round, then started staggering the increases part way down. I think this bird could be Big Bird’s evil brother 😉 ”

Joel’s Bird Motif Hats
Both hats were tapestry crocheted in August of 2009 with Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted wool.

“Here is some thing I have found out since I learned how to crochet. I have worn some of my hats and people stop me and ask me about them and where I got them. I tell them I made them my self after learning to crochet and some give me the stink eye like they don’t believe me but it is fun and makes one feel good. Now that I know a little more than I did a year ago I will stop some one and ask if they are wearing something they made them self. I can tell the difference now. 😉 ”

Joel Erickson tapestry crocheting
Joel tapestry crocheting a hackey sack at The Yarn Stash, “Just making it up as I go along out of crochet cotton.

To see more of Joel’s great work and other tapestry crochet designs, check out what’s going on in the Tapestry Crochet groups at Ravelry, Yahoo, Flickr, Soiree, Facebook, and elsewhere!

4 Responses to “Trapper Joel”

  1. Paula says:

    hi Joel great hats !!! would you be willing to share the instructions , Ive been looking everywher . I am a fairly new crocheter and I would love to make one for my kids

  2. Trapper Joel says:

    Join Ravelry some of the patterns are there for a free download.

  3. Its just amazing
    I want to follow you

  4. Rosemary Pohl says:

    Lovely hats,Joel…..I’d sure like to learn how to make them…

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