How to Do Tapestry Crochet With Free Patterns
What is Different About Tapestry Crochet?
Tapestry crochet is a type of crochet where you use a base color of yarn and work in different designs with other colors. The completed project looks more like a woven piece than crochet. It is completed a little differently than other methods.
The technique has been around for years, but Carol Ventura has made it popular in the US. She found beautiful bags, hats, baskets and other items while she served in the Peace Corp in Guatemala. This type of work is popular in many other countries as well.
At one time, it was called hard crochet, color work, jacquard, or mosaic crochet. Tapestry crochet better fits the technique, because you end up with a beautiful tapestry that looks like it was woven on a loom.
It can be completed with or without beads. The beads add a nice touch. You can use almost any type of yarn. Once you learn the method and create the designs, you can crochet almost anything with this technique. Purses and bags are popular.
Carol Ventura, Youtube
How to do Tapestry Crochet
Tapestry crochet is usually completed with single crochet stitches. Higher stitches are used on occasion to help form the design. It doesn't leave strands of yarn on the back of the work, so this is an advantage over other crochet techniques. You'll need to learn the crab stitch. The crab stitch is just doing the stitches in reverse.
- To start, you will just single crochet, but when you get to the end of the row, don't turn. Instead work in reverse single crochet, also known as the crab stitch. To do a reverse single crochet, keep the work facing you at all times. At the end of the row, rather than turning the piece, work single crochets to the right rather than to the left like you would usually do.
- Then when you start the next row, work to the right again. This is easy, as long as you remember to never turn your piece of work.
- Following a chart, you will make color changes by crocheting with the yarn behind the previous color used. You'll be crocheting with two strands of yarn at one time. This will form a heavy fabric with no strands showing on the back of the work.
- If the strands start winding around each other, you'll have to unwind them. Don't wait too long to do this, or it will become a bigger job unwinding.
The heavy fabric works well for purses, baskets and anything where you need a heavy fabric.You can even create a beautiful wall hanging,purses, bowls, baskets or rugs. Your finished piece will be a work of art.
If you have any problems with the stitches or patterns, there is an entire Yahoo Group that is dedicated to this type of crochet. You can ask any questions that you have there. The group is wonderful about helping. Carol has also created several videos besides the one shown here that will teach you how to use beads with your work and many other advanced techniques.
Free Patterns from Around the Web
You can use many of the vintage Tunisian and filet crochet charts to design your own patterns. To find free patterns designed for Tapestry Crochet, just click on the blue titles below to find the them.
Red Heart Yarn, Youtube
By Carol Ventura, Youtube
These charts can all be used to create your own tapestry crochet designs.
Angels Crochet offers free chart patterns for 26 different designs. You can even print your own graph paper. Included at the site are 2 charts for cats, a panther, dinosaur, frogs, bats, angels and more.
Shona's Place has so many graphs that you'll never get finished crocheting all that you'd like to do. She includes lots of dogs, cats, wolves and too many more to name.
The Stylish Crochet Blog has several charts that are for filet crochet, but would work fine for tapestry too.
These three sites alone have so many graphs to choose from, you are sure to find just what you'd like to use.
Design Your Own Pattern
If you've crocheted a few of these projects, you are on your way to designing your own. Use some graph paper to map out your own design. Start out simple and then share the design with the world. There aren't many patterns available with this technique.