LEARN TO STITCH TAPESTRY CROCHET
A fun and easy way to add colorwork!
Tapestry crochet is a fun and easy way to add colorwork to your crocheting. You can make a whole piece in tapestry crochet or just add a single chart to your project. The ideas are limited only by your imagination! This technique can be worked in rounds or rows but for this article we will be focusing on working solely in rounds.
Tapestry crochet is a very firm and warm fabric, which makes it perfect for bags, mitts and mittens! When making something wearable in this stitch, we want to be sure we use yarns that are a DK weight or lighter. Any thicker and the item becomes a bit too firm and heavy. We still want nice drape and some ease when working on wearable items.
When first beginning, charts can seem a bit intimidating but tapestry crochet charts are actually very simple to follow. Each square in the chart represents one stitch and each chart row represents one round of crochet. The charts are always read from bottom to top and right to left. Every round is started on the right side of the chart. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of knitting and cross stitch charts that you can use to make a design in tapestry crochet. The main difference between knitting the charts and crocheting them is that crochet has a noticeable slant to it that must be factored into your project. Crochet stitches don’t stack on top of each other as knit stitches do. Working in a spiral, which we still call a round, is an easy way to deal with that issue and the stitches line up nicely with the charts.
We also need to use special graph paper to chart out our tapestry charts. These special charts have the slant factored in and allow us to see if our idea will work or if we will need to modify it.
Stitch markers are very important when learning tapestry crochet. Using stitch markers to mark the beginning of each chart repeat helps to cut down on any confusion, especially at the very beginning of the round. Be sure to only use locking markers— you want to be able to open and close them in order to move them up as you work. For ease of following the chart, always mark with a pen, pencil or sticky note the beginning of every round on your chart as well.
Keeping your yarns from becoming tangled can also be an issue when working with more than one ball of yarn. For this project just keep one ball of yarn on your left side and the other on your right side. Doing that will really cut down on the yarns twisting together while you are working on the chart. When you move on to more colors you will need to get a bit more creative. You can use yarn bowls, plastic bags or even plastic tubs with holes drilled in them through which to feed the yarn. The key to keeping them from tangling is to prevent them from being side-by-side as you work!
One of the hardest parts of learning tapestry crochet is remembering how to change colors so they form a full stitch. To do this we simply close our single crochet stitch with the new color and then make the next stitch in the new color. We also don’t need to weave in most of the ends; we can just crochet over them like we do when we are carrying the second color. We will need to weave in the very beginning end and the very last end.
You can use multiple yarns in tapestry crochet, but the added thickness will need to be taken into consideration for your piece. For our swatch, we will work into the cuff of our tapestry crochet mitt project. We will only be using two colors to learn our new technique. Color A is chocolate or dark brown and color B is ecru or cream. After completing the first 5 rounds of the project mitt pattern, we will start working on our chart. To begin our first stitch of the chart in round 6 with color
Tapestry crochet is made by working with two or more yarns to create geometric shapes.
B, we will insert our hook into the first stitch (see Photo 1), yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through the 2 loops on our hook. Place a stitch marker in the first stitch (see Photo 2). Insert our hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through both loops, crocheting over color A as we work (see Photo 3). We will work our single crochets with the color B two more times into the chain of our project pattern’s thumb hole. Be sure to keep an even tension on the yarn you are crocheting over— if it’s too tight, the project will pucker but if you carry it too loosely, it will poke through your work and be visible. Next, we will yarn over with color B and pull up a loop, then yarn over in color A and pull through the 2 loops on our hook (see Photo 4). Then we will insert our hook into the next stitch and yarn over with color A and pull up a loop, then yarn over in color B and pull through the 2 loops on our hook (see Photo 5). Single crochet in the next stitch. Place the stitch marker in the first stitch of the new chart repeat (see Photo 6). Continue following the chart repeats until we reach the second-to- last stitch of the round. Leaving 2 loops on the hook, we will yarn over with color A and pull through both of the loops on our hook (see Photo 7). Then we will single crochet in our next stitch. Insert the hook into the stitch with the marker in it, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over with color B and pull through both loops on hook (see Photo 8). Move the stitch marker up into the first stitch of the new round just made (see Photo 9). We will continue following the chart until our motif is complete. Tapestry crochet is a beautiful way to bring colorful shapes and images to your projects. It’s an easily mastered stitch that quickly becomes addictive as you see your pattern emerge! It’s also a fantastic addition to your crochet toolbox!
Fingerless Gloves Chart