Friday, October 21, 2011

Monte Vista Collar

My Monte Vista Collar, 
is now available as a Ravelry download.

The layered pattern of this collar adds a three-dimensional quality
while the buttons add elegance and versatility. It can be worn buttoned up
for warmth or opened at the top like a shirt collar.
Crochet Symbol Charts Included
Yarn: Any worsted-weight yarn, approximately 218 yards. 
Model shown in Classic Elite Inca Marl, 100% Alpaca, (50g/109yds); color: Du Berry Rose.
Supplies: Size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook, yarn needle, 4 Buttons, size 7/8” (22mm), 
needle to thread buttons, and 4 Safety pins for assisting with button placement.
Finished Dimensions: Approximately 6” (15cm) wide by 20” (51cm) long.

It's also available on 

Craftsy, Kollabora, and Patternfish.

Tapestry Crochet: Choosing the Right Yarn

The first key to successful tapestry crochet is yarn.

When choosing a yarn, keep your project in mind. Not just for a great color combination, but also to get the kind of fabric you want.

When making bags, you are probably going to want a very sturdy fabric and so you need to begin with a sturdy yarn. Popular choices are cotton, acrylic, and wool. Take a look at the photos and you'll see all three fibers represented in that order.

Regardless of what fiber you choose make sure that the yarn doesn't have much loft. Loft could be described as soft, fluffy, and light...all the things that are great for a scarf or a sweater, but not what you usually need in a bag.

Once you've picked out your yarn, you need to make sure you work with a snug tension. This gives you a dense fabric that is durable and won't let things poke through. A snug tension also minimizes the appearance of the inactive yarn being carried inside the stitch. The looser your tension the more you can see the inactive yarn. While you can never make it disappear, a good snug tension will minimize its appearance.

Finally, choosing your yarn color combination can really affect the final look and feel of the pattern you work. Going with natural colors can make it feel earthy and grounded. Going with vivid colors will keep it fresh and vibrant.

(Hint: The first photo is a sneak peak at my next bag in process.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tapestry Crochet: An Introduction

Tapestry crochet is a method of crochet colorwork where the inactive yarns are carried inside the stitches that are being worked.

I was first introduced to this technique through the book Tapestry Crochet by Carol Norton (Ventura). I was drawn to both the dense fabric and by the fact that it allowed me to create color patterns.

One of my first projects where I developed my skills in this technique was this bag.

I used some orange rug yarn and hand spun Churro guard hair. The effect is really nice with the color variations in the Churro.

Essentially all you're doing is a very snug single crochet and the inactive color is carried inside the stitch. To change colors is done in the final yarn over and pull through.

Carol Ventura, the author of the book I learned from has set up a wonderful web site for tapestry crochet resources. There are videos and tutorials that can help you learn this great crochet technique.

I've published two bag patterns of my own that use this technique. My Waza Bag and my Past Times Bag. More are in the works.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Past Times Bag

I'm offering a new pattern for sale on Ravelry called Waza Purse.

Take your crochet projects with you in this flat bottomed bag inspired by Old World embroidery patterns. The strap is adjustable to suit your preference and the stone bead closure adds an extra flair of interest.

Tapestry graph included.
Yarn: Worked in 2 colors in any worsted-weight yarn.
Model shown in Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted.
350 yds (320 m) of Amythyst, 250 yds (229 m) of Grass.
Supplies: Size G-6 (4 mm) crochet hook, yarn needle,
locking or split ring stitch marker, and 1"/2.5 cm pendant or bead.
Finished Dimensions: Bag is approximately 10" (25.5 cm) in diameter and 13" (33 cm) tall. When stretched the strap is approximately 54" (137 cm) before tying to bag. Length may be adjusted when tying strap.

It's also available on 

Craftsy, Kollabora, and Patternfish.