I have long loved Just Be Happy Crochet, the blog from crochet designer Alessandra Hayden, so of course I was thrilled to learn that she had authored a book. Modern Tapestry Crochet teaches you step-by-step how to work the graphic patterns of tapestry crochet while giving you 20 different patterns to practice the technique.
From the Introduction
“Tapestry crochet allows me to create intricately colored pieces reminiscent of Fair Isle designs, while still working with a single hook. The technique I use is relatively simple, and once you try it, I’m confident you’ll be crocheting beautiful color work in no time!” – Alessandra Hayden
Learning Tapestry Crochet
The first section of the book is where Alessandra teaches us her techniques and the tricks she’s learned for tapestry crochet. She encourages the reader to have fun with experimentation but offers her own suggestions to help you along. For example, she says that “any yarn can be used for tapestry crochet” but she prefers to work with medium-weight natural fibers. She explains her reasoning behind this, which gives us some great insight into choices we can make for the craft.
More importantly, Alessandra really gets into detail about how to do this craft. She explains, with photographs and extra notes, how to carry your yarn, read charts, change colors, and work through the back loop only. She talks about tapestry crochet both in rows and in the round, shares information on how tension in this niche differs from typical crochet, and wraps up with some finishing tips for polishing off your piece. All of this will teach you how to tapestry crochet and you can refer back to the section for help as you work any of the crochet projects that follow.
Types of Tapestry Crochet Projects
There are four different sections of crochet projects in this book. The first section is neckwear: two cowls, two scarves and a shawl. The second section is headwear: five tapestry crochet hats and a headband. The third section is an interesting mix of blankets and bags. And finally there are patterns for your hands and feet: mitts, mittens, socks and slippers. As you can see, some of the crochet projects are small, and you can use them to get your feet wet with the technique while getting some instant gratification from your results; other projects are bigger and allow you to really practice tapestry crochet over time.
Tapestry Crochet Patterns
The crochet patterns in this book are written with great detail. There are notes at the beginning of each project that help you with the details of this niche (such as “you will always start with A and carry a strand of B”). Sometimes there is extra information for adapting the pattern (such as “it’s easy to modify the length to suit your style by simply adding or removing pattern repeats” for the Route Maps Scarf. Each pattern has written and graphed instructions as well as both detailed and full-project photos.
Many of the crochet patterns in this book use only two colors. This allows you to get the feel for how to work tapestry crochet without getting confused by a million color changes. The nature of the designs is so graphic that you get a beautiful pop on each pattern, making it a statement piece in only the two colors. There are also several patterns for those people who want to play with more colors, getting the full impact of all of the color work possibilities in tapestry crochet. The charts on these patterns are also color coded, which is especially helpful for beginners.
All of the crochet patterns in this book are worked with #4 worsted / Aran weight yarn. The majority of them are worked with a size G or H crochet hook, although a few are worked with a larger size J and the crochet socks are worked with a smaller E/ F.