Hard Crochet Tapestry can be a little tricky. When you are working in a continuous direction all your designs will lean to the right (for right handed crochet) or the left (for left handed crochet). In order to help you see this, I've created an Eyeglass Case (pictured to the left) that we will use in this lesson. You will be able to download the lesson and the pattern separately, but I felt it was important to have the visual.
When I started working with Hard Crochet the leaning was a frustration to me. I wanted to create beautiful designs but couldn't get past the natural leaning of the work. Mr. Mark Dittrick (the original creator of Hard Crochet) was very good at explaining this, I just wasn't very good at understanding.
Just below you'll see a link to a PDF, created by Carol Ventura, for 'leaning' graph paper. I strongly suggest you look up her work and invest in some of her books. When it comes to tapestry crochet she is awesome and explains things very well.
The GOOD thing that came of my "not understanding" was that I developed another way to create straight designs. You will learn this second way in the next lesson. But first, it's important to understand and learn the natural 'lean'. For the sake of separating the two I am calling this lesson "Hard Crochet Tapestry", and the next lesson I'm calling "Hard Crochet Intarsia". I know, technically there isn't much difference, but I need a way to separate these two methods.
Yarn: For the Lesson use Caron Simply Soft - Solids - in 2 colors that you love. You can use left over yarn as you'll only need a little bit. For the actual pattern you'll need between 38 - 42 yards of each color.
Hook: C / 2.75mm Crochet Hook. I like the Clover Brand, but you can use any hook you love that's 2.75mm
Other: Scissors, 2 stitch markers (I use bobby pins), yarn needle to hide ends.
Gauge: To truly check gauge you should single crochet in the round. However you can single crochet back and forth as well. 6 stitches = 1 inch (24 stitches = 4 inches). 6.5 rows = 1 inch (26 rows = 4 inches)
See the end of this Lesson to Go To the Free Eyeglass Case Pattern.
At the beginning a person simply wants to learn how to work with the tight stitches, using the C / 2.75mm hook. You can find the first lesson here: http://www.moms-crochet.com/hardcrochet.html. However, as time passes, and you get really good at making the stitches (it just takes practice) many crocheters want to start creating designs. That's what these 2 lessons are about.
We are SO LUCKY to live in the age of computers. This graph paper was created by Carol Ventura. You would do good to look her up and buy some of the wonderful books she's written about tapestry crochet. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL work and designs. Here's the link to the PDF that shows the page pictured to the right:
Print out the graph paper (add to it if you're working with a big design) and create your design using solid blocks. Just color them in. Here's a secret: Tape your design to a bright window. Place the graph paper over the design and color your blocks in that way. I use a pencil at first so I can erase mistakes if I need to. The bright window will shine through the design and you'll be able to see it through the graph paper.
If you have a design that repeats several times, you may want to 'test' your design - doing only one - by making a small tube. After you've done one you can adjust your design on the graph paper (if needed).
Changing color is a little different when crocheting designs. You can see the basics just below.
Just like 'regular' tapestry crochet (Free 'Normal' Tapestry Crochet Lessons Start Here: http://www.moms-crochet.com/intarsia-crochet-basic.html) when you get to the first row (or round in this case) you'll need to add your second color, and crochet around it until your first color change. You do this by holding the color against the row ...
draw up a loop with your working color, with the other color held in place behind. Catch the thread, like you normally do, and over the second color, finish the stitch.
In our case (making a slanted checkerboard) you start with the first row where you're going start your color change. In more advanced designs you can add your color right before the design starts.
When it comes time to actually change color you start 1 stitch BEFORE the placement of the design.
Start your stitch by drawing up a loop. Drop the black, pick up the white (that you've been crocheting around) and finish the stitch. What this does is give you your first color where it needs to be, and the thread on your hook starts the second color.
Here's an Advantage
Here's an interesting advantage, to hard crochet tapestry, that you may not notice if you're newer to tapestry crochet. Because you are crocheting in the same direction the second color threads are hidden much better.
The top picture (red and white) is tapestry crochet going back and forth. The boxes are straight. However you can see the red thread below the white.
The picture below shows the boxes crocheting in the round. The boxes slant. But you'll note that the black thread is much more hidden under the white.
To go to the Free Pattern Page,
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