I first met Carol Ventura in a class at TNNA in January. I learned the basics of Tapestry Crochet–which is crocheted colorwork, and I also got to talk a lot to Carol about her work. She’s a prolific designer creating beautiful baskets, bags, and even garments. She’s also a professor with a PhD in Art–she has studied the history of tapestry crochet around the world. She’s traveled throughout Central America studying the work crocheters and weavers and other traditional fiber artists create.
Her book, More Tapestry Crochet, gives us a beautiful pictoral look at that history. She also explains in explicit detail not only how to create tapestry crochet, but how to design your own. (Oh, by the way, the book is called More Tapestry Crochet, and is her second book on the subject–she has a video too–but this book is perfectly suitable for beginners and has more information than the first.)
As Carol teaches, because crochet stitches are slanted, not straight, normal graph paper can’t be used for creating crochet charts–otherwise your designs will be askew. Carol has created graph paper herself which anyone can use to create their own charts–there’s specific paper for left-handed and right-handed crocheters, crocheting in the round, and crocheting back an forth.
Of course, the book also has a large number of patterns including a beautiful bag inspired by MC escher, scarves, wraps and baskets–there are color photographs and very clear instructions. As a bonus, there’s also background information on various fibers, from silk to cotton to alpaca–where they come from and how they are produced.
As Carol says, “Tapestry crochet has the flexibility and portability of crochet, but the finished pieces look woven.”
UPDATE: Carol just wrote to tell me she has a new book which will be available in September called Beaded and Felted Tapestry Crochet! I’ll post about it as soon as I get a chance to see it.