Friday, August 23, 2013

Tapestry Crochet - Harlequin Pattern Tutorial


Hello! 

So today I thought I'd chat a bit about the very cool crochet technique called tapestry crochet. 
 Tapestry crochet allows you to create a piece of crochet that plays with colour changes and flat patterns. 
You use two coloured pieces of yarn and crochet over the colour not in use, so you can alternate between two colour as the pattern requires.  
That is pretty much it in a nut shell, so if you know how to crochet, draw up a pattern on graph paper and give it a try!  
Tapestry crochet creates a nice thick fabric, and you can be very creative with the patterns.  I am thinking of lots of things I could make using this technique! More on that later!

A few people asked for a pattern, so if you want a bit more detail, I have done a little tutorial and step by step guide, I hope it doesn't get too confusing. 

So this is how I made my basic harlequin pattern:


Firstly, I used graph paper to draw up my pattern, as you can see it's very simple!  

Each square represents 1 sc stitch. 

My harlequin squares are 13 stitches wide, if you wanted a bigger square you could continue increasing by 2 stitches each row until you get the size you want ( i.e., 15, 17, 19, 21 stitches wide, etc)

This is a repeating pattern, so you can make your piece as wide as you like depending on the number of repeats you do.



I am doing 3 repeats, so the first row of my pattern is 6, 1, 13, 1, 13, 1, 6  = 41 chains to start.

So chain 41 in first colour (pink) then lay the second colour (blue) across the yarn (see above) and ch 1 in pink to trap the blue yarn in the st so it is ready to be carried along the top of the row.




Sc the first 6 st according to the pattern going over the blue yarn, when you get to the last pink st, change to blue to complete the st, so you are ready to use blue for the next st.


ready to do a blue st!
 .


(This is how you change colours throughout the pattern, the stitch before the changed colour, you finish off with the new colour and then proceed in the next stitch with the right colour.  I hope that makes sense, and I''m not too confusing!)

Then you continue on with 1 blue st and 13 pink st, and so on, changing colours as needed and crocheting over the unused colour.



....this is how the first row looks at the end.....




.....bring the unused colour across front of work and 1 ch in pink, then turn work and start the second row, reading the pattern from left to right for every wrong side (even numbered) row, and right to left for odd numbered front side rows.

You get a nice neat edge by trapping the unused yarn at each turn.





...you can see the pattern forming.....so just continue changing from pink to blue and blue to pink as needed.......





....at the last row with 13 blue st, change the colour from pink to blue in the last stitch of the previous row, then trap the pink wool and ch and turn,  so you are able to do blue stitches from the start of the row

......here is what it looks like half way through the pattern, now we just mirror the pattern that we have  done to form the top half of the squares.

At this point you can change the pink wool to a different colour if you want to have different colours for all you rows of squares, like I have done below, or you can continue on with the pink and blue to create a checkered effect.


This is just a very basic guide to tapestry crochet, but I hope you can see it's creative possibilities, I think it could be used for many lovely projects, I am planning a harlequin cot blanket and I think it would make great face washers and potholders in cotton, I will be trying out some different patterns for those I think. (Also cushions, bags, purses, hotwater bottle covers......I could go on and on!)


Anyway, that's it for now, if you do have a go at this and find problems with my instructions, please let me know and I will try and fix them up.  

Have a great weekend!

xxxxxx

Edited to add:  If you would like to have a go at a spotty pattern for tapestry crochet I have another post over here with a graph for spots.  xx

50 comments:

  1. Wow... That is sooo cool. I think I might try a pot holder to see if I can do it. I love the end result. Thanks for the tutorial. :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing its nice that you have spared the time to do it,

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  3. very nice! i´ll give it a try soon!
    thanks so much for the tutorial!
    pami

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  4. Thank you for sharing!!!: I am trying to go very quickly to finish a blanket to be able to begin this lovely arlequin project!!!.
    Thank you again.
    Hugss

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  5. Thanks for the tuto. I did also some tapestry crocheting, did you see my little box? This was crochet in a circle. byebye

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  6. thank you!!!!!
    I love the visual effect of this technique!!!
    Now I'll add it to my do list and pin to my crochet board on Pinterest!!!!
    love, xxxx Ale

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  7. Thank you for taking the time to share this technique. Your harlequin pattern looks fantastic! I can't wait to try it out.

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  8. I just want to say that these are looking mind blowing thanks for the sharing and just keep up the good work.

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  9. Thank you for sharing I can't wait to have a go x

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  10. Thank you for a super tutorial!!!!

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  11. wow, thank you for it, this is super!
    maybe, i can understand it
    /sorry for my english/

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  12. Thank you so much! I was wondering how to do this :) Great tutorial!

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  13. Great tutorial - makes me want to play!

    Eleanor xx

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  14. How neat! Thank you for such a nice, detailed tutorial. All the pictures really make it very clear. Thanks for sharing :-)
    Blessings :-)

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  15. You are so nice to give us the tutorial. Now, I don't have to think!

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  16. Thank you so much... I tried everything to find this kind of pattern... Thank you, it was really kind of you :)

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  17. This is the most wonderful tutorial! I love the look of tapestry crochet but never really knew if I was doing it right. Thank you so much!

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  18. This is lovely, thank you for the tutorial :) Rhondda

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  19. Hello I am Portuguese, I live in Portugal and I'm a fan of your blog, excuse my english, but I hope you know it. Loved the explanation of his scheme. Thank you for your kindness. Kisses and continue to teach things beautiful

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  20. Thanks for the sharing I got many interesting things from it.

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  21. WoW! What es wonderful work!
    Thank you so much for the Tutorial.

    Greetings from Germany
    Traudi aus dem Drosselgarten

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  22. This is fantastic - something I shall have to try sometime. Thanks for the clear explanation on how to achieve the look. I love your wonderful work and the beautiful colours you use.

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  23. Whenever I try to carry yarn you can see it, am I using the wrong hook maybe?

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    1. Hi Vikki. I have the same. I think it may depend on the yarn you are using. If you are using a "fluffy" yarn (by that I mean yarn that gets a bit whispy and looks more "woollie" rather than some really smooth cotton if that makes sense) than maybe you can't see it that much. May also depend on your colour changes. Really strong contrast are probably easier to notice.

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  24. ouah, a real piece of art, but a lot of work and counting a lot ? great techique of crochet,and nice blog....

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  25. Thank you for the great tutorial! I had never tried tapestry crochet before, and really loved it. I ended up making a harlequin pattern cushion, and blogged about it here: http://rettg.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/i-might-have-crochet-cushion-addiction.html

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  26. I have been crocheting for many years and never have I seen this method.I LOVE IT!Thanks.I love your blog site......

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  27. I have been crocheting for many years and never have I seen this method.I LOVE IT!Thanks.I love your blog site......

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  28. I do it a little differently. I drop the color and pick up the other color. sometimes have multiple colors going at one time.

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  29. Thank you so much Jules for this wonderful tutorial - I've had so much fun experimenting with this technique and have posted some of my results with a link to you! Elizabeth x

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  30. Here's a trick you might want to try for changing colors in this kind of a pattern:

    In the 5th photo down from the top where you are switching to the blue, wrap the blue yarn around the hook, AND wrap the orange yarn around the hook right behind it, drawn through both colors to complete the single crochet (or for british terminology double crochet) stitch, and now you have two active loops of yarn on your hook. Place a safety pin or lockable stitch marker on the orange loop and continue working with the blue.

    In the next row on your way back, same procedure, place the waiting orange loop on hook, wrap the blue on hook, draw both through to complete the stitch and place marker on the blue active loop.

    I think this makes and almost invisible transition.

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  31. Oops. Didn't realize you were carrying the unused yarn along.

    The technique I describe requires using separate balls or bobbins for each color block but no need to carry along. You can even use lacy or fancy stitches because there is no carrying along.

    I find that's easier on my hands but not everyone wants to work with bobbins or multiple balls of yarn.

    Give it a try though let me know what you think.

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  32. This is a magnificent tutorial....I am just learning about tapestry crochet and the possibilities for colour-play is making me hyperventilate a little!!!!
    Your work is as wonderful as ever, I LOVE your washcloths so much :o)xxx
    Lx

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  33. Beautiful. I am slowly learning more and more crochet techniques as I am gaining in experience and, hopefully, skill. Thank you for sharing this, I'm hoping to apply it to a project very soon!

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  34. Nice! Thank you for the tut! I was curious on how a chevron bag was created and this is what they used.

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  35. Harma / kusjesvandezusjesMarch 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    This is awesome and very clear! Thank you! Harma (Groningen, the Netherlands)

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  36. Hi Jules, thank you for inspiring me bigtime ! http://tussentweehaakjes.blogspot.nl/2014/05/harlequin-deken.html Best from Holland! Mariette

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  37. WONDERFUL,WONDERFUL!!! PARABÉNS.VALÉRIA.

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  38. Very nice! Thank you for the pattern drawn on paper. Very clear. I see so many patterns explained with just words, I get lost...

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  39. I've just started to dabble with the tapestry technique so many possibilities. Thank you for sharing your tips & hints.

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  40. These are wonderful instructions however I need to know if this is worked with a ball of yarn and the second color just a cut string place over the working yarn. Or should I be working from two complete balls of yarn. I did the first two rows, no problem, now yarn is tugging on the third row. Please advise and Thank you.

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    1. Hi Moms 13th, I work from 2 balls of yarn because over the whole patten you use about the same amount of each colour, the colour that is the carried colour doesn't use as much but as they swap around it evens out. I try and smooth out the tension at the end of each row or just before a colour change to minimise that tugging effect. Hope you have fun with this little pattern.! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment , Julie xx ( littlewoollie)

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  41. Thank you so much for your help with this pattern, I absolutely love it!!!

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  42. If you are using three or more different colors do you carry the yarn in the same way ? If not, how is this done?

    Thanks

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  43. Thank you for sharing this beautiful technique. I will definitely try a project using this.

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  44. Thei is the most beautiful blog and everything abour crochet that I've ever seen on the internet. You are grat and generous. Thank you.....

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  45. Great tutorial!! I´ve tried other ones for my first experience with it and was a bit confusing...
    Can´t wait to try your method. Thanks for sharing!! I love your blog!
    XoXo
    Claudia, from Brazil

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  46. Thanks to you, I've finally understand how change color in the middle of a round. And it changes my life ;-) My project is to cover my banister with a lot of different crochet patterns, including peas, triangles, stripes...
    Thank you very much (and thank you to share with us your colorfull way of life).
    Kisses from France
    Caroline

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