Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.
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Today, I’m excited to share a review of Australian crochet designer and teacher Renate Kirkpatrick‘s Tapestry Crochet: 64 Playful Patterns for Children (Milner Craft Series) as well as a giveaway for a copy of the book, courtesy of Sterling Publishing.
I’m a big fan of Renate’s work. I had the pleasure of interviewing her back in 2011 here, and I’ve also included her Crochet Techniques (Milner Craft Series) on my list of Must-Have Beginner Crochet Books. So it’s perhaps no surprise that I also enjoyed Tapestry Crochet.
Renate’s purpose with this booklet is to introduce her readers (and students) to a new technique through a sampler rug (that’s a blanket to U.S. readers). She opens the booklet by describing 3 different crochet colorwork techniques – intarsia, tapestry, and jacquard. Interestingly, she describes jacquard as what we call tapestry crochet in the States – where the unused color is worked over.
Renate then shares an 5-page Crochet Fundamentals section which includes tips for changing colors, maintaining tension with frequent color changes, reading grids, finishing, and blocking. A 6-page How to Work the Squares section includes general instructions for the squares and edging, tips for joining, and illustrated instructions for double crochet (U.S. single crochet) and crab stitch.
The rest of the booklet includes 64 full-color charts for squares. Each chart also includes a photograph of the finished square. Renate includes a handful of numbers and letters (1, 2, 3, and A, B, C), but most of the charts are more detailed graphics including signs, people, transportation, food, household items, and animals. Most charts include multiple colors. Each chart includes a full count of rows and stitches, directional arrows to remind you of how to read the chart for alternating rows, and numbered counts for each group of colors within a row – basically, everything you need to keep track of your color changes ;).
This is a great booklet for a crocheter interested in trying out color changes using tapestry crochet or other colorwork methods. It’s also a great book for a crocheter who enjoys making blankets or gifts for children, since the patterns come together to make a great baby blanket. Because each square includes the same number of stitches, the squares are easy to mix and match with each other, or with your own designs.
The booklet is shorter than some of Renate’s previous books, and it doesn’t include as much detail. However, since tapestry crochet (and other methods of changing colors using single crochet stitches) is much more straightforward than the topics covered in her other books, I think the length is appropriate. As with other (mostly) pattern books, your enjoyment will be increased if you like the included patterns. Unfortunately, the square patterns are not listed on Renate’s Ravelry page, but she does share images of 24 of the squares on her website here.
I would recommend this booklet to a beginner crocheter who wants to start experimenting with color, or a more advanced crocheter who enjoys tapestry crochet and/or making blankets.
I’m pleased to offer a giveaway for a copy of Tapestry Crochet: 64 Playful Patterns for Children (Milner Craft Series) today, courtesy of Sterling Publishing. The giveaway is open to U.S. readers only. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 for your chance to win.