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Tapestry Crochet Basics & a Simple Pattern

(This pattern was developed here at
Earth Guild by Esther Holsen.)

Tapestry crochet, also called Jaquard, Fair Isle or Mosaic, is a fascinating technique with extraordinary design possibilities. It turns up in many places around the world. Guatemalan handbags, Rasta and West African hats, and Israeli yarmulkes (made in Palestine) are all worked in tapestry crochet.
It is most often done in single crochet, using two contrasting strands at a time (one is visible, one becomes a core or foundation). This pattern makes a piece “in-the-round” (really a soft cornered octagon), with just enough increases to make it lie flat. It is worked in a spiral, always from the same side, and can be done in any yarn.

Two contrasting colors of the same yarn, the appropriate size of crochet hook, and a yarn needle.
The picture above shows examples of the exact same pattern worked in two different yarns. The bigger, table-mat-size one (12 inches point-to-point) is made from Lily Sugar’n Cream, with a size G (4.25 mm) hook. It uses about 70 yards of the white, about 80 of the green. The smaller, coaster-size one (7.5 inches across) is made from hand-dyed 4/2 cotton, with a #1 (2.75 mm). It uses 45 yards of the yellow, and 50 of the blue.
To work the pattern, you must already know how to do single crochet in the round and spiralling (not stepping-up). Includes, besides the pattern itself, tapestry crochet basics, tips, design notes and graph paper for you to work out your own designs.

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(Updated January 20, 2021)

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