Tapestry Crochet Made Easy


Crochet graphghans are AMAZING to look at but they can be very intimidating to jump into–especially if you really aren’t confident with color changing OR if you haven’t ever attempted cross-stitching.

But it really isn’t very hard once you get the hang of it and the only supplies you will need are ones you probably already have on hand; some yarn, a hook, and a few basic skills!

To get started, I recommend that you pull up your favorite search engine and type in: ‘free simple cross stitch patterns for children’. You should have at least a hundred free sites to choose from and endless possibilities!

One of my favorites is DLTK’S Crafts for Kids. They offer what you need as a beginner—simple patterns that are perfect for practicing this project.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

 

Once you find one that you like, you can choose to print it out in black and white or in color. Here I’ve chosen to print Blue Flower but you can choose anything you feel comfortable working with. Keep in mind that the simpler the design and the less color changes you have, the easier it will be to crochet.

Now comes the fun part! For this project you can use any size hook you are most comfortable with. For me, that’s an H/5mm. After you’ve selected your hook, it’s time to get your colors together! Use an acrylic yarn that’s worsted weight because it’s the simplest to work with. If you want to change your colors from the ones that are recommended, make sure to note which new color corresponds to the correct symbol so you don’t accidentally get them mixed up while crocheting!

Next, it’s time to look at your graph and figure out how many bobbins you will need to load. Bobbins are super simple to make from scrap stuff you have around the house–so don’t panic if you don’t have any!

In order to make one, all you need is a small amount of scrap cardboard or flat plastic. You could even get away with making them out of cardstock but you want to make sure whatever you use is sturdy enough to take having yarn wound around it without buckling on you.

If you’ve ever done cross-stitch work, then you should be familiar with what a bobbin looks like. Instructables.com has a great mini tutorial to show you how to make your own in a few simple steps!

Once you have yours finished, it’s time to load them up with yarn and get started. For my project I’ve loaded two large white and one smaller white for the border, two large pink for the flower, and one large yellow for the center of the flower. You will probably have different colors than me and if you are working another graph you may have more or less bobbins than me.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

After your bobbins are loaded (don’t worry about how much yarn you’ve loaded onto each because you can always add in more yarn later if you need it,) it’s time to plan your strategy!

The way you attack any graph is to look at the boxes. Each box represents ONE single crochet. You can also crochet your graph from any side as long as you are consistent.

Looking at the chart I’ve selected, I’ve decided to work from the bottom up to the top. Doing it that way, I see that I need to start with white and chain 30 +1. (There are 30 boxes across and I need to add in one more chain for when I turn.)

Quick tip here: use a pencil to keep track of your rows as you go!! It makes things much simpler and is invaluable if you have to get up in the middle of your project. I number the row I start with at the beginning and place an X at the end of it to show that I’ve completed it.

For row 2 I see that I need to single crochet 9 in white, 3 in pink, 6 in white, 3 in pink, and 9 in white. This is where my preloaded bobbins will come in handy!

Begin with a sc in the 2nd chain from the hook. Single crochet in the next 8 chains. When you get to your LAST white (or whatever color you have chosen to use here) single crochet–do not finish it. Work that single crochet as follows: Put your hook through the chain and pull up a loop. Attach the next color to your hook and pull through all loops on hook. Color change complete.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

Continue across the row this way, attaching new bobbins of color where needed. When you get to the end of your row it should look something like this (if you chose to use the same graph as I did.)

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

To continue your graph you would simply chain one and begin your next row. Looking at the next row on my graph, I see that I need to crochet 7 in white, so I will crochet the first 7 making sure that I don’t complete the last single crochet. You will notice in this row that when this color ends and the next one begins there is a little bit of a stretch. DON’T PANIC!! Once you get those two loops on your hook it’s time to do a little cheating!!

Most people who work graphghan blankets will do a LOT of cutting and rejoining–and that always ends in lots of tails (and tears after weaving them all in!!) But I’m lazy by nature and I say there isn’t any need to do so much work as long as you are careful and follow my lead here.

Whenever you need to join your next color in a chart, a good rule of thumb is to take into account the amount of space between the change. If it’s more than 5 or 6 spaces, add in a new bobbin. OR, if you need to add in a lot of another color, add in a new bobbin.

However, if you find yourself in a situation like this—where you have a bobbin attached already and there is a gap of say 3 or 4 stitches, simply trail your yarn in backward. How do you do that??? I’ll show you!

After you get your last single crochet set up, simply bring in your new color the same way you did when you set up your last row! Keeping things relatively LOOSE (so you avoid nasty puckers) join your new color by bringing it across the front of your work. Pull through to join. It’s that simple.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

Now the trick to hiding your ‘trail tail’ is to crochet over it and no one will ever be the wiser that it’s there! In order to crochet over your tail, make sure you are putting your hook under the tail AND both loops for the entire length of the tail. Doing it that way will ensure a cute (and neat) finished project.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

Also, keep an eye on that tension. New crocheters tend to pull either too tightly, forcing all of the stitches to move out of alignment at the joins, or too loosely—and that creates horrible gaps at the join!! You don’t want either so you may have to practice a few times to get it down. Don’t give up though!!

After you finish a few more rows, you might notice that some of your bobbins are no longer needed. In order to make your life simpler, snip those off, leaving a long tail to weave in later, and set them aside.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

Continue on this way, adding in new color and crocheting over your tails when you have to, all the way up your graph!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

Once your graph is complete, the only thing left is to weave in your tails! Since you should have been leaving relatively long tails when cutting your bobbins loose, you can use the extra length to close any oddball gaps in your joins that you may have.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

That’s all there is to creating a beautiful tapestry crochet piece and it works the same with ANY graph at all. After you have some simple projects under your belt, scale it up and create a beautiful graphghan! Larger projects will take longer, but they all follow the same steps outlined above!

If you’d like to share your finished project, come find me on facebook!

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16 thoughts on “Tapestry Crochet Made Easy

  1. April April 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm Reply

    These are awesome tips!!! Thanks so much for all the clarification.

    Like

  2. seniorcrafter July 24, 2015 at 9:25 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Krafty-Senior–Needle News and commented:

    My first one and want to do soon.

    Like

  3. Denise August 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm Reply

    What program do you use to make your graph patterns?

    Like

  4. Angela Faulk August 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm Reply

    I am not able to see any of the pictures with this post. Any ideas?

    Like

    • Tanya Naser August 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply

      None at all!! Maybe it’s something with the settings on your computer?? I hope you can figure it out!!

      Like

      • Angela Faulk August 26, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        Unfortunately they don’t show up on my phone either. They are just white boxes with the broken image icon in the middle and the pin it button at the top. And it has the web address to this post in the top of the box. If I try to open the image in a new tab it brings up this “We cannot complete this request, remote data was invalid” the first image of the chart pattern from dltk does show up if I open in new tab but the others don’t. I really want to view the pics because I am a very much a visual learner and am wanting to attempt my first project like this. So far out of all the things I’ve read this post seems to be the most helpful except that I can’t see the pics.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Tanya Naser August 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm Reply

      After asking a TON of amazing crocheters to come on over and help me visualize what you’re experiencing, I decided to reload all of the photos in this blog post with the hopes that the update will pop up for you. It’s possible that the photos were corrupted when I recently updated the blog to a new layout. Hopefully, uploading them again and replacing the original photos will help! Let me know if that’s made any difference at all for you 🙂

      Like

      • Angela August 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

        That worked! I can see them. Thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Roxanne June 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm Reply

    i like to crochet every other row (the wrong side rows, i think), by inserting my hook from back to front, so the finished look is more neat in the color changes.

    Like

  6. Lorraine Sanchez August 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Ive been getting more curious about this new and exciting way to crochet from a graph. But thought I would need to wait until I really had the time to learn it. I was wrong. I just found out how it works from reading your instructions. Thank you for making it so easy to learn. I don’t have to wait any longer to simply use any pattern from my many cross stitch books I already have.

    Like

  7. Dione~psalms348blog June 2, 2013 at 1:03 am Reply

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for a few blogging awards. Check out the details here: http://psalms34eight.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/six-awards/

    Like

  8. noelle69 May 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Willowby Cottage.

    Like

  9. *Wisher* May 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm Reply

    thank you for this tutorial. I’ve learn something from you today.. thumbs up.. will try to attempt it one day. cheers

    Like

  10. L. Marie May 2, 2013 at 10:08 am Reply

    That’s beautiful! It would make afghan (or graphghan)

    Like

  11. Jen L May 2, 2013 at 7:56 am Reply

    Thank you so much! I have been trying to work out how to do this for weeks and your method seems the simplest.

    Like

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