Beginner’s Guide to Tapestry Crochet

Have you ever seen beautiful crochet colorwork…and just wished? If you’re like me, you probably saw it and desperately wanted to try, but it just seemed so intimidating.

Awhile back I finally jumped into colorwork and started learning about it. Recently I’ve gotten into Tapestry Crochet, which is a beautiful method for changing colors! (I mostly love it because you’re left with very few ends to weave in!) 😉

And Tapestry Crochet is not too hard. It is really very simple to learn, so in this post I want to give you a beginner’s guide to tapestry crochet!

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

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Before we get started, let me show you a few examples of Tapestry crochet.

Below is a tapestry crochet design I am currently working on! Can you tell what it is? 😉

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

Here’s one more. Stephanie from Stuff Steph Makes has a bunch of free tapestry crochet patterns on her blog, including the one shown below, the Cactus Basket.

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

As you can see, color is EVERYTHING in Tapestry crochet! The possibilities are endless!

So, there’s a couple things you need to know before we get into the basics of this technique.

First, Tapestry crochet can be worked both in rows and in rounds. Personally, I prefer to work it in rounds (like the cactus basket above) because the overall result is much cleaner. However, rows are also possible.

Also, this post does not cover every single detail of tapestry crochet. We will be going over the basic things you need to know in order to start your first project. We will go over how carry colors and how to change colors.

And, I will be doing some follow-up posts! In the coming days I’ll go over other details, such as how to read a tapestry crochet chart, and other details you’ll want to know! Be sure to subscribe to my email list to see these posts when they’re published.

All right, lets begin!

How to Carry Colors

Okay, this is one of the most important elements of tapestry crochet. Because of this technique, you will only have a few ends to weave in when your project is done!

Basically, whenever you aren’t using a color, you will crochet over it with your working color. Follow the picture tutorial below:

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

FREE CROCHET PATTERNS I LOVE (AND YOU SHOULD TOO!)

1. NIAGARA CARDIGAN 2. NEW YORK SIGN 3. WAVE SHAWL

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

As you can see, the orange yarn is hidden within the tan stitches!

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

Basically, whenever you’re not using a color, you will hide it in this way. Then you’ll pick it up again when you’re ready to switch colors. Learn how to do the color switch by reading on below!

How to Change Colors

This is probably the most important step in Tapestry crochet.

First, begin a regular single crochet stitch with your working color (in the pictures, the working color is tan.) Insert hook into next stitch, YO, draw up a loop with working color.

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

Now, drop the working yarn and pick up the new color. Finish the stitch you started with this new color—YO, draw through 2 loops.

As you can see in the picture below, we have a tan stitch, with an orange top loop. Now you will be continuing with the orange, and hiding, or “carrying” the tan within the orange stitches.

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

Below, I have changed colors and continued with the orange. As you can see, the color change is completely seamless.

beginner's guide to tapestry crochet

These are the 2 most basic principles in Tapestry crochet! Now that you know how to carry colors and change colors, you have a great foundation to start this technique. As I said before, however, there are some more “ins and outs” that everyone should know about tapestry crochet.

Now you know some basics of tapestry crochet…but there’s still more to learn! I have a follow up post about tapestry crochet that talks about some other secrets you need to know. Find that post here!

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I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to help!

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Happy Crocheting!

— Rachel 🙂