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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 14, 2003 - Issue 89


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Tapestry Crochet Necklace Pouch


Note: Dr. Carol Ventura has generously allowed us to share her tapesty crochet project with you. In the next issue, we'll give the instructions for a tapestry crochet basket. For more information please take a minute (or two) and visit her site at:

Dr. Carol Ventura

This project will introduce you to some basic tapestry crochet techniques. The base is crocheted first, then the rounds move upwards to form the walls. The motif is six stitches wide, so the total number of stitches in the base is a multiple of six. It is possible to make a larger pouch with the same design motif simply by increasing the size of the chain by six stitches. Feel free to substitute another motif, just be sure that the total number of stitches in the chain is a multiple of the number of stitches in your motif. Any type of thread or yarn can be used for tapestry crochet. This pouch was crocheted with mercerized cotton thread, but feel free to substitute another thread or yarn.

  • Materials: red and white size 3 J. & P. Coats Speed-Cro-Sheen (or a substitute); a safety pin or a piece of thread of a contrasting color for counting the rounds.
  • Hook: Steel crochet hook size 1 or size that will give an acceptable gauge.
  • Gauge: 7 1/2 stitches equals 1 inch, 6 1/2 rows equals 1 inch (although I crochet with a tight gauge, a looser gauge is all right, as long as it is consistent).
  • Round 1: Starting with red, make a slip knot (leaving a three-inch tail), then chain 12. Increase in multiples of 6 chain stitches at this point to make a wider pouch. Starting with the second chain, single crochet 11 stitches. Single crochet 2 more stitches into the last chain for a total of 13 stitches. Continue to single crochet using the new top of the chain until you come around to the first stitch, carrying the “tail” as you go. Single crochet 2 stitches into the last stitch. This first round should have a total of 24 stitches. This piece is worked as a spiral, not in concentric rings, so it is difficult to tell where each round ends. To keep track of where each round ends, slip a safety pin into the top of the last stitch of the round or lay a two inch piece of thread of a contrasting color across the path of the last stitch. You will remove the safety pin from the last stitch as you come to it again and slip it into the new last stitch or cross the path of the last stitch with the end of the counting thread at the end of each round.
  • Round 2: Cut the red tail flush and then start to carry the white thread. Single crochet around without any increases, carrying the white thread. The pouch should still have 24 stitches when you finish this round. Turn the pouch inside out (to make it right side out).

These illustrations are for right-handed crocheters.
Left-handed crocheters should look at these illustrations in a mirror.

  • Round 3: You will begin to tapestry crochet the motif in this round. Remember, that to do a tapestry crochet stitch, colors are switched while 2 loops are still on the hook; yarn over with the white and pull it through the loops of the last stitch of the previous round to prepare for the tapestry crochet stitch. Rounds 3 through 7 correspond to the illustrated motif (read from right to left and bottom to top). Start the pattern as follows: tapestry crochet 1 white stitch, then 5 red stitches. Repeat this sequence 3 more times. As you tapestry crochet each stitch, the hook should point toward the inside of the pouch. Every once in a while, untwist the threads by holding the pouch up in the air with one of the threads while pulling on the other thread. Let the piece spin around in the air so that the threads untangle.
  • Round 4: Tapestry crochet 2 white stitches, then 4 red stitches. Repeat this sequence 3 more times.
  • Round 5: Tapestry crochet 3 white stitches, then 3 red stitches. Repeat this sequence 3 more times.
  • Round 6: Tapestry crochet 4 white stitches, then 2 red stitches. Repeat this sequence 3 more times.
  • Round 7: Tapestry crochet 5 white stitches, then 1 red stitch. Repeat this sequence 3 more times.
  • Repeat rounds 3 through 7.
  • Last Round: Continue to carry the red thread. Crochet around with white. Cut the red thread flush at the end of the round. Single crochet 4 stitches with white to bring it to the side of the pouch.
  • To Finish: Crochet a chain as long as you want the necklace to be (this necklace has 135 chain stitches). Attach the chain to the other side of the pouch with a single crochet stitch, slip stitch, cut the white thread (leaving a 6 inch tail), yarn over and pull it all the way through the loop. Work in the end for 1 inch to secure it, then trim it off. Block the pouch with a steam iron. Now it’s time for you to show off your necklace and teach a friend how to make one!

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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