Carol Ventura's Felted Tapestry Crochet Amulet Bag

This project will introduce you to felted tapestry crochet. This free YouTube video will show you how it's done. Both bags were crocheted following my necklace pouch instructions, but a larger hook and wool were used and the bag on the right has been felted. For more projects with complete instructions, please look at my Tapestry Crochet and More Tapestry Crochet and Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet books. The base is crocheted first, then the rounds move upwards to form the sides. 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 bag 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. These bags were crocheted with Lion Wool, but feel free to substitute another yarn that will felt (wool, alpaca, mohair, etc.). For more about tapestry crochet and more free projects, please look at my web pages at www.tapestrycrochet.com/ or http://iweb.tntech.edu/cventura/tapestrycrochet.htm

Finished Size Before Felting: 3 1/4” wide by 3 3/4” high (not including the strap).
Finished Size After Felting: 2 3/4” wide by 3 1/2” high (not including the strap).
Materials: red and white worsted weight wool (but NOT Superwash, which does not felt, and some white wool does not felt either, but white Lion Wool felts great); a safety pin, stitch marker, or a piece of yarn of a contrasting color for counting the rounds.
Hook: Steel crochet hook size K or size that will give an acceptable gauge.
Gauge: 4 stitches equals 1 inch, 4 rows equals 1 inch.

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 bag. 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 or stitch marker into the top of the last stitch of the round or lay a two inch piece of yarn of a contrasting color across the path of the last stitch. You will remove the safety pin or stitch marker 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 yarn at the end of each round.
Round 2: Cut the red tail flush and then start to carry the white yarn. Single crochet around without any increases, carrying the white yarn. The bag should still have 24 stitches when you finish this round. Turn the bag inside out (to make it right side out).


These illustrations are for right-handed crocheters and are read from right to left and bottom to top.
Left-handed crocheters, please look at the reversed images 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 bag. Every once in a while, untwist the yarns by holding the bag up in the air with one of the yarns while pulling on the other yarn. Let the piece spin around in the air so that the yarns 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 yarn. Crochet around with white. Cut the red yarn flush at the end of the round. Single crochet 4 stitches with white to bring it to the side of the bag.
To Finish: Crochet a chain as long as you want the strap to be (this one has 135 chain stitches). Attach the chain to the other side of the bag with a single crochet stitch, slip stitch, cut the white yarn (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. To felt the bag, wash it in a washing machine in hot water with mild soap (like Ivory Dishwashing Liquid) and a cold rinse twice. It will shrink a little more each time it is washed. Now it’s time for you to show off your felted amulet bag and teach a friend how to make one!

Carol Ventura 2007 You have my permission to copy these instructions and use them to teach others, on the condition that you do not change the title and that you do not recopyright them as your own instructions!

Links:

  Tapestry Crochet book  

  More Tapestry Crochet book

 Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet book

For more free tapestry crochet patterns, please look at my Tapestry Crochet web page

One of the best things about tapestry crochet is that you can do it anywhere because it does not require a specially equipped studio. It is relaxing and regenerative - in fact - it is a proven fact that endorphins are released during repetitive activities - and tapestry crochet qualifies! On the left I am tapestry crocheting in a gondola on the way up to the Great Wall of China! Please email me pictures that I can add to a "do it anywhere" web page of the places where you tapestry crochet. At home, on vacation, in a tree, underwater - wherever. 

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Web page, photograph, illustration, and text by Carol Ventura.