Monday, August 4, 2008

Fun Hats

Carole Ventura's precise tapestry crochet hats,
beautifully designed and executed,
her work shows us the meaning of excellence.

Tapestry crochet lends itself well to making hats. We are having an exceptionally cold winter this year so hats have come out of storage and the hook is busy after so much inspiration from the postings of hats in the Flickr Tapestry Crochet group. Go check them out.

The quickest way to find them all is to go to the Flickr group and bring up the Tags, click on the "hat" tag and up will come all the hats tagged with it.

That's the importance of tags, so don't forget to tag your postings, they'll even turn up in Google Image Searches that way too.

I've posted a few really fun examples of creative tapestry crochet inventive hat genius here.
But do go see all of them.

Nordic design stars in Torirot's baby hat

One of Wanda's Wonders

Megan's makes extraordinary inventions

CrochetDad shows his inventive flair in this topee

My old hat

Vaisto in one of her fun hats

Thanks to all the tapestry crochet artists.
They all have so much more on the Flickr Tapestry Crochet group pages.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Carole Ventura has a Flat Tapestry Crochet Tutorial video on her blog that will help everyone overcome those problems of blurry edges on images.

Image courtesy Carole Ventura

Most back & forth flat tapestry crochet looks like the example on the left.

How much better the one on the right looks, so neat and precise.

Check out this excellent video and practice this technique and you too will never have those wobbly bits to offend the eye in your creations.

Here's an idea! Say you wanted your animal (in the above example) to have a furry coat, but a sharp head & legs, you could combine the two techniques. This would give an extra dimension to the work.

Thanks again Carole, you are the wind under our wings.

More of Carole's video tutorials on uTube here


Friday, May 9, 2008

Meet the extraordinary Jenny Love

Jenny, an avid Tapestry Crocheter for many, many years, whilst raising 5 or 6 children on her own! is an amazingly bright cheerful soul, whose laugh can be heard whenever she is around.

I first met Jen nearly 30 years ago, when her family was just small and growing. Later when we re-met we discovered that not only were we born in the same year, a few months apart, we were avid tapestry crocheters, ('tho neither of us knew that until recently). Jen used to make Boots, and Back-Packs out of thick rug wool, (don't know how her hands coped with the roughness!), as well as long pointy hats, all with incredible long triangular star type tapestry patterns. I don't know how she found the time with all her kids.

These are photos of some recent works, Skirts, with her Butterfly pattern. Over the years she has made beautiful Belly Dance Tops, using exquisite fine cottons and sparkley yarns, and large mandalas, bags, leggings, Lower-leg Flares, wristlets, and has made a lot in fluoro for the "Doof" crowd. I shall hopefully take more photos of some of her other stuff tomorrow at the market, if she brings some, and post them next week ,


Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Wanda in one of her Wonderful Dreams

Wanda Blount is extraordinary talent who specializes in creating tapestry crochet high fashion hats. She says she dreams of her creations before she take hook to wool.

Carole Ventura has written up Wanda's inspirational story very comprehensively on her Tapestry Crochet Blog, so I won't steal her thunder, you can read all about Wanda's crochet there - see also Carole's
sidebar links.

Wanda herself has posted a lot of her pix on Flickr.

These wonderful hats are worthy of Paris catwalk fashions in my dreams...
....yes I dreamed I saw Naomi Campbell sashaying down the catwalk in Wanda's creations!
Maybe this dream will come true for Wanda too!

Whet your appetite here with a few of her astonishing beauties:

Thank you Wanda for letting me bring your art here.

Now I go to dream.....perchance to crochet.....


Monday, March 17, 2008





Hi, my name is Meg-an and I make Tapestry Crochet hats. I travel around Australia in a van, setting up setting up stalls at markets, wherever I may be, to sell my hats and hand-painted clothes.

You can see a lot of my work here on Flickr.

Believe it or not, I have only just learnt that what I've been doing for the past 21 years has the name of Tapestry Crochet!

I began crocheting in 1987, having always been an artist, and selling my hand painted clothes at a local market outside Melbourne. The friend who taught me to crochet tiny pouches for crystals, suggested I buy any old pattern from an Opshop, to learn other stitches. This I did, and promptly added a round of treble stitches to the inch & a half of 'crystal pouch', and voila! the pouch turned into the top stem point of my first 'Gumnut Pixie Hat'. I had been drawing them for years!

As a 16 yr old I'd proclaimed "I'm going to run a hat shop when I grow up". Little did I know what the future would hold for me then!

I wore my new hat every Saturday at St Andrews Market, in the hills north west of Melbourne, where I sold hand-painted rainbow clothes. Soon friends and customers were asking me to make them a hat like mine. The first few hats were pretty much hit and miss, sometimes having a nice line of increase, some were horrible lumpy-looking “things”, yet all were sold. My prices then were very cheap!

As I progressed I would gradually raise the price, (by a $1 or $2 !) but until I entered my first "Beanies" in The Alice Springs Beanie Festival's competition, and my partner said "Put proper prices on them. Work out how long they took to make...." etc . I was always grossly under-pricing them. Not only under-selling my own work I was down-pricing other artisans work too. Now I value my work for its’ unique individuality.

I know it's hard to compete with the mass produced and slave labor work from third world countries, but as I have found, there are people out there who really do value the one-off original pieces, and are prepared to pay their real worth.

When I start a new hat, I don't know how it will turn out. Some commissions have taken three hats to actually make “The One”.

After a break from crocheting, which always seems to happen when it gets too humid, I wind myself up for new work, by winding my new wool into balls, from the spinners’ hanks . It really gets me ready to work as I sort the lovely round balls into baskets of each colour and I get inspired. It's great to be able to select a new range of colours from the assorted baskets, collecting them into a smaller work basket. Then begin and watch the new designs appear as if by magic. I love watching the hat grow out of strands of yarn.

Each hat tends to get associated with an individual Number as in Numerology, all by chance as I bring in various patterns. For example, a simple triangular pattern can be short or long, depending on how many stitches you make between the two colours on the first round, I never count out how many will fit in beforehand, and am constantly amazed when I return to the start to find it numbers in perfectly. This then sets the number of points to count. As in Numerology you can always change and add other such Numbers into your designs of course.

In 2001 I thought I had to stop crocheting and painting clothes, when my right arm seized up into constant spasm, twice the year before. Very painful, the first time I was walking round with my arm stretched up and out in front to ease the pain. Went on for 6 weeks the first time, the next episode I received better treatment and it eased much sooner. But I still gave up crocheting for a whole year, thinking that might be causing it.

But it's not the fault of the crocheting, it's the way the crocheter holds her head! Now when I get numb hands, I just do some neck exercises, keeping my hands and crocheting as they were, and the numbness goes away.

It was really wonderful to learn about the Alice Springs Beanie Festival in 2003, being a crocheter of hats, with only a few other items made, it was a beanie Hat Maker’s Dream. They have a Competition section exhibited in a major gallery in the Araluen Arts and Cultural Precinct, in Alice Springs, Central Australia, along with what is called Beanie Central, held over the festival weekend in an adjoining venue, “Witchetty's” . A traveling exhibition of outstanding beanies, purchased or lent, from the first 10 years of the Festival is traveling round the larger Australian galleries.

The competition really gets me going each year now, with the different categories. The first year I entered I had no idea what the festival or standard of hats was like at all. A fellow beanie-maker told me about it, and with just enough time to return to my mother's shed, (where most of my yarn was 'stashed' whilst living in a small camper-van), I quickly got to work and sent it off.

Seeing Flora and Fauna as a category, I chose to try and make another 'Emu' (large Australian bird) design like one I'd made back in the '90's,after being commissioned to make one like a South American Llama or Alpaca. I did, and with my increased experience, made a much better emu, and it won the Flora and Fauna category.

One of my Emu beanies

This Emu hat sold for AU$225!

These were the first hats where I'd put such prices on and had to take a deep breath before writing the prices and sending them off. I couldn't have stood behind a market stall and listened to peoples re-actions to such prices , it was much easier to send them elsewhere.

I was surprised that they did sell, and still had no real idea what the Beaniefest was like. I thought I was on to something with the Australiana themes, so the following year I did a whole collection of Sunset Silhouettes, Emus, Kangaroos and Echidnas. I was delighted as they sold for top dollar. I now have a range of totally unique pieces hats , some highly priced, some less so. They are all individually unique, but similar to the originals in that Australian Series.

That year I was lucky again, and won the “Spirit of the Land” category, with the fourth for my Sunset Silhouette series, "Follow the Sun".

The next year, my first "Emu" with a long neck and dangling earflap legs, was awarded a Special Mention in the "New and Innovative" category.

Then in 2005 my third "emu" hat, a needle-felted emu that wasn't quite working to plan, and was turned inside-out and embellished a lot, aiming for the “Best Use of Embellishment" category, was Awarded a Special Mention for the "Mad Hatters" .

It is quite hard for me to repeat some styles from the past , as I either don't have that wool any more or I can't bring myself to use just plain, non acrylic, fluffy yarns, that I can't resist these days. Years ago I never used anything acrylic, but the new yarns weren't available then, were they!

Two years ago I was commissioned to make a newborn sized "Temple Top" for a yet unconceived baby, a style selected from my photo album, from a series of hats I'd made in 2000.

Not having made any of that design for five or six years, when I began it rapidly grew far too large for a new-born, with the temple pillars pattern I'd begun. Halfway thru, I stopped and took stock of my work, and thought:

"Yuk! its horrible, it's bulging out on one side, I don't like the choice of colours at the top, but I do like this Blue and Orange combo here in what will be the middle. What if I ..hmm...... pinch it in together here ......... and, yes... extend the blue into loops .... I could hang beads and stones from them continue the brim down ..... but ,ah!... I think I'll stop it short right here ......... Wow .... I've created a new design !

I later called this new hat the "Jackaranda Crown", and I kept that first one as my new personal beanie. I have continued making a series of 'Crowns', all quite different to each other.

I have yet to start work on my competition entries for the 2008 festival, but I have lots of ideas, and will get to work very soon, that is as soon as I can stop Flickr-surfing thru all the photos of everyone's wonderful work. LOL.

I'm so glad I've finally taught myself to use this computer, and found Flickr and then found all you wonderful crochet artists, and been reminded about, which I joined back in Apri '07, but living life as a nomad, travelling Australia, didn't allow for enough time to learn the on-line stuff, or actually be on-line every day.

Soon I'll get to open my Etsy shop, but I need a new digital camera as my first one has seized up.

Hope you enjoy my work as much as I do.

Happy creating


Meeting Meg-an.
Anu & Meg-an meet at the Buddha Belly, Mt. Warning

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stacey's Tapestry Crochet Mandalas

Stacey Glasgow with examples of her extraordinary prize winning
tapestry crochet mandalas.

These are so inspiring I just had to add them here for us all.

Go here for Carole Ventura's full story of Stacey's work , with lots more pix and the links to her Yahoo site.

So many talented artists love to work in this medium of Tapestry Crochet.
Go to the Flickr Tapestry Crochet Group link on sidebar to see many beautiful examples of this interesting yarnwork style.

Happy crochet


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tapestry Crochet from Turkey

Another extraordinary page of Tapestry Crochet came from the Carole Ventura link today. It is a MUST SEE.

Go to to view the work of Tapestry Crochet artists from Turkey.