How to Use Tapestry Crochet in Amigurumi
Normally when you think of tapestry crochet, you probably think of beautiful tops. But did you know you can use this color changing technique for amigurumi too? And it’s easier than it looks! Let’s dive in to how to use tapestry crochet in amigurumi.
How to Use Tapestry Crochet in Amigurumi
What is tapestry crochet?
Defined: tapestry crochet is a color work technique in which 2 or more colors are used. The unused colors are held toward the back and covered by crocheting over the top of them with the working yarn.
Check out this photo below for reference.
If you’re unfamiliar with switching colors, be sure to check out this article here.
Basics of tapestry crochet
While this technique makes the fabric reversible, it’s not always perfect (i.e. there is still a ‘right’ side and a ‘wrong’ side). This is because the unused yarn running through the stitches can often be seen more clearly on one side (wrong side).
Keeping a tight and consistent tension is essential, especially if you don’t want any of the unused yarn showing through your stitches. You can also use a smaller hook to keep your stitches tight.
Take a look at the swatch below:
One of the best things about this color work technique is how clean it is! There’s no yarn tails later to weave in and no floats to snag on.
If you take a look at the image on the right, you’ll notice the yellow yarn running up along the side. This is because it’s being carried up to each row. This can easily be hidden with a border, but if you’re working in the round, you won’t have to worry about it.
Using tapestry crochet in amigurumi
When working flat, it can get tricky always keeping the unused yarn on the ‘wrong’ side since you have to turn your work. But when making amigurumi and working in the round, that problem is gone!
Simply hold the unused yarn toward the inside of the work as you crochet and switch colors whenever necessary.
Tapestry crochet works especially well for amigurumi designs that have several color changes. For example, Olive the Orca (pattern coming soon) is made using this technique.
Olive the Orca is a no sew pattern great for trying out this color work technique. You can get this pattern right now in my Etsy & Ravelry shops!
How to read tapestry crochet charts
If you’ve done a few color work projects, you’re probably familiar with charts, but if not, here’s a few quick tips for understanding them.
Side note: I said tapestry crochet chart, but really it’s just any color work chart. Whether you’re doing fair isle, tapestry, or intarsia, the chart will look the same/similar.
Check out these sample charts below:
Regardless of whether you’re using the left or right-handed chart, you’ll always begin in one of the bottom corners at 1. For the left handed chart that’s the left side corner and for the right handed chart that’s the right side corner. When working in the round, this is the beginning of your row and each new row you work will always start on the same side.
- There should always be a legend indicating any colors or symbols.
- ex. black square = Color A, white square = Color B
- Each square within a row represents a stitch (unless otherwise specified in the legend).
- The numbers along the bottom indicate a stitch within a row.
- The numbers along the side indicate the row.
I know not everyone likes charts, but if you’re a visual person like me, they’re incredibly helpful for double-checking. Sometimes when I read patterns, especially when they look like this:
Ex. Row 6: Color A: 12sc, Color B: 11sc, Color A: 7sc. (30) Row 7: Color A: [2sc, inc, 2sc] 2 times, 2sc, sp inc, Color B: [4sc, inc] 2 times, Color A: 4sc, inc, 2sc. (36) Row 8: Color A: 15sc, Color B: 13sc, Color A: 8sc. (36)…
…the letters and numbers start to get all jumbled and confusing. So it’s times like this when I love referencing a chart because all you have to do is count the squares in any given row.
If you’ve been intimidated by color work, I hope this article has given you some confidence to give it a shot. Of the three basic color work techniques, I’d say it’s probably the easiest as you don’t have to worry about separate bobbins (intarsia) or your work puckering from too-tight floats (fair isle).
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to Pin it for later and share it with your crafty friends! And if you want to give tapestry crochet a shot with amigurumi, keep your eyes peeled for the Olive the Orca pattern (coming soon)!
And if you’re curious about other kinds of color work techniques, check out How to Use Fair Isle Crochet in Amigurumi.
Have an awesome day!