Book Review: Tapestry Bead Crochet by Ann Benson and FREE miser bag drawing!
You can purchase this book from the publisher: http://www.larkcrafts.com/bookstore/?isbn=9781600593376
I admit defeat.
I really wanted to do this. Really. I was lusting after this little coin purse which is one of the early projects in the book:
And lest you think I am some sort of thread crochet slouch (and to give you an idea of difficulty level) I do know my way around thread crochet. Here is a down and dirty picture of a filet crochet miser purse I just finished.
FREE! If you will leave a comment on this post and make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you I will send you this miser purse (after it’s been blocked of course)!
Drawing will be held on this Saturday, September 19, 2011. Winner will be announced here and via email.
It hasn’t been blocked yet so it’s not perfect but as you can see from the two pictures below the strings leading up to the bone ring interlock with the two sides of the crochet and through the flap so that when you pull on the bone ring the cords pull the closure tightly shut and no coins, etc., can escape. It’s a victorian era crochet design as is tapestry bead crochet. So yeah, I know my way around a crochet needle and victorian patterns. I entered into this with my usual tenacious “No problem, I can do anything” mentality. I was saying on a lampworking forum where I hang out today that my best quality is tenacity, that I’m like a dog with a bone. It’s rare for me to throw in the towel but I really had no choice here.
For your giggling enjoyment, here is my sample of tapestry bead crochet, LOL:
The author says in the instructions that the initial crochet chain will curl and should be ironed so that when you join to make your circle you won’t have to fight with the thread. I ironed. I say even IF you iron as soon as you start to crochet it begins to curl again (as you can see) and boy, does it curl. I took the photo after I uncurled it. Then there is the fact that you have to string the beads on (you can see that on the left side of the photo) in sections of five or so rows at a time in the order they will be crocheted to form the pattern AND you must string on both sides of the project so really you are stringing on 10 rows at a time. Each row has 142 beads x 5 = 710 beads to string on.
But wait, there’s more.
As hard as this is to get started you will have at least 5 sections like this (restart 5 times, ugh!) to complete and then you have to sew them together to form the carryall.
My hats off to Ann Benson and all the victorian ladies back in the day because I have to say IMHO this is crazymaking.
I restarted 5 times and finally gave up last night in disgust, mostly with myself because I could not only not master this, I couldn’t even get a good running start.
So what’s the problem?
I think, for me at least, it’s the thread. These projects call for #12 crochet thread, not the easiest animal on the planet to locate in the first place and certainly not something I will ever crochet with again because of the curly factor. OTOH, I love to embroider and I think this thread would be lovely for that. Waste not, want not.
I may, at some future point, revisit the concepts here with size 10 (bedspread weight) crochet cotton which understands me and is my friend.
The book itself with the accompanying DVD are wonderfully made, the photos are clear and beautiful, the instructions are concise and well laid out. If you don’t understand how to proceed you can view the DVD and it will become immediately clear.
Excellent publication with excellent instruction, graphs, layout, and video assistance. It’s not that I don’t understand how to do bead tapestry crochet, I just can’t.
You mileage certainly may and probably will vary.
Until next time!