My journey to Cookeville, Tennessee

I first became acquainted with Carol Ventura’s work sometime after January of 1998 when I first took up crochet and before May of 2001 when I gave my copy of her first book on the subject, Tapestry Crochet, to someone I thought would benefit from it.

Today, I finally replaced my long gone copy of Tapestry Crochet with Ms. Ventura’s two newer titles: Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet (which has a generous collection of projects with specific and complete directions), and a more general guide to all of the cool things you can accomplish with tapestry crochet, More Tapestry Crochet.

However, instead of going through my usual route of bookstores or online book sellers, I arranged to go directly to the source. In the process I not only replaced the book, I also met Carol Ventura and got to see some of her amazing crochet and the intriguing collections that have formed and shaped her work.

By lunchtime, I had filled the gap in my crochet library and gotten the technical resources needed to guide me in making cool things like those pictured here:

Tapestry crochet pieces

Carol Ventura’s own crochet adventures began shortly after the birth of her daughter. While she had more standard artistic training and worked in printmaking and ceramics, to name two mediums, she found that she needed something that did not require the same dedicated studio space, was portable, and more able to be set aside for a period of time. Crochet, as it happened, was able to meet many of the criteria that Carol, artist and then new mother, needed met.

Studying the technique used to make bags that she had purchased in Guatemala while working in the Peace Corps, Ms. Ventura fashioned a Christmas stocking for her daughter’s first Christmas, and then later expanded on and elucidated the particulars of the technique which you can learn about in her books and at her website.

In addition to having created her own prodigious body of work, Ms. Ventura is also an avid collector of amazing and beautiful objects. While I was not able to view all of the elements of what will be included in her soon-to-be completed home/museum of craft, I did get to see the tip of what promises to be a very interesting iceberg.

If you are interested in purchasing your own copies of Ms. Ventura’s books they are available through amazon.com.

And because this time, I’m not giving my copies to anyone; you’ll have to get your own.

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2 thoughts on “My journey to Cookeville, Tennessee

  1. I’m a long time admirer of Carol Ventura’s work and have most of her books. Will take a lesson from you – never lend them out. /;) Thanks for the reminder – will have to get back to Tapestry Crochet again.

    1. I’m looking forward to trying her techniques. One thing she does in the flat tapestries is to crochet from right to left with her right hand, and then from left to right with her left hand so that there is no turn and so the stitches don’t slant. This was something I had experimented with so briefly that I never achieved any marked competence, but I will definitely give it another try now that I know there are benefits to be reaped.

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