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Landon Morgan
Landon Morgan

Get Hooked On Tunisian Crochet Learn How With 1...

When working Tunisian crochet in the round, you will need a double-ended crochet hook. There are straight ones, which look like knitting needles with the head of a crochet hook on either end. Alternatively, there are circular ones with a cord running between two crochet hooks.

Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet Learn How with 1...

That's what makes Tunisian crochet different; and this is what is called "casting on". You work all the way across the row back to the left side. In traditional crochet, you would then turn the work, right? But that's not what you do in Tunisian crochet. You still have all of those loops on the hook that you have to finish, and you do that by working back across the row, left to right, without turning the work. This is "casting off".

When you look closely, you'll see that each vertical is a loop, with one vertical bar in the front of the work and one towards the back. This is what creates the denseness of Tunisian crochet fabric. And it also allows you to create different types of stitches, depending on which of these bars you work into!

Decreasing in Tunisian crochet may be done on the forward pass or the reverse pass, depending on preference and the stitch you're working. A reverse pass decrease is possible with almost any Tunisian stitch and is the easier of the two options. In the place where you want to decrease, you will pull your yarn through three loops on the hook instead of the usual two. Continue as normal. That's it!

So far, we've only looked at Tunisian crochet in rows. But, as discussed, if you have different crochet hooks then you can also do Tunisian crochet in the round. You can choose a double-ended crochet hook or a circular (cabled) crochet hook. The main difference between the two is that if you work with a circular crochet hook then you can probably hold all of your stitches on the cable, so you can work a forward pass/reverse pass in the same way that you always do; do the forward pass until you get to the end of the circle and use the hook on the other end to do the reverse pass.

Remember that you're holding loops on your hook, like with knitting, and this means that if you set your work down mid-row then the loops can fall off and the work can unravel. Don't forget to use stitch markers in Tunisian crochet!

What you've learned here is a great beginner's guide to Tunisian crochet, but there are many more things that you can learn in this technique. As you explore further into the craft, you might want to try these options:

Be at the forefront of a stitching comeback! Tunisian crochet is a generations-old needlework technique that today's crocheters--and knitters--are rediscovering. Also known as afghan stitch, this versatile technique is worked on a long needle with a crochet hook at one end.

Review from Doreen L. Marquart, author/shop ownerThis book is wonderful. It contains designs that don't look heavy and stiff as many crochet designs tend to do. The mobius style wrap shown on the front cover is just screaming to be made, as is "Tranquil Escape." The home decorator items are great with their woven appearance. The designs are all practical, yet modern... ones that will surely endure the test of time. Instructions are well written and the illustrations are extremely helpful. Love the close up photographs that really show the stitch definition!

Sheryl Thies retired from a career in health care to follow her artistic passion--combining fiber, texture, and color. In addition to designing and teaching both knitting and Tunisian crochet, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors. She can often be found on the bocce court, either playing or refereeing. She is the author of several Martingale books and lives near Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband.

Sheryl includes a troubleshooting chart right in this section, with causes and fixes to common beginner Tunisian crochet issues, and I applaud her for not burying that critical information in the appendices. Similarly, Sheryl includes information on increasing and decreasing and color changes right up front, rather than hiding it in the appendices. This formatting decision makes the book very beginner friendly, as you can see immediately what instructions are available to you while reading through the book.

Cables come in handy because loops can rest on the cable, which makes the hook easier to maneuver. The longer the Tunisian crochet hook, the tougher it can be on the hands to work with. This way, you still get the length without a long, difficult-to-use hook.

A circular Tunisian crochet hook (also called a hook set with cables) is an alternative to the double-headed hook. This tool consists of two single-head crochet hooks that are connected at the base with a flexible cable.

Tunisian crochet tends to have less drape and a denser structure than regular crochet (particularly with the Tunisian knit stitch). If you want to create a project with more drape, work with a lightweight yarn.

The concept of Tunisian crochet can be intimidating. There are crochet hooks specially made for it, you end up with yarn everywhere, and it can be hard to know where exactly to start. But once you get into it, it's just another type of stitch.

And if you're brand new to the idea of knitting or crocheting, check out our awesome eSource Creativebug. You can find all sorts of helpful tutorials for learning these crafting techniques. And once you're well-versed in the art of crochet (or, yes, I guess knitting too), you can come back here to tackle Tunisian!

Considered by some to be a hybrid between knitting and crochet, Tunisian crochet is worked with a crochet hook but in forward and backward passes. In the forward pass, all of the stitches end with a loop left on the hook. In the backward pass, the loops are worked off, ending the stitch and setting you up for the next forward pass.

Note: this tutorial assumes some prior knowledge of crochet, but you don't have to be a master. If you're unfamiliar with some of the concepts included below (such as yarn over, chains, or single crochet), I encourage you to check out some of our general crochet books, look at tutorials online, or search Creativebug before continuing with the rest of this program.

A note on novelty and self-striping yarn: these yarns can be very cool in a finished product! But they also can be very difficult to work with when first learning a new technique, and can make it hard to see more textured stitches (not to mention mistakes). I would highly recommend working with a single color acrylic yarn for the learning process, as acrylic yarns are less expensive and more forgiving of mistakes and a lot of frogging.

Though Tunisian crochet hooks can be very helpful when making large projects, such as a sweater or afghan, they aren't always necessary. For this project you can just use a regular crochet hook. However, you'll want to be sure that it's not one with a pronounced handle or finger grip section; these inconsistencies in size can make it hard to work the forward and backward pass properly.

Additionally, when working in Tunisian stitches, you'll want to pick a crochet hook that's one or two sizes larger than recommended for the yarn. This is because Tunisian crochet tends to be a very tight, stiff stitch, and the bigger hook ensures it stays loose and flexible. So for a worsted weight yarn, which normally calls for an I-9 (5.5mm) hook, you might want to consider a J-10 or K-10.5 hook. I know that I tend to have really tight stitches, so I picked a K-10.5 hook for working with worsted weight yarn.

There are a lot of resources out there on Tunisian crochet stitches, both in books and online. I've included some books below that have introductory sections with different stitches, but you can also check out videos on YouTube or text- and photo-based tutorials online. Some of my favorite online resources are CrochetKim (text-based) and TL Yarn Crafts (video-based). However, follow along below for the very basics of starting a Tunisian crochet swatch.

Just like in regular crochet, you'll want to chain a certain number of stitches to begin. Unlike regular crochet, you don't need to add any chains to begin the first row of regular crochet. This is because the loop on the hook counts as the first stitch in the forward pass. So when I make a swatch that's 15 stitches long, I start with 15 chains.

Some people like to begin their Tunisian crochet with a regular row of single crochet, but I find that it can alter the width of the work and look disconnected from the rest of the stitches. Instead, I like to start with the basic forward and backward pass, shown below.

The first forward pass is also different from the first row in regular crochet. Instead of working your hook into the V on the front of the chain, you'll want to rotate the work so you can see the bump on the back. Skip the first chain. Insert the hook through the back loop of the second chain, yarn over, and pull up a loop. Now, leave the loop on the hook. This is very important! All through the forward pass, you'll leave each loop on the hook, so you'll end up with 15 loops total. Make sure each loop is reasonably loose, otherwise it'll make it difficult to complete the backward pass and have a consistent tension.

Because crochet stitches are always taller than they are wider, I only had to crochet 12 rows to get a vaguely square-ish swatch. Once you've finished your last backward pass, you're going to be binding off with a simple slip stitch.

Once you've started making swatches, the possibilities are endless! Similar to Granny Squares in traditional crochet, these Tunisian crochet swatches can be sewn or crocheted together into any number of finished objects. TL Yarn Crafts (mentioned above) has a really cool tutorial for a Holiday Sampler Blanket that uses the same idea discussed here, making lots of different squares with different stitches to create a fun and unique holiday themed blanket.

The first thing to do before joining your swatches together is to crochet a border around each square. This will help keep things around the same size and help with the joining together in the next step. 041b061a72


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