Hi guys! In this post you’ll learn a few basics about Tunisian crochet and why it’s so dang awesome. At the end there is a video of how to create the Tunisian Simple Stitch. One project I created using Tunisian crochet is the Neptune Beach Dress (free pattern here), where I combined traditional crochet and Tunisian crochet to come up with an awesome tube top for the top of this dress, but really, the possibilities are endless. You can make afghans, pillows, headbands – Here are a few pics of my Tunisian crochet projects:
Anywhoooo, let’s talk about Tunisian…
What is Tunisian Crochet?
Tunisian crochet, also known as Afghan crochet, and CroKnitting, is a form of crochet that uses a smooth crochet hook (they can be long or short depending on the project – and you can even use a regular crochet hook if it is smooth)
Different ways you can work Tunisian crochet
- Flat – uses a regular hook, capped or not capped
- In the Round – uses a double-ended hook
- Using circular and afghan hooks – you can buy interchangeable hooks, just like knitting.
Types of Tunisian crochet hooks
Tunisian crochet hooks come is various lengths, ranging from 6″ to 16″ or longer. Here are a few samples of the types of Tunisian crochet hooks available and what they are used for.
Interchangeable Tunisian crochet hooks are used for working larger project mostly, including afghans, and also for working in the round. You can purchase two sets, or two of the same size hooks and cap each end with them to create large two color projects and graphgans.
Clover has a set of interchangeable hooks that I think I’m going to throw some money on! They are beautiful, but expensive :(. lol.
Double-ended Tunisian crochet hooks also come in various lengths. The longer the hook, the wider the project you can create. Double-ended hooks have a notch on both sides and are generally used for working in the round – however, like any variation, you can use these to create color changes in interesting ways. I use a double-ended to work a flat piece for my Cosmic Coozies (free pattern).
Afghan Tunisian crochet hooks have a cap on the end so your work will stay in place. They too come in various sizes, but are predominately long because they are used to create afghan blocks.
General gist of Tunisian Crochet
You create a chain to start, then pull up a loop in each chain, and when you reach the end, all the loops will be on your hook (like knitting).
You work the loops off your hook by completing a reverse (return) pass, pulling the yarn through 2 loops at a time until you are back at the beginning, and that process repeats until your project is the height you desire.
Tips for working Tunisian Crochet projects
- Keep a loose tension – the fabric is thicker and tends to curl.
- Blocking is your friend – because it curls a bit, blocking helps fix it.
- Go up a few hook sizes – if the yarn calls for a 4.5 mm hook, try using a 5.5 or 6 mm hook – this will help alleviate the curl.
The fabric created by Tunisian crochet is thicker than traditional crochet, and less stretchy, so keep that in mind if you are creating a garment. This is why I like to mix traditional crochet and Tunisian crochet.
Let’s learn how to read a Tunisian crochet chart
You can see from the chart below that row 1 is represented by 2 rows of symbols – the first part of row 1 is a vertical line (|), and represents the forward pass, the second part of row 1 is a ~ symbol represents the return pass. Normally, Tunisian crochet charts do no depict the starting chains.
The chart is read from the bottom up.
FwP for row 1 is read from right to left.
RetP for row 1 is read from left to right.
The location of the numbers indicates where to begin reading the graph for that row.
Here is another example of a Tunisian crochet chart with the section indicating the repeat. Once you get good at this, go check out her free pattern, it’s super cute!
As you can see, some charts are different in design. This chart has large numbers that span the forward and return passes, it also indicated the abbreviation FND as foundation row, and doesn’t count that row in the row count.
You will find, as with much of crochet terminology, it seems to vary from person to person and country to country – unfortunately. One blogger I found actually went through and decoded Tunisian chart symbols from different countries! You can find that here.
Common Tunisian Crochet Abbreviations
|etss||extended Tunisian simple stitch|
|tdc||Tunisian double crochet|
|tfs||Tunisian full stitch|
|thdc||Tunisian half double crochet|
|tks||Tunisian knit stitch|
|tps||Tunisian purl stitch|
|trs||Tunisian reverse stitch|
|tsc||Tunisian single crochet|
|tss||Tunisian simple stitch|
|tslst||Tunisian slip stitch|
|ttr||Tunisian treble crochet|
Think you have the hang of it?
Let’s Create Your First Tunisian Simple Stitch!
Tunisian crochet is worked in forward and reverse passes. 1 forward pass and 1 reverse pass creates 1 row. The first step to any Tunisian crochet project is to create a foundation row consisting of the Tunisian Simple Stitch. The foundation row is always a Tunisian Simple Stitch (abbreviated as tss).
source: Yarn Council
Steps to create Tunisian Simple Stitch
Create a chain for the length you’d like your project to be.
Row 1 – forward pass (FwP)
Begin by inserting your hook in the second chain from the hook, yarn over (yo) and pull up a loop (lp). Repeat this until you reach the end of the chain (ch) and all loops are on the hook.
Row 1 – return pass (RetP)
ch 1. yo, and pull through two loops, until you have 1 loop left of your hook (return pass completed).
You’ve completed your foundation tss row.
The second row of the tss is created by first…
Row 2 – forward pass (FwP)
Insert your hook into the 2nd vertical bar, yo, and pull up a loop.
Continue inserting your hook in each vertical bar and pull up a loop across the entire row. When you reach the end, insert hook into two loops of the ch 1 from your previous row
Row 2 – return pass (RetP)
ch 1, *yo, pull through two loops* – repeat from * to * until you reach the beginning of your row (reverse/return pass completed)
You did it! You completed 2 rows of the Tunisian simple stitch.
To continue, repeat row 2 until you reach your desired height.
Counting your stitches
Tunisian is pretty straight forward – your loops are your stitches. If you chained 30 to start, you should have 30 loops on each forward pass. If you don’t, just go back and frog it, and try again.
That’s the basics to start you off with Tunisian crochet. You can find some great patterns out there.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial and be sure to check out the pattern for creating the Cosmic Coozies!
Here is a video on how to create the simple stitch for all the visual learners out there.