Tunisian Crochet [Beginners Guide]

Tunisian Crochet [Beginners Guide]

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Let me start by saying there’s no proof of a connection between Tunisian crochet and the country of Tunisia.

According to some, Tunisian crochet could derive from a technique which uses two long needles with a hooked point, apparently well known in Africa and Central Asia, named hooked knitting. It’s possible that to simplify the work, this technique evolved in one which uses only one needle or one long hook.

What is Tunisian Crochet?

In older books, it’s known as the Afghan crochet. Its also often called the knitting/crochet hybrid. Much like cro-tatting is a crochet/tatting hybrid. It makes a distinctive looking fabric with a firm texture that many crocheters long to achieve!

It tends to lack the stretch of traditional crochet though.

It’s like knitting in that the stitch is completed in two steps. The hook is long like a knitting needle so that it can hold all the stitches of the first ‘pass’. Then the stitches are worked off the hook during the second ‘pass’ completing the row. In traditional crochet, you handle stitches one at a time.

Tunisian crochet is always worked on the front side, or right side, of the project. Working the forward pass feels a lot like knitting, as stitches accumulate on the hook. Once you complete the return pass, the stitches are considered “live” until you work them with more stitches or bind off.

Problems crocheters might have

  1. The Learning Curve: Everything takes time. It took you time to learn to crochet right? The thing is if you already know how to crochet, then the learning curve for Tunisian is actually shorter than the curve for learning other fiber arts. It’s really just a matter of learning where to insert your hook and understanding what the different stitches look like.
  2. You have to Buy Special Hooks: Is this really a problem? I mean, don’t we all have many of the same hooks? Now we just have an excuse to buy different hooks!
  3. It Rolls! Try using a larger hook at the beginning. You can add stitches to the fabric that counteract the roll. If your fabric is made with Tunisian simple stitch or Tunisian knit stitch, you can try adding a few rows at the beginning and/or end with reverse Tunisian simple stitch. 
  4. Tunisian crochet creates a bias or a slant: Easy solution, block you work. You should anyways to get good results. Check out this article if your unsure about blocking methods How to Block Crochet
  5. The Fabric is too dense. Using a larger hook can help but picking an appropriate project that would be nice in a dense fabric is key.

Guide to Tunisian Hooks

You do not need an entire set of Tunisian crochet hooks to get started. While it’s nice to have a range of sizes for different projects, it’s not necessary when you’re learning.

You can even use a regular crochet hook to learn the stitches before you commit to purchasing extra hooks. Just place a rubber band on the end of the hook to keep your stitches from falling off. This will allow you to get the ‘feel’ of the technique and see if you would like to purchase a whole set.

Kinds of Tunisian Hooks

There are several kinds of hooks just like in traditional crochet. They can be very inexpensive or really expensive. I have 1 set of inexpensive aluminum Tunisian hooks I use all the time. They are great and available everywhere crafts are sold.

I also have some double ended Tunisian hooks for reversible work like this video below.

And I have a set of Tunisian hooks with cables for wider projects. They are not double ended like the video above though. I think I may need that set she’s talking about! 🙂

The Stitches

There aren’t as many Tunisian crochet stitches as there are traditional crochet stitches. Once you learn the basic you can combine stitches to get new stitch patterns just like in traditional crochet though! This Tunisian stitch guide has the stitches in the order easiest to learn.

1.Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS)

The easiest stitch to begin with! This stitch is also called the afghan stitch. Presented by Yarn Obsession.

2. The Tunisian Knit Stitch. (TKS)

Presented by Crochet Lovers. This stitch looks just like the knit stockinette stitch from the right side. Only revealing what it really is on the wrong side! I love this stitch!

3.Tunisian Purl Stitch (TPS)

Presented by the Crochet Crowd. The Tunisian purl stitch is flat and resembles hand knit reverse stockinette stitch. It’s often used at the beginning of a project to prevent edges from curling.

4.Tunisian Reverse Stitch (TRS)

Presented by Crochet Kim. Also called the reverse afghan stitch and used at the beginning of a project to prevent curling. A piece worked in this stitch resembles the hand knit Garter Stitch. It’s also a favorite of mine!

5. Tunisian Extended Stitch (TES)

Also presented by Crochet Kim.

Other things you need to know

Binding or casting off when a project is finished. Presented here by Crochet Crowd.

Decrease and Increase in Tunisian Crochet. Presented by Happy Berry Crochet

Tunisian Crochet Patterns

There are many patterns available for this unique crochet technique!!! I highly recommend you make a nice square dishcloth using each of the stitches above to get the hang of the methods. That’s how I learned and the stitches stuck! Now I don’t even have to think about them.

You can follow my Tunisian Crochet board on pinterest for free patterns and inspiration too.

Hand Works Tunisian Crochet Board

Learn Another Hybrid Crochet Technique

If this hybrid crochet was fun you may want to check out the other hybrid crochet technique.

How to Cro-Tat! It’s the look of delicate tatting with the ease of suing a hook!

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