Crochet Afghan Stitch Instructions

afghan stitch

The Bees/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Afghan Stitch, or Tunisian Simple Stitch, is one of the basic Tunisian crochet stitches, and a good choice for Tunisian Crochet beginners. The tool used to work Tunisian crochet is a cross between a regular crochet hook and a knitting needle. It has the body of a straight knitting needle, but instead of a pointed tip, it has a hook on the end. The structure of Tunisian crochet hook makes the process of Tunisian crochet possible. Each row consists of two passes. The forward pass adds loops to your hook, kept like knit stitches on the needle part of the hook; the return pass removes the stitches with yarn over pulled through loops, as in standard crochet. 

Afghan stitch is suitable for crocheting many different types of projects, including clothing, accessories, home decor, pet items, pot holders like those below, and more. Once you're finished with this tutorial, you'll be ready to crochet any of these projects, plus many others.

Notes

If you aren't already comfortable with holding a crochet hook, you might want to practice. If you'd like to try Tunisian crochet but don't have a proper hook yet, try using a regular crochet hook such as a circular crochet hook, a double-ended crochet hook, or a hook with a flexible extension at the end.

Four examples of afghan stitches.
Photo Collage and Patterns © Amy Solovay

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US K/10.5 (6.5 mm) Tunisian crochet hook

Materials

  • 20 to 30 yard worsted weight yarn in light or bright color

Instructions

  1. Foundation Chain

    If you already know how to crochet, this stitch starts off with the same beginning you're used to; you start out with a slip knot and then you make a chain.

    • Chain 30 stitches.

    Tip

    Chain stitches have three loops, two in front and one in the back. You could work into either one of the loops on the front side, or into the back loop. The tutorial photos show working into the back loop of the starting chain, but crochet through whichever loop is more comfortable for you.

    Nine steps of the afghan stitch, which begins with a slip knot, followed by a starting chain.
    Photos © Michael Solovay

     

    Steps 10 through 12 of the afghan stitch crochet tutorial
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  2. Begin Forward Pass

    Insert your hook into the second chain from your hook and pull up a loop; leave this loop on your crochet hook. 

    Steps 13 through 16 that shows crocheting the forward pass.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  3. Continue Picking Up Stitches for Forward Pass

    Repeat the same steps again in the next chain stitch.

    • *Insert your hook into the next chain on your hook and pull up a loop; leave this loop on your crochet hook; repeat from * to end—30 stitches on hook.

    When you have picked up a loop in the slip knot chain stitch, the forward pass is complete.

    Steps 17 through 20 of crocheting the forward pass.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  4. Foundation Row, Return Pass

    Now you begin the return pass.

    • Yarn over, draw through 1 loop, *yarn over, draw through two loops; repeat from * to end of row—1 stitch on the hook.

    Tip

    If you already know how to crochet, you're used to crocheting a turning chain between rows. Tunisian crochet does not have a turning chain: you aren't going to turn your work over. You're going to keep crocheting with the same side of the work facing you.

    Steps 21 through 29 in the afghan stitch tutorial including completing the forward pass.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  5. Completed Return Pass

    After working all the way to the end on the return pass you will have a single loop remaining on your hook. This loop will count as the first stitch of the next row.

    Steps 30 through 34 of the afghan stitch.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  6. Begin Afghan Stitch, Forward Pass

    With the foundation row's passes complete, it is time to start the first pattern row. For every stitch you made, there is a vertical bar; you will be inserting your hook under the bar as you work the pass.

    • Skip the bar below the loop on your hook. *Insert the hook from right to left under the bar, yarn over, pull up a loop; repeat from * in every stitch to end—30 stitches.

    Again, the loop on the hook counts as the first stitch, thus you do not work into the vertical bar under it. The last stitch also has a vertical bar; don't forget to work under it (see 44-49 of photo in next step).

    Steps 35 through 43 of the afghan stitch.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  7. Begin Afghan Stitch, Return Pass

    The return pass is worked in the same way as the Foundation Return Pass.

    • Yarn over, draw through 1 loop, *yarn over, draw through two loops; repeat from * to end of row—1 stitch on the hook.

    Some crocheters refer to the steps of the return pass as "working the loops off by twos," or simply "working the loops off."

    Steps 44 through 53 of the afghan stitch.
    Photos © Michael Solovay

     

    Steps 54 through 57 of the afghan stitch.
    Photos © Michael Solovay
  8. Continue in Pattern

    Repeat the forward and reverse passes of the last row for Afghan Stitch.

    Notice how the fabric is curling up a bit. This curling is perfectly normal with Afghan stitch; that's just one of the fabric's characteristics.

    Tip

    There are many clever ways of counteracting the curl with this type of stitch. Try joining two pieces together back-to-back. Or adding a substantial edging wide enough to counteract the curl. The edging doesn't have to be fancy; it could be just a wide band of single crochet or one of its variations.

    Step 58 shows a few rows of completed afghan stitch.
    Photo © Michael Solovay
  9. Binding Off

    To finish off your swatch, you must bind off with a row of slip stitches. If you don't bind off, the stitches will have gaps. The bind off is worked on a forward pass.

    • Skip the bar below the loop on your hook. *Insert the hook from right to left under the bar, yarn over, draw loop through, then through loop on the hook; repeat from * to end, fasten off.