Tunisian crochet is a unique niche of crochet that combines some of the techniques of the craft with other techniques from knitting. The main difference is that you use a longer hook and work with more loops on the hook at one time. This allows you to create different types of stitches than are found in traditional crochet. There are a few basic Tunisian crochet stitches that a beginner should learn to gain mastery in the technique. This guide introduces you to those basic stitches, which... include Tunisian Simple Stitch and Tunisian Knit Stitch.
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Basics of Tunisian Crochet Stitches
Before getting started, it is helpful to know a few things about Tunisian crochet stitches. All Tunisian crochet stitches have a couple of things in common that distinguish them from the other kinds of crochet stitches you may be familiar with.
Special Crochet Hooks
First off, Tunisian crochet supplies are a bit different in that the hooks are longer and typically have a kind of knob called a stopper at the end. These hooks are somewhat similar to knitting needles. The stopper at the end of a Tunisian crochet hook has much the same function as the stopper on a knitting needle -- to keep the stitches from falling off. This gives you insight into the major difference between Tunisian crochet and regular crochet stitches: in Tunisian crochet you hold more than one stitch on the hook at a time.
Two Rows in Tunisian Crochet
Another difference between Tunisian crochet stitches and other stitches used in crocheting has to do with how each of the rows is worked. Unlike other crochet stitches, the Tunisian crochet stitch requires you to work each row in two passes; on the first pass you loop the yarn onto the hook and then on the second pass you loop it back off again.
Those two major differences are what make Tunisian crochet unique from other types of crochet. Using this information, you can learn the basic Tunisian crochet stitches.
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Tunisian Simple Stitch (abbreviated Tss and also known as Afghan stitch) is one of the best-known Tunisian crochet stitches and the first one that you should learn as you begin practicing the technique. This step-by-step tutorial includes photos and instructions for how to crochet this classic stitch, which will provide you with a solid foundation for making basic projects in Tunisian crochet. You can also find a great Tunisian simple stitch video tutorial from B.hooked Crochet.
Tunisian Simple Stitch Increases / Decreases
Rectangles and squares are great, but there are going to be times when you want to create some shaping in your work. For those occasions, you will need to learn how to increase and decrease in Tunisian Simple Stitch.
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When you learn how to crochet Tunisian simple stitch, you will see that the stitch is worked through a vertical bar on the front of the work. There is also a version of the stitch worked through a vertical bar on the back of the work, appropriately named Reverse Tss or Tunisian reverse stitch (Trs). This step-by-step photo-rich guide from Petals to Picots should have you working Trs in no time.
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The Tunisian knit stitch (Tks) is so named because it looks like knitting; the right side of the fabric resembles knitted stockinette stitch (AKA stocking stitch). In fact, it is occasionally called Tunisian stockinette stitch. Some people refer to this technique as "knitting with a crochet hook." That way of describing it isn't entirely accurate, because the resulting fabric is structurally different than a knitted fabric; it's thicker, and it has less stretch. Still, there's no arguing that the fabric looks knitted, and if you are interested in achieving a knitted look with your crochet work, this stitch is a good one to have in your repertoire. You will find this stitch in many Tunisian crochet patterns.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Tunisian purl stitch (Tps) is a little awkward to get the hang of at first, making it a stitch that some people consider an advanced afghan crochet stitch. That said, it isn't hard to figure out once you've studied it a bit and it can add more diversity to your Tunisian crochet projects.
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More to Learn in Tunisian Crochet
These basic Tunisian crochet stitches will take you a long way in this niche of the craft. However, there is a lot more that you can learn if you want to.
Some of the other popular Tunisian crochet stitches are the Twisted Tunisian Stitch, Tunisian Diagonal Stitch and Tunisian Double Crochet. Learn more from this guide.
This is a fun type of Tunisian crochet that uses short rows, which means that you can actually practice it with a regular hook if you don't have a long Tunisian crochet hook to work with. It creates a pattern that looks like entrelac in knitting.
Want to make seamless tube-shaped crochet projects using afghan stitch or other Tunisian crochet stitches? This is a curated roundup of links to videos and tutorials teaching you Tunisian crochet in the round.
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Additional Resources for Learning Tunisian Crochet
These links should have provided you with solid information about Tunisian crochet as a beginner. If you want to learn more, or simply to learn in different ways, these are some great resources to review:
Tunisian Crochet Books
- The New Tunisian Crochet: Contemporary Designs from Time-Honored Traditions by Dora Ohrenstein has 30 different stitch patterns in Tunisian crochet that the author has updated from historical archives.
- Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet: Step-by-Step Instructions and 16 Colorful Cowls, Sweaters, and More by Brenda Bourg is a great resource for people who want to get the Fair Isle knitting look while working in crochet.
Tunisian Crochet Classes
There are some great Tunisian crochet classes available online that allow you to take the craft further. One great example is Dora Ohrenstein's Craftsy class, Custom Fit Tunisian Crochet, a class that teaches you how to use the technique to get the right fit with clothing you make.