I could not decide which stitch to do a tutorial on this week, so I decided to write both on the Basic Tunisian and Double Crochet Decrease. I have found that over the years that a lot of people are intimidated by Tunisian crochet, but once they brought themselves to experiment with it – they had wished they had tried it earlier.
I know that some of you might have heard of this stitch already and have even mastered it, but there are still quite a few who this will all be new for. So today we are gong to learn the Tunisian crochet, which is also known as the Afghan Crochet and Tunisian Simple Stitch. In addition to these names in the 1882 Dictionary of Needlework Tricot Stitch, Railway Stitch and Fool’s Stitch. No matter what name you use they are all the same stitch.
Tunisian crochet, although having an appearance of knit is actually crocheted using a hook. It might have stitches that look similar to knitted stitches but beyond that there are few similarities. I would categorize Tunisian crochet more of an extension of crocheting.
Tunisian crochet is worked using an afghan crochet hook. Pictured above) Similar to a crochet hook, both having a head and throat, but the afghan crochet hook is longer in length and has no thumb grip. At the end of the hook you will find a stopper or knob to help keep the stitches from falling off the hook.
Tunisian hooks comes in lengths of 10 and 14 inches and sizes C through N. (as far as I know) You will also discover that some Tunisian crochet hooks have a wire cable (pictured above) that is helpful to hold stitches when you are crocheting something like an afghan.
Note: When determining what length hook is needed for your project, select a hook that can hold a project that is up to three times longer than the hook.
Another difference from traditional crocheting is that Tunisian crochet is worked while keeping all the stitches on the hook and then worked off. Each row will always have two parts for completion; for the first part of the row you will pick up the loops while keeping them on the hook. This process is called casting on or the forward past. The second part you will work the loops off the hook and this process is called casting off or the reverse past.
Once the correct number of loops is obtained on the hook, the process is reversed with each loop being worked off from the hook by yarning over and pulling a new loop of yarn through each stitch.
Note: One more thing to remember is that the work is never turned you will always work with the front side of the project facing you.
Both traditional crocheting and Tunisian crochet is started by working a chain stitch (The Chain Stitch) and foundation row.
As your knowledge of the technique widens you will discover there are a variety of stitches than can be created. Today we are going to start with the Basic Stitch. At this point I will have to admit that I am far from being an expert in this area – for everything I have learned in this area is self taught, though I believe I have become proficient enough that I can show you a few stitches.
Before we get started I would like to review the location of the horizontal and vertical bars. (picture above)
So lets get our yarn and hook and travel along a new road as we discover the world of Tunisian Crochet.
Tunisian Crochet Tutorial:
Note: You will always be working with the same number of stitches as established on the chain (unless you are working with decreases or increases) Remember that Increases and decreases are worked only in the first half of the stitch row.
The Base Row:
Ch 20 loosely:
Part 1 – the forward Past
Step One: (work the base row) insert hook into 2nd chain from hook, Yarn over and pull up a loop –(2 loops on hook) (pictured above)
Step Two: insert hook into next chain and pull up a loop, repeat in each foundation chain across – 20 ops on hook- row 1 completed. (picture above)
Note: when working the Tunisian stitch do not turn your work.
You have completed half of the base row.
Part 2 – the reverse past
Step One: Working from right to left, yarn over and pull through 1 loop on hook. (picture above)
Note: Always begin the second half of a row by pulling yarn through one stitch only. After you’ve completed the first stitch, pull through two stitches at a time.
Step Two: Yarn over and pull thru next 2 loops; repeat from process across until one loop remains on hook – (picture above)
The base row is now complete.
Note: The last stitch remaining on the hook is always the first stitch of the next row.
Part 1 – the forward Past
Note: Always skip the first bar when starting on a new row.
Step One: Insert hook under 2nd vertical bar of previous row, yarn over and pull a loop thru vertical bar – 2 loops on hook. (picture above)
Step Two keeping all loops on hook, repeat across under each vertical bar – 20 loops on hook row two is now completed.
Part 2 – the reverse past
You now repeat the reverse past from the base stitch above. To continue you just repeat row 2 until you have your desire length.
I hope you enjoy your first experience with Tunisian Crochet as much as I did. By opening yourself up to this exceptional crocheting technique you will be exploring a whole new world for yourself.
Until next time, keep those hooks flying.