Tunisian crochet is a unique beauty; a mix of knitting and crochet that create impressive-looking fabric. While you use the unique Tunisian crochet hook with an interchangeable cord, the stitches look like knitting. Like both knitting and crochet, Tunisian craft too has its own set of basic stitches and techniques. The methods used are similar to crochet but the look and even names are inspired by knitting. To get you started with the unique craft, we’ve got a guide on learning about Tunisian Crochet.
Before you explore the basic crochet stitches of the Tunisian craft, gather your supplies.
Crochet hook: Tunisian crochet requires a special tool, the unique Tunisian crochet hook. This is different from regular hooks, lengthier with options of a stopper on the other end, hooks on either end, or the option of interchangeable cords. The longer hooks' purpose is to pick stitches on the crochet hook like knitting on one row and working them off on the other. The cords are the same ones used for interchangeable circular knitting needles, available in different lengths. Similar to circular knitting needles, the interchangeable cords allow increasing the Tunisian hook’s length for larger projects allowing much more versatility for projects like a blanket or other projects with a large number of stitches.
The hook sizes follow their standard sizes in metric units along with a corresponding alphabet similar to regular hooks measured by the diameter of the hook. If you are new to crochet, our guide to choosing crochet hooks will help you. To get started with Tunisian crochet stitches, use the common hook sizes - 5.0mm (H), 5.5mm (I), 6.0mm (J), 6.5mm (K), or 7.0mm. They are easier to work with. While the hook material is a personal preference, it is always recommended to work with premium crochet tools that have snag-free stitches, less fatigue on your hands, and an enjoyable crafting experience.
Yarn: Just like normal crochet and knitting, the yarn is most important in fact it is the soul of your craft. The yarn label indicates the hook size. Almost all patterns mention details on yarn weight. If you would like to experiment with your own designs you can start with a gauge swatch. Even if you have a pattern it is always suggested to make your gauge. The general rule is bigger sizes go with heavier yarn weights and smaller sizes of with lighter weights. For a tight fabric go for a small hook and lighter yarn and for an open fabric big size with mid-weight yarn. For practice, go for mid-weight yarns. You can also use any scraps from your craft collection.
How to work Tunisian Crochet Stitches?
Tunisian crochet is a unique hybrid of knitting and crocheting. You use your Tunisian crochet hook to make loops but like knitting, you keep the stitches on the hook. The fundamental principle of working on Tunisian crochet is that each row is worked in two passes (whether you work for flat or circular patterns). First, you crochet the forward pass, in which loops are picked on the crochet hook. And then you work on the return pass, in which the loops you picked up are worked off the hook. The work in progress is never turned, essential working straight (back and forth going from left to right and back). The right side (RS) of the project is always facing you. The trick of Tunisian crochet stitches is achieved by different ways of inserting the hook, handling the pulled-up loops, and working off the loops.
Abbreviations for Tunisian Crochet
lp (s) - loop (s)
CH - chain
FwP - forward pass
RetP - return pass
St - stitches
Yo - yarn over
Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss)
The Tunisian Simple stitch is the best place to start with this unique craft. The stitch is used as a building block for a lot of the more decorative Tunisian crochet stitches. So make sure you master this first.
Foundation Row Forward
Step 1. Make the number of chain stitches indicated in the pattern. For practice start with 20- 30 stitches.
The number of Tunisian stitches on subsequent rows or rounds will be the same as the number of chains you start with until you plan to increase or decrease stitches. Look at your chains.
Step 2. Insert hook in the second CH from hook. Yo, pull up lp. There will be 2 lps on the hook.
Step 3. Insert hook in the next CH. Yo, pull up lp. Each St adds another lp to the hook.
Step 4. Continue all the way across.
Step 5. Count the lps. You should have the same number on the hook as the number of foundation chains.
Foundation Row Return
Step 1. Yo, pull through 1 lp.
Step 2. Yo, pull through 2 lps.
Step 3. Continue all the way across until 1 lp remains on the hook. This is the “standard return.”
There are also different returns. If you need to follow a different way, a pattern will provide detailed instructions.
Tunisian Crochet Increases and Decreases
Like regular crochet, Tunisian craft has the option to increase and decrease crochet stitches. Both increases and decreases are made on the forward pass of the Tunisian simple stitch.
Decreases are made by combining two vertical bars on the forward pass. You can also make a decrease in by merely skipping one vertical bar.
Increases are made between two vertical bars on the forward pass. Insert the hook into the gap, and draw up a loop to keep on the hook.
Return passes work normally. You simply work on the stitches on the hook.
Tunisian Reverse Stitch
Tunisian Reverse Stitch (Trs) shares similarities with the Tunisian Simple Stitch. The reverse stitch is worked through a vertical bar on the back of the work.
You are ready to be introduced to a Tunisian Knit and Purl stitch. Our guide will walk you through both stitches, and to summarize, they are the most important stitches of the craft. You can use both of them to make sweaters, scarves, blankets, or pretty much anything. With time get started with Tunisian lace stitches, working with multiple colors and so much more.
Premium crochet hooks are an ideal investment for your craft. Make sure to explore the Lantern Moon collection for premium ebony wood knitting needles and crochet hooks. The knitting needles and the special Bequest Tunisian crochet hook set are perfect for multiple projects.