February 5

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Complete Guide To The Tunisian Crochet

What if I told you there is only one yarn art that combines crochet and knitting? Enter Tunisian crochet!

Guess what? With this crochet technique, you can make textiles that mimic knitting and fabrics that resemble crochet. You can also create completely different stitches with this technique.

Despite the name, there is no evidence that it originally came from Tunisia. People don't know much about this technique; that's like knitting. So where did it come from and what do we know about it?

Read on for more information in my guide to Tunisian crochet. What is Tunisian crochet?
Tunisian crochet (pronounced tyoo-ni-ni-zee-uhn crochet in the UK and Australia, and also-nee-zhn crochet in the US) is a type of needlework fusing knitting and crochet.

Knitters and crocheters alike will find something that reminds them of their craft in Tunisian crochet.

Learning this technique is great if you like the look of knitting but don't like using two knitting needles. Or, maybe you don't like some crochet, but you still like the look of it.

Since Tunisian crochet didn't come to Tunisia, where did it originally come from? No one knows, unfortunately.

The popularity of Tunisian crochet did not return until the 1960s, when it was introduced back into print.

People first saw Tunisian crochet appear in print in 1884 in a book called 'The Dictionary of Needlework.' During those years, Tunisian Crochet was becoming increasingly popular. However, soon after, it declined.


Tunisian Hook Kit (3.5mm)
Store at WeCrochet
What is the difference between Crochet and Tunisian crochet?
Here's a quick comparison between traditional crochet and Tunisian crochet.

#1 - Knitting
Tunisian crochet is quite stretchy. It also tends to curl more than regular crochet.

Regular crochet is exceptionally stretchy.

#2 - Tool
Tunisian crochet: In this crochet technique, you use a longer hook. The longest hooks are up to 14 inches long.

Traditional crochet: Regular crochet hooks are shorter than Tunisian hooks and tend to be about 6 inches long.

#3 - Method
Tunisian crochet: you work the stitches in two passes, the forward pass and the return pass.

Traditional crochet: flip the work at the end of the row.

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What is the difference between Tunisian and Afghan crochet?
Although they sound like two completely different crochet techniques, they are one and the same. Tunisian crochet is known as afghan crochet as well.

People used to call Tunisian crochet "Afghan crochet" or "Afghan stitch" before the 1970s, but now people interchange the two.

Afghan crochet is often confused with a different crochet method. But, it is a group of crochet stitches within the Tunisian technique.

Tunisian Crochet Feat Img
How to Tunisian crochet
First things first, let's start with the basics. Here is a list of things you will need.

Tunisian crochet hook. (The pattern you are using will tell you which one you need).
Yarn
Scissors
Tape measure or ruler
Darning needle for weaving in ends
Optional: Stitch counters or stitch markers.
As for what size hook you need, check the yarn label to see what it recommends.

Here are how to make some of the most common Tunisian stitches with some free crochet tutorials. A perfect introduction to expanding your stitch repertoire.

Stitch #2. The complete Tunisian crochet stitch.

Fluffy, chunky, warm ... what more could you ask for in a fabric? The warm characteristic of this stitch makes it an excellent choice for winter garments, such as scarves.

Another great thing is that the finished fabric has two different textures on each side; it is reversible.

Stitch #3. The Tunisian stitch of Tunisian crochet stitch.

Now, here's where you can be fooled! The Tunisian crochet stitch looks just like the knit stitch. As soon as you flip the seemingly "knitted" fabric over, you may see a difference if you compare it to an actual knitted piece.

Stitch #4. The Tunisian stitch Purl crochet Tunisian stitch.

Hmmm... Is this Tunisian crochet or knitting? Look closely and compare a knit and tunisian stitch, and you'll see a slight difference between the two.

This stitch is great if you don't like to knit, but want to make a purl stitch.

More types of tunisian crochet stitches:

Reverse stitch
Ocean Stitch
Everyone who does Tunisian crochet gets purled fabric, so don't worry if you think it's something you're doing wrong.

How do I stop my Tunisian crochet from curling?
Picture this: you've finished making a Tunisian crochet project, and you're so happy with it! But wait, is that a curl you see at the top? I know that feeling. Super annoying!
What is a tunisian crochet hook?
A Tunisian crochet hook is elongated, hooked at one end and capped at the other. Tunisian or 'Afghan' crochet hooks are ideal for holding lots of stitches. They are designed specifically for Tunisian crochet.

Good examples are Tunisian Trefoil hooks, Boye Tunisian hooks, Susan Bates' Afghan hooks and Addi's Tunisian hooks.

Can I use a regular crochet hook for Tunisian crochet?
Yes, you can use a regular crochet hook for Tunisian crochet, but only for small projects. The larger the project, the more difficult it will be to fit all the stitches on a regular crochet hook.

Tunisian crochet hooks are longer than traditional crochet hooks and have end caps. These features make it easier for the hook to hold more stitches.

Tunisian crochet patterns
Here are some recommendations to give you some inspiration and expand your crochet skills with some free Tunisian crochet patterns.

How to do it: Tunisian single crochet stitch
This Tunisian crochet stitch is the most basic of the stitches and is very easy to learn. (Abbreviated as Tss or also known as afghan stitch).

Learn how to do it in this video tutorial from B.Hhook Crochet.

If you prefer written instructions, read on to learn how to make a simple Tunisian stitch.

Begin the process as you would if you were doing regular crochet, with crochet chains (also known as a foundation row or foundation chain). Once you have made the foundation row, now start turning it into a tunisian stitch.

The simple tunisian stitch is made up of two parts, the forward pass and the backward pass. Remember to always keep the yarn behind the fabric.


Tunisian crochet in the round
Here is an excellent tutorial for working in the round with the simple stitch.

Tunisian crochet stitches
How many Tunisian crochet stitches are there?
There are over 400 Tunisian crochet stitches out there in total. Of course, you don't need all of them in your stitch repertoire, but here are the four most common Tunisian crochet stitches.

Stitch #1. The Simple stitch (also known as the afghan stitch) Tunisian crochet stitch.

The Tunisian single stitch makes a stretchy but almost opaque fabric. The wrong side has a bumpy texture and looks very similar to the knit stitch.
"Let's Get Cozy" Mug-Cozy by Kris Stone.

This free Tunisian crochet pattern is a simple and functional project that will show up in no time. A great project for beginners.

Tunisia Basketweave pillow crochet pattern by Tanya Eberhardt

Here's a free Tunisian crochet pattern for a pillowcase for something equally functional but a little more advanced.

A funny thing happened ... shawl by Amy Depew at The Laughing Willow

A pretty, chiffon shawl with loose, open stitches.

Flaming Gorge scarf by Hailey Redden.

When worn with a striped or multicolored scarf, the rich gradient complements the lovely stitchwork.

Tuwe by Christina Adorjan : Napster

Once you've made a few beginner patterns and have grown in your skills, try your hand at this wonderful open cropped bolero.

For more great Tunisian crochet patterns and projects, Ravelry is a great place to look.

Also, popular designer and creator Dora Ohrenstein has published a book through weaving in a modern, easy-to-access approach to Tunisian crochet.

With 30 Tunisian crochet stitches and 11 projects, this is a great introduction to this method.

The new Tunisian crochet: contemporary designs from time-honored traditions.

The new Tunisian crochet: contemporary designs from time honored traditions.
Click for more information / Buy on Amazon
Afghani Tunisian Crochet
Here are some great patterns for Tunisian crochet for Afghans and their tutorials.

Sweet gingham baby blanket video tutorial by TL Yarn Crafts.

Daydream: A Simple Striped Tunisian Crochet Blanket by a Woof Dog

Here are crochet designer and blogger Chiwei's video tutorial on how to do the simple stitch (the most common stitch in Tunisian crochet.)

Here is a related video tutorial on how to change colors in Tunisian crochet.

Honestly Easy Tunisian Crochet Afghani by AllFreeCrochet

A quick and easy weekend project, it uses bulky yarn of contrasting color, so it crochets very fast.

What is Tunisian crochet used for?
A lot of different things. You can make almost anything with Tunisian crochet. From socks to hats, shawls to knitted jackets.

Does Tunisian crochet use more yarn?
Compared to knitting, Tunisian crochet uses more yarn, along with traditional crochet.

Is Tunisian crochet difficult?
Not at all! You don't need any experience in knitting or standard crochet. So you can learn Tunisian style even if you have never used yarn and a hook or needle together.

Why is it called Tunisian crochet?
It is difficult to discern why this stitch is called Tunisian crochet since we don't know much about it. We know that people used to call it just Afghan crochet and later also called Tunisian crochet. Now you have all the tools and information you need to start a new Tunisian crochet project.


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