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Topic: Tunisian Crochet - getting started and Simple Stitch - tutorial  (Read 2420 times)
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« on: August 13, 2012 11:48:40 AM »

This tutorial focuses on the Tunisian Simple stitch, but it also serves as an introduction to Tunisian crochet.  If you've never done Tunisian crochet before, this is a good place to start.

For the best results when doing Tunisian crochet, you need a special hook called an "afghan hook".  You can also use a double ended hook (and ignore one of the ends), or a cabled hook.  The important thing is that the hook be the same size and shape after the head - so, no thumb rest, and no fancy handles.  It's also important, if you're making something large, to have some kind of stopper on the end to keep the loops from sliding off.  Afghan hooks and most cabled hooks come with a stopper.  When I use a double ended hook for this I usually wrap an elastic band around the unused head.

Also, you need to use a bigger hook than you normally would for the yarn you're using.  I suggest going up two sizes.  For this yarn, I normally use a 5mm hook.  When using it for Tunisian crochet, I use a 6mm hook.  You'll want to experiment - using an even larger hook can take care of curling problems, but can also result in a lacier fabric.

Let's get started!

As with a lot of crochet techniques, start with a base chain:

Insert the hook in the second chain from the hook (I like to go into the back bump - it makes the bottom of the piece look nicer)

Yarn over:

Pull through and add that loop to your hook:

Insert the hook into the next chain, yarn over, and add that loop to your hook.  Keep going until you have done this with every stitch:

Note: I started with 10 chains, and I now have 10 loops on my hook - the number of loops matches the number of chains.

Now it's time to work the loops off of the hook.  Start by yarning over:

And pull through one loop:

Yarn over

And pull through two loops:

Repeat: *yarn over, pull through two loops* until there is only one loop left on the hook

The first row is done!  This is always how the first row is done in Tunisian crochet.  What forms this row into the desired stitch is how you work into it on the next row.

The Tunisian Simple stitch is usually the first one you learn.  There's a reason why it's called that... it's certainly the easiest one to describe!

To do the second rows (and all subsequent rows), you start by inserting the hook, from right to left, behind the second vertical bar:

Yarn over:

and pull that loop onto the hook:

Repeat this process by inserting the hook behind the next vertical bar, and pulling that loop onto the hook until you have only one vertical bar left, the one at the very end.  You *can* insert the hook the same way you have been so far, but for a nicer left side edge, you can insert the hook in a special way for the last stitch:

It's a bit tricky to see in that picture, but where you insert the hook is immediately to the right of the end vertical bar, and to the left of a little vertical section nearest the hook in the picture.  You insert the hook from front to back through the fabric, leaving two vertical bars on one side of the hook:

and lift that loop onto the hook.

Any way you slice it, when you're done, you'll have the same number of loops on your hook as stitches you started with:

And then work them off as you did before: yarn over and pull through one loop, then *yarn over, pull through two loops* over and over until you only have one loop left on the hook.

Continue adding rows in this manner until you are satisfied with the length of the project.  It should look something like this:

You may notice that the last row you make seems a bit lacy, or hole-y.  This is normal.  When you finish a Tunisian piece, you need to slip stitch across the top to close this up. 

It is important to note that because, as mentioned earlier, the row above a row is what gives it its definition, that when you slip stitch to end a piece, you need to insert the hook in the manner of the stitch you are creating.  In this example we are doing the Tunisian Simple stitch, and so we will always insert the hook from right to left behind the vertical bars. 

In pictures:
Insert the hook behind the next vertical bar and yarn over:

Pull through (including through the loop on the hook) :

Repeat for each stitch: insert the hook, yarn over, pull through both loops (slip stitch) until you reach the end.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop, and you're done!

As you can see, this swatch is curling a bit.  This is normal.  The Tunisian Simple stitch is slightly bigger on the back than it is on the front - it's not as big a difference as with the Tunisian Knit stitch, though.


« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012 11:50:34 PM »

Thank you for this tutorial, I think you've made it easy for me to try this.

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Look twice, decide I can make one instead.
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