Welcome to a New Issue of Interweave Crochet!

A note from Kathleen: The new issue of Interweave Crochet is about to hit your mailboxes and local yarn shops! Here to give you a preview is editor Marcy Smith. This issue of  the magazine features a really cool technique that knitters will be interested in: Tunisian crochet. It gives the look of knitting, but it's fast and very textural—just what you'd expect from a crochet stitch. Here's Marcy to talk more about this fascinating stitch and the Winter 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet.

Time for Tunisian

Does knitted entrelac make you sweat? Pick up stitches, knit back and forth, turn and turn again, keep the angles turned right round. It's some work. It's really a love-it-or-hate-it kind of sport.

Here's a way to get the same look without the sweaty edge of angst: Tunisian crochet. The fabulous Sunset Ruana on the cover of the Winter issue of Interweave Crochet is worked a series of squares and triangles, just like knitting. You pick up stitches along one edge and join to the previous block as you go, just like knitting. But you do all this with a crochet hook, instead of a knitting needle, which is much easier.

Tunisian crochet is a fusion of knitting and crochet, which will make the process feel very familiar to knitters. With Tunisian crochet, you pick up the stitches all along the edge and keep them on the hook, just like knitting. Then you work them off one by one, just like knitting.

At the end of the row, you have just one loop left. You then pick up stitches along the next row and work them off. The right side always faces you, so there's no turning. For the ruana, you don't need any special tools. The rows are short enough that you can use a regular crochet hook instead of a longer Tunisian hook. Do select a hook that has the same circumference all along it, without the flattened thumb rest.

The Winter issue of Interweave Crochet provides all the basics for learning Tunisian crochet. In addition to the ruana, you'll find three more great Tunisian patterns, including the Katharine Vest by Dora Ohrenstien and the Aubrey Coat by Tram Nguyen. The Flip-Floor Pillow by Brianna Mewborn is worked in one piece with cunning wedges of alternating simple stitch and Tunisian purl, which really does look like the knitted purl stitch. (For these projects, you will need a longer hook; if you have the Denise interchangeable needle set, you can purchase crochet hooks that fit onto the cords.)

         
 The Aubrey Coat   The Flip-Floor Pillow    The Katharine Vest 
         

Tunisian crochet can produce some really fabulous fabrics, not possible with either knitting or traditional crochet. The basic stitch creates a fabric that looks much like woven fabric. Another stitch looks exactly like stockinette stitch-but with twice the warmth, making it perfect for outer wear. Give it a whirl. I think you'll like it.

Read more about the history of this intriguing technique in Beyond the Basics. And meet Angela Grabowski, who funnels her passion into creating new Tunisian stitches, including some cable work that looks just like knitted cables.

Create a Gift for a Homeless Child

In this issue, the Craftivism feature by Betsy Greer suggests four patterns to make and donate to an organization called Project Night Night, that will get the items into the hands of homeless children. Interweave Crochet assistant editor Toni Rexroat designed an amigurimi project called Frog Charming. So grab the new issue, your hook, and some yarn, and make one or two of these froggies to donate to a little prince or princess charming in need!

And that's not all! Click here to preview all of the exciting projects in the Winter 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet.

And happy new year! We wish you a happy and healthy 2010!

Best,

Marcy

 

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