Creating Tunisian Cables
Tunisian crochet burst back onto the scene about five years ago. The historical patterns for this traditional technique are sparse and primarily utilize Tunisian simple stitch. But the possibilities are endless. In Interweave Crochet we have delved into colorwork created in the round, Tunisian knit stitch, Tunisian entrelac, and more.
But the Tunisian design that has always fascinated me is cables. How do you create Tunisian crochet cables? I've tried adapting knitting techniques, and the resulting fabric is flat. Now the mystery has been revealed. In the Interweave Crochet Winter 2014 issue, Tunisian crochet expert Kim Guzman illustrates how to create Tunisian crochet cables.
Here is a short excerpt from Kim's article:
Cross Over to Tunisian Cables
I love cables! Crocheted cables, knitted cables-I love them all! The bigger and chunkier the cable, the better! However, for a long time I was disappointed with Tunisian cables. Following traditional techniques, the cable sits flat on the fabric; you can barely see it. I stumbled upon a solution for that, which I'll share with you.
But first, a bit about Tunisian crochet: Tunisian crochet is sometimes considered a cross between crocheting and knitting. Each row is made up of a forward pass and a return pass. In the forward pass, you pick up loops across a long hook or hook with extender cable; this is what looks most like knitting, because you have a lot of loops distributed across a hook. In the return pass, you work off the loops (instead of keeping them live throughout as you would in knitting). For more information about Tunisian crochet, see the glossary. Because of the similarities between the two crafts, many of the things you can do in knitting can be done in Tunisian crochet, such as cables.
If you have worked crochet cables using post stitches, note that Tunisian cables are quite different. With post-stitch cables, you work long post stitches in front of or behind stitches, using the traditional method of one stitch at a time. When working Tunisian cables, you cross the live loops, either on the forward pass or on the return pass. The effect is much like knitted cables. The Tunisian crochet fabric is denser than knitted fabric, but with a large hook and lighter-weight yarn, you can use Tunisian crochet to create a lovely, wearable, richly cabled garment.
Subscribe to Interweave Crochet magazine today. You'll receive the Winter 2014 issue with Kim Guzman's in-depth technique article and innovative Tunisian cable cardigan as well as a year's worth of amazing patterns and incredible articles on cutting edge crochet techniques.
P.S. What Tunisian crochet technique would you like to learn more about?