Get Into the Loop with Interweave Crochet

My early issues of Interweave Crochet are pretty well-loved. Marked with sticky tabs, they are showing the signs of frequent page-flipping and maybe a drip of coffee or two. 

The most worn pages are the ones focusing on techniques.

The early special issues dove right into special techniques, broadening crochet horizons by exploring the modern potential within older techniques such as Tunisian crochet and hairpin lace. 

In the first special issue of Interweave Crochet, back in '04, a "Tunisian Crochet Primer" packs in details with clear directions and illustrations. Here you'll find Tunisian simple stitch and Tunisian purl stitch, as well as instructions for increasing and decreasing. On another page, a photo of a long swatch illustrates directions that lead you through patterning possibilities when you work with more than one color. (The very same issue has a feature on tapestry crochet and Carol Ventura.)

Here is a little excerpt from the Tunisian Crochet Primer article to get you started:

Tunisian Simple Stitch

Like regular crochet, every project worked in Tunisian crochet begins with a foundation chain from which a row of stitches is picked up and held along the shank of the hook/needle. To work a practice swatch, make a chain of twenty stitches. Then work the first row as follows:

Foundation Row (pick up stitches): Insert the hook through the top loop of the second chain from the hook (Figure 1, right), yarn over and draw a loop through (2 stitches on hook). *Insert the hook into the top loop of the next chain stitch and draw a loop through, leaving it on the needle. Repeat from *, drawing one loop through each chain stitch. When you reach the end of the chain, you should have twenty loops on your needle-one for each chain stitch.

Reverse Row (complete the stitch): Yarn over the hook and draw a loop through the first loop on the hook (Figure 2). This single stitch is the equivalent of one turning chain; it brings the hook up to the level of the next row. *Yarn over and bring the hook through two stitches (Figure 3). Repeat from * to end of row. As you work from left to right, you'll bind off a stitch each time you draw a loop through the two loops on the hook. You will end with one loop on the needle-this loop counts as the first stitch of the next row.

Forward Row (pick up stitches): *Bring the hook from right to left under the first vertical bar created by the first two rows (Figure 4) and draw a loop through (Figure 5), leaving it on the hook. Rep from * to end of row, drawing up a loop from under the last vertical strand.

Work a forward row followed by a reverse row for Tunisian simple stitch. After a few rows, look closely at the fabric you've made! You'll see a series of short stacked vertical lines, separated by what looks like sideways V's or chain stitches.

Fun, huh? There are two more pages of Tunisian information in the primer. And that's just a bit of what you'll find in these back issues.

For some time, I have kept these issues in a big magazine holder on my office shelf. Every time I pull one out, a little corner tears, a page wrinkles. Oh, and can we talk about traveling? I can't tell you how many times these magazines have traveled from my home in North Carolina to the office in Colorado. Sometimes, I think I can hear them whimpering.

But no more. Now I can tuck my CD into my bag, then slip the CD into my computer. Voila! The first four issues at my fingertips — all crisp and without coffee smudges or frayed edges.

And if you don't have these magazines at home to kick around the way I do, this is an excellent way to fill out your collection and get into the loop.

Enjoy your crochet exploration.


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