Getting Started With Tunisian Crochet
In the spring of 2008, I was introduced to what looked like a crochet hook that had been accidently stretched when no one was watching—a beanpole crochet hook I called it. When I picked it up, the length felt slightly awkward in my hand. This was my first experience holding a Tunisian crochet hook. But I had fallen in love with the texture and stitch pattern of the La Mer Scarf.
Sheryl Mean’s design used Tunisian simple stitch, Tunisian simple stitch 2 together, and Tunisian make 1. The pattern didn’t look to difficult and seemed to provide a good introduction to Tunisian. The concept of picking a loop up in each stitch across, leaving the loops on the hook, and then working the loops off in a return pass took a few rows to really wrap my brain around (though it reminds me a great deal of knitting). But I found the stitches surprisingly simple. Before the scarf was finished I was in love.
Since my first foray into Tunisian, I have introduced this technique to crochet veterans and friends who have never picked up a hook. Those friends who are new to crochet seem to pick the technique up more quickly and marvel at how easy the stitches are to work and the diversity of the stitches.
Tunisian crochet can create either a lace fabric with wonderful drape, like in the La Mer Scarf or the Cool Wave Shawl (pictured left), or a warm, thick fabric like the beautiful striped pattern used for the Mulled Spices Afghan. The Mulled Spices Afghan also incorporated Tunisian entrelac along the border. I already have this crocheted blanket in my queue. I hope to finish it before the first snows of next winter hit.
If you have never worked Tunisian crochet before, I would recommend checking out Kristin Omdahl’s instruction in Crochet Corner: Basics and Beyond with Kristin Omdahl. You can also find video tutorials in our Crochet Techniques Videos.