How to Work Tunisian Simple Stitches in the Round

 

Even though March is here, it certainly doesn't feel like spring outside! I'm still looking to our Winter 2015 issue for inspiration and projects to keep me warm. A good hat and cowl are essential winter pieces, but they also transition easily to spring: On those warmer days (which I hope are coming soon!), you can take off your jacket but ward off any lingering chills in the air with a hat and cowl. Creating versatile pieces got me thinking about the Aurora Borealis Hat and Cowl by Kim Driggs. Featured in the winter issue, these projects are beautiful and fairly quick to work up, and the colors work for either winter or spring.

I've never worked a Tunisian stitch before, so I asked Kim to write a quick blog to help me through it. This step-by-step tutorial is a great way to see how to create this stitch. Here's Kim with the details!

Working Tunisian Simple Stitches in the Round

The response to my Aurora Borealis Cowl and Hat has been amazing! That, of course, has led to some questions about the stitch pattern I used, and there's good news-it's about twenty-three times easier than it looks. The secret is in doing Tunisian simple stitch in the round: because you never turn the work over, you use a different yarn for the forward pass than the return pass. In this tutorial I've used Knit Picks Palette in black for the forward pass and Knit Picks Chroma in guppy for the return pass. You will need a double ended hook. 

 

 

Depending what you want to make, you can start with a chain or with foundation stitches. Join in the round with a slip stitch. Alternately, you can work up one side of the chain and then back down the other – anything that gets you working in the round! Then, as usual when you are starting in Tunisian, start picking up loops in each stitch. If you started with a chain, one loop per chain is plenty. If you are using foundation stitches (or working out of crochet fabric) you may want to experiment with how many loops you pick up per stitch. Keep picking up loops until your hook is as full as you're comfortable with -you don't have to make it all the way around, or even to any point in particular. 

Then flip your work over so that you can start working with the hook at the other end. Make a slip knot and put your return pass yarn on the hook.

 

Next, yarn over and pull through two loops until only two or three loops of the forward pass color remain. 

 

 

 

Now flip your work over again and start picking up loops with your forward pass yarn as you were before, again filling up your hook. Then flip it over again and work the loops in the return pass color until you have gone all the way around. When you start the next round, you will just keep going, picking up loops in the previously made stitches. Here I'm showing a full hook with some fabric, so you can see better how it comes together. You pick up loops in the little vertical bars here on the right side of the fabric. 

 

 

I've stretched out the next few loops where I'll make new loops with the hook here so you can see them better. Then, for the return pass, you still flip it over and work the loops off with the other yarn.

These bumps on the wrong side are the like the backs of a chain. As you can see, you are making a "chain" of the return pass yarn in the loops of the forward pass yarn-when you make the next row of stitches, these "chains" will flip over and align with the ones below them.

And that's seriously all there is to it!

–Kim

 

 

 

With the steps broken down like this (and with these great photos!), it's easy to see how to work this stitch. Keep yourself warm this spring (and what's left of winter) with your own Aurora Borealis!

Happy crocheting!

Rachel

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