Learn How to Work Tunisian Crochet Increases

Rows and rows of Tunisian crochet. There something soothing about picking up stitches across a row and then working them off in the return pass. But in order to shape a garment or accessory, you need to be able to work increases and decreases. When working shawls, short rows are another great option.


Esmeralda’s Wrap by Sheryl Thies

Sheryl Thies joins us to talk about how to work Tunisian short rows.

Tunisian Crochet Short Rows

The use of short rows is a technique that creates unique and gentle curves and can slope an otherwise flat and straight edged piece of Tunisian crochet fabric. Since the total number of stitches is not altered, no stitches are added nor subtracted; the actual width of the piece being worked is not changed, just the shape.

A short row is simply a row that is not worked completely across; the remaining un-worked stitches are considered inactive and wait until the next row to be re-activated and worked. Short rows give a step-like appearance within the fabric being created.

A short row can be worked over any number of stitches and can be worked from either the left or right edge of the piece. The method for working the short row differs slightly depending on which edge the short row is started.


Right edge Short row. Notice the jog or step like appearance and un-worked stitches.

From the right edge:

Working a short row from the right edge is like working any other row, only just working across part of the row, not the whole row. In the example below there are a total of 12 stitches on the swatch. The first short row consists of working the forward pass 5 stitches, with the loop at the beginning on the hook; there are a total of 6 stitches in the short row. The standard return pass is worked to complete the short row. The stitches to the left of the short row are not worked, inactivated, and wait until a subsequent row to be reactivated.


Holiday Sequins Sweater by Linda Dean

On the next forward pass, the stitches from the short row are worked, as are the stitches to the left of the short row, completing the entire row. A small hole develops at the point of the jog or the step of the short row and the remaining stitches of the row. Depending on the project this hole may be desirable and a nice design element, but often the preference is to minimize this hole.

— Sheryl Thies, Love of Crochet Winter 2015

Pick up your Tunisian hook and give them a try. Tunisian short rows are a  great tool for shaping. I love using them on hats as well. Learn more about Tunisian increases and find great patterns, both Tunisian crochet and regular crochet, in the winter 2015 issue of Love of Crochet. Order or download your copy of Love of Crochet Winter 2015 today!

Best wishes,


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