The Tunisian Crochet Hook
Tunisian crochet, sometimes known as Afghan crochet, has found a strong foothold in crochet fashion, and I am thrilled. I love the sturdy thickness of Tunisian fabric and the gentle rhythm of the stitches. Tunisian crochet designers are busy experimenting with stitches, colors, and silhouettes to create innovative projects. You don't want to miss out.
It may bears a striking resemblance to knitting, but Tunisian crochet is a fabulous technique using a crochet hook to create a unique fabric with an oftentimes woven look. Although it is a form of crochet, Tunisian crochet is a skill in itself with myriad stitches and its own hooks, but some regular crochet hooks also work well.
Tunisian crochet is worked using either a Tunisian hook (sometimes called an Afghan hook) or a regular crochet hook that has an even shaft, or in other words does not widen at the grip. A Tunisian hook looks like a regular crochet hook, only longer, and without a wide grip. Some Tunisian hooks are made extra long with a cord or wire that extends from the end of the hook. It is longer because you pick up stiches across the row, much like knitting, then work the stitches off the hook as in crochet. A single row is made up of both a forward pass and a return pass. With Tunisian crochet, the right side of the work is always facing you.
Double-ended Tunisian crochet requires a crochet hook with a "hook" at either end. This allows you to pick up loops with the front hook and work them off with the back hook.
|Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks|
Most Tunisian crochet afghans, sweaters, and shawls will require you to pick up more loops than will fit on a traditional crochet hook. This is where a Tunisian hook will come in handy. Many Tunisian hooks have a relatively short shaft connected to a longer wire or cord. This cord is narrower than the shaft of the hook, but the smaller circumference does not affect the size of the loops.
Some Tunisian crochet hooks, such as the Denise Interchangeable Crochet hooks, allow you to control the length of your Tunisian crochet hook. A variety of different length cords can be attached to a short crochet hook, ensuring your hook is long enough without being too long and unwieldy. These interchangeable hooks also work well for your regular crochet projects and can be used to create double-ended Tunisian hooks.
|A variety of regular crochet hooks that would work well for Tunisian crochet projects.|
On the forward pass of any Tunisian crochet row, you will pick up a loop in each stitch across. You may have 2 loops or you may have 200 loops on your hook at the end of the row, depending on your pattern. The loops you pick up will slide down the shaft of your hook. It is important that the shaft be even. If the grip widens, it will increase the size of the loops that slide over it, distorting the finished fabric.
This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy all new hooks. Look through your current collection. There are several wooden hooks with smooth, even shafts that are perfect for narrower Tunisian projects such as scarves and cowls, though you will never fit all of the stitches for an entire afghan or sweater on the shaft.
So pull out an even-shafted crochet hook from your collection or pick up a new Tunisian crochet hook and explore Tunisian crochet today.