Tempted by Tunisian? The 3 Basic Stitches You Should Know

If you’ve been on Ravelry or Pinterest lately, you’re probably aware that Tunisian crochet is always trending. Although there is debate over its history and origin, this is a popular stitch that has been around for ages. A crochet technique in disguise that might fool some into thinking it’s knitting, those with a keen eye and some crochet know-how are able to tell this versatile, timeless stitch apart.

If you’re dying to become familiar with Tunisian crochet but don’t know where to start, keep reading. We are not only ready to help by offering you Tunisian Crochet Workshop,  we’ve also got crochet genius Dora Ohrenstein’s book The New Tunisian Crochet on hand to assist with your learning the 3 basic Tunisian crochet stitches that every beginner should know.


Basic Tunisian Stitches

Please note that each of the stitches defined here requires inserting the hook in a different place. These stitches can be used on their own or in combination with others to create a variety of surface designs.

Tunisian Simple Stitch

Otherwise known as Tss, this stitch creates a lovely woven look and has excellent drape, especially when worked with a hook larger than the yarn usually calls for. Remember that the first stitch in a row is the loop already on your hook, the one that you end up with after completing a return pass. The working yarn is at the back of the work.

To work the forward pass in Tss, beginning with the second vertical bar, insert the hook from right to left under the front vertical bar and draw up a loop (see Figures 1 and 2). Repeat this in each vertical bar across. On the last vertical bar in the row, work under both the front and back vertical bars to create a firm edge. The last vertical bar of the row is always worked in the manner described above—inserting the hook under front and back of the bar—as a firm edge is desirable, giving the work a neat, tidy appearance. To complete a row of Tunisian simple stitch, work the basic return pass (see Figure 3, below).

Tunisian

Illustrations © F+W Media, Inc. by Karen Manthey from the book The New Tunisian Crochet.

Tunisian Knit Stitch

Tunisian knit stitch, or Tks, really does look like knitting on the surface, but it creates a thicker fabric because the return pass sits at the back of the work and adds considerable heft. Again, with the working yarn in back and beginning in the second vertical bar, insert the hook from front to back between the front and back vertical bars and draw up a loop (see below). Repeat this in each pair of vertical bars across, working under both bars on the last stitch, and work the return pass in the usual manner described above.

Illustrations © F+W Media, Inc. by Karen Manthey from the book The New Tunisian Crochet.

Tunisian Purl Stitch

Tunisian purl stitch, or Tps, is also considered one of the basic stitches, although it’s seldom used by itself. It looks like purl in knitting and is used in a similar way, to create contrasting textures on the fabric. Unlike with the other stitches mentioned above, the yarn here must be held to the front. The simple way to do this is to bring the hook behind the working yarn to bring the yarn forward. Then insert the hook from right to left under the front vertical bar and draw a loop through (see below). To make this maneuver manageable, hold the working yarn down with your thumb, work the stitch, then tug, just a little, on the working yarn to tighten up the stitch. Again, the return pass is worked as usual.

—Dora

Illustrations © F+W Media, Inc. by Karen Manthey from the book The New Tunisian Crochet.

 

Featured Image: ©F+W Media, Inc. by Joe Hancock


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