Tunisian Crochet: A Technique That Keeps Giving!

The great Tunisian crochet battle between two of Interweave’s finest crocheters, Dana Bincer and Susanna Tobias, inspired me to delve into the treasure troves of Tunisian literature to discover which side of the battle I should join. Is Tunisian crochet just knitting with a hook, or is it a wonderful addition to the crochet canon that makes crochet more versatile than ever?

The Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide eBook: 33 Contemporary Stitches by Dora Ohrenstein pushed me toward siding with Susanna, who loves Tunisian and what it can do. With five sections of Tunisian stitches that range from basic stitches to complex lacework, this handy eBook has all you need to jump into this fun technique that is, according to Dora, “often considered a hybrid between knitting and crochet.” She notes that although “almost everything about Tunisian crochet has come under dispute at some point . . . the resulting fabric is different from both crochet and knitting, displaying unique qualities all its own.” This unique quality is what makes Tunisian an essential addition to a crocheter’s library.

TunisianWhat is especially fun about Tunisian, Dora explains, is that the crochet community takes a huge interest in it, which inspires innovations in stitches, Tunisian lace, techniques for working in the round, and new constructions. From Tunisian basics to these new innovations, the book walks you through gauge, hook size, drape, charts, forward and return passes, and more to cover all your Tunisian needs. She also tackles how to work Tunisian with standard crochet, combining two different looks that are still complementary.

Tunisian crochet also lets crocheters switch up their crochet experience and experiment with stitches and tension that are just different enough from standard crochet to be a fun challenge. One of the most satisfying moments of learning Tunisian for me was falling into a rhythm for working return pass stitches. After I fell into that rhythm I consulted the book’s section about lace, where Dora talks about the wonderful variations you can add to that satisfying return pass to create the beautiful textures found in Tunisian. I cannot wait to play with these techniques!

Have you delved into Tunisian yet? What is your favorite Tunisian project? There are several beautiful ones in Interweave Crochet Spring 2017—check them out and get inspired to try this technique (affiliate link)!

—Lisa Espinosa

Posted March 27, 2017. Updated June 24, 2019.

Get to Know Tunisian Crochet!


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