Tunisian crochet, also known as afghan crochet, is so much more than a fascinating technique. Though it shares similarities with both crochet and knitting, it also offers many unique features. While you can use a standard crochet hook for Tunisian crochet (in entrelac projects, for example), normally, a special crochet hook is often used to accommodate the number of stitches picked up in the forward pass. The options include an extended crochet hook with a stopper at one end, a crochet hook with an attached flexible cord and a stopper at the end of the cord, or a double-ended crochet hook with or without a cord between the hook ends (for working in the round).
As with standard crochet, Tunisian crochet uses a one of the hooks listed above to pick up stitches for each row or round. These stitches, or loops, stay on the hook (similar to knitting) for the forward pass (FwP), and then the stitches are closed or finished on the return pass (RetP). Both the forward and return pass are required to create each row or round.
Despite being worked in two parts, Tunisian crochet stitches also share similarities with both knitting and standard crochet. When learning Tunisian crochet, most people start with the Tunisian simple stitch (tss), which creates a slightly textured fabric. Other popular stitches include the Tunisian knit stitch (tks) and Tunisian purl stitch (tps)—two stitches that look similar to the knit and purl stitches. Check this technique out, and you’ll find an entire world of patterns and techniques dedicated to Tunisian crochet.
The Interweave Shop is chock full of fabulous resources you can use to learn about the various styles of Tunisian crochet from famous teachers such as Dora Ohrenstein, Lily Chin, and others. Make this year the year of Tunisian crochet!