Tunisian Crochet Tutorial

Due to the popularity of my post on Tunisian crochet last month, I’d like to revisit the craft in more detail.

Tunisian crochet can be done with any type of crochet hook. Of course, ordinary crochet hooks limit the width of your project (though there are some neat spiral patterns that can make up for that).

To do Tunisian crochet, think of a single crochet stitch as a series of steps:

1. Insert hook through loop on previous row.

2. Yarn over.

3. Pull up loop.

4. Yarn over.

5. Pull through both loops on hook.

But instead of doing them in that order, you’ll do 1-3 for an entire row before going back along with steps 4 and 5.

Here’s what I mean. Start with a base chain of any length (I would recommend no more than ten or fifteen chains long if you have an ordinary hook.)

Pull up a loop in the first chain as if you were going to do a single crochet stitch.

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Then pull up a loop in the next chain, keeping all other loops on your hook.

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Repeat this step along to the end of the row.

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Yarn over and pull through ONE loop*. (If you do not do this at the end of every row, your project will get narrower and narrower.)

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Yarn over and pull through two loops.

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Continue to yarn over and pull through two loops until you are back where you started and only one loop remains on the hook.

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Start a new row, pulling up a loop through each vertical loop in the row below.

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Make as many rows as you like.

For some variation, try pulling in a new color at the * step.

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Using the second color, work back along the row and then start a new one. Change colors again when you reach the * step again. I’ve tried this with up to three colors to nice effect.

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Once you’ve mastered this basic Tunisian crochet stitch, there are many variations to play with–like the one that turns out looking almost identical to knit stockinette stitch.

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Tutorials for the variations can be found all over the internet. (For example, at this site: My Tunisian Crochet.)

Happy Yarning!

Prototype for the Next Baby Blanket

I’m itching to start knitting a new baby blanket. This may or may not have something to do with Camp NaNoWriMo taking precedence above all other creative endeavors this month.

When the crafting itch got bad a few days ago, I snuck out of Scrivener and opened a web browser. I looked around until I spied a neat pattern with alternating knit and purl sections resulting in an almost twill texture, and I thought, I can handle knitting and purling. But I want it to look even more like a twill weave than that.

So after some time in MS Paint and trying things out with the nearest needles and yarn to hand, I developed this pattern:

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Ta da! Twill weave texture.

Here’s how I did it. Well, actually, here’s a diagram of a slightly more developed version of the above.

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Dark = knit; light = purl–on the front. (The reverse side is inverted, also backwards.)

Now imagine this repeated across a baby blanket in super soft, light green yarn!

Drool.

I’ve decided I can’t even pick out the yarn until after April, lest I irrevocably sabotage my word count. ‘Till then, I’m sticking to a strict diet of griffins and magic.

Happy Yarning!

Completed Stripes and Checkers Baby Blanket

Almost three months to the day since I started this project, it is finished!

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I’m quite pleased with it.

I based the checkerboard design off several blankets I saw online, but the stripes were my own invention. The alternating sections of knit and purl are 12 stitches wide by 16 rows tall, plus a border of garter stitch 7 rows tall on the top and bottom and 7 stitches wide on the sides. I used size 6 circular needles and medium weight acrylic yarn.

It ended up being 44 inches by 37 inches (.9m x 1.1m), big enough to warm my lap.

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I hope my friends’ baby girl will get some good use out of it.

Either way, I’d call my fourth knitting project a complete success.

Tunisian Crochet: If Knitting and Crocheting Had a Baby

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I needed to make some potholders for the kitchen at my church because I may have inadvertently set one of theirs on fire back in December. Umm, anyway… I thought to myself, I know a technique for good dense textile: tunisian crochet!

It’s also an opportunity to try out the tri-color method my mother-in-law introduced me to.

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Tunisian crochet–or Tunisian carpet stitch, as I first heard it called–uses a long crocheting hook. It’s like a knitting needle, but hooked. You start with just one loop on the hook, and you go along the base chain or previous row, picking up loops. Then you make a return journey, basically doing a single crochet through each loop from last to first. At the end, you have one loop left on the hook, and you start over again. (For more detailed instructions, see my later post: Tunisian Crochet Tutorial.)

I’d say it’s even simpler than regular crocheting, though it is more time-consuming.

It makes a tough fabric that curls on itself a lot like stockinette stitch, but it has a neat almost woven texture.

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The pair of potholders I’m making are double-sided for extra thickness and anti-curling. I secured the front and back together with a round of slip stitches.

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Think I’ll finish by this coming Sunday?

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Update: See the finished potholders in a later post. Completed Tunisian Potholders

Yarning

Works in progress from my yarning hobbies.

Stripes and checkers baby blanket

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Knit, acrylic, about 60% done. Everyone in the Young Women’s program at church knows I knit because I keep toting this along to activities.

Update: See the finished blanket in a later post. Completed Stripes and Checkers Baby Blanket

Inkle Project #6

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It’s a belt commissioned by my sister. #10 crochet cotton, inkle-woven, with a celtic pickup pattern I derived from the one on norsegirl.com. Incidentally, you too can learn to inkle weave from her website.

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Update: See the finished belt in a later post. Completed Endless Knots Inkle Belt

Green afghan

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Tunisian crochet, wool, just begun. I fell in love with the texture of this variation of Tunisian crochet. It makes a very fluid fabric. Plus, my mother-in-law gifted me a bunch of great green wool.

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And…the Infamous Tree Blanket

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Tapestry crochet, acrylic.

I’ve worked on this sucker on and off since high school. Still only about 70% done. I’m not all that eager to finish, because it just doesn’t look as nice as I hoped. There isn’t enough contrast between the dark colors and the black background, and all those strings I carry along peek out everywhere.

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Still, it forced me to learn to crochet left-handed (to maintain a front and back), so it’s not a total waste?

When the mood strikes me, I also spin.

The project I’m proudest of was a knitted alpaca hat for my dad, with wool from his own alpaca.

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Can you spot the hat? Knitting it was only a small part of this project.

What yarn crafts do you like to do?