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Thursday, January 19, 2012


The definition of Tunisian Crochet is a needlework technique that borrows elements from both knitting and crochet, creating sort of a fusion of the two techniques.

The tool used to create Tunisian crochet resembles a straight knitting needle, except that it has a hook at one or both ends. This hook is much longer than a typical crochet hook; like a knitting needle, it has to hold a large number of stitches.

There are two proper ways to hold your Tunisian crochet work. Traditional crochet can be worked using either the “knife grip” or the “pencil grip.” Tunisian crochet is typically worked using the knife grip. If you want to know how to hold the hook for Tunisian crochet, you can also study the grips that knitters use to hold their straight needles.

Tunisian crochet, like most traditional crochet, begins with a foundation chain. In traditional crochet, you work a row of stitches, and the row is then complete. At that point, you turn the work and move on to the next row. Tunisian crochet is different. With Tunisian crochet, each row is a two-step process, and you never have a need to turn the work.

The first part of the process, called “forward,” is similar in some ways to casting on in knitting. When working the return part of the row, you draw up a series of loops, which are all held on the hook until you complete the second part.

The second part, called the “return,” has similarities to the technique of binding off in knitting. When working the return part of the row, you basically consolidate the loops, one stitch at a time, until only one loop is left on the hook.

The fabric is constructed by completing rows in this manner, alternating between forward and return, until the project is the desired length. Alternately, Tunisian crochet can be worked in the round.

There is no limit on the variety of different Tunisian crochet stitches that can be created. Possibilities include cables, textured stitches, ribs, laces, and many others. Tunisian crochet can mimic either knitting or weaving. It is an amazingly versatile technique.

There are several other names for Tunisian crochet. When speaking, reading, or writing about Tunisian crochet, you might encounter crocheters who use any of the following terms to refer to this technique: Afghan crochet, Afghan stitch, Tricot crochet, Crochet knit, Tunis crochet, and Shepherd’s knitting.

Some people refer to Tunisian crochet as “Shepherd’s knitting.” The same phrase is also sometimes used to refer to Bosnian crochet or pjoning, which are not the same as Tunisian crochet.

Have fun learning a new-to-you crochet technique…

Printable sewing patterns at Simplicity.com

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