Decode Any Tunisian Crochet Pattern


Tunisian crochet may be a combo of knitting and traditional crochet, but it has a whole glossary of terms and abbreviations all its own (or, at least, that glossary takes on slightly different meanings when applied here). Use this cheat sheet to follow your patterns until you get the lingo down.

Common Tunisian crochet terms you need to know

  • Bind off – typically the last row of a Tunisian crochet project, this forward pass compensates for the loops still on the hook and leaves a neat edge.
  • Chain (ch) – This is the same chain as for traditional crochet. It’s often used in Tunisian crochet to prepare the foundation row and immediately before a return pass.
  • Forward pass (fp) – A row of stitches that involves adding loops to the hook.
  • Foundation row – The first row of Tunisian crochet, where loops are picked up from a starting chain.
  • Horizontal / top bar – The length of yarn found between two vertical bars in a Tunisian crochet stitch, often used to make increases.
  • Return pass (rt) – A row of stitches that involves removing loops from the hook.
  • Right side (rs) – The front of the crochet fabric. In Tunisian crochet, the right side of the work is always facing you.
  • Slip stitch (sl st) – This is the same slip stitch that's use in traditional crochet. It’s often used in Tunisian crochet as a bind off technique.
  • Vertical bar – The vertical length of yarn that indicates a Tunisian crochet stitch.
  • Wrong side (ws) – The back of crochet fabric.
  • Yarn over (yo) – This is the same yarn over that's used in traditional crochet and can be used as an increase method or to complete a stitch.

Common Tunisian stitch abbreviations

  • Tunisian simple stitch – tss
  • Tunisian reverse stitch – trs
  • Tunisian knit stitch – tks
  • Tunisian purl stitch – tps
  • Tunisian extended stitch – tes
  • Tunisian double stitch – tds
  • Tunisian bobble stitch – tbs
  • Tunisian full stitch – tfs
  • Tunisian simple stitch 2 together – tss2tog
  • Tunisian simple stitch 3 together – tss3tog
Next for you
The spike stitch gives you a lot of bang for your buck: It looks complicated and advanced, but is actually simple. Gotta love that! A spike happens when you form a single crochet same stitch, but work it two, three, or four rows below. Different lengths of the stitch can then be combined in a variety of ways to make fun, geometric designs.
Andrea Sanchez
"It's creating a strong fabric with a single loop," says crochet artist Olek of her chosen medium. "But you cut one loop, everything falls apart." With her massive public crochet installations, Olek turns this simple idea into something much, much bigger. Her work has transformed buildings and cities around the world, and for each project, she invites friends and strangers alike to join in the work and stitch with her. In this way, the artist literally weaves stronger community around a dramatic social statement. Crochet is her medium, but people, as much as yarn, are her material.
Lisa Shroyer
Join Kristy Glass on a journey of textile discovery that proves there's more to knitting than meets the ply! If you consider yourself among the fiber-curious — if you get your thrills from picking pills and alpaca mills, we want to cordially welcome you to The Stitch Dimension.
Kristy  Glass
Kristy Glass
Now Reading
Decode Any Tunisian Crochet Pattern