Most Tunisian crochet projects don't end after the last stitch. There are still curling edges and loose ends to weave in! Practice these 5 strategies to take your projects from done to perfectly finished.
Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet
In the same fashion as knitting, the last row of Tunisian crochet has live stitches that need to be bound off. There are several methods to do this, but the most simple is a slip stitch bind off. This simple bind off creates a neat edge for any project.
Follow these simple steps for a slip stitch bind off:
- Insert hook under the next vertical bar.
- Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook loosely.
- Repeat Steps 1 & 2 across the row.
- For the last stitch, insert the hook under both loops of the last stitch, yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook loosely
- Fasten off yarn
Weaving in ends
Weaving in ends is a necessary step when it comes to the yarn arts, and Tunisian crochet is no exception. While tedious, weaving in ends is fairly simple. The back, or wrong side, of Tunisian crochet looks like a series of purl bumps, which are perfect for hiding those pesky ends.
Thread loose ends onto a darning needle ( these from Lion Brand are my favorites) and begin weaving through the loops on the back of the Tunisian crochet work. Avoid pulling too tightly, which will distort the shape of the project. Weave through a series of loops in opposite directions as shown in the photo to keep ends secure.
Due to the construction of Tunisian crochet, it tends to curl in on itself from the beginning edge and the finished edge. Blocking is a process used to relax the fibers into a more pleasing shape and add movement and drape to handmade fabric. For smaller projects, I prefer a steam block method.
Start by gathering a few simple supplies:
- Rust proof T-pins, fork pins , or Knit Blockers
- Blocking mats
- A steamer or a clean iron with a steam setting
Then follow these steps:
- Piece together as many blocking mats as needed to accommodate the project
- Lay the project on the mat and pin it into the desired shape using pins or Knit Blockers. In this sample, I used Knit blockers along the straight edges and T-pins along the sloped edge. It's not necessary to use both — it all comes down to preference.
- Hold a steamer or an iron 1" above the project and apply steam all over, including around the edges, to relax the fibers.
- Give the project ample time to get completely dry.
- Remove the pins and the curling will magically disappear.
Adding a border
A proper bind off in Tunisian crochet makes for a perfectly fine edging, but adding a traditional crochet border can elevate the finished product. The edges of Tunisian crochet work resemble the top loops of traditional crochet stitches and can be used for the base of a lovely border.
One of my favorite simple borders is the crab stitch, or the reverse single crochet. See how this border is done, as well as two other patterns in this tutorial .
Seaming blocks together
Compared to traditional crochet, seaming Tunisian crochet blocks is very simple. The loops along each edge pair up nicely with adjoining blocks and takes the mystery out of where to insert the needle next.
Start by pairing up the stitches on both blocks. The red and blue dots in this example represent stitches that will be next to each other while seaming.
For a whip stitch seam:
- Thread a long length of yarn onto a yarn need (I've used a contrasting color).
- Insert the needle from back to front through the bottom stitch of the right block, then through the bottom stitch of the left block. Tie a small knot on the wrong side of the work to secure the yarn.
- Insert the needle from back to front through the bottom stitch of the right block again, and from front to back of the next stitch on the left block.
- Continue on this way until all stitches are sewn together up the block. Fasten off the yarn and securely weave in all ends.