If knitting and crochet had a baby, it’d be Tunisian crochet. And boy would that baby be cute! That’s because this technique, also known as Afghan crochet, combines the best parts of the two styles.
Here’s the deal: The main difference between knitting and crochet is that in knitting you have several stitches open at once, while in crochet you close each stitch before moving on. In Tunisian crochet, however, a whole row of crochet stitches get left open at a time. This hybrid yields a really gorgeous and highly textured fabric. Plus, it’s super fun to do!
First, pick up a special Tunisian crochet hook , which will look like a knitting needle with a crochet hook at the end. Then get started with our step-by-step tutorial below.
Foundation Row: Forward Pass
Just as with standard crochet, you need to start with a foundation row. With Tunisian, however, the foundation row has two parts: a forward pass and return pass.
1. With a Tunisian crochet hook and yarn, make a slip knot and chain as many stitches as you like .
2. Turn your chain over so you see the bumps on the back.
3. Insert hook into the back bump of the second chain from the hook, and pull up a loop.
4. Continue the previous step until the number of loops on the hook is the same as the initial number of chains made.
Foundation Row: Return Pass
In Tunisian crochet, a forward pass is always followed by a return pass. This is when the loops on the hook are worked off the hook. Remember this return pass: you'll use it for more than just the foundation row!
1. Chain 1. Always start a return pass with a chain 1; this helps maintain the height of the crochet work, much like starting a traditional crochet row with a chain 1 stitch.
2. Yarn over, pull through two loops on the hook.
3. Repeat the previous step until there is only one loop on the hook.
4. When there is only one loop left on your hook, move onto the next forward pass.
The knit stitch creates a fabric that looks a lot like stockinette stitch in knitting. Similar to the foundation row ou just worked, the knit stitch requires a forward pass and return pass.
1. Insert your hook between the vertical bars of the second stitch.
2. Yarn over and pull up a loop to complete the stitch.
3. Repeat the previous step (yarn over, pull up a loop) in each stitch across the row until there is only one stitch to go.
Working the last stitch of a forward pass in Tunisian crochet can be a little tricky. To keep it neat, pinch the edge of the work between your thumb and forefinger, rotate the stitch between your fingers toward you, and insert the hook under both loops of the last stitch. Yarn over and pull up a loop to complete the stitch.
3. Complete the return pass of the Tunisian knit stitch the same as explained for the the foundation row: Begin with a chain 1. Yarn over and pull through two loops. Repeat this step (yarn over and pull through two loops) until there is only one loop on the hook.
4. Repeat the forward pass and return pass of the Tunisian knit stitch to the desired length.
Tunisian crochet requires a bind-off row
to secure live stitches and produce a neat edge.
1. Insert the hook between the two vertical bars of the next knit stitch. Pull up a loop.
2. Pull through the loop on the hook to complete a slip stitch.
3. Repeat the previous two steps for each Tunisian knit stitch. Insert the hook under the two loops of the last stitch and complete a slip stitch to finish the row.