Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ten Tunisian Crochet tips

In preparation for the Crochet Circle Podcast's CAL starting March 3rd I've been reading up on the technique. I was lucky enough to find FOUR Tunisian Crochet books in my public library. Houston is a huge city and our library downtown has over 90 individual titles on crochet. Wow! Although I do love a YouTube video for the specifics of a stitch I prefer to read a comprehensive overview of a technique.


Here are some tips I found useful as a relative newcomer to Tunisian Crochet gleaned from my reading this week. I thought you might find these useful if you're a newbie too.
  1. Hook length: Your hook can hold a project width three times its length.  For wider projects select a hook with a flexible cable attached.
  2. In Tunisian Crochet the front is always facing you so you don't need to turn. 
  3. Count the stitches on your hook after the forward row. I know from experience that it's easy to lose a stitch! 
  4. In Tunisian Simple Stitch there are the same number of stitches on your hook as on your starting chain.
  5. Pull the yarn tight at the start of each forward row to prevent a loose stitch.
  6. Work into the vertical AND horizontal bars of the last stitch of the forward row to stabilize the row. I wish I'd known this when I was doing my CYC swatch (see below)!
  7. To prevent curl: Work into the back bump of your chain.
  8. To prevent curl: Go up a hook size.
  9. To prevent curl: At the beginning of your work, crochet a row of Tunisian purl stitch to redistribute the weight.
  10. To prevent curl: Block your work.
Making a swatch for my second Craft Yarn Council certificate I remember really struggling with the placement of the last stitch of the forward row of my Tunisian Crochet square. I just couldn't figure it out and the swatch was frogged over and over. I was NOT enjoying myself AT ALL and didn't feel like EVER doing Tunisian Crochet again. But I changed my mind after discovering Entrelac last year. One of my current WIPs is the Tunisian Entrelac Yoga Top and I'm so looking forward to the upcoming CAL!

I had heard of Tunisan knit and purl stitch but there is a whole world of Tunisian crochet stitches and stitch patterns out there. The Honeycomb skirt by Sharon Hernes Silverman  is made in a variegated yarn and is simply stunning! Have a look at the project page on Ravelry.

Anyway, before I get carried away I will start with a simple project for the CAL which is the fantastic looking 
Cobbled Street Cowl. If you're interested in joining in check out the Ravelry group/thread and use #tccTunisianCAL to see the fun on Instagram!


Nicole said...

I'm pinning this because Tunisian crochet is something I really want to try. Which of the Tunisian crochet books was your favorite?

Tamara said...

You should join in with the CAL Nicole! I liked all of the books for different reasons! Tunisian Crochet by Sharon Hernes Silverman has really clear picture tutorials. The New Tunisian Crochet by Dora Orhenstein has some fantastic patterns contributed by different designers. Learn to do Tunisian lace stitches by Kim Guzman focused on lace which might appeal. The Stitch Guide, also by Kim Guzman, is a super useful reference book with 61 pattern stitches!

Jodiebodie said...

I've had the Learn to do Tunisian Lace book in my hands before. It's a shame it doesn't have any diagrams. Lace is something that would benefit greatly by a diagram. There are different systems for charting Tunisian crochet and I find it all depends on the pattern as to which system to use. I want to go right through that book and chart my own visual references for the patterns one day (even though it will take more than one day to do it! hehe).
Dora Ohrenstein's book has been on my wish list every since it was published and any stitch guides and reference books are 'must haves' on the shelf. I find them more useful than pattern books these days. I haven't seen the Silverman book before. The cover is intriguing. Lots to learn. Lots of fun.

Tamara said...

I'm with you Jodie -I love the stitch guides and reference books too. And I prefer a chart to a written pattern. The top on the front cover of Dora's book is one I've got to make one day!!

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