Tunisian Crochet Basics
Tunisian (also known as Afghan) crochet makes a beautifully textured, dense and squishy fabric. It's very easy to learn and very satisfying to hook up!
This type of crochet is distinguished by the tool you use to work it, namely, a long "Afghan" hook. You should choose a size that is at least two sizes bigger then the hook you would normally use with the same yarn. Purl Soho has a selection of Afghan Crochet Hooks right here.
Another characteristic of Tunisian Crochet is that you don't turn your work between rows. Instead, the front side of the fabric is always facing you. Generally, you create Tunisian Crochet fabric by alternating "Forward" and "Return" rows. The Forward row moves from right to left as you pick up stitches, leaving them on the shaft of the hook. And the Return row moves from left to right as you remove the stitches from the hook.
Here you'll learn how to make a Tunisian Crochet fabric using the basic Tunisian Simple Stitch. Let's get started!
Make a foundation chain just as you would for regular crochet. (Your pattern will tell you how many chains to make.) Don't know how to make a foundation chain? Check out our tutorial right here.
A crocheted chain has a front side characterized by interlocking "v"'s and a back side characterized by small bumps. In this photo the front side is shown on the left, and the back side is shown on the right.
You will work the Preparation Row into the bumps of the back side of the chain, starting with the second bump from the hook:
Insert the hook into the back bump, yarn over and pull a loop through, leaving it on the Afghan hook. Continue with each chain bump..
...all the way to the end of the Foundation Chain.
Yarn over and pull a loop through the next two stitches on the hook.
Repeat this last step until one stitch remains on the hook.
Remember that you don't turn the work; just keep the same side facing you!
For the Forward Row you will insert the hook through vertical strands, created by the previous row. The first three vertical strands are shown here in pink:
So, insert the hook from right to left through the first vertical strand. Yarn over and pull a loop through, leaving it on the hook.
Continue to pull a loop through each vertical strand until you reach the end of the row.
Finish by inserting the hook into the chain one from the previous row...
...and pulling a loop through.
(If you'd like a very sturdy edge, make this final stitch through both strands of the chain one.)
When two stitches remain at the end of the Return Row...
...use the new color to draw through both loops.
Work the Forward Row as usual.
Finish off on a Forward Row. Insert the hook into the first vertical strand, yarn over and draw the loop through both the vertical strand and the stitch on the hook.
Repeat this step of drawing a loop through both the vertical stitch and the stitch on the hook until the end of the row.
Then cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop. Done!
Tunisian Crochet fabric does have a tendency to curl a bit, but that is easily fixed with some blocking!
PS: For a perfect beginner Tunisian Crochet project, check out our Tunisian Crochet Washcloths right here!