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Sunday
Apr142013

Whit's Knits: Tunisian Crochet Washcloths

I worked in our store for years before I finally learned the story of the weirdly long crochet hooks that kept getting tucked away in a forgotten corner. Oh, those? They're just the tool you need to whip up one of needlework's most beautiful fabrics!

Tunisian Crochet may get overlooked in the corner sometimes, but the distinctiveness of its fabric warrants closer scrutiny. It combines a waffle-like grid with a squishy density that is just right for blankets, pillows, dishtowels, and these washcloths!

If you already know how to crochet, you'll be old friends with this new technique in about ten minutes. And even if you've never held a crochet hook before, Tunisian Crochet is one of the easiest places to start. Our new Tunisian Crochet Basics Tutorial will get you on your way!

Use your new skills to whip up these decadently thick and wonderfully soft Tunisian Crochet Washcloths. They're made out of a combination of organic and pima cottons which subtly play off each other with their matte and lustrous finishes. We think a set of three is just what mom will love this Mother's Day! -Whitney

The Materials

Get all of the yarn you need with our Yarn for Tunisian Crochet Washcloths kit. You can find it right here! It includes...

  • 2 skeins of Blue Sky's Skinny Cotton, 100% Organic Cotton, in the color Birch (shown above, right).
  • 2 skeins of Cascade's Ultra Pima, 100% Pima Cotton, 1 in the color Buff (shown above, middle) and 1 in the color Marigold (shown above, left).

This is enough to yarn to make the three washcloths shown here, plus at least 5 others of your own design.

You will also need...

The Pattern

Gauge

5 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in Tunisian simple stitch

Finished Size

8 x 8 inches

Notes

  • If this is your first time working Tunisian (or Afghan) Crochet, get acquainted with our Tunisian Crochet Basics Tutorial right here!
  • For this pattern Color A is Birch, Color B is Buff and Color C is Marigold.

Basic Washcloth

Chain 42.

Starting with the second chain from the hook, work a Preparation Row.

Then alternate Return and Forward Rows until the piece measures 8 inches (or until it is square).

Finish off and weave in the ends.

Two Stripe Washcloth

Following the Basic Washcloth pattern (see pattern, above), start with Color A and work until piece measures 5 5/8 inches from the beginning.

Change to Color B (our tutorial tells you how!) and finish.

Three Stripes Washcloth

Following the Basic Washcloth pattern (see pattern, above), start with Color A and work until piece measures 5 inches from the beginning.

Change to Color B and work for 1 3/4 inches.

Change to Color C and finish.

Bordered Washcloth

With Color A, make a Basic Washcloth (see pattern, above).

Insert the hook into the left side of a corner and with Color C, pull a loop through. Chain 1.

For the foundation edge, finish edge and right selvedge, you will insert the hook through both strands of each edge stitch:

And for the left selvedge edge, you will insert the hook through just one strand of each edge stitch:

Make a slip stitch into each edge stitch all the way to the next corner. Chain 1 at the corner.

Continue to make slip stitches along the remaining three sides, making a chain 1 at each corner.

Slip stitch into the beginning chain 1, cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Here's what the border looks like:

Block your washcloths and you're all done!

Reader Comments (20)

Thank you so much for this project and tutorial ! I finally learned something today I've always wanted to learn :)
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina
I learned a long long time ago, have since forgotten but always kept the needles I had (they were my aunt and grandmother's).
I can't wait to give this a try again!
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancyB
Going to make these up as washcloths for BFF goody bags along w/ some homemade soap. Thank you!
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
I had been looking for a good Tunisian crochet project to learn the stitch and this is perfect, and so beautiful as always.
April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Bradshaw
I truly love your newsletter, your patterns, lessons, personality, etc. I always come away with something useful and/or beautiful, creative, inventive and added to my "to do" wish list! Thank you.
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSally
Awe, one of our very special mommy's crochets everything! I'm going to send her to your blog. She's going to love it! Thanks for the great tips. I'm sure she'll learn something new from here!
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3girls1apple
I have a knitting dictionary from the 1970s which has Tunisian crochet in it. I alaways thought the stitch pattern looked really cool, and your tutorial is easy to follow, so looks like I'll have a go at it!
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Wonderful! Thanks so much for the helpful tutorial and inspiration. Can't wait to try!
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Sally said it best! I love your blog, your patterns, your photography, your style. Purl Bee makes me happy! Thank you!
April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEman
I love these so much! Thank you for posting the tutorial! I am very excited to try making them.
April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJody
My grandmother called this the "afghan stitch" but when I try doing it it curls up. Why is that? am I doing it wrong?
April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Bought the kit, has arrived, can't wait to get started. Thanks for the great project.
April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris
Hi Mary,

Tunisian (or as your grandmother would say, Afghan) crochet does tend to curl a bit. You definitely want to make sure that you're using a hook size that is at least two sizes bigger than you would normally use for the same yarn. Also, blocking your finished piece should straighten everything out!

Thanks for asking and good luck!

Whitney
April 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Can't wait to try this, ordered the kit!
Gorgeous colors & am so inspired yet again.
April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Went to order my hook and wasn't sure of what length in the size H hook I should order. What length would you recommend?
April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
HI Michelle,

You should order an Afghan Crochet Hook. The ones we sell are 14 inches long and can be found right here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/6092-Boye-Aluminum-Afghan-Crochet-Hooks

Thanks for asking!
Whitney
May 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have learned and started the basic dishcloth today. The pictures are great. They make the instructions so much easier to follow. Thank you so much. Why do we use a hook 2 size bigger than the yarn call for? I started with size 5 mm hook because the yarn suggested it. But after I read the comments then I realize that I have to switch to 7mm hook. And yes my piece is curling up.
May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoris
Hi Doris,

Going up at least two hook sizes ensures that our finished fabric isn't too tight and dense and helps to ease the curling.

Thanks for asking and congratulations on learning a new technique! Fun, right?

Whitney
June 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I found your website through Pinterest and thought I would check it out! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of needlework and I can't wait to try this pattern out! :-)
July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I LOVE the Tutorial for Tunisian Crochet!! I have been crocheting for about a year now and I have become an avid crocheter. You were right in 10 minutes it was like an old friend and I love it!!!! I'm making the dishcloths to add into a handmade soap basket that I sell!. Thank you so much!! :)
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGina

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