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Tunisian Crochet Techniques

Tunisian crochet, also known as Afghan crochet or Tricot crochet, is a unique and versatile form of crochet. It is a combination of knitting and crochet, which results in a dense, woven-like fabric. This technique is popular for creating thick, warm blankets, shawls, and even clothing.

The history of Tunisian crochet can be traced back to the 19th century, where it was commonly used to create blankets and shawls. It is thought to have originated in North Africa, specifically in Tunisia. The earliest known reference to Tunisian crochet is in a German publication from 1847, where it was called "tricot à la tunisienne" or "Tunisian stitch." It was also used to make traditional Tunisian garments, such as the burnous and the djellaba. Tunisian crochet was a popular technique among nomadic tribes who needed warm clothing to protect them from the harsh desert climate.

Tunisian crochet is different from regular crochet in that it uses a long hook, called an Afghan hook or Tunisian hook. The hook is longer than a regular crochet hook and has a stopper at the end to prevent stitches from slipping off. The technique is also different because instead of creating individual stitches, you work loops onto the hook in one direction, then work them off in the opposite direction.

The basic stitch in Tunisian crochet is the simple stitch, which is similar to a UK double crochet in regular crochet. To create a simple stitch, you insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop. You repeat this process across the row until you have a row of loops on your hook. Then, to work the stitches off the hook, you yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook. You continue this process, pulling through two loops at a time, until you have worked all the loops off the hook.

One of the advantages of Tunisian crochet is that it creates a dense, stable fabric, but it does have a tendency to curl. This can be minimised by using a larger hook than you usually would for the weight of yearn - often 4 sizes bigger! This makes it ideal for creating blankets, scarves, and other items that need to hold their shape. Tunisian crochet is also great for creating colour work and textured stitches, as the loops remain on the hook until you work them off, allowing you to change colours and create intricate patterns.

There are many different stitches and techniques you can use in Tunisian crochet, including the Tunisian knit stitch, the Tunisian purl stitch, and Tunisian textured stitches. These stitches allow you to create a variety of textures and designs, making Tunisian crochet a versatile and exciting technique to learn.

Tunisian crochet is a fascinating and versatile form of crochet that offers many advantages over regular crochet, including the ability to create a stable, dense fabric and intricate colour work and texture. If you're looking to try something new in your crochet practice, give Tunisian crochet a try – you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it!

I teach Tunisian Crochet Techniques in a Workshop. Click the link below to check class dates/times.

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