Hi everyone! In today's tutorial I am going to demonstrate the Tunisian crochet basic stitch. Note that I am only showing the stitch today; I will not be showing the bind off method for Tunisian crochet. I will explain that in a future tutorial, since it would be better in a separate post.
To start off, I will give a brief overview of Tunisian crochet, since it is not as common as regular crochet or knitting. Tunisian crochet (aka Shepard's crochet or Afghan crochet) is a essentially a variant on the standard crochet most people are used to seeing. Like regular crochet, it uses a single hook to work the fabric. However, the Tunisian crochet hook is much longer than a regular crochet hook, more like a cross between a single pointed knitting needle. Tunisian crochet stitches are unique in that they can look like either crochet or knitting, or a hybrid of the two; there are even "knit" and "purl" stitches for this type of crochet, but more on that in a separate post. The Tunisian basic stitch, as will be shown here, looks like neither regular crochet or knitting, but it has its own unique texture and drape which sets it apart from other textile arts.
Here are some other things to note about Tunisian crochet:
Hold the hook in a way that is comfortable for you (I am right-handed, for reference, but you can easily translate this to left-handed or ambidextrous crochet). Begin by making a slip knot. If needed, you can find my slip knot tutorial here. Place the slip knot unto the hook, as shown below.
WIth the working yarn, yarn over counterclockwise (right to left) over the hook, then draw the working yarn through the slip knot, as shown below.
Continue in this fashion, making the yarn over and drawing it through each new loop made. As with regular crochet, you are making a foundation chain to build your beginning row. Continue with the foundation chain until you have the desired number of stitches for your project, or swatch. Tunisian crochet basic stitch can be worked on any multiple of stitches. I have thirteen chains below.
Work into the second chain from hook, as shown below. Yarn over as before and draw a loop through the chain. Leave the new loop on the hook. Continue drawing a loop through each, leaving it on the hook, across to the end.
When you reach the end it should look like the example below. There is some resemblance to knitting here. The second half of the foundation row, or "return", is very similar to binding off in knitting, only the resulting fabric is much different.
Yarn over as before, then pull it through the first loop on the hook.
*Yarn over, the pull it though the next two loop on the hook, as shown below.* Repeat this from * to * until one loop remains. (To clarify, you draw through one loop only at the beginning, then move to two loops until you reach the end of the row. There will be one stitch remaining, If you are familiar with knitting this is very similar to the standard in-pattern bind off method.)
Your foundation row, when completed, should look like the one below. There will be a series of neat vertical bars and open spaces comprising the fabric. It should be relatively elastic but not overly stretchy. The vertical bars should be uniform in size and tension. If everything looks good, you have just completed the foundation row for the Tunisian basic stitch (and most Tunisian crochet stitches).
Insert the hook under the second vertical bar (skip the first vertical bar. the one at the very edge of the work and connected to the last loop).
Yarn over as before, pulling a loop through the vertical bar and leaving it on the hook. Repeat this across the first row.
You should once again have a hook with stitches that looks the example below. Essentially you are repeating the first half of the foundation row but in a different location (under the vertical bar instead of through a foundation chain. If you look closely, the bars are just vertical, elongated versions of the chains. You will also notice that the empty spaces between each vertical bar have closed.
Repeat the return steps highlighted in the foundation row. To reiterate: *Yarn over, the pull it though the next two loop on the hook, as shown below.* Repeat this from * to * until one loop remains. (To clarify, you draw through one loop only at the beginning, then move to two loops until you reach the end of the row. There will be one stitch remaining, If you are familiar with knitting this is very similar to the standard in-pattern bind off method.)
Repeat the process for Row 1 for all other rows except the bind off row, which I will cover in a separate tutorial.
As you can see below, here are a few rows of the Tunisian basic stitch. You can see the different between the topmost row (newly completed return) and all preceding rows. The rows directly below the top are filled in with a V-shaped area that resembles an inverted knit stitch. The topmost row is almost lacey, with nothing in between the vertical bars. I had mentioned this before, but it is easier to see the difference after completing multiple rows.
Here I have worked a few more stitches in the next row. You can see the difference between the stitches with loops drawn through compared with the empty vertical bars.
Stay tuned for the bind off tutorial, coming soon!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Until next time!
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