Tunisian crochet is the technique in which you usually use a longish hook with a stopper on the end (AKA an afghan hook). You pick up loops on the forward pass and then remove them with the return pass.
You can think of it as a combination of knitting and crochet. It’s easiest for me to explain as “assembly-line” crochet. You start your stitches all the way across, then you close your stitches all the way across.
Because of this repetition of one step at a time, it’s far easier for beginners to learn, especially children, than typical crochet.
If you’re timid about Tunisian crochet, just remember that’s it’s single crochet on an assembly line. If you know it’s only single crochet, it can’t be that scary, right?
You can easily learn the basic stitches with a regular crochet hook. Put a rubber band around the end of the hook and you’re good to go.
What are the steps in a single crochet?
- Insert hook, yarn over, pull loop through
- Yarn over, pull through two loops on hook
That’s all you do for a single crochet: you repeat steps 1 and 2 throughout.
For Tunisian crochet, you repeat step 1 all the way across then you repeat step 2 all the way across.
Since the stitches are only single crochet, they’re not any slower than single crochet and they’re not any scarier than single crochet.
You’ve got this!
The Foundation Row
Most of your stitch patterns will start with the same typical foundation. It’s the first thing you’ll want to learn.
This is the one most often used but there are other types of foundations that can be used. The taller stitches and the lace stitch patterns will usually have a different Foundation, but we can ignore these for now.
Dive into the instructions for a typical Foundation Row by watching the video below.
For more information see this post about the foundation row.
You are now ready to move onto learning some simple, basic beginners stitches.
Tunisian Simple Stitch
This is usually the first stitch you’ll learn and many people stick with it quite awhile before moving on to something else.
Check out the video tutorial below or go directly to the in-depth Tunisian Simple Stitch guide.
Tunisian Flat Stitch
Tunisian crochet can curl just like hand knitting and, like hand knitting, there are ways to combat the curl. Try this stitch which is a hybrid of the Simple Stitch.
Check out the video tutorial below or go directly to the in-depth Tunisian Flat Stitch guide.
Tunisian Reverse Stitch
This is the same exact stitch as the Simple Stitch except it’s worked from the back of the work instead of the front. It’s the one of the best weapons in your arsenal for combating the curl.
Check out the video tutorial below or go directly to the in-depth Tunisian Reverse Stitch guide.
Tunisian Knit Stitch
Because this one looks like stockinette stitch in knitting, people are very keen on learning it as soon as possible.
Check out the video tutorial below or go directly to the in-depth Tunisian Knit Stitch guide.
Once you’ve practiced these stitches, pick one of the Alternating Stitches in the Stitch Library.
NOTE:One of the biggest mistakes people make is making a decision about whether they like Tunisian crochet based solely on one plain stitch.
That would be like making a decision about regular crochet after learning only to do a single crochet and a double crochet. You would be ignoring all the other incredible stitches available!
Pick out something you like and learn the stitches required, then give it a go. Because they don’t typically curl, you are free to enjoy it all on its own.
Now that you’ve dipped your toes into some basic Tunisian crochet, its time to learn about How to Choose Your Crochet Hooks.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get started. You can pick up tools as you go, just like most people do when learning regular crochet.
When you’re ready, explore the Stitch Library for more awesome things to learn. The ones with videos are marked with a Video Banner.
Once you’ve got the basics down you might find the following resources useful to build on your knowledge.
Enjoy the learning!