Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tunisian Crochet

You may have realized by now that I enjoy making new patterns using basic stitch instructions. I don’t mind following patterns at all, but I also like doing my own thing. This is why I have so many crochet stitch books on hand. I can use the information and tailor it to meet my needs. I’ve taught myself a lot of different crochet stitches and techniques this way.
Tunisian crochet is one of my all time favorites.  Using one long afghan hook, you can make an amazing fabric with very little effort. I know because every year I make at least one handmade present for my family. Two years ago, time was running out. Thanksgiving had already passed, and I was in a hurry to make at least four gifts. I turned to my favorite crochet stitch book, The Pattern Library Crochet, and looked up stitches for Tunisian crochet.
There were a few of them, enough to make scarves with matching hats in a few weeks time.  My favorite ended up being the Tunisian Queen Lace Stitch pattern. It was very easy and made a suitable scarf for my daughter in college.  I had so much fun that a few months later I ended up making a checkerboard set using other stitches shown in my book. The board and bag use the Tunisian crochet technique. The chips use single crochet in the round.
Anyway, that Christmas, I was able to make a dozen crocheted gifts, and they probably took me less time than if I had gone shopping at the mall, not to mention, I'm sure it was a lot less stressful.
Basic Tunisian Crochet Stitch
*Use a long afghan hook to make Tunisian crochet.
Part 1 – Casting loops onto your hook
Step 1: Make a foundation chain.
Step 2: Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop. (2 loops on hook)
Step 3: Keeping both loops on hook, insert hook in next chain and repeat, casting loops on your hook to the end of your chain.
Part 2 – Casting loops off of your hook
Step 4: Yarn over and draw through one loop on the hook.
Step 5: Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on the hook. Continue (yo, draw through 2 loops on the hook) until you have only 1 loop left on your hook.
Step 6: Insert hook in horizontal bar of 2nd stitch from hook, and repeat pattern part 1 (casting on) and part 2 (casting off) in sequence.
Step 7: Finish off and weave in loose ends.