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What is Tunisian crochet?
Tunisian Crochet also known as Afghan crochet is a technique that uses a different type of hook that is long and usually has a stopper at one end like the knitting needle. It is said to a technique that is a hybrid of crochet and knitting because of the way the stitches are formed. The hook works both as a crochet hook to make chains and stitches and as a knitting needle to hold a number of loops together on it. The fabric is worked in 2 parts. A forward pass and a reverse pass. I the forward pass the stitches are picked and places on the hook that resembles a knitting needle and in the reverse pass stitches are formed and loops are closed one by one till only one loop remains. this process is repeated again and again to make the fabric.
It has a lot in common with both crochet and knitting but again it is a lot different from both crochet and knitting.
Tools and materials
When it comes to hooks again there is a huge variety available out there. But no need to get overwhelmed. There are a lot of materials in which these hooks are made same as normal crochet hooks and knitting needles.
The materials include
Types of Tunisian hooks
These hooks comes in different types.
Special qualities of fabric produced
As the Tunisian crochet is different from knitting and crochet so is the fabric it produces.
The basic differences are:
Similarities to traditional crochet
There are a few similarities in Tunisian crochet and traditional crochet.
Both these techniques use a hook of some kind to make the loops and stitches.
In both these crafts the base starts with a simple chain.
Differences from traditional Crochet
Now let’s talk about what make these two crafts different from each other.
The first difference is as I mentioned above in the tool used in both these crafts. Both are types of hooks but are very different in structure. A traditional crochet hook is about 6″ in length and has a thumb grip for holding.
The Tunisian crochet hook is longer without a thumb grip. A single ended straight hook is about 14″ in length.
You can use the same 6″ hook for any crochet project from a coaster to a afghan but in case of Tunisian Crochet you’ll need a longer hook like a cabled afghan hook to make wider projects like a blanket or afghan.
When working a Tunisian crochet fabric you will never turn the work. The right side always faces you.
The rows are worked in two steps a forward pass and a backward pass. I forward pass stitches are picked up and placed on the hook and in the backward pass stitches are worked and dropped form the hook.
When you buy a yarn ball the table usually mentions the hook and knitting needle size for that yarn. It is advisable to go with it for traditional crochet. But is you are doing Tunisian crochet you should go at least two sizes up that is you should use two sizes bigger hook. Is the yarn recommends 4mm crochet hook, use a 6mm Tunisian crochet hook.
Tunisian crochet Fabric
The crochet fabric is very stretchy in all directions but this fabric only stretches in one direction that is vertically.
The fabric is denser and thicker than the traditional crochet fabric.
The edges of a Tunisian crochet fabric have a way higher tendency to curl up than the traditional crochet fabric.
You naturally get neater edges on a Tunisian crochet fabric than you do in a traditional crochet fabric.
Other names for Tunisian Crochet
It has many names including (Source: Wikipedia)
I will be posting a blog soon with the absolute beginner tutorial for Tunisian crochet. Stay tuned for it.