First steps in Tunisian Crochet

Taking a deep breath this morning I took the plunge to try out my first bit of Tunisian crochet. This piece didn’t have to be perfect as it was serving as a sample stitch “rectangle shape” for my freeform crochet bag WIP scrumbles.

I’ve been fascinated by Tunisian crochet since I started reading Kim Guzman’s blog and seeing the beautiful patterns she has designed. I initially started trying to work from my Complete Photo Guide to Crochet book, and as wonderful as this book is for normal crochet stitches I didn’t get how where I should be inserting my hook etc from the pictures and description.   Two cups of tea and several unpickings later I headed over to Kim’s blog to see if she had any guides.  I found Kim’s you tube videos and   this video guide combined with the step by step written instructions helped it all fall into place.  I carefully followed what she did and I soon picked up the basic Tunisian simple stitch.  I’d highly recommend  the videos to anyone wanting to learn Tunisian crochet, they show clearly what you need to do.

I don’t have a proper Tunisian hook so kept the stitch length short (20 stitches) so it didn’t slide off the standard crochet hook. I started with DK yarn and a 3.00 mm hook but soon increased to 3.50 as I was finding the stitches too tight to work with easily. I might try an even larger hook next time.

I lost stitches, not just one, several…. this resulted in one side of my rectangle having a distinct incline at the bottom and straight at the top once I got the hang of picking up all the stitches. Just look how the toe kicks upwards, thankfully it fit in-between the two “flower shapes”. I decided this was an erm intentional toe effect, just what I needed to match in with my leaf shape, after all perfect rectangles are boring aren’t they, artistic toey bits are much more freeform.

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Artistic patch showing my first attempt at Tunisian simple stitch

I then went on to try out the Tunisian Purl Stitch (wrapped) again watching Kim’s You-tube guide.    This one turned out a little better.  Although the going was slower with wrapping the yarn in front of each stitch.    I still lost stitches so had a bit of a inward curling edge.  But liked the pattern produced.

First attempt at Tunisian pearl stitch
Then I discovered my favourite stitch.  The Tunisian Double Stitch (TDS) which felt much more like crocheting along.   I also liked the looser fabric this created.  This was easily to manipulate into a nice leaf shape, which complements the flowers in my freeform scrumbles perfectly.  I made several more using this double-stitch done with single or knitted stitch.
I still need much, much, more practice doing Tunisian crochet.  But I enjoyed my first venture into using this technique.     I’m looking forward to the next steps of a nice scarf  once I get a proper Tunisian hook.
Leaf formed from Tunisian double stitch.
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