Tunisian Crochet, An Art form in itself
If you are like me, then you are completely hooked on crochet. Crochet is such a versatile craft that allows us to embrace and display our creativity fully. There are countless adorable patterns available on the internet today, making it possible for all us crafters to live the crafting dream fully. However, there is a craft form that is often overlooked, Tunisian crochet. It is simply just crochet, but rather an art form in its own right.
What is Tunisian crochet?
It is a needlework technique that provides a fantastic mix of knitting and crochet. In fact, it offers the best of both knitting and crochet techniques. It produces a dense fabric that appears almost waffle-like, making it ideal for afghans and other cold-weather projects. The sturdiness it offers makes it ideal for durable projects, too, like blankets.
The Differences Between Tunisian Crochet and Crochet
Although the name Tunisian Crochet contains the word 'crochet', there are five big differences between the two.
1. Working on one side only
As crocheters, we know that we are constantly turning our work as we end a row. However, we don't turn our work in Tunisian crochet, so we work on only one side. With Tunisian crochet, you work the stitch and collect the loops onto your hook in the forward pass.
When you reach the end of the row, you are not turning your work; but instead, you work the return pass to complete the row and take the loops off your hook.
2. You use a different kind of crochet hook.
When it comes to knitting, there are several types of knitting needles of various lengths. So, depending on what kind of project you are doing, it would determine what kind of knitting needles you would need. If it is a narrow project like a scarf, you need the standard 10" knitting needles.. If it is a wider project like a blanket, 14" knitting needles or circular needles are used. When it comes to crochet, you only need the standard 6" crochet hook because there is only one loop on the hook at any given time.
This is where Tunisian crochet is different because you are collecting loops onto your hook. Therefore, the standard crochet hook just won't do.
It would be best to have a unique hook, called a 14" Tunisian crochet hook, also called an afghan hook. It is also possible to use interchangeable crochet hooks. We have what you need to start your first project today!
3. You are collecting loops onto your hook.
With Tunisian crochet, you are collecting loops onto your hook, which you would do with knitting. These loops help shape the stitch of what you create by how you are working the yarn and collecting them onto your hook. This is how you can achieve stitches that look like if you have been knitting them.
4. Curling happens with Tunisian crochet.
Curling happens when you are knitting. It is similar to Tunisian crochet because you are only working on one side of the project. The stitches are being pulled, and the yarn is being worked. So, the stitches naturally want to curl in on themselves. Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do to prevent it. However, you can minimize how much curling you'll have at the end of your project.
The way to minimize this effect is with the final difference between crochet and Tunisian crochet.
5. Using a different hook from what was recommended.
Crochet patterns let you know what yarn and crochet hook to use. Most often, the recommended hook size for the pattern matches the recommended hook size of the yarn that is being used.
With Tunisian crochet, however, you need to go up two hook sizes from the recommended hook size of the yarn. So, if your yarn recommends using an H/5 mm hook, you should use the J/6 mm hook.
Going up two hook sizes will be easier to collect your stitches onto the hook. In addition, it will help minimize the yarn curling at its ends because the stitches are not being worked so tightly.
Tunisian crochet is the craft form that gives us the best of both worlds, knitting and crochet! It takes some elements of knitting and crocheting elements to create this fantastic type of yarn crafting. Starting a project with Tunisian crochet is an adventure that will challenge and inspire you. The Spruce Crafts generously offers ten free Tunisian crochet patterns. So have a look and choose your first Tunisian crochet project today. Please have a look at their incredible patterns HERE. Crocheters and knitters, let's get started on this adventure together!