If you’ve never tried Tunisian Crochet before, now is the time to give it a go, for this basic tutorial you can use a normal crochet hook as there are only a few stitches, if you’re worried about the loops dropping off, wrap an elastic band around the end. I’ve also compiled this tutorial into a PDF for you to download.
Tunisian Crochet is worked in two half rows which form one row, there is no turning chain as all rows are worked on the right side, the Forward Pass is where you pick up the loops, the Reverse Pass is where you work off the loops. Don’t worry about the technical terms for now, just work through the tutorial, and all will become clear.
For this tutorial I used Cygnet Essentially Cotton DK in Parsley, and a 5.5mm hook. Now if you’re sitting comfortably, armed with a hook and some yarn, let’s begin.
Start with a Foundation Chain as you would for normal crochet by making 20 chains loosely, this makes them easier to work.
Turn the chain towards you to reveal the ‘bumps’ on the back, this is where you will be working into.
Insert hook under first bump, yarn over hook and pull through a loop, work along the chain until you have 20 loops on the hook. Working into the bump can sometimes be a bit fiddly, especially if your Foundation Chain is a bit tight, but as they say, practice makes perfect. Make a new looser foundation chain, or as I sometimes do, give the bump a little tug to loosen it and help the hook slide under.
And now for the Reverse Pass. Yarn over hook and pull through one loop only, then yarn over hook again and pull through two loops, repeat this across the row, yarn over hook, pull through two loops, until you have one loop on the hook.
Now take a deep breath, you have successfully completed the Foundation Chain AND a Reverse Pass, wasn’t too painful was it?!
Take a close look at your sample, you’ll see a series of vertical bars, this is where you’ll work the Forward Pass.
Slip your hook under the first vertical bar from right to left, yarn over hook and pull up a loop, repeat across your work until you have 19 loops in total.
For the last loop, twist your work slightly and slip the hook under two loops, this makes for a tidier left edge. The second photo was taken after a few rows have been worked, which may be clearer to see where to insert hook.
And that is a Forward Pass, now repeat the Reverse Pass again and keep going until you have a nice sample of Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS).
Making sure you finish your sample with a Reverse Pass, and one loop on your hook, let’s finish off the sample neatly.
Slip your hook under the first vertical bar, yarn over hook and pull through a loop, yarn over hook and pull through both loops, essentially a normal Single Crochet stitch. Continue along your sample, and fasten off.
The first picture shows a sample crocheted with a 5.5mm hook, and even unblocked it is still relatively flat. The second picture was crocheted with a 4.00mm hook, you will always need to go with a slightly larger hook for Tunisian Crochet, and ensure your tension isn’t too tight.
Congratulations, now you have completed your first Tunisian Crochet sample, hopefully you’re inspired to invest in a set of Tunisian Crochet hooks and try some patterns!