How to Crochet: Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS)

By Rachel Choi – 117 Comments

This tutorial is for both right and left handed people. For left handed pictures, roll your mouse over the image and it will change for you.

Tunisian stitches also known as afghan stitches, create a very elegant basket weaved look. Tunisian stitches are like a cross between crocheting and knitting because in crocheting these stitches it involves leaving loops on your hook when you are crocheting forward and then removing them when you crochet in reverse. Don’t let this confuse you! This tutorial will walk you through creating a small crocheted piece using Tunisian simple stitch.

Here is what Tunisian simple stitches look like:

Front
Back

Below is a step by step tutorial that will slowly walk you through crocheting a few rows of Tunisian simple stitches. If you need help with any of the steps, don’t be afraid to ask by leaving a comment on this post!

Step 1: Chain 10 (How to Crochet a Chain)

Step 2: Insert your hook into the second chain from your hook

Step 3: Yarn over (wrap the yarn over your hook)

Step 4: Pull the strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook. (This adds one loop onto your hook)

Step 5: Insert your hook into the next chain.

Step 6: Yarn over (wrap the yarn over your hook)

Step 7: Pull the strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook. (This adds one loop onto your hook)

Step 8: Repeat steps 5 – 7 for each chain across. When you are done you should have 10 loops on your hook, since you started out with 10 chains.

You just completed the first half. Now let’s finish this row of Tunisian simple stitches by working in the other direction. Just follow the steps below!

Step 9: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 10: Pull strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook. (There should still be 10 loops on your hook)

Step 11: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 12: Pull strand of yarn through the next 2 loops on your hook. (There should now be 1 less loop on your hook)

Step 13: Repeat steps 11 – 12 until there is only 1 loop left on your hook

Congrats! You have just completed one row of Tunisian simple stitches! Let’s try another row.

Step 14: Insert your hook into the second stitch (the stitch that looks somewhat like a vertical bar, it is located on the front of the work) Do not insert it into the first stitch; always insert it into the second stitch to make even rows. There are 10 “vertical bars” on the front of your work. These are the stitches that you will be inserting your hook into.

Step 15: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 16: Pull the strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook (This adds one loop onto your hook)

Step 17: Insert your hook into the next stitch (that looks somewhat like a bar)

Step 18: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 19: Pull the strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook. (This adds one loop onto your hook)

Step 20: Repeat steps 17 – 19 for each stitch across. When you are done you should have 10 loops on your hook, since you started out with 10 chains.

Now it is time to work in the other direction, follow the next steps to do so!

Step 21: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 22: Pull strand of yarn through the first loop on your hook.

Step 23: Yarn over (wrap yarn over your hook)

Step 24: Pull strand of yarn through the next 2 loops on your hook.

Step 25: Repeat steps 23 – 24 until there is only one loop left on your hook.

Congrats! You just completed another row of Tunisian simple stitches. To make more rows, simply repeat steps 14 – 25.

If you need help with any of the steps, don’t be afraid to ask by leaving a comment on this post!

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117 Comments

  1. Colleen says:

    Wow! That method doesn’t look nearly as complicated here as it does in a crochet book I just bought. These photos are great–I was intimidated by Tunisian crochet after looking at the book I have, but now I think I will give it a try! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Rachel says:

      That’s great Colleen! I tried to brake it down as simple as possible. But if there is any part you get stuck on, let me know and I would be glad to help!

  2. Michelle says:

    Your tutorial looks great! You broke it down very well and it is easy to understand. Now I need to go buy me a Tunisian hook. What size hook would you suggest to begin learning with?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Michelle!

      Honestly I don’t have a Tunisian hook yet either, hehe. You can actually practice Tunisian crochet stitches with regular hooks, just make sure that there isn’t a big lumpy handle or hand grip thing on it. The hook I used in the pics is a 6.5 mm, K hook. With a regular crochet hook, you can’t make big things, but it is still good for practicing.

  3. [...] your Tunisian stitches on. If you don’t know how to crochet Tunisian simple stitches, here is a Tunisian simple stitch tutorial that shows you how. The basic idea of this neck warmer is to start with a chain that is as wide as [...]

  4. Rachel says:

    I am blown away every time I come here. Your right-left pictures are just amazing! Wow! And your April Fools project made me laugh so hard! You rock! I’ll be linking.

  5. Shyla says:

    Hi Rachel-
    Im a new member too your awsome corner of the internet world! I have purchased sooooo many books on the Tunisian crochet ….but with out a doubt you have made this the easiest to understand ….I would love to see more lessons on this…Keep up the great work….it is very much appreciated!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Shyla!
      I’m glad to have you here! I’ll be working on more and more tutorials! Thanks for letting me know you’re looking for more :)

  6. Dian says:

    Great.. thank’s, I’ll try

  7. Nicole says:

    Hey Rachel –

    Just wanted to say thanks for this great tutorial! I can’t wait to practice! lol

  8. susan in FL says:

    OMG I’ve recently been going through some of the things I got when my mother died, and one of these was an afghan hook. It is a stitch that I never really learned, but I wanted to try it again, and couldn’t remember the instructions. What you call the tunisian stitch looks exactly like what I’ve been trying to find. and yes your instructions are crystal clear. Now I need to look at your neck warmer.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Susan! I’m glad that it was crystal clear and that you found what you were looking for. Let me know if you need any help with the neck warmer :)

  9. colleen says:

    wow this looks really cool i thought you needed a different kind of hook but it looks like you are just using a regular hook. lets have some more of this type of crochet you are fabulous . i really like your newsletters > Colleen B.

  10. Rachel says:

    Hey Colleen!
    I sure did use a regular hook in the tutorial pics! At that time I didn’t even have a Tunisian crochet hook, lol. Those long hooks or circular hooks are needed for larger projects if a lot of loops have to be left on the hook. For the tutorial a regular hook is good enough :)
    I’ll be sure to make more of this stuff in the future.

  11. [...] started crocheting a purse using Tunisian simple stitches so that I can sell the pattern in my soon to come store (and hopefully afford a better hosting [...]

  12. WendiG says:

    Thanks for the leftie version-as always it makes it alot clearer-I’m still working on perfecting roses, lol but when I’m great at them I’ll try this-it would be good for neck warmers, yes?

  13. Janie says:

    WOW!! I LOVE this stitch!
    What is even better is the leftie instructions. My granddaughter asked me teach her how to crochet, and she is a leftie! So, we got a start on a few stitches, but I was confusing her and confusing myself….LOL This will TOTALLY help!
    Thanks so much!

  14. Dottie says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Love The New Patterns. The S’more Looked Adorable. Was Lookin At The Tunisian Stitch You Have, Will Have To Print This Out. Another Idea For Squares For An Afghan In Different Colors
    Have A Great Day,Dottie In Va

  15. lisa says:

    first i have to say i love your site!! you always have interesting things on there! i tried this stitch before but the book made it seem more difficult than it is! you really simplified it! going to try the plastic bag crocheting next. thank you rachel!! have a blessed day!! lisa in tennessee

  16. Jo says:

    Thanks for the tunisian tutorial! I am a lefty, and the pictures really make the instructions so much easier. I absolutely love your site!!!!!!!

  17. Cookie says:

    I was wondering if this is the afghan stitch? Sure looks like it..
    If it isn’t whats different.. Being left handed.. I think you did a great job showing us how to do it..
    But what’s the difference with the 2 stitches?Afghan and the tunisian????????
    Cookie in Pa.

  18. Teresa King says:

    Hello, was wandeing of you had any more patterns of the tunsisan stitch? I like it, but I have done the basic stitches for so long I need some fresh.

  19. Denisse says:

    that pattern is great but i just wanted to know which size of hook did you use?

  20. Rachel says:

    I used a 6.5 mm, K hook in the picture, but you can try out different hooks to see how tight or loose you like it :)

  21. Dee says:

    Hello Rachel… i really wanted to make scarf wid Tunisian stitch…!!! cud u pls tell the number of stitches in the foundation chain…HHHHHEEEEELLLLLPPPPP….!!!! :)

    • Rachel says:

      hey Dee!
      If you want to make a scarf, you can make is as wide as you want. Just make a chain as wide as you want your scarf. You can hold the chain up to your neck to see if it’s wide enough.

  22. Joan says:

    Hi There Rachel, thank you so much for your site it’s great, has really taught me a thing or two.
    I love the Tunsia stitch, I went and bought a Tunsia crochet hook. I am trying to make a rug for my Grandson’s bed in squares and join them together.I was wondering when I make a square it does not tune our square! ..lol It’s more diamond shaped and the corner where I start has a point on it and curls up. Can you please tell me what I am doing wrong.?

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Joan,
      Try to make sure that there are the same number of stitches on each row and that you have the same tension throughout the work. It’s sort of normal for edges to curl up a bit. Also make sure you chain 1 when you turn if you are using single crochet, or 2 for half double crochet, or 3 for double crochet etc.

  23. [...] like knitting? Well here is the stitch for you! The Tunisian knit stitch is really similar to the Tunisian Simple Stitch also know as the afghan stitch. Please check that tutorial first before attempting this one since [...]

  24. Rena says:

    I was about to post a question but it has been answered. Thank you so much for your tutes.

  25. Peggy says:

    I just taught myself to knit and am not as happy with it as I thought I would be..I love crochet and now that you have simplified tunisian crochet, I will happily do that instead of knit..thanks!

  26. Rachel… I was just looking at your fantastic tutorial on T.S.S. And was wondering if this technique uses a lot more yarn???

    thanks

  27. pam says:

    okay I’m just going to open up to you…I stink at this, worse than the worse baby diaper I have ever had the pleasure of changing. I read these things and you are all so talented, and i cant even get the loop on the hook after you have made a slipknot. I make the slipknot and then boom stop, panic, dont understand. put your fingers here hold it here, pressure here, etc, sounds like a terrible game of twister. and I am losing at that too. how do you hold with your thumb, and middle finger, have tension, with your first finger, wrap your hook Lord knows where, then pull I pull and it all becomes one big mess in my hand, that I wish was a dirty diaper to be honest with you. Oh if any of you can help do this with me step by step like a 2 year old I would much appreciate it. I am just trying to find something other than that same two stitches in knitting knit and purl to keep me busy. I have Crohns Disease which makes me feel kind of yuck on a daily basis, and I also just took a nasty fall and broke my shoulder and 3 ribs so I just wanted to do something different besides the above mentioned. and of course reading. I feel soooo stupid that I cant get this. Please help, or if you look out your window you are going to see flying skeins of yarn flying through the air and I think I will attach myself to one of them!!!!! LOL…Thanks for listening.

  28. Kate says:

    Hi Pam,

    So sorry to hear about your shoulder and ribs – hope they heal quickly. I have Ulcerative Colitis, so I really empathise with your Crohn’s taking it out of you.

    Hang in there with the crochet! Only just learned a few months ago myself. At the beginning I was tying myself in knots and ready to throw myself through the window too! I couldn’t work out how to hold the hook or the yarn and looked like some kind of deranged praying mantis.

    Rachel’s tutorials explain things really well and are easy to understand. My advice is to hold the hook whichever way feels comfortable to you and don’t worry about how to hold the yarn. At first, I just about cut off my circulation trying to wrap in round one finger, over the next etc… so I gave up and didn’t hold it at all and just used my left hand (the one not holding the hook) to wrap the yarn around the hook. Now I’m more comfortable with crocheting, I sort of slip the yarn between my left index and middle fingers and it seems to stay there and behave.

    Keep going with the crochet! You will get there in the end! If I can do it – so can you :-) I am well and truly hooked now and it’s all thanks to being stuck at home trying to recover from Ulcerative Colitis. If I’d never been so ill, I doubt I’d ever have got around to sitting down and learning properly.

    Best wishes from Scotland,
    Kate

    PS Rachel – can you do Tunisian stitch on a normal sized hook? I was under the impression you had to do it on an extra-long hook, but looking at your tutorial, it appears to be a normal-sized hook. I’m definitely going to give this a go now! :-)

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Kate, you can do Tunisian on a regular crochet hook as long as it doesn’t have a very large handle on it since the stitches have to placed on your hook sort of like knitting. The only limit to a regular crochet hook is how make stitches you can put on it. So you can only make small things with it, but it is good for practicing!

  29. Kate says:

    aha! Thanks for explaining, Rachel!

  30. Shannon says:

    Hey Rachel!

    Love the flower pics! I.. Like you love to take pics of flowers! Drives my hubby crazy! LOL

    I am having problems with the Tunisian stitch. It works fine if I only do 10-12 stitches, but when I try to make anything longer I end up looseing a stitch on the (left) side of my work. I know I have to pull through 1 strand thru the loop on the return, then 2 thru the rest. But I don’t get why I keep dropping a stitch. Any ideas? I love the look of this stitch, but am frustrated why this keeps happening!
    Thanks sweetie for any ideas!! :)

  31. Diana says:

    This is a wonderful stitch! I am brand new to crochet and you made this so easy to follow. I am using it to make my first scarf! Thank you!

  32. Chitra says:

    Love this stitch! I’m making a scarf too… if it turns out ok its going to be my Grandmom’s birthday present :)

  33. Chitra says:

    Hi again… I seem to have a ridge on the back of my rows… is this right?

  34. Chitra says:

    K, thanks.

  35. Sakura says:

    Hey Rachel-

    Thanks for putting this site up! I’ve been crocheting ever since I was about seven, and I’m always looking for new things to learn about it. Considering how long I’ve been doing this (I’m almost fourteen now, so it’s been a very long time), I SHOULD be able to understand all those crochet books that tell you this stuff, but since my memory is bad, and they normally all abbreviate everything, I get too daunted to look very much at them. This tutorial though is REALLY simple for me to understand. Thanks a ton!

    Also, just a tip, you can use this stitch to make a scarf with a normal size hook – instead of crocheting down the length of the scarf (the longer side), crochet down the width of the scarf (the shorter side). If this doesn’t make sense to any of you, then just ignore it. I’ve never been very good at explaining things anyway. ;)

  36. Jen says:

    This is a great tutorial! It left me perfectly clear on how to do this stitch. Thank you so much! :)

  37. Bananas says:

    how does one “end” the tunisian? single crochet like regular crocheting or is it different?

  38. Bananas says:

    Thank you very much its cuz I’m helping my step mother make a reference book with swatches of the stitches so she doesn’t get confused

    When you sl st do you do it in the vertical bar?

  39. Dawn Rodgers says:

    Hello Rachel, This tutorial on TSS is great! I have done it but not recently and I needed a refresher course..lol. Thank you so much! Dawn

  40. sara says:

    You are great. this is a super resource for learning this stitch. More patterns with this stitch are needed. Thanks for the tut.

  41. Sara says:

    I know this is going to sound dumb, but what if you are making something larger than ten stitches? Will it be in the directions on what to do, I just keep picturing how would you get 100 stitches on the hook, Lol.. Sorry

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Sara, there are special crochet hooks for Tunisian Crochet. They are much longer than regular crochet hooks and some even have an flexable extension on them.

  42. Hello,
    I like to make tunisan potholders however; with each try after working a few rows I see that I have either lost a stitch or added one and I don’t know why this happens, do you have any ideas of how I can correct this? Thank you, really like your site. Helen

  43. Hi;
    Thanks, hadn’t even thought of markers and will try them. You have a very good site and your explanations are understandablet. Have a great day and please keep on. Helen

  44. Allyson says:

    I started it and i finished the first row and it curled. I almost started over but I decided to go to the next row and it straightened when i finished it!!!! Awesome tutorial, thank you :)

  45. gina says:

    Why does my work get all curled up? is it normal, or im wrong?

  46. Charlie says:

    I wanted to say thanks :) This is perfect for my husbands new scarf!

  47. Sonja says:

    Wow, thank you very much. This tutorial ist great!
    I learned crocheting at school and tried again some years ago. But I always pull too much on the yarn and throw my work away after half an hour because it looks terrible. Even the easy stiches do not work.

    Now I saw this and it looked so great and so easy… and I have 5cm of great looking work here. I will continue and make a small bag, really! :)

    I wish there were more tutorials with so much great fotos. It helps so much when I can have a look at every step.

  48. Peggy says:

    Do you have how to join two TSS panels? I know they can be sewn together but I remember seeing a way to join them that actually looked like the “square” you make in the afghan stitch you showed. Do you know how to do this?

  49. sue says:

    I am trying to bind off in Tunisian crochet. The instructions say to work the first half of row as you normally would. 34 stitches now on hook. Then instead of working second half of row work off loops by slip stitching each loop off. I am not sure how to do that. Thanks for your help.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Sue, I don’ think I bind off the same way that your pattern is telling you to. I normally just make a slip stitch into each stitch across the row (without working the first half – putting the loops on the hook).

  50. Kate says:

    Rachel? You. Are. Awesome. I swear, *nothing* is complicated with you doing the explaining. Thanks so much!

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