Tunisian Crochet for Beginners

By Molly Ferriter – 2 Comments

Have you wanted to give Tunisian Crochet a try, but don’t have a Tunisian hook yet? Have you caught the Tunisian bug, but don’t know where to start? Have I got the project for you! Let’s try a Tunisian crochet project using a regular crochet hook! How about a Tunisian Crochet Sampler Scarf?

First of all, what is Tunisian Crochet? Tunisian crochet is a form of crocheting that uses a long crochet hook. The long hook is necessary because as you crochet right to left (or left to right if you are left handed), the stitches are left on the hook, similarly to knitting. Then, to complete the row, you must crochet back, left to right (or right to left if you are left handed), finishing stitches as you return. Sometimes a Tunisian crochet hook will have a cord or tube attached to it, to hold the stitches for a longer project like an afghan. With many Tunisian crochet stitches, the finished fabric has a knit-look and the fabric is thick. I absolutely love the look of the Tunisian knit stitch in particular.
Abby wearing my Tunisian Crochet Sampler Scarf

Abby wearing my Tunisian Crochet Sampler Scarf

Tunisian Crochet Hooks

Tunisian Crochet Hooks

One very intriguing aspect of Tunisian crochet is the abundance of theories concerning its origins. My favorite theory places Tunisian crochet as a distant ancestor to both knitting and crochet, possibly the origin of both. This is probably because Tunisian crochet seems to be part-knitting and part-crochet. We are very blessed at Crochetspot.com to have several writers that are knowledgeable in Tunisian crochet. Cami, Candace, and Rachel have all posted numerous informative posts to help us all learn Tunisian crochet. Enter “Tunisian Crochet” in the search button above and you will find a huge variety of posts related to Tunisian crochet.

Use a larger hook
With Tunisian crochet, it is necessary to use a hook that is at least two sizes larger than what is required with regular crochet. If you normally use a size I/9 (5.5mm) hook with worsted weight yarn, you need to use a size K or larger. This is due to the nature of Tunisian crochet- since the stitches are left on the hook, you cannot crochet tightly or you will not be able to get the stitches off as you complete the return pass, finishing the stitches. Further, if you crochet too tightly, or with a hook that is too small, your Tunisian piece will curl even more than usual. Crochet more loosely than you normally do and experiment with different hook sizes. Maybe you need to go up 3 sizes?

Tunisian Crochet with a Regular Hook

Tunisian Knit Stitch Scarf on a regular hook

Tunisian Knit Stitch Scarf on a regular hook

Many crocheters would like to try Tunisian crochet, but don’t have a Tunisian hook yet. Or, perhaps you would like to try it, but don’t want to spend money on hooks since you aren’t sure whether you will enjoy Tunisian crochet! Many people are surprised to learn that you CAN Tunisian crochet using a regular hook. The trick is to make items that aren’t too wide, allowing for all of the stitches to fit on the hook. The perfect project for this is a scarf.

The Tunisian Sampler Scarf:
I love Tunisian crocheting but am still uncomfortable with the long Tunisian hooks that I bought. Inspired by the Tunisian Crochet designer Aiobhe Ni, who has written several Tunisian crochet patterns that utilize a regular hook (I love her Pax Scarflette- check it out, its gorgeous!), I have started making Tunisian crochet scarves with a regular hook. And, I love it! My first scarf using this method is a Tunisian sampler scarf, using a few of the basic Tunisian stitches, switching from stitch to stitch after a few inches or so, or simply when I feel like switching. This way, I really got practice with those essential Tunisian crochet stitches without having to accustom myself to using the Tunisian hook at the same time.

Tunisian Crochet Sampler Scarf

Tunisian Crochet Sampler Scarf

For my sampler scarf, I started with the basic Tunisian crochet stitch, called the Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS). This is the first stitch most crocheters learn, and fairly easy. I made a foundation chain the width of a basic scarf (use whatever width you desire) and crocheted the Tunisian Simple Stitch until I really felt like I had mastered it.

Next, I switched to the Tunisian Knit Stitch(TKS). This is the most popular Tunisian stitch as it has the appearance of knitting, without having to knit! Perfect! I crocheted the Tunisian Knit Stitch until I felt comfortable with it. Then switched to the third stitch that I used, the Tunisian Full Stitch.

The Tunisian Full Stitch is gorgeous! I absolutely love the look of it! In Candace’s post on this stitch she explains that it has a natural bias. There is a simple way to overcome this. To prevent the Tunisian Full Stitch from having a bias you must do the following:
Row 1: skip the first stitch
Row 2: skip the next to last stitch
Row 3: skip the first stitch
Row 4: skip the next to last stitch
…and so on. This will prevent the piece from having a bias, but you must pay attention to which stitch is skipped so you can have even sides. Let me know if I skimmed over this too fast and I can explain it more thoroughly.

Finishing the Scarf
Throughout the scarf, I switched from stitch to stitch whenever the mood rose. I have to say, I really enjoyed making my scarf, and for once I have made a scarf for myself and not for a family or friend. You know what I’m talking about! If you are more organized than myself, you could switch between stitches in a more uniform manner, but what fun is that?

When I had my desired length, I crocheted single crochets around the scarf for three rounds. This created a simple edge and helped hide any uneven edges that I may have inadvertently made while learning the new stitches (What? Me make mistakes? Wink, wink!)

Let me know if you have Tunisian crocheted on a regular hook. Write any questions or comments below. I love hearing from you!

Some of my favorite Crochetspot.com Tunisian Posts:
How to Crochet: Finishing off Tunisian Crochet
3 Reasons to Try Tunisian Crochet!
Why Tunisian Crochet Curls and How to Get Rid of It

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  1. Amanda Sullivan says:

    Thank you so much, I have been looking for this information too long. I want to try this, just wanted you to know. Thanks Amanda

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