Demystifying Tunisian Crochet: A Short Introduction with Abbreviations and Definitions

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

As I’m sitting in my favorite recliner chair watching my kiddos scream and play, it occurs to me that I have yet to try a project using Tunisian Crochet. Immediately I grab my cell phone to search the World Wide Web for Tunisian Crochet information ranging from ‘how-to’s’ to free patterns. All I have to say is thank God for YouTube and free pattern websites! Here are a few super awesome links in case you’re interested (I bet you are!). Simply click on the underlined title to be directed to the website.

1.) The Purl Bee by Purl Soho

I LOVE The Purl Bee as it provides you with a step-by-step process that includes pictures. BIG PICTURES! And, Very clear instructions. She also has TONS of crochet goodies for sale, including beautifully crafted yarns (bamboo, alpaca, silk, cotton, wool, and merino)!

2.) Crocheting the Day Away (Blog)

Mary does a wonderful job explaining how to begin Tunisian Crochet. Much like The Purl Bee, she provides her readers with lovely, large photos that show in every step of Tunisian Crochet.

3.) Tamara Kelly (YouTube)

Tamara Kelly patiently shows and tells her YouTube viewers exactly how to begin Tunisian Crochet. She gives alternatives to using a standard Tunisian Crochet hook, and she speaks clearly and effectively. Highly recommended!

In addition to the web searching, I coincidentally found a book at Wal-Mart titled, Learn Tunisian Crochet:  Step-by-Step How-To’s + Easy Projects by Kim Guzman. Ta-dah! Couldn’t have asked for anything better than a physical copy of Tunisian Crochet instructions! The book is wonderfully priced at just under $5, which makes it a winner. 😀 I’d highly recommend it as Kim Guzman takes half of the book to describe in great detail exactly how to start and and your Tunisian Crochet projects.

So, to get on with it, I’ve compiled a brief list of abbreviations and definitions for Tunisian Crochet, including exactly WHAT Tunisian Crochet is. They are listed below.

Tunisian Crochet Abbreviations:

tss = Tunisian simple stitch

tks = Tunisian knit stitch

tps = Tunisian purl stitch

k2tog = knit 2 together

ch = chain

yo = yarn over

sl st = slip stitch

sk = skip

sts = stitches

Tunisian Crochet Definitions:

Tunisian Crochet = Tunisian Crochet is also known as Afghan Crochet because of the type of hook being used. That is, the hook resembles a regular crochet hook, but the Tunisian (or, Afghan) hook has a longer, more uniform barrel with the opposite end covered with a stopper. With this type of crochet, you never turn your work. Instead, you simply work with the ‘front’ side of the yarn always facing you. Much like regular crochet, Tunisian Crochet allows you to make garments, blankets, and accessories, so never fear! The texture to Tunisian Crochet resembles that of a luxurious knitted piece, which is really cool if you ask me. 🙂

Foundation Chain = This is the same as when you crochet. You create your ‘foundation’ chain first (however many the pattern requires) before starting the actual project. See photo below.

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Foundation Chain | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

Forward Pass = This is the start of each row. You work from right to left here. Be sure to always skip the first vertical bar at this point (unless instructed otherwise in the pattern). See photo below.

Forward Pass | Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Forward Pass | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

Return Pass = Also known as the ‘close,’ this is the end of each row. You work from left to right with the return pass. Typically, you’d grab one loop and then two loops consecutively to the end, or visa versa (two loops all the way down and then one loop at the end) depending on the pattern’s instructions.

Return Pass (Close) | Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Return Pass (Close) | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

Foundation Row = The first actual row you create in your Tunisian Crochet project. It consists of the forward pass and return pass. See photo below.

Foundation Row | Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Foundation Row | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

horizontal bar = Also known as the ‘back ridge’ because it’s the back part of your foundation chain. This bar goes from left to right (think of the sun rising over the horizon; the horizon runs from left to right) on the foundation chain. See photo below. See photo below. Note:  Tapestry needles are being used to raise the horizontal bar in attempt to help you see them more clearly.

Horizontal Bar | Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Horizontal Bar | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

vertical bar = These bars go up and down (think of vertigo; when you have vertigo, you’re standing one minute and then you’re down on the floor soon after) on the foundation chain. See photo below. Note:  Tapestry needles are being used to point to the vertical bars in attempt to help you see them more clearly.

Vertical Bars | Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Vertical Bars | Photo Taken by: Debra Lee
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