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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Fall Poncho Part II

My Fall Poncho is still not done. Nope. I blame it on the kiddos! Ha ha! I did, however, finish the edging, but still need the hood. Oh, the hood… Let’s just say that it’s all about the gauge. I started making one part of it, was almost done with it, and realized that the piece was GIGANTIC compared to the poncho itself. Good grief! It was soon unraveled…(I’m sure you know the feeling all too well!)

The poncho itself is soft and warm, without being sweaty-hot (mind you, I’m a hot-bodied person). Thus, it will make the PERFECT poncho for my neck of the woods (AKA:  ‘The Sunshine State’ – where it’s really never cold)! 😉

Fall Poncho Part II:

Fall Poncho Part II
Photo taken by: Debra Lee
Fall Poncho Part II_2
Photo taken by: Debra Lee

It’s Going to Be a Spooooky Halloween!

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com

It’s that time of year, everyone! Kids are getting ready to head back to school for yet another fun-filled, adventurous year, and fall is lurking just around the corner. With fall comes the start of THE holidays:  Halloween! Boy, oh boy is it going to be a spooooky one this year! I’ll tell you why…

I’ll be crocheting some really scary costume accessories for kids and home decor, such as a Frankenstein Hat, Scary Skull Bag, and Spider Web Table Topper. But, don’t let these patterns scare you away from trying them out! They’re all categorized as “Easy” crochet patterns, so there’s no excuses. 😀 Go ahead. Pick up your crochet hook and some yarn, and get to creating your favorite, spooky Halloween costume, accessory, or home decor tonight!

P.S. Photos will be posted as I begin working on each project. Stay tuned!

Gauge Your Gauge

Always, ALWAYS gauge your gauge! It’s extremely critical as we all know, or should know. I’m guilty for not checking my gauge with my crochet projects. I know; give me a failing grade. “F!” But, I do know that I should always use two crochet hook sizes smaller than the one mentioned in the pattern. Well… I didn’t do that this time around…

Remember the Fall Poncho I posted about a few days ago? Embarrassingly, it came out slightly off in size (with respect to the front of it). The front of the poncho is about three inches longer than the back. *Sigh.* If you ask why, I can give you one major reason:  lack of focus. Should have followed rule number four on my Zen List!

Anyhoo, don’t be a Debra Lee! Check your gauge before starting your crochet project, and even pay attention to how it’s coming to together. If your baby booty looks abnormally huge, unravel, go down a hook size, and try again.

Best wishes on your new crochet project!

Fall Poncho Part I

A few nights ago, I talked about a peach seed, and briefly mentioned the fall poncho I’m working on. Almost done with it; just need to finish the bottom front, add the hood, and edging. It’s a one-size fits all. Can’t wait to see how the completed poncho turns out! Will definitely keep you all updated.

(P.S. I was supposed to use bulky and cotton yarns, but didn’t have enough of either to complete the project, and didn’t want to spend more money on yarn (My collection is out of control! Ha!). So, I used medium-worsted weight yarn. The poncho obviously lacks the thick texture of that the bulky and cotton yarns provide, but the medium-worsted weight yarn allows for more movement and clings more to your body frame. I think it’s perfect if you want to accentuate your body shape.)

Here are the photos I promised:

Photo taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo taken by: Debra Lee
Photo taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo taken by: Debra Lee

A Single Peach Seed

It’s late – 12:54 a.m. to be exact – and I’m reluctant to post a blog. My head is pounding, vision is blurred, ear aches, and my complaints can fill this page in no time! But, I’ll stop right there and save you from being bored with such nonsense. 🙂 So, on a positive note, I’ve been working on a poncho to wear for the fall season. The base color is a sunflower yellow, with pumpkin orange, beige, and brown accents. My inspiration for the colors was the sunset and the color of fall leaves. (Will post photos soon!) I truly LOVE the fall season! It brings back soo many happy childhood memories… I digress…

Nonetheless, I’ve been missing my poncho project for the past couple of days. I didn’t get to work on it earlier and became frustrated because my crochet time had been stripped of me. Again, I attempted to work on it right before I began typing this post, but my attempt proved fruitless. I’m not feeling well and wanted a chance to unwind. Is that too much to ask?!

So, my Son (who magically decided to nap earlier in the day – he NEVER naps) is now bright-eyed and bushy tailed. He asked Ray and I to play with him (for the 100th time today! I know, it’s all worthwhile, it really is.) and we did. Some moments later, he’s eating a peach and tells me, “Look Mommy. There’s a seed in this peach for you to plant. I’m going to eat the fruit part and give you the seed when I’m done.” My heart melted and my eyes began to tear up. How selfish of me to want to sit down to crochet my poncho when my 3 year-old Son acted selflessly by thinking of how much I enjoy planting seeds and watching them grow!

Point being – sometimes we have to drop everything, do for others, think of others, and most of all, SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THOSE WE LOVE MOST. Our time on Earth is not promised. Make the most of each and every second, of each and every day.

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com