Tunisian Crochet: The Ultimate BiCrafty Technique

Have you noticed that we’re starting to incorporate more Tunisian crochet into the Marly Bird world? As you know, we celebrate BiCrafty-ness here. In other words, we recognize crochet and knitting equally. In fact, we love bringing crocheters and knitters together in our make-alongs, classes, and community experiences. The Tunisian technique itself is practically the ultimate BiCrafty technique because it incorporates knitting concepts into crochet concepts in unique ways. So, let’s start celebrating this craft here too!

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Tunisian crochet

What Is Tunisian Crochet?

Also called Afghan crochet, it is typically considered a niche of crochet. In other words, you use some of the same foundations of crochet to work the craft. People generally (although certainly not always) learn “regular” crochet first. Then they take an interest in this technique and expand their skills by learning it.

This technique is also, in many ways, a blend of knitting and crochet. How so? It’s because in Tunisian crochet, you’ll “cast on” an entire row of stitches. In other words, your crochet hook holds multiple loops just like a knitting needle does.

This makes it a niche of crochet that’s different from regular crochet. However, it’s different from knitting as well, because you “cast off” every other row rather than at the end of the project.

So, in crochet, you build one loop on the other. In knitting, you cast on at the beginning and cast off at the end. In Tunisian crochet, you basically build one row on top of another, casting off at the end of rows.

Tunisian Crochet Hooks

There are certain Tunisian projects and techniques that you can do using your regular crochet hooks. You do not use knitting needles in Tunisian crochet. However, if you want to really work in this craft, then you’re going to need to purchase some Tunisian crochet hooks.

These hooks are similar to regular crochet hooks. However, they’re longer. That’s because you need to hold loops on your hook as you work. So, their bodies look more like straight knitting needles because of their length. However, they still have crochet hook heads on top.

Like knitting needles, the non-hook end might have a stopper (to prevent your loops from falling off the hook) or a cable (to hold the loops.) And yes, you can get interchangeable Tunisian hooks. Alternatively, you can get double-ended hooks. As their name suggests, these have a crochet hook on either end.

what is Tunisian crochet

Tunisian Crochet Stitches

What you already know about knitting and crochet will make it easier for you to learn Tunisian stitches. But yes, the niche technique does have its own stitches. Some of the most common stitches are:

  • Tunisian Simple Stitch
  • Tunisian Reverse Stitch
  • Knit and Purl Stitches in Tunisian

As you learn the craft, you’ll obviously also learn new stitches.

Join Our Make-Alongs!

For years now, the Marly Bird make-alongs have included both crochet and knitting patterns. Now that I’m partnering with Robyn Chachula, we’ve started offering Tunisian crochet options as well. For example, you might have noticed that Game Day 2022 had crochet, knitting, and Tunisian patterns. Likewise, Tournament of Stitches 2022, happening right now, also offers all three crafts. We have lots of different make-alongs throughout the year, so keep joining us for those!

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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