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Joining Yarns in Tunisian Crochet

Imagine a world, dear readers, where your favourite ball of yarn never ran out – a world where that downy alpaca, shimmering silk or soft merino slid continuously between your industrious fingers and into project after glorious project.

I’ll leave you with that image for a moment…
It’s worth savouring the idea, isn’t it?

Alas, of course, this is merely a dream. The reality is that yarn runs out and it’s a rare project indeed that doesn’t require you to join the end of one ball of yarn to the beginning of another.

“I just knot it”, is a common refrain when I bring up this topic in a beginners’ class, and indeed, that is a valid way of solving the problem, but there are better ways, smoother ways, and since I can’t find much on this topic for Tunisian Crochet, I’m going to run you through my favourite joining method below.

The Return Pass Join:
This little trick works well for both solid fabrics and lace.
The idea here is that the joined yarns will be partially woven in as you work, and therefore won’t disrupt the look of the stitches you’ve made.

And since the join only disrupts the return pass on a row of Tunisian, any lace detail worked on the forward pass will remain totally uninterrupted.

In the sample below, I’m working on a solid TSS fabric (because this is what I have to hand. More in this project in autumn).

^ When you are nearing the end of your current ball, work the forward pass of the next row as usual, and begin the return pass.

^ A few sts into the return pass, pause, and introduce your new ball strand. Lie them so there are a few inches extra on either side of the overlap.

^ Hold strands together using your working hand. Use your other hand to hold new strand against fabric so that it’s out of the way.

^ With both strands held together in your working hand, Yarn Over.
Remember, your other hand is still holding the new end against the back of your fabric so that it won’t be a nuisance.

^ Draw that double-stranded Yarn Over through 2 loops.
You will notice that the loop closest to the hook is now double-stranded. This is good. This means your new and your old balls are sharing duty and you’re half-way transferred from one ball to the other.

^ It’s time now to drop the new ball’s strand that you’ve been holding in your other hand. It’s secure enough in the fabric now that it won’t slide out on you as you work.
In this image, I’ve the end of the new strand in my left hand, and I’m about to drop it.

From this point on, you can carry on with your new ball and complete the return pass as usual.

^ Can you see the join? It’s right there in the middle.
Slide your finger back and forth to see. Neat, huh?

^ Here’s a picture of the back when you’re all doing joining and have a few extra rows worked beyond.

Now, all you have holding those ends together is half a stitch, remember, and that’s a lot of trust to place in so tiny a piece of crochet, so I recommend you weave both ends in separately before you go to town with a scissors.

And so, dear crafters, I leave you with a puzzle.
In the image below, there is a join.

Think you can find it?

Happy Crafting!

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32 Stitches Short

a woman dressed in black holds a solid, golden shawl around her shoulders. She's looking to her left and is standing in front of a dark background.

Elizabeth’s Question

Hello Aoibhe Ni.
I am currently working on your Lunula Shawl. 

I have reached the end of Panel 3, but I still have about 32 stitches left, and I CANNOT figure out what I am doing wrong!  Please can you tell me where I am messing up?

– Elizabeth

Aoibhe’s Answer

Hi, Elizabeth!

32 stitches is a lot to be short at the end of a panel, so I had a good chew on my thinking pencil, and I think I’ve found where your Lunula went astray.

Panel 3 includes the instruction:
“SR23, YO, 36 L40tr”

All the other instructions prior to this one contained 4 Linked stitches, instead of the 36 you see in the instruction above.

I think what’s happened here is that you did 4 Linked stitches, accidentally leaving off the remaining 32 by accident.
That’d certainly account for the discrepancy.

I do hope this helps!

Happy Crocheting!
A x

PS. Hey, crochet fans! If you’d like to have a go at Lunula, you can find it here!

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Searching For Torc

sun shines through a violet tunisian crochet shawl

A’s Question

Hi Aoibhe Ni!
I was looking at your Ravelry store and I love your patterns. I tried to purchase the pattern for the Torc shawl but couldn’t find a link to do so. Is the pattern still available?

Please let me know as I would love to crochet this one, thank you so much!

– A

Aoibhe’s Answer

Hi, A!

Wow, your timing could not have been better!
Torc is the very last pattern from my two Legendary Shawls collections to transfer from Ravelry to my own site, Yarn Towers.

After getting your message I made some time and added it to the site, so you can now get it as your own leisure, AND for less than it would have cost on Ravelry because I won’t be paying any Ravelry fees to sell it!

I’d recommend making an account on Yarn Towers, by the way.
It’s totally free, no-one will pester you with emails, but it will give you access to any future updates the pattern may receive and you can log in at any time and download your patterns again and again. Emails are so easy to delete by accident, but this way you’ll never lose access to the patterns that matter to you.

Happy Crocheting!
A x

PS. Hey, crochet fans! You can get your very own copy of Torc right here!

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Turn your FAILED Scarf into a SUCCESSFUL Something Else

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a beginner, in possession of a large yarn ball, must be in want of a scarf.

And the majority of makers would agree that embarking on a scarf is the one thing a beginner shouldn’t do.

As any experienced maker will tell you, a beginner who casts on for a scarf as a first project is unlikely to finish it.
The problem is, scarves are loooooong, and usually, after about the first six inches or so, a beginner has a good handle on the stitches they’re learning.

After the initial rush – casting on their first project (yippee!) – there’s then no satisfying follow-through. A scarf is 5 to 6 feet of unvarying uniformity, and the slog can easily wind up giving a newbie the impression that crochet and knitting are repetitive, monotonous hobbies.


That kind of endurance test is something to build up to, though, but initially, a smaller project makes more sense. Feeling that sense of accomplishment is a HUGE part of what gets beginners hooked.

Beginners are far better off making something small at the start, but unfortunately, many newbie makers equate “simple project” with “satisfying experience”, and in the end quit when their scarf bores them to tears. They’re left with a sense of failure that is entirely undeserved.

Of course, there are those who disagree:

But in case you’re one of the many who fell down a scarf hole, I’ve compiled a list of alternative things anyone can make with failed scarf “fragments”.

No matter how far into that 6 feet of blah you managed to get, there’s definitely a way of folding, twisting or seaming your scarf fragment into something magnificent, useful, and most importantly, FINISHED!

So, get out your random rectangle of fabric from the bottom of your stash, cast it off, thread your darning needle and prepare to bathe in a wholly deserved sense of accomplishment & satisfaction!

Let’s get into it!

any size of scarf fragment can be turned into a finished object

Neck Warmer
10 in x 36 in/3 ft will get you a practical and cozy neck warmer.
Half the work for all the comfort.

How To:
Option 1.
Lie fabric flat, fold in half and seam starting and ending rows together to make a ring.

How To:
Option 2.
Lie fabric flat, add a half twist to fabric, then seam starting and ending rows together to make a mobius strip.

Teapot Cozy
10 in x 24 in / 2 ft and your scarf fragment with keep your tea warm instead.

How To:
Lie fabric flat, fold in half and seam selvedges together to make a pocket.

Pixie Hat
10 in x 24 in / 2 ft is enough to make an adorable hat with a pixie point. To really keep the draft out, add a button and loop or ties to fasten under your chin.

How To:
Lie fabric flat, fold in half and seam one selvedge together. Add ties or a button and loop to unseamed corners.

Woolly Hat
10 in x 21 – 22 in will net you a classic.
Just seam into a loop, and pull one side closed with a draw string and you’ll be so cozy you won’t even need that scarf.

How To:
Lie fabric flat, fold in half and seam starting and ending rows together. Weave a strand of yarn along entirety of one selvedge, pull yarn tight and secure with a knot.

Add a bobble, if you’re feeling fancy.

Pot Holder
10 in x 12 in will get you a pot holder. A nice steaming casserole is better than a silly old scarf, right?!

How To:
Add a loop to one corner.
For a more heat-resistant pot holder, use a feltable yarn. Then, shrink it in your next load of laundry.

Fingerless Glove
10 in x 7 – 8 in, and you have enough for my own personal favourite beginner project. Only drawback, you usually have to make two!

How To:
Lie fabric flat. Fold narrowest edge in half. Seam along longest edge, leaving a thumb gap in the middle of the seam.

Coffee Cozy
10 in x 6 in and your 8-cup coffee press will have a scarf of its very own.

How To:
Lie fabric flat. Fold narrowest edge in half. Securely stitch corners together. Gap between corners is where the coffee press’s handle will go

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Phone Pocket
Ever had your phone stop working because it’s just too cold out?
Well, I have!
10 in x 6 in would stop that from happening when you’re out and about in January.

How To:
Lie fabric flat. Fold in half. Seam long edges, leaving one opening.
Add loop and button.

Pin Cushion
Just the ticket for when that scarf you started barely got off the ground. The nice thing about pin cushions is that they can be any shape or size.

How To:
Lie fabric flat. Fold in half. Seam two edges, stuff with polyfill, then seam final edge.

Honorary mention. Put your swatches and tiny tests to good use as mug coasters.
Be aware, though, open-work (like lace) will not protect your surfaces, nor will non-insulating yarns like acrylic.

The easiest of all!
Weave in ends. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


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How do I stop Tunisian Crochet from CURLING?

a small piece of light green tunisian crochet held close to the camera. the fabric is curling into a tight spiral.

Oh my gosh, the CURL! It’s the bane of a Tunisian Crocheter’s day, isn’t it?
Curing the curl seems almost impossible, but never fear! I’m here to help.

I’ve gathered up a few of my favourite solutions to this perennial problem.
Let’s get right into it!

Firstly, WHY does Tunisian Crochet curl as enthusiastically as an overly-amorous octopus?

It’s all to do with the way Tunisian is constructed.

Much like stocking stitch in knitting, most of the yarn in a row of Tunisian Crochet is concentrated to the wrong side of the fabric – essentially, there’s lots of pressure on the back of a piece of Tunisian and the front hasn’t got the strength to push against it, so the fabric curls forward.

This is more noticable in some stitches – Tunisian Knit Stitch is a particularly emphatic curler – but there are ways to lessen this tendency, and methods you can employ from the very start of a project to help you avoid the dreaded curl.

1. Choose your hook wisely.

Since the problem lies in the density of the yarn on the back of your fabric, a good solution is to help it relax by loosening the fabric all over. The simplest way to do that is to go up a hook size or two.

two pieces of light green tunisian crochet on a faded wooden surface. The fabric on the right is tightly curled, the fabric on the left has a relaxed curl. Both pieces are still attached to crochet hooks
The fabric on the left was made with a 6 mm hook. The fabric on the right was made with a 4.5 mm hook.

If you’re a crocheter who’s new to Tunisian, you may be thinking: “Won’t that result in a project full of holes?!”
Luckily, the answer is “No”.

Think of Tunisian as a knit fabric made with a crochet hook. Knitting is more forgiving than crochet when it comes to changing needle size and thankfully, Tunisian shares this trait.

So going up a few hook sizes will give your Tunisian a chance to relax and the curl will all but disappear. Remember, though, this will also result in a BIGGER finished object, so if you’re following a pattern, be sure to pay close attention to the tension info first and foremost.

Check these projects out.
They all use lace-weight or fingering weight yarn, and a 5 mm hook or larger.

2. Make a tube.

Choose a project that solves the problem by seaming the first and last rows together. You can use any seaming technique you prefer for this. The very act of sticking the first and last rows together means the curl is totally eliminated.

a small piece of green tunisian crochet that it part-way seamed into a tube. The edges of the unseamed half are curling outwards.
By seaming the first and last row the curl can be eliminated completely.

After all, if your fabric is made into a tube, there’s nowhere for the curl to curl to, right?

These patterns all feature seams that stop the curl.

3. “Block” your project.

“If you want Tunisian to stay flat, block it til it squeaks!” a friend of mine once said, and while I agree with that in theory, I try to be a little more gentle with my own projects.

“Blocking” involves submerging your project in cold water until it’s fully saturated before removing it, gently rolling it up in a towel and pressing the water out of it. (I like to roll my shawls up in a giant beach towel before standing on them barefoot. It’s a moment full of triumph for me, like standing on the peak of a mountain!)

a small piece of green crochet is pinned to a black foam surface with white topped pins. a hand on the left steadies the mat while a hand on the right inserts the final pin.
Much like the washing instruction that says to “lay flat to dry, reshape while damp”, blocking allows some measure of control over the final shape you get from your crochet.

Then, the damp project is laid out to dry using a blocking mat (a yoga mat, a child’s giant foam jigsaw, or a handy spare mattress strewn with towels are all good alternatives) and pinned in place to dry. Once dry, the fabric will retain the shape is was pinned in, so if it was pinned flat, it’ll stay flat.

Bear in mind, this technique won’t work as efficiently with acrylic/acrylic blend yarns as they don’t relax in water in the same manner. Similarly, anything particularly high in soft and fluffy fibres, like angora or cashmere, will appear to block well – even after you remove the pins – but after a short time will relax back to its original shape.

It’s best to keep those fibres for projects that don’t need blocking to look their best.

Tunisian Lace benefits particularly from being blocked.
These patterns all feature lace eyelets that pop after blocking!

4. Learn to love the curl.

Tunisian crochet is a beautiful and versatile craft, and like its cousins – crochet and knitting – there are many things it does extremely well.

If you reframe its tendency to curl into an advantage, you may be able to include it in your next project as a positive feature.
How about a rolled sleeve on your next sweater?
Or a thick cozy brim on a wooly winter hat?
You could make yourself a crochet hook holder that’s just dying to roll up and protect all your precious tools from the elements!

Or how about this cheery little tea cozy with a gorgeous curly bottom?

a one-cup teapot sits in a white wooden surface. It has a peach/pink Tunisian Crochet tea cozy on it that is gathered at the top and rolled at the bottom.
As Easy as A… B… Tea!

No fabric characteristic is ever entirely negative – it’s all about what you do with it – so if your project would benefit from a cheery curl, why go to the trouble to getting rid of it at all?

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


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Herringbone seam for Tunisian Crochet

Creating a truly invisible seam in any form of crochet has so far proven virtually impossible.

Some come close. I like to think my “Infinity stitch” has helped crocheters hide their selvedge seams better over the years.

But in general, the complex texure of crochet fabric doesn’t lend itself to easy, handsewn immitation, so instead I like to throw subtlety to the wind and celebrate my seams by making a feature out of them.

This seaming technique is one of my favourites because it’s stretchy, it follows any colour shifts in your yarn, and it requires less than 6 inches of extra yarn, no matter how long the seam needs to be – so if your yardage is running low, you needn’t worry too much.

I’ve named it the “Herringbone Seam” because the modified slip stitch I use gives a lovely fishbone texture to the resulting join.

Let’s get right into it!
This is the piece of Tunisian Crochet I’ll be using for this tutorial. It’s a sheet of Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) and I’ll be seaming the first row to the last row to make a cylinder.

Yarn by Ginger Twist Studios:
Pep In Your Step Worsted – Colourway: “Millions of Peaches”

We first need to prepare the fabric for seaming.
Run a row of UK dc/ US sc sts along the top of the last row of TSS sts.
Note: For the rest of this tutorial, I’ll refer to this st as a “double crochet” or a “dc”.

a half-complete row of UK double crochet / US single crochet stitches is being worked across a row of Tunisian Simple Stitches by a green hook.
A row of double crochet stitches in progress.

Once you’ve completed a row of double crochet stitches, add a slip stitch to the chain at the end of the row.
If you have trouble finding the chain, draw your pinched fingers diagonally across your fabric towards the corner. The last loop you catch hold of at the corner is the chain (pictured below).

Peach/Pink crochet fabric is held between two hands. The left hand is pinching a loop at the corner of the fabric while the right hand holds a green crochet hook with one loop on it.
The loop my left hand is pinching is the chain where you will put a slip stitch.

Once the slip stitch is in place, make the loop on your hook larger, and remove the hook. DO NOT bind off.
Take hold of the loop and pull firmly on both sides (pictured below).
You will notice the slip stitch tightens up as you pull. This is an old Irish Crochet Lace trick and it neatens and sharpens up your corner.

Peach/Pink crochet fabric is held between two hands. The left hand is holding the fabric while the right hand is holding a live loop of yarn.
The smallest V right under the loop is the slip stitch.

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This seam is easier to work up if you use a smaller hook.
I made this fabric with a 5.5mm hook and worsted weight yarn, so I’m seaming with a 3 mm hook.

Peah/Pink Tunisian crochet fabric is resting, wrong side up, on a weathered wooden surface. Closer to the camera two hands are holding a 3 mm steel crochet hook.
This 3 mm steel hook is my go-to for herringbone seams

With the wrong sides of your fabric facing in, fold fabric in half so that the first and last rows are parallel.
With the first row closer to you, insert hook into chain at the corner. Then, pick up the loop attached to the ball (pictured below).

Draw loop through chain (pictured below).
Cut yarn and leave a tail. This tail will be woven in at the very end. For now, leave it be.

Here is where the seaming fun begins!
Insert hook into the first line along on the fabric closest to you (pictured below).
Then draw the line through the loop already on your hook – 1 loop on hook.
Don’t worry if it feels a little tight, that’ll even out as you work.

Then, insert your hook into the first line along on the fabric farthest from you (pictured below).
Draw the line through the loop already on your hook – 1 loop on hook.

Continue picking up lines and drawing them through to loop on your hook, alternating from front to back.
It may appear as if the seam is a bit tight when compared to the surrounding fabric, but it all settles down once the seam is complete.

This is what the seam will look like when worked up correctly.

Once all the lines have been used up, there is till a slight gap at the top of the seam to be considered.
There will be a V on the corner of either side. Insert hook into the V on the fabric closest to you (pictured below).
Then draw both sides of that V through the loop already on your hook – it’ll look like there’s now two loops on your hook.

Do the same thing with the V on the fabric farthest from you (pictured below).
Draw both sides of that V through the loops already on your hook.

You will no doubt have noticed this seam has no strand of yarn to bind off or sew in and no way yet to stop your seam from undoing itself at a moment’s notice if you remover the hook.
We’ll solve that problem now by cutting a short strand of yarn (pictured below).

A 6 inch strand of yarn is all you’ll nbeed to secure and finish this seam.

Loop the strand of yarn over the hook, pull it through the loops already on your hook.
Remove hook.

Thread ends through loop (pictured below), then pull ends firmly to tighen knot.

Note: Girl Guides, sailing people and macramé enthusiasts know this knot as the “lark’s head” knot.
(Guess which crochet designer is still very proud of her Brownie Badge for rope-tying and knots)

Once tightened, the two resulting ends can be threaded onto a sewing needle and woven in like regular yarn ends.
To settle the herringbone effect along the seam and to release any pressure it might be under, gently tug both ends.

Remember that tail we left at the very beginning? You can tighten that up now if it’s loosened and weave it in.
Once that’s done, sit back and admire your new seaming skills.

Well done!

Oh, hey, and, if you’d like to use this seam on fabric made from any other Tunisian Crochet stitch, all you have to do is replace the first row after your foundation row with a row of Tunisian Simple Stitch. Then you can make the rest of the project however you wish.

That row of TSS will be your seam.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


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What is the EASIEST GIFT to make with Tunisian Crochet?

a pile of spiral crochet face scrubbies, piled from dark (at the bottom) to light (at the top)

If you want to make a handmade gift, but you’re short of time AND yarn, then this free nautical-themed Seashell Scrubbie pattern is just what you need. If all you have are left-over scraps and a burning desire to add more spirals to someone’s life (I mean, who doesn’t, right…?) then read on.

What Are They?
Crochet scrubbies are an eco-friendly alternative to cotton circles/make-up removers.

They are infinitely re-usable so they reduce waste, and have a soft side for gentle cleansing and a more textured side for stubborn make-up. They are machine washable, too. Each little scrubbie uses just 10 m of Cotton DK weight yarn, and a trusty 5 mm (H) hook and you’ll find the free pattern below.

a selection of spiral-shaped crochet scrubbies arranged on a white, wooden tabletop

They’re also very cute, and piled up high would make a great gift for a friend or welcoming touch in a guest bathroom.

If you’d like to make them to sell, please be sure to credit me as the designer on the label and add my web address (

Right, so let’s get stuck in!

Sea Shell Scrubbies

Yarn Used: Paintbox Cotton DK (approx 10 m each)
Colours used: Coffee Bean, Soft Fudge, Vanilla Cream, Light Champagne

Hook: 5 mm crochet (H)
Even though this is a Tunisian Crochet pattern, a regular length hook is all you'll need)

Size: Across its widest point, each scrubbie is 9 cm / 3 1/2 in

ch        chain
ss        slip stitch
dc        double crochet
- 5 sts   stitch count
L1tr      Linked 1-uple treble
L2tr      Linked 2-uple treble
YO        Yarn Over
st        stitch
[2 dc]    [] are used to identify all the stitches in an increase/cluster
**        repeat the instructions located between *asterisks* the number of times specified in pattern.

Note: This pattern is written using UK stitch terms.
For US users: UK dc = US sc   and   UK tr = US dc

To Begin:
Make 4 chains, then work 1 ss into the chain farthest from the hook to make a circle.
This circle will be the centre of your scrubbie.

Round 1.
Make 1 ch, then into the circle work 3 dc,
1 tr, 2 L1tr,
YO, 3 L2tr
YO, 3 L3tr
YO, 3 L4tr – 15 sts

hands hold a growing half spiral of light brown crochet over a white table top scattered with completed crochet spirals
Round 1 complete.

Round 2.
Work [3 L4tr] into each of the first 6 sts of Round 1 – 27 sts

hands hold a spiral teardrop shaped piece of light brown crochet over a white table top scattered with completed crochet spirals
Round 2 complete.

Work 4 dc down side of last L4tr made

a red hook holds one loop of light brown yarn. Behind it on the fabric are four UK double crochet stitches

Work 1 dc in same base as last L4tr cluster, then working around the outer curve of the shell, work *[2 dc], 1 dc* 13 times

double crochet stitches being added to the curving edge of a light brown spiral of Tunisian Crochet
half way through the dc edge of the scrubbie.

Into the st on the very corner of shell, make [2 dc].
Then, Bind Off and sew in ends securely.

The outer edge of a spiral piece of Tunisian Crochet has been completed covered in UK double crochet stitches.
the last [2 dc] in place, ready to be bound off.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!



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Is Tunisian Crochet faster than Regular Crochet?

two hamds hold a large ball of warm yellow yarn on top of a painted white wooden surface. In the right hand is a crochet hook

This is a question I have been asked many, many times.
Which is faster? Which uses more yarn? Do they come out the same size?
I decided to find out once and for all.
Let’s get into it!

Say it with me; “A test is fair if everything about the things being tested is equal, except for one, measurable difference.”
My science teacher in school made us all memorise that little saying.

In layman’s terms it means that if you want to answer any of the above questions, you have to keep everything equal.
You have to use the same yarn, the same hook, do it on the same day, while sitting in the same chair, watching the same Netflix show, and use the same number of stitches for both swatches.

In this test, therefore, the only difference I’ve allowed is the one we’ll be measuring;
One swatch will be using regular, traditional crochet & the other will be composed of Tunisian Crochet.

I’ll be using a 5 mm hook for each swatch, and Aran weight wool/Acrylic blend yarn.
Each swatch will have 15 stitches across, and will be 15 rows tall.

two hands hold a swatch of traditional crochet in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface

This is my Traditional, regular crochet swatch.
It took precisely 13 minutes to complete which – if you want to get technical – means each stitch took me an average of 3.4 seconds to make.
It used a total of 6 grams of yarn
and it measures 10 cm across x 9.5 cm tall.

Sooo close to being a perfect square! So close!

two hands hold a swatch of Tunisian crochet in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface

And this is my Tunisian crochet swatch.
This little lady took a smidge longer to finish, clocking in at 14 minutes, 30 seconds.
With the exact same stitch count as the regular crochet swatch, that means each stitch took me on average 3.8 seconds to make.
It used a total of 7 grams of yarn, and it measures 11 cm across x 11 cm tall.

A perfect square, well done, Tunisian!

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So, in essence, the difference in speed is negligible.
A Tunisian Simple Stitch stitch takes .4 seconds longer to make than a traditional double crochet stitch (US single crochet), but that slightly slower speed could very well be eliminated and reversed if I had chosen to crochet the 255 stitches in the Tunisian swatch on a bigger hook. I found the 5 mm hook a little too small.

Tunisian is a denser fabric, so it’s no surprise that it used a little more yarn, but not nearly as much as I had assumed it would, which was an awesome surprise. The square also came out a little bigger, so when measuring by area, they pretty much work out equal.
So if Tunisian’s reputation as a yarn hog is what’s putting you off, it might be time for a rethink.

hands hold two swatches in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface

Both swatches turned out to be square (though, this Tunisian fan is pleased to see Tunisian come out bang on!)
The fact that both techniques have stitches that are as tall as they are wide makes them infinitely suitable to colourwork and charting using graph paper – and far more versatile than stocking stitch in knitting, which has stitches markedly taller than they are wide.

My conclusion, therefore is that between Tunisian and Regular crochet, the differences in yarn use and time taken are negligible, so feel free to choose the technique that YOU prefer and that’s right for the project you have in mind safe in the knowledge that it’ll all work out well in the end.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


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Getting the MOST out of a Stretchy Crochet Chain

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. A third loop has been added to hook

So, you have your stretchy crochet chain done, right?
And you’re ready to start a new project?
Let’s get into it!

a stretchy chain made of white yarn held over a scrubbed wooden tabletop

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. A black arrow is pointing to the "dip" where your hook should go next.
  • The arrow in the image above is pointing to the hole where the last double crochet (US single crochet) of your stretchy chain was worked. It’s also where your hook is going to go to start off the first row of Tunisian Simple Stitch Fabric in this tutorial.

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. Hook has been inserted into the next chain
  • This is what it looks like when your hook is in place.

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. A Yarn Over has been added to hook
  • Yarn Over like you would for a regular TSS

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. The Yarn Over has been pulled through fabric
  • Draw Yarn Over through (1 TSS on hook).

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. A black arrow indicates the location of the next hole.
  • The arrow is pointing at the next hole along in your stretchy chain.
  • As with the first TSS you made, insert hook in this hole.

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. A third loop has been added to hook
  • Yarn Over, draw through to made a second TSS on your hook.
  • Note: There are three loops on your hook but only two TSS sts because the first loop was there from the beginning of the row.

stretchy chain made from white yarn held over a wooden table. An entire row of lopps have been added to hook.
  • Repeat to end of row.
  • Pick up a final loop in the chain st at the very end of your stretchy chain.

A stretchy chain and one row of Tunisian Simple Stitch made from white yarn held over a wooden table.

Remember, the return pass on a piece of Tunisian Crochet like this is:
YO, pull through 1 loop (to make a chain),
then YO and pull through 2 loops repeatedly, until 1 loop remains on hook.

A stretchy chain and multiple row of Tunisian Simple Stitch made from white yarn held over a wooden table.
  • With a few more rows of TSS in place, the “rolled” edge of the stretchy chain becomes a subtle, but very beautiful feature.
    And hey! No tight edge!

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


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The Ultimate Stretchy Crochet Chain

a stretchy chain made of white yarn held over a scrubbed wooden tabletop

Basic old CHAIN STITCHES don’t stretch!
This is a perennial problem for both Traditional and Tunisian Crochet. But luckily, I’ve found a solution. Here’s how to make a STRETCHY CROCHET CHAIN.

Let’s get right into it!

a black crochet hook is held in the right hand while the left hand holds on to two chain sticthes.
  • With a slip knot and loop already on your hook, make 2 chain stitches

a black hook has been inserted into the first chain, there are two strands of yarn on the hook.
  • Insert hook into chain farthest from hook.

A yarn over has been added to the two strands of yarn on the black crochet hook.
  • Yarn Over

The Yarn Over has been drawn through the first chain, leaving two loops on the black hook
  • Draw loop through chain – 2 loops on hook

a second yarn over has been added to the hook. there are now three loops on the black hook again
  • Yarn Over again.

One loop is left on the hook. a small sticth has been made and is being held in the left hand.
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops on hook – 1 loop on hook
  • (You’ve essentially made a UK dc / US sc st in the first chain)
  • Note: I’ll refer to this as a “double crochet” throughout this tutorial.

a yarn over has been added to the black hook. there are two loops on the hook
  • Yarn Over

a chain stitch sits below the black hook
  • Draw Yarn Over through loop to make a chain stitch

two black arrows point the two strands in the stotch below the chain just made

See these two loops?
The one on the right is part of the V on top of the double crochet just completed.
The one of the left is the SIDE of the same double crochet.
Once you have identified your two loops, carry on to the next step.

a black hook has been inserted into two loops on the previous crochet stitch
  • Insert hook through BOTH loops.

a yarn over adds to the loops on a black hook. there are now four strands of yarn on the hook
  • Yarn Over

two strands of yarn remain on the black crochet hook
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops – 2 loops on hook

an added yarn over takes the loop count to three loops
  • Yarn Over

a crochet stitch sits below a black hook and is held by two hands
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops on hook – 1 loop on hook
  • Double crochet complete.

black arrows superimposed on the photo point to dips in the completed stretchy crochet chain

Alternate between a chain and a double crochet by following steps 7 – 13.
Each full repeat gives you an additional stretchy chain. Always end on a double crochet.

See the little dip indicated by the arrows?
That’s where you’ll insert your hook to make your first row of stitches for your project.