Have you ever considered the tension your yarn is under once it’s been wound into a cake or ball? One of the main reasons yarn is sold in a skein is to preserve its elasticity. So, from the second you wind it, it’s being held at a stretch.
Animal fibres in particular have a gorgeous spring to them. If you stretch them, they snap back on release. This elasticity gives a finished garment a bounce and a wearability that is a pleasure to behold.
But if these fibres are held at their limit for too long, they can lose that elasticity entirely. That’s why you should only wind your skeins when you intend to knit or crochet with them soon after. It’s also why those old balls of donated yarn tend to seem so lifeless – they’ve been held at a stretch for decades. Yikes.
Ball winders and swifts are an amazing piece of kit I believe every crafter should invest in, but there’s a pull between swift and winder, so even they can add tension to a newly-wound skein.
See the two cakes below?
They’re actually the exact same skein. The one on the left has been wound directly from the skein on my swift. The one of the right is the same ball, wound from the first cake into a second, much more relaxed cake.
Look at the size difference! And imagine the tension the first one would have been under had I only wound it once.
So, tell me. Are you kind to your yarn? Do you ever rewind?
And if you haven’t done it before now, have I convinced you to start? I sure hope so! And I bet your yarn will thank you, too!
Oh! And… psst! The yarn I’ve pictured here is a beautiful skein of Ballyhoura Fibre yarn. It’s Cierra’s 4-ply sock in colourway “Pot Pourri”. Watch out for it in a pattern this autumn! You can find the link here: https://www.ballyhourafibres.com/
Ah, Pax. Pax, my beloved Tunisian crochet shawlette.
This is my most popular pattern (as much because I’ve priced it to be accessible to anyone wanting to learn Tunisian lace crochet, as because I kept it complication-free purely to keep the pattern simpler for beginners).
Occasionally, I get questions about it, though, and the majority of them are to do with starting out. Usually, I reply to beginner crocheters’ questions individually, but I thought “How great would it be if I updated Pax with a new photo tutorial?” It is 11 years old at this stage, and could do with sprucing up… so…
If you’ve got a copy of Pax, a crochet hook at the ready, and you’re not sure how to begin, let me help you out.
Today's Yarn, by the way, is Drops Flora.
It's a wool/alpaca blend that I'm currently obsessed with. It's warm, has great stitch definition and a wide range of colourways.
And my hook, as always is a beechwood KnitPro Symfonie - this one's my trusty 5 mm.
Make Some Chains
OK, so the pattern calls for way more chain stitches than this. I’ve made 20 chains here to demonstrate the technique, but you will be making way more when you start your own Pax adventure.
First things first, we need to take a look at our chains. We’re going to skip the chain closest to the hook, and work instead into the second chain along.
Yarn Over on your hook, and draw that Yarn Over back through the chain. This will give you two loops on your hook –
The loop furthest from the hook head was there already.
The loop closest to the hook head is your first Tunisian Simple Stitch.
The Forward Pass
We then do the same for the next chain along.
Important Note for Beginners: We ONLY skip the very first chain in Tunisian crochet. No other chains are skipped from this point on.
Every time we repeat this process, we add a loop to the hook. When we have added ten stitches, we’ll have eleven loops in total (that includes the one that was there from the beginning)
For this tutorial, this completes our “Forward Pass”.
In Tunisian Crochet, we have two “Passes” per row of work. The “Forward Pass” that we have just completed sees loops being added to the hook. The “Return Pass” will see us remove stitches as we work until we are back to one loop on the hook.
Between the Forward and Return Passes in Pax we have an extra dance step to do, and it involves the next chain along on our string of chains.
Working the “Base”
I want you to identify the next chain along, work your hook into it, Yarn Over, and draw a final loop onto your hook. A note on this loop: It is created the exact same way as all the loops before it, but its job is very different. It’s not counted as a stitch because it is, in fact, the base of the column. This will become clear as we work on.
The Return Pass
The Return Pass is easily my favourite bit of this whole process. It require far less concentration and is oddly satisfying.
All you have to do to complete the entire Return Pass is to *Yarn Over on your hook, and draw it through two loops* repeatedly, until you are left with one loop on your hook.
When you’re at that point, you’ve completed your row/column!
As you can make out in the above photo, the row/column we have completed has ten little rung or lines evenly spaced down its length. In the above photo they are vertical, look like little fence posts, and start at my right thumb nail and travel down the fabric to my left thumb nail.
We’re going to use these lines to anchor our second row/column.
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Slide hook through the first of these lines, like a bolt locking a door. We stay on the Right Side of the work for this. There’s no neeed to push through to the Wrong Side at all from hereon in.
Then, same as before, we simply Yarn Over, and draw the yarn over through the line, giving us two loops on the hook.
Then, we find the next line along, and slide the hook through that.
And we do the same thing – Yarn Over, pull through.
Now, it’s just a matter of carrying on down, picking up loops using each of the available lines.
With the Forward Pass complete, we work The Base into the next chain along:
With that taken care of, we get to do the Return Pass for the row/column. That’s *Yarn Over, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop is left on hook.
With another whole row/column complete, this is what you’ll be looking at:
After another few completed rows/columns, you’ll start to notice your dangling chains aren’t so dangly anymore. Each row/column uses up one at its base, and adds some strength to that edge of your shawl and helps ensure the completed shawl blocks into a gentle curve.
I hope this tutorial helps you get started on your own Pax Adventure!
You can find the pattern (using both UK and US crochet terms) here:
And remember, small, independent businesses like mine can only make it work through word of mouth, so leave a review if you liked this pattern, tell a friend if you loved it, and don’t forget to tweet about it too!
It’s hard to imagine, but sometimes, Dear Reader LESS Tunisian Crochet is called for. And in those moments, knowing how to decrease is a boon.
In my Reoite Gloves, we use decreases to add a little shape to the fabric. This ensures that we have a cuff that sits comfortably on the wider part of the arm, as well as a glove that sits snug at the wrist and knuckles with no room for pesky drafts to sneak in.
Here’s how the TSS2tog (Tunisian Simple Stitch 2 together) is made.
Work the pattern up to the point where you need to make a TSS2tog:
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.
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.
I recommend washcloths and/or hats instead. Get those “I made this!” endorphins helping to cheer them on. Scarves, especially all garter stitch affairs, can feel neverending and are a test of an experienced crafters patience let alone a newbie without a love for the process yet
— Síle (she-la) #WearYourMask #BLM (@knit1dance2) May 6, 2021
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:
I made loads of scarves… for myself… and as presents for everyone… excellent early crochet projects…
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!
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
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.
Coaster 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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!)
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!
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!
Looking for an easy Tunisian Crochet gift pattern? Look no further!
If you want to make a handmade gift, but you’re short of time AND yarn, then this nautical-themed, easy Tunisian Crochet gift pattern is just what you need.
Grab some left-over scraps, root out your trusty 5 mm (H) hook and let’s get started!
What Makes This a Good Gift?
Crochet scrubbies are an eco-friendly alternative to cotton circles/make-up removers.
They are infinitely re-usable so they reduce waste.
These scubbies 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.
Make them with a 5 mm (H) hook. You’ll find the free pattern below.
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 Aoibhe Ni as the designer on the label and add my web address (www.YarnTowers.com)
Right, so let’s get stuck in!
Tunisian Crochet Sea Shell Scrubbies
ESSENTIAL PATTERN INFOYarn 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
ss slip stitch
dc double crochet
ch-4 loop chain 4 loop (the loop at the centre of the scrubbie)
- 5 sts stitch count
YO Yarn Over
[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
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.
Make 1 ch, then into the ch-4 loop work 3 dc, (Place a lockable stitch marker in the 1st dc worked. It’ll come in handy later)
1 tr, Note: The treble crochet stitch (US double crochet) you have just completed has a diagonal line of yarn on its surface. This is the Yarn Over you made at the beginning of the stitch.
Work hook into that Yarn Over, then YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook
Examine the st you have just completed. There is a line half way down its length on the Right Side of your work (the “Right Side” is the side facing you).
Work hook into that line, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. Work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook
Making stitches with 2 lines
YO hook, then work hook into the line visible on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook
**Work hook into the Yarn Over from the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. Then work hook into the line visible on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. Work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook** repeat this section one more time.
Making stitches with 3 lines
YO hook, then work hook into the nearest line on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. Then work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook. work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 5 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook
**Work hook into the Yarn Over from the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook Work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 5 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook** repeat this section one more time.
Making stitches with 4 lines
YO hook, then work hook into the nearest line on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook. Then work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook. Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 5 loops on hook. Work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 6 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook
**Work hook into the Yarn Over from the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. Then work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 5 loops on hook Work hook into ch-4 loop, YO and draw up a loop – 6 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook** repeat this section one more time.
Count Your Stitches
Counting Stitches (or Rows) in Tunisian Crochet is very similar to counting them in traditional crochet. Look at the edge of your crochet until you see the tell-tale V-shape that crochet stitches usually have on their tops. Count those around the outer edge of your scrubbie.
Right now, your count should be 15.
Now, it is time to start increasing as we crochet. Increasing will help keep the scrubbie flat and stop it from turning into a bowl shape.
**Work hook into the nearest line on the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. Then work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 3 loops on hook Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 4 loops on hook Work hook into the next line down on previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 5 loops on hook Work hook into the first dc of Round 1 (It’s marked with a lockable stitch marker. Remove marker before continuing), YO and draw up a loop – 6 loops on hook. *YO, draw through 2 loops* repeatedly until 1 loop remains on hook** three times in total
NOTE: This section tells you to work ALL THREE of the above repeats into the FIRST dc st of Round 1. This means the second and third time you pick up a loop in the scrubbie fabric, you will be doing it in the same stitch space as the first repeat.
Once done, your first 3-stitch cluster will be complete.
Using the above instructions as a guide, make the same 3-st cluster in the next 5 stitch spaces along.
Count Your Stitches
Once all 6 of the 3-st clusters are in place, count around the outer edge of your scrubbie. Some stitches from the Round 1 have been covered by the stitches we have worked in Round 2. The covered stitches should not be counted in the total.
Right now, your count should be 27.
Finish off your Crochet Gift.
For the last little section, we revert back to traditional crochet.
You may have noticed, the last Tunisian Crochet stitch you made is always a little loose and wobbly. We are going to fix that now by working some UK double crochet stitches (That’s a single crochet in the US) into the edge of our stitch to fill it out and give it some strength.
Adding Double Crochet Stitches to your Tunisian Crochet Fabric
Work hook into the nearest line on the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. YO and draw through 2 loops – 1 loop on hook. That’s our first double crochet complete.
*Work hook into the next line on the previous st, YO and draw up a loop – 2 loops on hook. YO and draw through 2 loops – 1 loop on hook* repeat this two more times
Count Your Stitches
Laid out behind your hook, on the edge of your Tunisian Crochet, you will see a line of V-shapes. Count those. You should have 4 in total.
Complete your Tunisian Crochet Gift
Work 1 dc into the corner that is directly in front of your hook. (There is a hole right in that corner that was made by the last 4-st cluster you worked. That’s an ideal spot of use.)
Then, working around the outer curve of the shell, work *[2 dc], 1 dc* 13 times
Into the st on the very corner of shell, make [2 dc]. Then, Bind Off and sew in ends securely.
Did you enjoy this easy Tunisian Crochet gift pattern tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
I’ve wondered for years if Tunisian Crochet is faster than regular crochet. 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.
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!
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!
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.
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!