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Sewing up your colourwork mittens


You have all your three mitten bits made, and it’s time to sew them all together.

Here’s how I did it:

First Things First

Weave in your ends and block your pieces.
Tunisian Crochet fabric has a tendency to curl, you may have noticed.
Tunisian Knit stitch is renowned for this feature. And as we’re working a pretty dense fabric for our mittens, that curl can be quite enthusiastic.

So blocking before you sew will ensure your panels behave (and look) far better.

All blocked and ready to rock!


With Wrong Sides facing in on Panels 1 & 2, seam up thumb side of wrist from Row 1 – Row 24 with Main Colour

Starting at the cuff, use a top / whip stitch to seam up edge of cuff.
Stop sewing when you complete the horizontal stripes.
I like to add a few extra stitches to the last stripe to reinforce the edge.
First seam complete. Gorgeous!

Adding The Thumb

Then, with wrong sides still facing in, align marked st on thumb with top of wrist seam.
Seam side of thumb with left Panel for 15 (17/19) sts.

Fold thumb in half lengthways and seam up edges to tip of thumb.

Use a whip / Top stitch for a flat thumb seam
weave a strand of yarn in and out around tip of thumb
pull firmly to close hole

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Finishing Up

Beginning at top of wrist seam again, seam other side of thumb with other Panel for 15 (17/19) sts.

Begin sewing where indicated above.
continue seaming around edge of glove, and down other side of cuff.

Weave all your ends in, and you’re done!

One of the beautiful things about this method of construction is that it is infinitely adaptable.

If you find your hand fits better in a Large glove, but you thumb finds a Large thumb too roomy, you can down size to suit you. Similarly, if your thumb is larger than the mitten size that fits, you can shift that around too.

There is no need to rip back all your work to the base of the thumb and re-do it all. You just need to whip yourself up a new thumb and lash that on in.
Super!


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A reverse TSS2tog for a neater mitten


Tunisian Crochet has a symmetry problem, insofar as it has none.

You may have noticed that each row’s stitches are drawn from the last row’s stitches by pulling them out of the fabric on the side of your dominant hand. This barely matters when we’re working a large piece, or when a slight shift to the right or left can’t be noticed, but for colourwork, especially colourwork that contains decreases, it becomes pretty clear pretty fast.

My mitten designs include TSS2tog decreases towards the finger tips that help reduce the number of stitches, drawing the mitten tip to a pretty point. But, as they are colourwork mittens, the decreases pose a problem;
while the decrease on the right of my fabric (my dominant side) looks lovely and neat, the one on the left gets all bitty and jagged.

Booooooo.

Compare the photos below to see what I mean:

The pink line on the left is made with regular TSS2tog sts and is jagged and broken as a result
The pink line on the left is made with a reversed TSS2tog and is neat and solid as a result


What we’re going to do in this tutorial is work the first TSS2tog as normal. No point in fiddling with perfection, right?

Then we’re going to use a blunt-ended darning needle (a bodkin) to simulate a TSS2tog in the opposite direction.
Hold on to your hats, people. Things are about to get weird!

The First TSS2tog

Firstly, we’re going to work 1 TKS in yellow which is our Main Colour (MC), and then the first TSS2tog on the row in pink, our Contrast Colour (CC).

Make 1 TKS with Main Colour (MC)
Push hook TSS-wise through the next 2 sts, then YO with CC
Draw CC through both sts.
(1 TSS2tog made)

After that, we’re going to work TKS sts across to within 3 sts of the end.
Don’t forget to catch your floats!


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Reverse TSS2tog

Here’s where our trusty bodkin comes into play.

Draw both strands to the front of the hook
Thread CC onto a bodkin
sew bodkin through next two sts in same direction as hook is pointing
Pull CC through fabric.
Remove bodkin.
Return both strands to back of fabric
Place CC loop on hook.
Tighten CC loop.
Work final MC TKS st and draw up a final loop in chain

Work return pass as normal.

After a few rows of this malarkey, you’ll see the effect of your reverse TSS2tog stitches.
So smooth!


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Make your Ogham Mitten UNIQUE!

Ogham (either pronounced OW-am or OG-am, depending on who you ask), is a native Irish writing system that is all of 2,000 years old.

It’s impossible now at such a remove to know exactly what it was most used for, but many of our surviving examples are carved into standing stones. A large number of those stones mark ancient boundaries between kingdoms, so the thought is that they were basically signs used to lay claim to certain tracts of land in the really early Medieval / Pre-Christian period in Ireland.

Ogham is a script made entirely of lines cut across a central spine, and is similar in many ways to Nordic Runes.

The Ogham script featured on my pattern sample is my name!
A O I B H E is spelt out from cuff to finger tip, but I’m happy to say YOU get to choose what you’d like to put on your gloves to make them personal to you. Below, you will find a full alphabet (in Ogham order, rather than Aplbhabetical) and in the pattern you’ll find a blank chart so you can make your mittens absolutely unique.

All I ask is that you spell your words from bottom to top, like the ancient Irish did. 😉

Getting Charting

On your mitten you have a maximum of 37 lines.
As some letters use up more space than others, I have added a line count to the side of each letter’s chart, so you can plot accordingly.

Some letters you may expect to see don’t exist in Ogham.
Y, for instance, and V – but those can be represented well with close alternatives. In those cases, I have labelled the alphabet above with both variations, so you can make the best guess.


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All you have to do now is decide with you wanna write, then print out the blank chart in your pattern, and add your letters in pencil.



Got a long name, or lots to say?


Luckily, Ogham can be used both letter-for-letter, or phonetically.
So, a name like Jennifer can be condensed down to “Gnfr”, and still be totally Ogham-legit.


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Duplicate Stitch / Swiss Darning


So, there you are, humming along, row after glorious row of Tunisian Crochet colourwork tumbling off your hook, and you pause for a moment to admire your progress.
And that’s when you notice it.

“Oh god. I have a stitch out of place”.

Worse still, it didn’t just happen. It was the result of a momentary lapse in concentration two days ago! ack!

And you’re left with an unenviable question; “Do I frog, or do I live with it?”
Neither option is very satisfying is it?

But luckily, my Mam taught me a third option when I was barely old enough to hold a pair of knitting needles. She called it “Swiss Darning”, which I think sounds elegant and fancy. I’ve heard it more commonly called “Duplicate stitch” these days, which has the virtue of being clear and descriptive.
Whatever you chose to call it, trust me, you’ll be singing its praises.

Here’s how it works:


Examine your fabric and identify the problem
There should be white horizontal stitches to the left, and the white lines to the right should be one stitch shorter.

Thread a blunt needle (a bodkin) with a strand of the yarn you’re using.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find a blunt needle, use a regular sharp darning needle and sew backwards with it. Be careful not to jab yourself, though!

In this case, I’m using Drops Flora in Denim Blue.

Getting Started

Secure your yarn at the back of your work. This will save you from accidentally sewing through your tail and making a mess of the wrong side of your fabric.

Bring bodkin to front of work at base of the stitch you wish to hide. Pull yarn through to front.
Push bodkin under next stitch up. Make sure bodkin passes cleanly thorugh BOTH strands of the stitch.
Draw yarn through stitch. Half of the white stitch is now hidden.
Clever, huh?
Push bodkin back though the base of the white stitch.
Pull yarn to back of work. Hey presto!

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I repeated the process on the next two horizontal lines above, and then I got to fixing the missing white stitches on the left side of the work, too.

Bring bodkin to front of work at base of the stitch you wish to hide. Pull yarn through to front.
Push bodkin under next stitch up. Make sure bodkin passes cleanly thorugh BOTH strands of the stitch.
Draw yarn through stitch. Half of the blue stitch is now hidden.
Push bodkin back though the base of the blue stitch.
Pull yarn to back of work. And we have a white stitch where once there was a blue one!

Far better than all that frogging and cursing, am I right?

Oh, hey! And, this also works for knitting, too.
In fact, it was originally developed to add small colourowork detail to stocking stitch knitted fabric… so if you’re a knitter with basic skills, you’ve now learnt a fantastic way of sprucing up your knit stitches too!


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Catching Floats in Tunisian Crochet Stranded Colourwork – Part 1


A note or two on this exercise:
1. Don’t be alarmed by the giant bull clip on the end of my fabric! It’s just there to counter this thick fabric’s tendency to curl.
2. The middle (Yellow) block of colour is where we will be catching floats.
3. I started with 15 chains and worked a few rows of 13 TSS before I got stuck into the stranded colourwork TKS section

In this example I have worked a few individual stitches before we get to the float-catching section of the exercise.
These are worked using alternating yarns like so:

A. Insert hook TKS-wise into 1st st, Yarn Over with Main Colour (MC) and pull loop through onto hook – 2 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with Main Colour & pull yarn through fabric

B. Insert hook TKS-wise into 2nd st, Yarn Over with Contrast Colour (CC) and pull loop through onto hook – 3 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with Contrast Colour (CC) & pull yarn through fabric

C. Insert hook TKS-wise into 3rd st, Yarn Over with MC and pull loop through onto hook – 4 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
Yarn Over with MC & pull yarn through fabric

Here’s the lay of the land right now:

Exercise 1 – Catching Contrast Colour Floats on the Forward Pass.

Are you ready?

We will be crocheting with MC and “catching” the CC yarn as a “float”.
The resulting stitch will be MC (yellow) but the back of the st will have the strand of CC (pink) running through it.

insert hook TKS-wise into next stitch
Yarn Over with CC
Yarn Over with MC
return CC to back of fabric
draw MC through fabric

The next MC st along can be completed as usual.

insert hook TKS-wise into next stitch
Yarn Over with MC
Draw Yarn Over through fabric

There is no need to catch a float with every single stitch.
Usually, I just catch every even-numbered stitch in a block of colour. You may choose to do it less frequently if you prefer, but if you are making mittens, I recommend you catch your floats pretty frequently so they don’t snag on wiggly fingers or chipped nails.

Once you’ve worked across the colour block, continue by working a TKS with CC, a TKS with MC and draw up a final loop in chain with MC.
Your hook will look like this:


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Exercise 2 – Catching Main Colour Floats on the Return Pass.

To begin, work the following:
With MC, YO and draw yarn through 1 loop, YO and draw loop through 2 loops.
With CC, YO and draw yarn through 2 loops.
With MC, YO and draw yarn through 2 loops.

That’ll get us here:

Now, luckily, the Return Pass floats are caught with the exact same motions as the Forward Pass floats.
Let’s go through it visually:

Yarn over with CC
With CC still on hook,
Yarn Over with MC
return CC to back of fabric, and then draw CC through 2 loops

The next stitch is worked as normal:

Yarn Over hook
Draw Yarn Over through two loops

Again, as with the Forward Pass, you don’t need to do this every single stitch, but I recommend you at least do it every few stitches. I catch my return pass floats every second stitch when I’m working mittens.

From this point on, the rule is as follows: Yarn Over with the colour that is displayed SECOND from the hook.
In the case of the photo below, the next Yarn Over would be CC (Pink):

When complete, this is what the Right Side will look like:

As for the Wrong Side?
Aaah, look at all those lovely caught floats!


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Catching Floats in Tunisian Crochet Stranded Colourwork – Part 2

A note or two on this exercise:

  1. Don’t be alarmed by the giant bull clip on the end of my fabric! It’s just there to counter this thick fabric’s tendency to curl.
  2. The middle (Pink) block of colour is where we will be catching floats.
  3. I started with 15 chains and worked a few rows of 13 TSS before I got stuck into the stranded colourwork TKS section

A. Insert hook TKS-wise into 1st st, Yarn Over with Main Colour (MC) and pull loop through onto hook – 2 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with Main Colour & pull yarn through fabric

B. Insert hook TKS-wise into 2nd st, Yarn Over with Contrast Colour (CC) and pull loop through onto hook – 3 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with Contrast Colour (CC) & pull yarn through fabric

C. Insert hook TKS-wise into 3rd st, Yarn Over with MC and pull loop through onto hook – 4 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with MC & pull yarn through

D. Insert hook TKS-wise into 4th st, Yarn Over with CC and pull loop through onto hook – 5 loops on hook.

snuggle hook under bar
push out to back of fabric
yarn over with CC & pull yarn through

Here’s the lay of the land right now:

from right to left:
Loop on hook at the beginning (Main Colour), TKS (MC), TKS (Contrast Colour), TKS (MC), TKS (CC)

Exercise 1 – Catching Main Colour Floats on the Forward Pass.

This is where it gets fun!

We will be crocheting with CC and “catching” the MC yarn as a “float”.
The resulting stitch will be CC (pink) but the back of the st will have the strand of MC (yellow) running through it.

insert hook as for TKS (see above)
bring MC to front of fabric
Yarn Over with CC
return MC to back of fabric
add a little tension to MC and then draw CC through fabric

The next CC st along can be completed as usual.

insert hook TKS-wise into next stitch, and Yarn Over with CC
draw Yarn Over through fabric

There is no need to catch a float with every single stitch.
Usually, I just catch every even-numbered stitch in a block of colour. You may choose to do it less frequently if you prefer, but if you are making mittens, I recommend you catch your floats pretty frequently so they don’t snag on wiggly fingers or chipped nails.

Once you’ve worked across the colour block your hook will look like this:

the little blips of yellow you can see through the pink stitches are the floats I have caught. They are really only visible here because I have used a slightly bigger hook than recommended for this yarn so you can see clearly what I’m doing. Those blips are far less visible when you’re working with the correct hook size for your tension.

Working the end of the row will leave us with this layout on our hook:


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Exercise 2 – Catching Main Colour Floats on the Return Pass.

To begin, work the following:
With MC, YO and draw yarn through 1 loop, YO and draw loop through 2 sts.
With CC, YO and draw yarn through 2 loops.
With MC, YO and draw yarn through 2 loops.
With CC, YO and draw yarn through 2 loops .

That’ll get us here:

Now, luckily, the Return Pass floats are caught with the exact same motions as the Forward Pass floats.
Let’s go through it visually:

bring MC to front of fabric
Yarn Over with CC
return MC to back of fabric, and then draw CC through 2 loops

The next stitch is worked as normal:

Yarn Over with CC
draw Yarn Over through 2 loops

Again, as with the Forward Pass, you don’t need to do this every single stitch, but I recommend you at least do it every few stitches. I catch my return pass floats every second stitch when I’m working mittens.

From this point on, the rule is as follows: Yarn Over with the colour that is displayed SECOND from the hook.
In the case of the photo below, the next Yarn Over would be MC (Yellow):

When complete, this is what the Right Side will look like:

As for the Wrong Side?
Aaah, look at all those lovely caught floats!


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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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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.

Ugh.

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.

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!


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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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