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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Tip: Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian (also known as Afghan) Crochet has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity.  The best way to describe it is to say that it is a cross between crocheting and knitting.  You still use just one hook, but it is as long as a knitting needle.  You pull up and keep loops on the hook for one row, then, without turning, you pull yarn through two loops at a time, similar to casting off, to create another row.

This technique tends to produce a fabric that resembles weaving and that is thick and sturdy (meaning not very flexible and drapey, though there are ways to add a little more drape and movement to the fabric), though there are Tunisian stitches that are lacier.

In some ways, it's an easier technique for beginners to learn because it's easier to see where the loops and stitches are, and the movements required are more uniform and repetitive.

And, in case you're wondering when and where Tunisian crochet came about, well, no one knows! Some historians think it evolved from the ‘hook knitting’ of Egypt, Afghanistan, and Tunisia, which uses two long needles with hooked ends, but it's not clear. In fact, no samples of this crochet technique have been found that predate the twentieth century. Most people believe the French coined the term "Tunisian crochet" because instructions for pieces using the technique appear in Europe around the same time as standard crochet, in the mid-nineteenth century.

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