Tunisian Crochet – All The Facts, Tips & Tricks – Complete Guide

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

There’s a yarn craft combining crochet and knitting! Read my Tunisian crochet guide. With this crocheting technique, you make textiles that imitate knitting.

Tunisian Crochet Feat Img

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on April 14, 2023.

Table Of Contents

What Is Tunisian Crochet?

Tunisian crochet is a needlecraft merging knitting and crochet. (Pronounced tyoo-ni-zee-uhn crochet in the UK and Australia, and too-nee-zhn crochet in the USA.) Knitters and crocheters find something of their craft in Tunisian crochet. Where did it come from? No one knows!

It first appeared in print in 1884 in a book ‘The Dictionary of Needlework.’ Tunisian crochet’s popularity didn’t return until the 1960s.



What Is The Difference Between Crochet And Tunisian Crochet?

Tunisian crochet curls more than regular crochet. Regular crochet is stretchy. Tunisian crochet uses a longer hook up to 14″ long. Regular crochet hooks are shorter and around 6″ long.

Tunisian Crochet: Work the stitches on two passes, the forward pass and return pass. Traditional Crochet: Flip the work at the end of the row.

What Is The Difference Between Tunisian And Afghan Crochet?

They’re the same. People used to call Tunisian crochet “Afghan crochet” or “Afghan stitch” before the 1970s, but people interchange the two. Afghan crochet is a group of crochet stitches within Tunisian.

Tunisian Crochet Feat Img

How To Tunisian Crochet

Here’s a list of things you’ll need.

  • Tunisian crochet hook. (Refer to your pattern)
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure or ruler
  • Darning needle to weave in the ends

Regarding the size of the hook, check the yarn label. Here are the most common Tunisian stitches with free crochet tutorials.



How-To: Tunisian Simple Crochet Stitch

This Tunisian crochet stitch is the most basic of stitches. (Abbreviated as Tss or also known as Afghan stitch.) Learn how to do it in this video tutorial by B.Hooked Crochet.

Refer written instructions? Read on for doing a Tunisian simple stitch. Start with crochet chains (aka a foundation row or foundation chain). Once you’ve done the foundation row, now turn it into a Tunisian stitch. The Tunisian simple stitch comprises the forward and back pass.

Always keep the yarn behind the fabric.

Forward Pass

  • Ignore the first vertical bar
  • *Insert hook under the next vertical bar
  • Do a yarn over
  • Draw up a loop
  • Repeat from *
  • Keep the loops you create on your hook

Reverse Pass



  • Make a yarn over
  • Draw it through one loop on your hook
  • *Yarn over again
  • Draw through 2 loops on your hook
  • Repeat from * until only one loop remains on the hook

Congratulations! You’ve completed one row of the Tunisian simple stitch. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. Watch your Tunisian crochet fabric grow.

How-To: Tunisian Full Stitch

Textured, thick, fluffy. This is a gorgeous, warm stitch. Video Tutorial by TL Yarn Crafts.

How-To: Tunisian Knit Stitch

Is this stitch knitted or Tunisian crocheted? Aka Tunisian Stockinette stitch. It creates a fabric like stockinette (vertical bars)! Start with a foundation chain. This ‘knit’ stitch looks like knitting on the front, but you’ll see a difference. Video tutorial by the American Crochet Association.

How-To: Tunisian Purl Stitch

This stitch looks like a knitted purl stitch. Video tutorial by The Crochet Crowd.

Tunisian Crochet In The Round

Here’s an excellent tutorial for working in the round with the simple stitch. Video tutorial by Designs by Phanessa.



How To Read Tunisian Crochet Patterns

Here are the Tunisian crochet abbreviations.

US & UK TermsUK Terms
Tunisian simple stitch
tss
Tunisian simple stitch
tss
Tunisian full stitch
tfs
Tunisian full stitch
tfs
Tunisian single crochet
tsc
Tunisian Double Crochet
tdc
Tunisian half double crochet
thdc
Tunisian Half Treble Crochet
thtc
Tunisian double crochet
tdc
Tunisian treble crochet
ttr
forward pass
FwP
forward pass
FwP
return pass
RetP
return pass
RetP
extended simple stitch
etss
extended simple stitch
etss
Tunisian knit stitch
tks
Tunisian knit stitch
tks
Tunisian purl stitch
tps
Tunisian purl stitch
tps
Tunisian slip stitch
tslst
Tunisian slip stitch
tslst
Tunisian twisted
ttw
Tunisian twisted
ttw
Tunisian reverse stitch
trs
Tunisian reverse stitch
trs

How Many Tunisian Crochet Stitches Are There?

There are over 400 Tunisian crochet stitches. You don’t need all, but here are the common crochet stitches Tunisian.

1 Simple Stitch (aka Afghan Stitch) Tunisian Crochet Stitch: Makes a stretchy, opaque woven fabric. The wrong side is bumpy and looks like the knitted purl stitch.

2 Full Stitch Tunisian Crochet Stitch: Thick, warm… what more could you ask for in a fabric? This stitch is excellent for winter garments, like scarves. The finished fabric is reversible.

3 Tunisian Knit Stitch Tunisian Crochet Stitch: Flip the ‘knitted’ fabric and there’s a difference from a knitted piece.



4 Tunisian Purl Stitch Tunisian Crochet Stitch: Compare a knitted and Tunisian purl stitch, and you’ll see a difference. This is great if you don’t like knitting, but you want to make a purl stitch.

More Tunisian Crochet Stitches:

  • Reverse Stitch
  • Ocean Stitch
  • Top Stitch (aka Bump Stitch)
  • Basketweave Stitch
  • Smock Stitch
  • Popcorn Stitch
  • Tunisian Lace
  • Mesh Stitch
  • Honeycomb Stitch
  • 2×2 Rib
  • Tunisian Double Crochet

Tunisian Crochet Hook

What Is A Tunisian Crochet Hook?

A Tunisian crochet hook is long. Hook at one end, and stopper at the other. Tunisian or ‘Afghan’ crochet hooks are ideal for holding many stitches.

Good examples: Clover Tunisian Hooks, Boye Tunisian Hooks, Susan Bates Afghan Hooks, and Addi Tunisian Hooks

Can You Use A Regular Crochet Hook For Tunisian Crochet?

Yes, but only for small projects. The more there are, the harder fitting stitches on a regular hook is. Tunisian crochet hooks are longer and have stoppers at the ends. It’s easier for the hook to hold more stitches.



Tunisian Free Crochet Patterns

Here are recommendations for free Tunisian crochet patterns.

Note: Purl Soho haven’t released any Tunisian patterns.

Tunisian Crochet Afghan

Here are great patterns for Tunisian crochet afghans.

Sweet Gingham Baby Blanket Video Tutorial by TL Yarn Crafts

Daydream: A Simple Striped Tunisian Crochet Blanket by One Dog Woof: Here are crochet designer and blogger Chiwei’s video tutorial of how to do the simple stitch (the most common of Tunisian crochet stitches.)



Here is a related video tutorial on how to change colors in Tunisian Crochet.

Honestly Easy Tunisian Crochet Afghan by AllFreeCrochet: An easy, quick weekend project using contrasting color bulky yarn.

FAQs About Tunisian Crocheting

Is Tunisian Crochet Easy?

Yes! Use an easy-to-follow video tutorial. Mastering basic Tunisian crochet techniques make other stitches easier to learn.

What Is Tunisian Crochet Used For?

Make anything with Tunisian crochet. Socks to hats, shawls to cardigans.

Does Tunisian Crochet Use More Yarn?

Compared to knitting, Tunisian crochet uses more yarn, especially when using a bulky yarn weight.



Is Tunisian Crochet Difficult?

Not! You don’t need any experience in knitting or crochet. Learn the Tunisian style even if you’ve never used yarn, a hook or needle.

Why Is It Called Tunisian Crochet?

It’s hard to discern why. People used to only call it Afghan crochet. It’s a mystery why they chose ‘Tunisian.’

How Do You Finish Tunisian Crochet?

To cast off, end with one loop on your hook after the return pass. Arunima from KnitterKnotter explains it in her video tutorial.

Is Tunisian Crochet Faster Than Knitting?

Yes, Tunisian crochet is faster, but only if you’re experienced. As a beginner, you’ll go slow.

Why Does My Tunisian Crochet Curl?

Everyone who does Tunisian crochet gets curled fabric.



How Do I Stop My Tunisian Crochet From Curling?

Here are simple methods to reduce the curl.

  • 1 Block It!: This removes the curling. Here‘s my article about blocking a piece.
  • 2 Seam It!: Seaming the ends together of a finished project removes the curling. Sewing together a scarf? It makes a curl-free infinity scarf.
  • 3 Go Up 2 Hook Sizes: Use a hook size two sizes up from the one your yarn or pattern calls for. If your pattern says US hook size D/3, change it to a US size F/5.
  • 4 Loosen It!: Relax your tension. It’ll still curl, but not as much as a tight tension.

What Can I Make With Tunisian Crochet?

Things to make with Tunisian crochet: Afghans, headbands, dishcloths, boot cuffs, hats, shawls, baby booties, cowls, baby blankets, sweaters, scarves, pillows, bags, beanies, and blankets.

How Do You Make A Tunisian Crochet Dishcloth?

Here are Tunisian crochet dishcloth/washcloth video tutorials.

Basic Brittany Video Tutorial By B.Hooked

Tunisian Shaker Dishcloths Video Tutorial by VeryPink Knits

Simple Stitch Washcloth Video Tutorial by The Crochet Crowd

Conclusion

Now you’ve finished reading, you have the info you need to start a Tunisian crochet project. Choose a small crochet Tunisian project like a dishcloth. Work your way up to challenging projects like patterned blankets and sweaters. Good luck!

Pin For Later

Tunisian Crochet Pin

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Crochet Penguin

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

[email protected] | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother, she fell in love with crocheting after her first child was born. When she’s not crocheting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online crochet community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on socials.

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Banish your crochet dilemmas: discover your next masterpiece in just 7 mins. Get 12 hand-curated designs, 6 invaluable tips, and 6 pieces of inspiring crochet art delivered to you every Thursday.

Comments

  1. Hello. I’ve absolutely loved Tunisian Crochet since I was taught it in the mid 1960s. Of course, at that time, I was told it was called Afghan Crochet.

    I was taught it by a woman who was in her 70s at the time. She gave me 2 different sizes of Afghan Hooks and 3 pattern books that were from the 1920s.

    Back then, I could never find any other patterns for this style of crochet. The books only showed five or six different types of stitches and all the patterns were for afghans. Most of the afghans were crossed stitched with some type of flower pattern once the crochet work was completed. At the time, I assumed the main purpose of making an afghan in this style was to create a finished afghan that had a texture that was perfect for doing counted cross stitch to embellish it.

    For decades, I never found any patterns for this type of crochet. About all that I ever found was an afghan hook available for sale in a store once every couple years. When I would buy the hook, often times an employee would ask me what it was used for.

    Then, one day, I was in a yarn store and seen a number of books for sale with Tunisian Crochet patterns. I had never heard the term, but could tell from the photos on the cover that they were patterns for what I called Afghan Crochet.

    I was overjoyed after decades of only using the three books that had been given to me that I had more pattern choices than I could have ever dreamed of having. As an added bonus, I learned there were a large number and variety of stitches using this method that I didn’t know existed.

    Now, with the internet at my fingertips, I will be forever grateful that this style of crochet has made such a huge comeback and is readily accessible and available.

    Thanks so much for sharing your information.

    Reply
    • Hi Laurie. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. How wonderful that you were able to find more patterns to expand your crocheting loves. Please share with us your favorite stitch designs, and a couple of patterns you would recommend to try out if you were new to Tunisian Crochet. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • The Harmony guide to crochet stitches available on Amazon is about the best to use. It has Tunisian crochet stitches in the back of it plus any other crochet pattern in the front can be used in Tunisian Crochet.

      Reply
        • I have never learnt Tunisian crochet before as I am new to it I am mainly a knitter . I have tried tradition normal crochet but struggled and lost hope in that as I wasn’t t getting the hang of it even after a few years of trying and failing.

          Reply
          • I hope you love Tunisian Crochet Juliet! It creates such a wonderful fabric. I find with anything new, I’ve just got to keep practicing, knowing that I’ll eventually get the hang of it. I hear you with your traditional crochet struggles. I believe all of us experience trying and failing. It’s part of learning so be kind to yourself in this new venture of Tunisian Crochet. All the best and I highly recommend Toni Lipsey’s tutorials, they’re super helpful. Cheers Jodie

    • Hi Vicky. Thanks so much for letting me know about Kim Guzman’s resources on Tunisian crochet. I’m off to take a look. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
  2. To stop afghan from rolling use a double hooked tunsian hooked also called a crohook. When you pull yarn through stitches from opposite end picked up stitches will stop rolling

    Reply
  3. Hi I’ve enjoyed Tunisian Crochet since 1983. I find I can take the amount of stitches from a knitting pattern for a garment. If you can read a Fair Isle chart use for sweaters, scarves. Graphs used for Xst can be designed for baby blankets eg football blankets as something different.

    Reply
    • Hi Lynn. That sounds amazing! You are very clever to be able to do all that with Tunisian Crochet. Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • That’s great to hear Teri! What are you making with rafia yarn? I’m sure my readers would love to hear more. Cheers Jodie

      Reply

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