FREE pattern: Teardrops Chunky Cowl


Chunky goodness! This pattern was a joy to work and it kept me company during all those train rides and lonely hotel nights. I liked it so much I started another one right after I finished the first! I am obsessive like that 😛

It uses just two tunisian stitches, simple stitch and double stitch which is just a variation of the first really. It uses a really big hook so I do recommend using the ones with the extension, I am not even sure they have sizes this big for the normal long tunisian hooks.


I really like the contrasting colours for both cowls, they use different yarns and I explain the difference later on. I think it would look great with grey and a nice neon colour 🙂

The seams are hidden inside the cowl so that they are not visible, and the best thing is that you DON’T HAVE TO WEAVE IN ANY ENDS!

Enjoy 😉

Teardrops Chunky Cowl Pattern


This tunisian crochet pattern is worked flat and then folded and sown to make it double. The inside of the fabric is therefore not shown so there is no need to weave ends since they can be left inside. It uses only two stitches and it works up very quickly.

I have two widths available depending on the type of chunky yarn you use, some are denser than others. If your yarn is approx. 100 mt per 100g then you will chain less stitches, if your yarn is closer to 140 mt per 100g then you can make your cowl wider with the same amount of yarn in grams.

If you don’t know how to work tunisian simple stitch or how to change colours at the beginning of the forward pass please refer to my tutorials page where you will find all you need to work this pattern, including how to read my tunisian crochet tutorials.


The cowl in the denser yarn (barley and green) measures 34cm wide when worked flat (17cm finished width once folded) and is 80 cm long.

The grey/royal blue cowl is worked in a lighter chunky yarn and it measures 42cm when worked flat (21cm finished width once folded) and is also 80cm long.

For both I used 2 x 100g balls of the background colour, only a few grams left. You will need only one 100g ball for the contrasting colour.

For the grey/royal cowl I got a smaller gauge which meant that I obtained the same length with less amount of rows, I recommend you simply work as many as you can while following the pattern.


You can choose between the following yarns:

  • Woolyknit Lofty Chunky: This is a denser yarn with approx. 100m/100gr
    • 2 x 100g balls in Barley (used all 200g) – Colour A
    • 1 x 100g ball in Olive (used 50g) – Colour B
    • Gauge: 11 sts and 1o rows in 10cm x 10cm worked in pattern.


  • Stylecraft Special Chunky: This is a lighter chunky yarn, with approx. 140m/100gr
    • 2 x 100g balls in Silver – Colour A
    • 1 x 100g ball in Royal – Colour B
    • Gauge: 10 sts and 9 rows in 10cm x 10cm worked in pattern.

You will also need:

  • 9mm tunisian crochet hook 30cm long or with extension
  • Needle to sew edges together (if you prefer it instead of slip stitch)


ch – chain

st – stitch

Tss – tunisian simple stitch

Tdc – tunisian double crochet

lp – loop(s)

sl st – slip stitch

yo – yarn over

end st – last stitch of forward pass (see stitch guide below)

Stitch Guide

Foundation Row – Forward Pass: Chain number of stitches needed. Skip first chain, insert hook under back strand of next chain, yarn over and pull up a loop. Repeat until last chain.

Return Pass: Yarn over pull through one loop on hook, (yarn over and pull through two loops on hook) until you have one loop left on hook.

Last stitch of any forward pass (End st): Insert hook under last vertical bar and strand behind it, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss): Insert hook from right to left under next front vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Tunisian Double Crochet (Tdc): Yarn over, insert hook from right to left under next from vertical bar (as in Tss), yarn over and pull through two loops on hook. For this pattern you will work Tdc one row below than where you would usually work it.

To change colours at the start of next forward pass: work previous return pass normally until you have two loops left on your hook. Drop old colour and pick up new colour, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook.

Slip st as in Tss: Insert hook from right to left under next front vertical bar, pull through two loops on hook.

Slip st End st: Insert hook under last vertical bar and strand behind it, yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.


There are only a few differences in the pattern for each cowl. The grey one is wider and has less amount of rows than the barley one. I will write the pattern for the barley/olive cowl and will note any differences in a parenthesis for the grey/royal blue one.

With A chain 35 (40). Work foundation forward pass, you should have 35 (40) st, each loop in the hook counts as a st. Work return pass.

Row 1: Skip first vertical bar, Tss in next st and each st across until last st, work End st. Work return pass.

Row 2 – 3: Repeat Row 1.

Row 4: Skip first vertical bar, Tss in next st and each st across until last st, work End st. Work return pass, change to B at the end of return pass. No need to cut yarns, you can carry it along on the back.

Row 5: Skip first vertical bar, Tss in next 2 st, 2Tdc one row below, *3 Tss, 2Tdc one row below, repeat from * until last four sts, Tss in next 3 sts, Tdc one row below, work End st. Work return pass, change to A at the end of return pass. No need to cut the yarn, you can carry it along on the back.

Row 6: Repeat Row 1.

Row 7 – 66 (7 – 60): Repeat Rows 1 to 6.

Row 67 – 71 (61 -65): Repeat Rows 1 to 5.

Row 72 (66): Skip first vertical bar, slip st as in Tss in next st and each st across until last st, slip st End st.

Fold the fabric lengthways so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing you and sew in the long edge to make a tube. You can use slip st or any other joining method you like. Turn the fabric over so that the right side is facing (make sure all the ends remain inside the tube) and close the tube to turn it into a cowl by sewing both edges together. You will be sewing one circumference against another so that you end up with something like a donut (I am not sure I am making any sense so please ask if you are totally lost!). Don’t sew the four layers together or you won’t be able to hide the seams on the inside of the cowl when you are wearing it. You can see the seam in the picture below.


If you have any questions, please ask 🙂 Hope you give it a try!




How to read my tunisian crochet patterns

Toreador Wrap
Toreador FREE pattern

Hi everyone, I wanted to do a quick post about my tunisian crochet patterns and make sure there is no confusion when following them. Unlike normal crochet, tunisian patterns are not widely available or known, and it can be a bit different to follow.

If you have followed my tutorials or if you are familiar with tunisian crochet you will know by now that there is this thing called the “undefined row”. Whenever you are working tunisian crochet, if you can see X rows in total, you will have X-1 rows defined with a certain stitch pattern and one last row undefined. This makes following tunisian patterns a bit confusing: “If I can see ten rows in my work (nine defined rows and one undefined), do I work the instruction for Row 10 or 11?”

I will clear this regarding my patterns. I did a bit of research and this is the most common way I have found to write tunisian patterns.

First, I will always begin with a foundation row, and then I will continue with “Row 1”. Now, you might say, “Wait… isn’t the foundation row the first row?” Well, technically yes but not yet… and it all comes down to that undefined row. When you finish your foundation row for any pattern you will have a “row” but this won’t be any particular stitch. It is only on the next row that you will define that row, which will be indeed the first row of your pattern, which is why the instruction says “Row 1”.

So… whenever you are following one of my patterns the instruction for, let’s say Row 3, will be the instruction which will define Row 3 of your pattern as a certain stitch, and by the time you are finished with it you will have 4 rows: 3 defined and 1 undefined.


It sounds more confusing than it is, let’s try one more example. Let’s say you started your pattern yesterday and you are picking it up again today but you are not sure were you left off. You count your rows and realise you have 7 rows in total: six of them look like a specific stitch and the 7th one is still undefined. Where do you pick up the pattern? Row 7 or 8? Well, in this case you will have to continue the pattern with Row 7, since the instruction for Row 7 is the one that will define that row as a specific stitch pattern (even if this means that by doing this you will be adding the undefined 8th row to your pattern).

I know it can take a bit to get used to but I though it would be useful to clear it up. No one really explained it to me when I started working tunisian crochet and it would’ve saved me a lot of time and effort to know if from the start!

As usual if you are struggling just leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can 🙂

Have a great day!





Tunisian Crochet 101: Changing colours (forward pass)


It has taken a while but I am finally back with another tunisian crochet tutorial. I am taking a break from stitches and will teach you how to change colours, simply because my new pattern requires this and I thought it would be easier if there was a tutorial available.

There are a few ways of changing colours in tunisian crochet and I will only go through one today, changing colours at the start of the forward pass. This gives a clean colour change and it is what you would use for stripes. I will cover the other types of colour change in the future but this is the most basic one.

I will also explain how to change colours and stitch at the same time as part of this tutorial, it will be useful for my next pattern. If you are following any tutorial of course you will have the instructions for each row and this will tell you when to change to each colour and what to do if you are also changing stitches but this tutorial will help if you are playing with stitches and decide to create something by yourself. I think tunisian crochet is quite good for creating your own scarves by just changing stitches and colours, it gives a very nice look.

So let’s look at our sample so far!

We left off with a few rows of tunisian knit stitch (Tks), I can see six rows defined as Tks in my sample. Let’s say then that I want to work seven rows of Tks and then change colour and change back to tunisian simple stitch (Tss) at the same time for a couple of rows. If you only want to learn how to change colours then this is not important of course.


First, I need to work the return pass on this row.  So yarn over and pull through one loop.



Yarn over and pull through two loops, repeat until you have two loops left of your hook. This is the difference when changing colours: in a normal return pass you yarn over and pull through one loop and then yarn over and pull through two loops all the way until you have just one loop left on your hook. In this case we are stopping just before working the last part of the return pass.



You do this because if you want to have a different colour at the beginning of the next forward pass you need to change colours at the end of the return pass. Now, keeping those two loops on your hook do a slip knot (this is not strictly necessary but I still do it) with the new colour.


Pull the loop with the new colour through the two loops on your hook finishing the return pass.


If you just wanted to know how to change colours and you are not changing the stitch as well that is it! You just continue working your stitches with the new colour.

If you want to know how to also change stitch at the same time then stick with me for a little bit. We said we wanted seven rows of Tks in yellow and two rows of Tss in the new colour. If you work normal crochet you would probably think that since you are now working with the white and you want Tss for this colour then that is what you should work now. But no! If you look at the sample you will see that even though we have the seven rows in yellow, not all of them are defined as Tks.

So… even though you are working with the white yarn, you will work this row as tunisian knit stitch because as I have said before what you do in each row will define the stitch of the previous row and create a new undefined row for you to work next. Therefore, insert your hook on the next stitch (remember we always skip the first one) as Tks between both vertical bars.


Yarn over and pull up a loop.


Continue all the way through until the last stitch, which you know by now is worked the same regardless of which type of stitch you are using. Insert your hook under two loops (I explain this in detail on my tunisian simple stitch tutorial) yarn over and pull up the last loop of the row.





Work return pass normally. So now you will have seven rows of Tks in yellow as you wanted and one undefined row in white. Since you know that what you do next will define that undefined row then you will have guessed that it is now that you start working Tss.


So insert your hook as Tss.


Yarn over and pull up a loop.



Continue working Tss until the last stitch, work last stitch normally.


We said we wanted two rows of Tss in white. If I worked the return pass normally now I would actually see two rows in white: one defined as Tss and one undefined. Since two rows is all I need then you will need to change colours at the end of this return pass.

So work the return pass until you have two loops left on your hook. You now see your two rows in white and this is what tells you to change colours, it doesn’t matter if that last row is not defined yet, you will define that next.


Drop the white, yarn over with the yellow and pull through the last two loops. For two rows I wouldn’t bother cutting the yarn, you can just carry it along in the back if it works for you.



You now need to work Tss, since that is what you want for that last white row. So insert your hook as Tss on the second stitch.


Yarn over and pull up a loop.



Continue until last stitch, work last stitch normally.


You can see now that we have what we wanted! Seven rows of Tks and two rows of Tss in the new colour. If you work the return pass you will have a new undefined row in yellow, ready to become any stitch you want.


That is it for today everyone, hope that is clear and as usual let me know if you have any questions. Will post the pattern for the first chunky cowl soon now that you know all about changing colours!



More chunky goodness


Did you have a nice Christmas everyone? I hope so 🙂 I just wanted to share a quick post, remember my chunky obsession? Here is the latest finished project! I think I am finally done with chunky yarns for the moment… moving on to 4ply next, a spring cowl maybe? We will see! I am not sure if it is the holidays or just having time for myself but have been feeling very inspired lately and patterns are swimming around my head, it is a very nice feeling indeed.


I will post this pattern once I post the tutorial for tunisian reverse simple stitch, very easy stitch and it gives a lovely texture as you can see in the pictures.


I better get back to all that leftover food and some more crochet time in front of the TV… hard times!



Class Review: Tunisian Crochet with Dora Ohrenstein

Interweave Store

Ufff… I am so glad it is finally holiday time! Which means loads of time to crochet and plenty of food, love it 🙂 As I mentioned in my last post I have been very busy at work and since I am still working on my next tunisian crochet next tutorial I thought I could write a review in the meantime.

Ever since I discovered Craftsy I have been loving online classes and have also been downloading a few videos from Interweave Crochet which teach you specific techniques. It is so relaxing to watch them in the evenings at the hotel when I am away for work and I have finished a couple of them so I thought I should share my thoughts here.

In this post I will review an Interweave Crochet video download called “Tunisian Crochet with Dora Ohrenstein”. I bought this on a sale for US$5, the normal price is US$19.99 so it was quite a bargain. I first heard of Dora because I enrolled in her tunisian crochet Craftsy class, and if you follow my blog you know I loved it. Dora is a great teacher, she explained everything very well and I really liked her. She even answered one of my questions in the forum and was very helpful. Even though I am still working on the pattern from that class (definitely on my list to finish before next year) this has nothing to do with her skills as a teacher and more to do with me working on too many projects at once. Anyway, since I loved her class I decided to download this video and see if I could get a bit more knowledge about tunisian crochet and learn a few more techniques.

The video lasts two hours and it starts with the basic tunisian stitches to then move on to more complicated techniques. She talks about lace stitches, textured fabrics, tunisian in the round, entrelac and others. I think what I enjoyed the most about the video was that it shows you the scope of different fabrics you can get with tunisian crochet and the amazing textures you can get. It gives an overview of what you can achieve with this technique much beyond the basic stitches.

Interweave Store

Now, if you want to not only see but learn how to do all these different stitches and techniques then this video is not the one for you. She goes through the basic stitches very quickly, she just does one row of 8 stitches for each of them (simple stitch, knit stitch and purl stitch) and then moves on to more complicated ones. The problem is that she doesn’t go through all the stitches she shows, and the ones she does explain are not in detail or from start to finish. She would have started a sample with the stitch and do one or two rows to show you how to work the stitch but no more than that. You wouldn’t know how to begin a sample with that stitch or how to end it, and there is no document with the class where the stitches are explained in detail. I think that she tried to fit in too many things in the class and that meant she couldn’t go into much detail for any of them. I would prefer to learn something from start to finish rather than know a little bit about a lot of stitches.

One thing I did find very useful is that she explained a few different ways of increasing and decreasing stitches and the pros and cons of each, I already knew most of them but I did learn a few things and it was good to see all the different ways explained in one place. She also had good tips about how to convert knit patterns to tunisian crochet and avoid disappointment and I also liked the explanation of how to do a tunisian cable which I hadn’t seen before. The video comes with a pattern for a vest that I didn’t particularly like, though I did like the stitch pattern.


One last thing to note is that Dora Ohrenstein also wrote a book about tunisian crochet with different stitches and patterns, and this class seems to be a good tool if you have the book, since quite a few of the stitch patterns can be found in detail there so the video gives you a visual aid. I have the book and will write a review on another post, I will only say that if you had to choose between the video and the book I would definitely go for the book!

All in all, I enjoyed this class, I really like Dora as a teacher and I learned a few things I hadn’t seen before but I think she tried to cover too much in two hours and that meant that even though you see all the beautiful things you can do with tunisian crochet you won’t find all the information you need to learn them in this video, and it will be harder if you are only starting with tunisian crochet.

Having said that if you find this product in an offer and would like to see what tunisian crochet can do, if you really like the pattern that comes with it or if you own Dora’s book and would like to see how some of the stitches are worked then I recommend you get this. I don’t believe I would pay the full price but for the US$5 I paid it is very good value for money and I did really enjoy it.

That’s me for today! Will be back soon with tutorials, more reviews and new patterns 🙂



The chunky cowl craze

photo 3

How are you? Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I wanted to write a quick post to share this mad, crazy love I have developed for really chunky and cosy cowls!

My mum came to visit a couple of months ago and of course we went shopping to Primark. Given the difference in temperature between home and here (even in October) she bought this chunky white cowl for a trip up to the Highlands, which I didn’t particularly like at all when she showed it to me. When she was leaving though, she decided she couldn’t take that back home since she would never wear it and left it for me despite my assurance that I had enough scarves and cowls already.

Then one day I wore it out for a cold day shopping in town, and I LOVED IT. So warm, cosy and the fact that is chunky just makes it even better. And then the craze began… I went over to Ginger Twist Studio to see Jess and get some nice chunky yarn to make myself a lovely tunisian crochet chunky cowl.

photo 1

A week later, I bought some more chunky yarn from Deramores and now I have two finished cowls in a new tunisian pattern and another new design on the way! I know… I get so easily obsessed. It has been the most relaxing thing to crochet on train journeys though… just the perfect project except for the fact that I have to carry one extra bag for my chunky yarn. It is worth it of course 🙂

photo 8

As you can see from the pictures it is the same pattern for both cowls just different sizes depending on the heaviness of the yarn. The cream/green one was done with Woolyknit Lofty Chunky which I got from Ginger Twist, lovely dense and warm yarn. The grey/royal blue one used Stylecraft Life Chunky which is less heavy and a bit fluffier. I used the same amount of yarn in grams for both (approx. 150g) which allowed the grey one to be a bit bigger but since the yarn is not as dense you can mould the cowl around you very nicely. The cream/green one is more stiff but just the perfect size to keep you warm without it being uncomfortable in any way.

photo 5

I leave you with the pictures in the meantime but I will post the pattern soon. I am trying to figure out the best way to do it since it does involve changing colours and stitch pattern in tunisian crochet and it can be a bit confusing (it is dead simple once you understand it I swear) so I think I will post how to do this as part of my Tunisian Crochet 101 series and then post the pattern after that with links to the tutorial.

photo 11

The second chunky cowl pattern is still in progress, will post pictures of the finished product after a few more train rides 🙂 Hopefully I will have satisfied my crazy chunky needs by then!



Tunisian Crochet 101: Tunisian Knit Stitch (Tks)


Previous posts in this series: Tunisian Crochet 101: Introduction and Tools, Tunisian Crochet 101: Foundation Row and Tunisian Simple Stitch

Hello there! How is that tunisian sampler going? Hope you have already mastered tunisian simple stitch since we are adding a new stitch today: tunisian knit stitch (Tks). If you are new to these tutorials you might want to check the links above, we are creating a sampler for tunisian stitches and adding one stitch per tutorial.

Tunisian knit stitch is a very popular stitch for those of us who can’t knit, and it was one of the reasons why I decided to learn this technique. I found a book at my local library which showed a piece that looked just like knitting but it claimed to be something called tunisian crochet.

Now, does it really look like knitting? Yes, it does look remarkably like a knit stitch but there is a key difference though. Tks creates a thicker fabric than its knitting counterpart, which makes it warmer and ideal for winter garments. It is also one of the stitches that creates a lot of curling, so a loose gauge is recommended.

Without further ado, may I present to you: tunisian knit stitch!


Your sampler should look something like this so far. Work as many rows as you need for each stitch to make sure you are comfortable with it.


If you followed the last tutorial you will know that in this sample there are 6 rows of Tss (the first one is sort of hidden by the curl of the fabric) and the last row (Row 7) is currently undefined. I mention this because if you are following a pattern that says something like “work 6 rows of Tss followed by 6 rows of Tks”, you actually have to wait until you finish row 7 to change stitches so that you have 6 rows of Tss and one undefined row, and then start working Tks in the undefined row. A bit confusing I know, but for now if you are following a pattern that changes stitch in a certain row make sure you count rows where you can see the stitch and not count the undefined row.


 Let’s look at that undefined row a bit closer again. We mentioned in the last tutorial that stitches are defined by where you insert your hook at the forward pass in that undefined row, so you will know already it will be somewhere different than for the simple stitch. You may need to pull the fabric to the left a bit like I am doing in the picture, but basically in the undefined row you have front vertical bars, back vertical bars and a horizontal chain going through in between as a result of the return pass.


For Tks you need to identify the space between a front vertical bar and a back vertical bar, and under the horizontal chain (space where the arrow is pointing). Remember you skip the first stitch so you will begin on that second one.


Found it? Now, insert your hook into that space, all the way to the back of the fabric.



Yarn over and pull up a loop.



Continue with the next stitch, identify that space between the bars and under the chain.


Insert your hook through the space, all the way to the back.


Yarn over and pull up a loop.



Continue with the rest of the stitches, until the last one. Remember the last stitch of the forward pass is worked the same way no matter what stitch you are using by inserting your hook under the vertical bar and the strand behind it that later shows up at the front, as shown in the pictures below.




Forward pass finished. Now, work return pass as normal: Yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops until you have only one loop left on your hook.





And that is it!

One last tip that we also mentioned on the last tutorial: remember to pull that loop on your hook before starting a forward pass so that you avoid those big first stitched and get a nice right edge to your work (see pictures below).



Work as many Tks rows as you want, if you are working with a wool yarn it will look a bit nicer than with this DK cotton yarn, so apologise if it’s not looking that good 😛 Below you can see how my sample is looking with both stitches. If yours is curling and a bit wonky, don’t worry mine is too! That is what blocking is for 🙂


I will add this stitch to our stitch guide below. Until next time!

Stitch Guide

Foundation Row – Forward Pass: Chain number of stitches needed. Skip first chain, insert hook under back strand of next chain, yarn over and pull up a loop. Repeat until last chain.

Return Pass: Yarn over pull through one loop on hook, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook until you have one loop left on hook.

Last stitch of any forward pass: Insert hook under last vertical bar and strand behind it, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Tunisian Simple Stitch: Skip first st, insert hook from right to left under next front vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop. Continue this way until last stitch, work last stitch normally. Work return pass normally.

Tunisian Knit Stitch: Skip first st, insert hook between front and back vertical bars, yarn over and pull up a loop. Continue this way until last stitch, work last stitch normally. Work return pass normally.



My custom-fit vest with Dora: Back finished


It has been so long since I have given you an update on my vest that I am sure you already forgot about it! I have been working on it but hadn’t had much progress and therefore didn’t have much to share besides all the unravelling I have been doing.

If you are new to my blog I started this series a few (several) weeks ago to learn how to custom-fit a pattern. I am taking a Craftsy class that teaches you how to do this with a pattern for a vest in tunisian crochet and I have been sharing my progress with everyone (check old posts here, here and here).

So after I finished all my swatches and finally started the back I had a lot of trouble. I have been thinking about what the problem really was and I think it lies on how comfortable (or uncomfortable) it is to achieve the gauge of the pattern. I did plenty of swatches to get the right gauge when I first started the class and even though I finally got the right one it wasn’t the way I would normally crochet: loose when I wouldn’t be loose and tight when I wouldn’t be tight. So when I actually started the piece my hands just went into automatic pilot and forgot all about what they had done before to achieve the gauge.

Not only that but I realised halfway through the back that my piece was 3cm bigger than what it should be, which would turn into 6cm if I did the front the same way. So I unravelled and started to crochet tighter, but it would still end up too big! Changed hooks, and still too big! I was really starting to get desperate when suddenly, with a much smaller hook than my original swatches, everything fell into place. Well almost. Row gauge is still a bit off but I will fix that with blocking.

Now the back is finished and the piece is 1cm smaller/bigger here and there, but nothing blocking can’t fix. I literally sighed with relief when I measured the finished back. One more unravelling would be more than I can handle for one project!

So my piece of advice to everyone: make sure your gauge is comfortable for you! Instead of changing tension try changing hooks which is much easier to replicate in the finished piece. And I would say if you can’t get one of the gauges always go for stitch gauge. specially on a garment. It is easier to fix row gauge by removing or adding rows than to unravel to remove stitches.

You definitely learn more from your mistakes than from your successes!

I will be back with more updates and hopefully less unravelling 🙂



Tunisian Crochet 101: Foundation Row and Simple Stitch (Tss)


Hello my dear readers! Welcome to a new post on this Tunisian Crochet 101 series (click here for the first post if you missed it). You better have your materials ready because today we are learning our first tunisian stitch: tunisian simple stitch (Tss). This is the most basic of tunisian stitches and it has a beautiful woven effect on the fabric. We will be doing a sampler of stitches, make sure you don’t unravel your rows of Tss once finished since we will be adding stitches on top of that so that you can see how each compares to the other.

Before we dive into the stitch itself I will show you how to do the foundation row which is the same for any stitch (at least for all the ones I have encountered so far). As I mentioned in the first post of this series all you need to know for these tutorials is how to crochet a chain, we’ll go through everything else.

Regarding materials, grab any yarn (DK or heavier is ideal for learning) and a hook that is two sizes bigger than the one recommended for the yarn you are using. If you have a long tunisian crochet hook that is perfect, if not a standard hook will do as long as it has a straight shaft and bear in mind you will probably not be able to fit many stitches but you can still practice with it.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Chain 30. You can chain more if you have a long hook or less if you are using a regular hook, it is not important for the purpose of this tutorial. You should note that unlike regular crochet, in tunisian crochet there is no turning chain. So if you need 30 stitches you should make 30 chains. Simple, no?


Now let’s take a look at that chain for a minute. A chain actually has two “sides” to it, and each chain stitch is made up of 3 strands. What I would call the front of the chain is where you see the two strands that look like, well like a chain 🙂 as in the picture below.


If you turn it around you will get the “back of the chain” as in the picture below. Now, the back has one these strands that are like bumps, a friend of mine once called it the “spine of the chain” and I think that is quite a good name actually.


So why all this talk about the anatomy of a chain? Well because we will use those back bumps to start our foundation row. To be honest, you could start your foundation row using any of the 3 strands that make a chain stitch (the two on the sides and the bump on the back) and you are welcome to try them out but I recommend using the back bump. It gives a nicer edge and it helps a bit with the curling that happens with tunisian. So, if you have your front side of the chain looking at you as in the picture below…


…turn the chain around so that the back bumps are facing you.


Now we begin the forward pass of our foundation row. Remember each row in tunisian crochet has two steps: a forward pass where you pick up stitches and a return pass where you work them off. So it should be no surprise that the foundation row must also have a forward pass and a return pass. One last advice before beginning: be very loose! Tension is quite important with tunisian, and being loose will mean less curling of the fabric and it will be easier to work the stitches. So, skip the first chain (the one closest to the hook) and insert the hook under the back bump of the next chain (second chain).


Yarn over and pull through one loop on the hook. You will now have two loops on your hook.



Continue with the next chain in the same way: insert the hook under back bump, yarn over and pull up a loop, until the last chain. In tunisian crochet each loop on the hook is a stitch, so once you reach the end you should have as many loops in your hook as the amount of chains you made. In my case, I have 30 loops since I had 30 chains.


Do you see that the bottom edge looks quite nice? That is because we worked the back bump of the chain. You may also see already some of that curling I mentioned if the edge is looking at you instead of looking down as in the picture below. Remember to crochet loosely, it will make your life easier while learning.


So forward pass done, now we have to work the return pass. The beauty of the return pass is that it is always the same no matter what stitch you work (again, at least for the stitches I have used). You start with yarn over and pull through ONE loop on the hook.



Now yarn over and pull through TWO loops on the hook.



Yarn over and pull through two loops, yarn over pull through two loops… all the way to the end until you are left with one loop on your hook.



Foundation row finished!

Before we move on there are a few things you should note. First, the row you have done is an undefined row, meaning it is still not any particular stitch. With tunisian crochet a row is only defined once you start working into it, which you do in the next row. I know, it’s a bit confusing but trust me, you will see what I mean soon. All you need to understand for now is that this is an “embryo” row at the moment, and it won’t be a Tss row until you define it as such on the next row.

Second, tunisian stitches are defined depending on where you insert your hook, so let’s look at this undefined row a bit more closely. The first thing you see are the front vertical bars, which are quite easy to identify. There are also back vertical bars, which are right behind the front ones. Finally there is a sort of horizontal chain going through inside the stitches, which is the result of the return pass.

The first vertical bar is actually the first stitch, and note that it looks a bit larger than the rest of its sibling vertical bars. This can be easily fixed so that you don’t get the right side of your work much larger than the left side, I will go into this a bit further in the tutorial.


Now you are ready for the next row, which will be done working tunisian simple stitch, but remember that it will define the first row we have now as a tunisian simple stitch row and not the second one. As usual we will have a forward pass and a return pass. To work the front pass of tunisian simple stitch (Tss) you need to identify the front vertical bars. You ALWAYS skip the first vertical bar (first stitch), no matter what stitch you are doing. So look for the second one which is the one the hook is pointing at in the picture below.


Insert your hook from right to left under the front vertical bar.



Yarn over and pull through one loop on hook.



Tss done! Now continue to the next vertical bar, which I am pointing at with that horrible nail (apologise for my horrible manicure!)


Just like before, insert hook from right to left under front vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop.




Continue this way until the last two stitches, like the picture below.


The stitch before last is worked normally (the one I am pointing), insert hook under front vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop.


The last stitch is worked differently, and it is always worked the same no matter what type of stitch you are using. It has, like all the other stitches, a front vertical bar (the one I am pointing on the picture below) but we won’t work it like the other stitches.


It is harder to see on this first row, but behind the front vertical bar of the last stitch there is a strand that later curves to the right and looks like an inverted “L”. For the last stitch you will insert your hook under both strands: the vertical bar and the one behind it.



Yarn over and pull through two loops. Last stitch and forward pass finished. If that last stitch was a bit confusing I will show it again for the next row so don’t worry.


The return pass is worked as usual. Yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops all the way through until you are left with one loop on the hook.






If you look at your work now you will see that the first row of the work looks different, it is now defined as a Tss row, the second one is undefined and you should be able to see the difference clearly.

Let’s do one more row in Tss so that we can get that last stitch a bit clearer. Before we begin though, remember when I noted that the first stitch looks a bit looser than the rest? Well you can start fixing that now. Before you begin working a row, make sure to pull the loop on the hook so that it is tighter, this will make that first stitch smaller. Also, remember you ALWAYS skip the first stitch in tunisian crochet.

Skip first st, insert hook from left to right under second vertical bar and pull up a loop. Continue until last stitch. Now identify the vertical bar on the last stitch, and the strand behind it that later turns to the right and appears at the front.


Insert hook under both strands.


Yarn over and pull up a loop. Work the return pass normally (yarn over pull through one, yarn over pull through two until the end).

So that is all you need to know for Tss guys, I would recommend you to do as many rows you need until you feel comfortable with it. This is how my sample looks after a few rows.


It does curl, so don’t worry about this. One last thing, look at the right edge. I started with that big first stitch on the first row and look at the difference once you start pulling the loop on the hook before starting a row, much neater! You can avoid that first big stitch by pulling hard on the loop before picking up stitches on your chain, but have done it here so that you can see the difference.


The left edge will have that nice chain-looking finish if you are going through the two strands on that last stitch.


And that my dear readers is the end of this tutorial 🙂 I will add a stitch guide at the end of each tutorial with the stitches we have learned. Please let me know if you have any questions, will be back soon with another stitch!


Stitch Guide

Foundation Row – Forward Pass: Chain number of stitches needed. Skip first chain, insert hook under back strand of next chain, yarn over and pull up a loop. Repeat until last chain.

Return Pass: Yarn over pull through one loop on hook, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook until you have one loop left on hook.

Last stitch of any forward pass: Insert hook under last vertical bar and strand behind it, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Tunisian Simple Stitch: Skip first st, insert hook from right to left under next front vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop until last stitch, work last stitch normally. Work return pass normally.



Tunisian Crochet 101: Introduction and Tools

double ended hook

Welcome to a new series of posts to share the love of Tunisian Crochet! This post will give you a short introduction to this technique and show you the different tools you can use. I will also let you know the materials you will need to follow the upcoming tutorials for tunisian stitches.

So what is Tunisian Crochet? Many people say it is the perfect combination between knitting and crochet and it definitely has a bit a both. It is worked using a hook but you pick up stitches and collect them on the hook like knitting.


Before I go into more detail, let’s look at the history of this technique. I did some research and it looks like no one really knows where or when tunisian crochet came to exist, but only that it was practiced in Western Europe and the British Isles in the mid-nineteenth century. There are theories that it originated from Africa or Central Asia but nothing is for sure. The name “Tunisian Crochet” apparently was given by the French and may not be an indication that there is any relation to Tunisia. To make things more complicated, this technique is known by different names such as Afghan crochet, tricot crochet, railroad knitting and Sheperd’s knitting. Tunisian Crochet seemed to lose popularity and went off the radar after the 1930s and it is now experiencing a comeback.

winter nocturne
Winter Nocturne Shawl by Yuliya Tkacheva

We will go into the detail of the stitches in the tutorials but here are some basic facts about tunisian crochet:

  • It is worked in two steps: the forward pass and the return pass. You pick up stitches and leave them on your hook in the forward pass and you work them off in the return pass.
  • You don’t turn your work when doing tunisian crochet, the front is always facing you.
  • The front and back of the fabric are different when working tunisian stitches. This doesn’t mean that you get an ugly back to your work, just that it is different to the front.
  • You should use a bigger hook than the recommended size for a specific weight of yarn, usually two sizes bigger. For example, if you have a DK yarn that calls for a 4mm hook, you should use a 6mm when working tunisian.
  • The only thing you need to master before starting tunisian is how to crochet a chain.
  • Tunisian fabric can be dense and heavy, or light and airy. It all depends on the stitches you use and the weight of your yarn.
  • You can mix tunisian crochet and regular crochet in one project very easily.
Cirque Cardigan by Dora Ohrenstein. © Interweave Crochet 2014
Cirque Cardigan by Dora Ohrenstein. © Interweave Crochet 2014

What tools do you need? Hooks of course! I am sure you will be wondering if you can use regular hooks and the answer is: it depends. Some designers like Aoibhe Ni produce patterns that allow you to use normal hooks as long as the shaft is the same size throughout (it doesn’t widen in the middle). But generally this is not the case, and most patterns will require a tunisian hook. Since you pick up stitches and keep them on the hook you can crochet a piece as wide as the amount of stitches that will fit on it, which will be wider than the hook but not much wider. This the reason why tunisian hooks are usually 30cm or longer if using cables.

Let’s look at the types of tunisian hooks:

  • Tunisian hook with stopper: This is basically a straight knitting needle which instead of ending in a point it ends with a hook. The stopper keeps the stitches from falling off the other side, they are usually around 30cm long which makes them a good size for scarves and cowls.

hook stopper


  • Double ended tunisian hook: these have hooks on both sides. You can use them the same way as the ones with the stopper (just with a bit more attention to not loose stitches) but they also allow you to do tunisian crochet in the round.

double ended hook


  • Tunisian hook with extension: These hooks allow you to attach a cord to a 15cm hook to make it as long as 1.5m or even longer. It is the same concept of interchangeable needles but with hooks. The cable ends in a stopper which prevents the stitches from falling off.

interchangeable hooks

So which ones should you get?  Well, if you don’t want to spend too much money I would go for the double ended hooks. They have the same use as the ones with the stopper but they give you the possibility of working in the round if you ever wished to try it out. However, if you have wrist or shoulder pain when crocheting and can spend a bit more money I recommend buying the interchangeable hooks. I suffer from shoulder pain when crocheting and I have to say with tunisian crochet its worse because the hook is heavier and you keep the loops on the hook which makes it heavier still. Interchangeable hooks are much lighter and have given me no problems since I started using them. if you want to check them out Knit Pro and Aldi have some good ones in plastic and bamboo which are sold by sets so that it ends up a bit cheaper.

What do you need to follow the tutorials? I have been scratching my head to figure out how to make this as accessible and useful as possible, and have decided a few things:

  • We will do a stitch sampler, adding one stitch per tutorial to the sampler. I thought at first to write up a pattern so that the finished product had a use but decided that the whole point of this is to learn and you can keep the stitch sampler to go back to whenever you want to remember how a stitch looks like and how it behaves compared to others.  If I were to do a pattern I would choose stitches that work with each other and would skip others and that is not the point.
  • It would be ideal if you can get a 30 cm tunisian hook but it is not strictly necessary. You can still do your sampler in a normal hook (with a straight shaft) but it will be a narrower sampler of course of about 10-15 stitches and you will want to add more rows for each stitch so that you can practice them enough times.
  • It would be ideal to work with a yarn that is DK or heavier, this will make the stitches easier to work into. Remember you need a hook 2 sizes bigger than the size the yarn calls for.

So in summary you will need:

  • 30cm tunisian hook if possible, or normal hook with straight shaft. It should be 6mm if using a DK yarn, or two sizes bigger than the normal size required for your yarn.
  • Yarn DK or heavier, in 2 colours (we will learn to change colours as well). Something nice and sturdy would be ideal, but that it doesn’t split easily. Use light colours so that you can see the stitches better.

That is is for now, I will be back soon with the first tutorial so stay tuned!