What is Tunisian crochet?


Ever wondered what Tunisian crochet is, or what makes Tunisian crochet hooks special? We're on the case!

For crochet enthusiasts, the eternal search for new and exciting stitches will intersect with Tunisian crochet at some point, leading them to seek out some Tunisian crochet hooks

What is Tunisian crochet?


Tunisian crochet is a specific crochet technique that creates a more knit-like texture, and a fabric that moves more like knit stitches would. It's more flexible and smooth, and lends itself incredibly well to garments and drapey scarves and shawls. 


Take a look at this gorgeous cardigan pattern from West Yorkshire Spinners and the lovely way the fabric moves thanks to the Tunisian crochet stitches: 

Tunisian crochet cardigan pattern

Click here for the pattern


In Tunisian crochet, instead of closing each loop as you work each stitch, a row of loops stay active on your Tunisian crochet hook, which is how you get that more "knitted" look that so many are obsessing over right now!

There are a few different kinds of Tunisian crochet stitches, but the common features are that the stitches remain active, or "live," and that each stitch is worked twice. This means that Tunisian crochet techniques take a bit longer than traditional crochet stitches, but we think the result is worth the effort! 

There are stitches that look more like standard crochet, but there are also stitches that almost perfectly mimic knit and purl stitches! The gauge is different, so patterns can't be directly translated from knitting to Tunisian crochet, but we think it looks great!


What's the difference between Tunisian and Afghan crochet?


Depending on regions, an "Afghan" can refer to a crocheted (or sometimes, even knitted) blanket, or it can refer to a type of crochet. Take care when reading through patterns, especially heirloom or vintage patterns, to be sure you know which they're referring to! 

If a pattern refers to "Afghan crochet," it's likely they are referring to Tunisian crochet. The stitches are worked in the same ways, it's just a different in terminology that depends where you live or the age of the pattern. Some contemporary patterns still use this terminology too, so just make sure you know before you start! 


It has also been known as "Cro-hooking," Shepherd's knitting, and railroad knitting in the past.

What is a Tunisian crochet hook? 


Tunisian crochet hooks are longer, some with hooks at both ends, some with cords, and some that look like knitting needles with a hook at one end, and a "stopper" of some kind on the other. 


Tunisian crochet hooks

These hooks, like knitting needles, allow you to keep those live stitches safe on the hook as you work through the row. Different Tunisian crochet hooks are the right choice for different projects. For example, a long hook with a stopper would be our choice for larger projects like blankets or garments, that have many live stitches at once. 


To work Tunisian crochet in the round, you need a double ended Tunisian crochet hook. You can also find double ended Tunisian crochet hooks connected by a cord, which would hold more stitches than the standard sized straight one.