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Tunisian Video Tutorial | Cross-stitching on Tunisian |
Increasing and Decreasing in Tunisian


Tunisian Crochet (TSS) (Tunisian Simple Stitch / Afghan Stitch)
update ©2005, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com

This stitch goes by many names. It can be called Tunisian Crochet, Afghan Stitch, Tricot Crochet or Tricot Ecossaise, which means Scottish knitting, Tricotee, Crochet a Tricoter, Crochet a la Tricoter, Scot’s Knitting, Scotch Knitting, Shepherd's Knitting, Hook Knitting, Fool’s Knitting, Idiot’s Knitting, Royal Princess Stitch, Russian Crochet, Railroad Knitting or Railway Knitting, {Working Class girls in England waiting for the train to take them to the mills did Tunisian}. I'm sure there are more that I haven't found. Thanks to Melissa, Chez Crochet, and Crochet with Dee. :-)



I do not claim to be an expert in Tunisian Crochet. These instructions only demonstrate the basic stitch - Tunisian Simple Stitch - which is what is most commonly called Afghan Stitch. I attempted to include every step for this. (If you want an expert, hop over to Kim Guzman's web site or YouTube channel. She is the Queen of Tunisian in my opinion). There are many other stitches besides this basic stitch.

Thank you to everyone who has visited this tutorial and sent me such sweet letters about it. I'm glad it's useful to you. Apologies in advance for how slow this page loads. It has lots of pictures.

Here are a few points to remember when working this stitch. These "hints" were taken from a very old crochet book that I had called Crochet Techniques and Projects, ©1975, with my added comments

1) Never turn your piece. You work down the row on the front side, then back on the same side. (If you want to turn your piece then you might be interested in working with the cro-hook which is basically tunisian, but you turn your work, and uses two colors - and it doesn't curl.)
2) Always begin the second half of a row by pulling yarn through one stitch only. After you've completed the first stitch, pull through two stitches at a time.
3) The last stitch remaining on the hook is always the first stitch of the next row.
4) Always skip the first bar when starting on a new row.
5) You will always be working with the same number of stitches as established on the chain (unless you are doing a decrease or increase)
6) Increases and decreases are worked only in the first half of the stitch row.
7) To decrease curling, purl your first row.

Here are my videos demonstrating this stitch.


Part 1


Part 2



Cross-stitch on Afghan Stitch

A lot of people have written me asking how to get the cross-stitch to be "invisible" on the back. Okay, here's how to do it. You will notice on your regular afghan stitch there is a vertical bar, then a "square" with two horizontal loops, and then another vertical bar. Instead of pushing your needle all the way through your piece, you should slip your needle under those two horizontal loops and in between the front and back of your piece.

To be specific you should bring your needle up at the left hand bottom of your little "square". (This would be the one where you want to have a completed "X" in when you are done. You will want to secure a piece to begin with. You might do this by slipping your needle in a few stitches ahead and come out at this point. Then when you continue to work, you will catch that thread and secure it. Now bring the needle down just past the bar to the right at the top left hand corner of the next square. You will not go through the piece, but slip your needle under the horizontal bar and bring it out at the left hand bottom of that same square. Then you move on past the next bar. Does that make sense? I know! You need a picture.

Another way to say this is the way they put it here: "Standard cross-stitch technique produces a rather sloppy back on your item. To avoid the yarn showing on the back, be careful to slide your needle under the two horizontal strands of the Afghan stitch near the surface of your work. Check the back of your work frequently to make sure nothing is showing." The site has great instructions for cross-stitching.

If you are careful in doing this, very little of your cross-stitch will show. Do not be discouraged or frustrated if this takes a little practice to get.

Update: There is some confusion about how to get to your second row. I plan to eventually make a video to clear this up, but in the meantime I found two sites that might be helpful. (I basically googled “how to cross stitch” and these came up. (The links take you off-site)

In the video http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-cross-stitch-in-5-minutes-8253 if you go to just after 2 minutes, she starts a second row.

This page http://mochimochiland.com/2011/03/how-to-cross-stitch-basics/# has large pictures and demonstrates the beginning of a second row.

I hope that helps. I do plan to eventually do a video on this since several have asked, but my concentration is really on crochet, not cross-stitch, so it wasn't my priority.


Increasing and Decreasing in Afghan Stitch

Increase afghan stitch:  (Always done on first half of stitch row-the one where loops are kept on the hook.) Insert hook into ch st between the next 2 vertical bars, yo, pull yarn through a loop. Insert hook under next vertical bar, yo, pull through loop. In other words you are working in between the two bars where you would normally draw up the next loop

Decrease afghan stitch: Insert hook under the next 2 vertical bars, yo, pull up one loop. In other words, two bars equals one loop, where before each bar was one loop. If you are decreasing at the left end of your work, you can make the decrease on the returning row. Draw a loop through 2 loops instead of the usual one as at the start of a regular row.

Here are some wonderful sites with additional information on Tunisian crochet!

Kim Guzman
Cindy Murray's Tunisian Crochet
Dave at Serendipity (basic tunisian stitch tutorial, afghan stitch mini-tutorial)


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Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.