I freely admit it. I have a love/hate relationship with Tunisian or afghan crochet. On the one hand, it's a fascinating, fun way to broaden your crochet horizons. On the other hand, it produces stiff, slanted, rolled-up work. Argh.
Have you found yourself asking questions like these?
- How do I keep Tunisian crochet from curling?
- How can I make Tunisian crochet that's straight?
- How do I make flexible Tunisian crochet?
- Most standard Tunisian stitches have the same problems: the dreaded curling and slanting, which practically defy blocking.
- Tunisian crochet originally became popular for making thick, sturdy blankets, so it's not a very friendly fabric for clothing or snuggly blankets.
- There's gotta be a better way.
This Might Help
My first inclination was to try the obvious fixes. They are helpful, but they don't completely and reliably work.
- Use a larger-than-usual hook, 3-5 sizes larger than recommended on the yarn label.
- Try thinner yarn.
- Use relaxed, less springy yarn, like cotton instead of wool.
- Be sure to skip over the first vertical bar in each cast-on row.
- Don't miss the last vertical bar for your last stitch in a cast-on row. It can be hidden with the end-chain.
- Crochet a border around your work.
Dry Your Tears
With even more experimentation, I found several better ways to do Tunisian crochet.
- Forget about the traditional Tunisian or afghan stitch.
- Use the Tunisian purl stitch (my favorite).
- Use the Tunisian stockinette stitch.
|Tunisian Purl Stitch|
|Tunisian Stockinette Stitch|
And Now for Something Completely Different
The end result of my foray into this form of crochet was actually the development of a new type of Tunisian stitch, which doesn't curl or slant. It's a technique that I call "stacking," in which you make your new stitches above the previous row instead of in front of or behind the row. I came up with three brand-new (is anything really new?) stacked stitches.
- Stacked Tunisian stitch
- Tunisian ladders stitch
- Stacked Tunisian lace stitch
|Stacked Tunisian Stitch|
|Tunisian Ladders Stitch|
|Stacked Tunisian Lace Stitch|
Stay tuned. I'll be posting tutorials on how to do these new stitches over the next few days.
Get Started with Tunisian Crochet
Tunisian Purl Stitch
(more to come !)