Between times of seeing her, I practiced making crochet chains and single stitches, then learned double and triple crochet stitches. I thought I knew it all!
Then my grandmother brought me a afghan that she had made for me, but it looked alot different than the crochet that I had already learned. She said it was called an afghan stitch, but somehow she never got around to showing me, or perhaps because I was a teenager, I just never found the time to sit with her and take the time to learn and practice this 'new' idea.
And, even though I always found time through my young married and child rearing years to crochet various things from bags to sweaters to vests and scarves and hats, I just never got back to the idea of the 'afghan' stitch. I think perhaps part of it was that it required a special long hook and this thing called Tunisian Crochet was not particularly popular through the 1970's and 80's....
It was not until quite recently that I came to realize that Tunisian Crochet was what my gramma called the Afghan Stitch! Imagine that! Something Completely New (to me)....
Still today, I don't know alot of other people who crochet -- seems that knitting is what everyone is doing --- but I like crochet. My hands know crochet.
A year or two ago I saw a lady working on a project using that extra long hook used for Tunisian Crochet -- that's when I learned it wasn't just called the Afghan Stitch, but that the whole category was 'Tunisian Crochet'... Then not too long after I just happened to come across a proper Tunisian Crochet hook at the 2nd hand store and thought "Why Not?"
So, now I have embarked on the learning process of this whole new category of crochet. I do like it! I am still in the practice and experimenting stages of it and have made nothing other than a scarf and a couple of test pieces...
the right side of my scarf - above - and a picture of the wrong or backside - below
My first foray into Tunisian Crochet is this Scarf. There is no pattern instructions because it is my practice piece, but through sheer chance the varigated yarn I chose to work with has done something a bit unusual for varigated yarns and I am VERY pleased with it!
So what I learned with this is...
(PS. video links for the stitches can be found by clicking on the highlighted text)
The yarn is Phentex Worsted that I bought a Michael's for just under 10 dollars
( 300 g skein)
I chained 26 and picked up 25 loops to start off the project. One of the things that bugged me about the afghan or Tunisian Simple Stitch was that it tends to curl up, so since my Gramma is no longer around to show me how, I resorted to You Tube where I found this video on how to do the Tunisian Purl Stitch. I must say it took a few watch throughs of the video to get the hang of it, but when I did the simple stitch for a row and the purl stitch for a row, I came up with an almost ribbed effect! I thought the two combined in alternate rows was a whole new world to my crochet!
Now, after some rows I noticed that one side of my piece was slightly different edge from the other.... hmmmm... Why?
So I went back to You Tube and decided to watch another video of the Tunisian Simple Stitch (Kim Guzman) and learned how to properly end the row that you pick up loops on. Now, not only did I pick up an interesting tip from the second video of the same stitch, but I learned that each video is just a little bit different and you learn different things from each!
Here is my practice piece on doing just the Tunisian Purl Stitch - the right side
and the wrong, or back side. The interesting thing about the purl stitch is that it seems to have alot more stretch than the simple stitch. I am not quite sure how to make use of this yet, but it does seem to me that for making a sweater or other clothing it might come in quite handy. The other thing about the purl stitch is that it doesn't curl like the simple stitch...
Oh and again, this piece is 25 stitches wide and that effect where the colours of the varigated yarn basically stayed put and caused 'waves' in the piece worked the same as doing the alternate rows of simple then purl -- I think if my tension was more exact the "waves" would not have such big ups and downs, so as I worked I purposely loosened and tightened my tension just a bit to give that effect.
I am still learning and practicing these basic stitches in Tunisian Crochet, but have checked out a few of the other videos on You Tube explaining what and how...
This is a whole new adventure! I am totally enjoying learning this new process, and perhaps as I progress I can revisit this Tunisian Crochet again on my blog to show you how I am 'getting along'!
I love to learn new things. How about you?