Intro to Tunisian, Part 3

Intro to Tunisian, Part 3
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For the Intro to Tunisian, Part 3 section, we will learn how to identify bars, bind off, and a few other helpful hints and tricks.

Stitch Bars

For each stitch of Tunisian Crochet, each complete row will be worked in the same technique as the foundation row: gathering loops and working them off.  However, where you insert your hook will be different!  Every stitch has 2 “legs” or vertical bars created in the Forward Pass, one in the front and one in the back.  There are also 3 horizontal bars made in the Return Pass, two in front and one in back.

To start the next Forward Pass, always skip the front bar of the right edge stitch and begin with the second front bar to pull up loops.

Front Bar

Showing the 1st Vertical bar

The bar is the vertical left “leg” of the stitch.  It is used for most Tunisian patterns and creates the Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS).  Normally, you insert the hook from right to left.

Back Bar

Showing the back bar

The back bar is the vertical right “leg” of the stitch.  The hook inserted from the back would create the Tunisian Reverse Stitch (TRS).

Upper Bar

shows the upper bar

For increases and some patterns, TSS’s are crocheted inserting the hook into the upper bar, grabbing 2 loops of the 3, or just going under the entire bar (your choice).


Back Horizontal Bar

Back bump

To see the back horizontal bar, also called the back bump, tilt the work to the front.  Sort of like when I work the “back hump” of the foundation chain in crochet.


Other Places to Stick Your Hook 🙂

To create different stitch patterns, you will sometimes insert your hook into other places between stitches.

The hook can be inserted directly in a stitch–between both “legs” from front to the back and below the upper bar (see above).  This creates the Tunisian Knit Stitch (TKS).

For Tunisian Full Stitch (TFS) you insert the hook in the “void” between two stitches from front to the back and below the upper bar.

For some stitches to enhance the stability of the fabric (Tunisian Double Crochet Stitch) it is better if the hook is inserted in two different bars at the same time.  As an example, in the front bar and adjoining upper bar.  This would ensure that your work does not create large holes or become too uneven looking.


Increasing and Decreasing in Tunisian Crochet

Increasing at the Beginning of the Row (Forward Pass)

ch1 and insert hook into right edge (marked) to increase at right edge

You can increase your stitch counts to build a shape in Tunisian Crochet.  To increase one stitch at the right edge, crochet one chain and pull up the loop through that first vertical bar I’ve been telling you not to use.


Increasing at the End of the Row (Return Pass)

increase at left edge: insert hook under top bar and pull up a loop

To increase one stitch at the left edge, crochet an extra stitch in the last upper bar, before the edge stitch.


Decrease Stitches at the Right Edge

final stitches for right edge decrease: pull left loop thru right loop to finish
Right edge decrease

To decrease in the Return Pass, pull up the loop through the last stitch without yarning over: basically, working a slip stitch instead of pulling up a loop.


Decreasing at the Left Edge

Showing the two stitches to crochet together for left edge decrease
inserting hook behind last bar and thru 2 loops of left edge to decrease

For decreasing one stitch at the left edge, insert hook in both front bars of the two last stitches at the same time to pull up a loop.  This will combine the two last stitches (last vertical bar and the edge stitch) when you work your Return Pass.


Binding Off

This is a knitting term which is used to describe finishing off your project.  There are many ways to bind off.  You can keep doing the stitch you have been working, or you can do a normal TSS bind off (slip stitching all the way down).  The more commonly done way is to slip stitch.

To start, you only have the one loop on your hook.  You will no longer be picking up all the loops in a forward pass, but you will be doing what would be considered more “normal” crocheting for the binding off.

  1. Insert hook into next bar, yarn over, pull thru 2 loops.  One loop left on the hook.
  2. Repeat step 1 until you reach the very last stitch (the chain up from previous row).  Insert hook into two loops (like we have been for the left edge stitch), yarn over, pull thru last two loops on the hook.  One loop left on the hook.
  3. At this point we will fasten off like normal.  I like to chain 1 and clip my yarn then pull that through.  You can then use your tapestry needle to weave in the ends.
first slip stitch bind off stitch worked


Wrapping Up

You’re now ready to work the first stitch in our series, the Tunisian Simple Stitch.  Keep an eye out for that one, as it releases May 2, 2021.  We will also be working our first square for the CAL.  You can find information on that blanket, here.

You can go back to the main Beginning Techniques post, here.