Friday, May 27, 2011

Tunisian Crochet in the Round

I don't really know the origins of Tunisian Crochet (a.k.a. Afghan Crochet) — but much like the Panama hat, it probably has little to do with Tunisia. From what I’ve read, its modern popularity peaked in Victorian era — used for household items such as cushions, antimacassars, embroidery ground... Afghans, etc. Tunisian crochet is made with a hook with a long straight barrel. Some have hooks on both ends (the Cro-hook) for more complicated constructions.

One way I like using Tunisian crochet is to work in the round by spiraling a narrow ribbon that travels in one direction — as seen in the crown of my Kings County Pork Pie hat above. It's a great technique for any tube construction... bags, backpacks, etc. This modification of basic Tunisian Crochet continually joins at the right edge of the previous row as as you make a ribbon. This technique is also knows as “Linked Double Crochet” when worked on the right-facing side. For this demonstration I used a standard US C (2.5 mm) hook to make a ribbon that is 2 stitches wide. I recommend any medium weight cotton or linen blended yarn — I ran two skeins of Louet Euroflax sport weight (#2 fine).

The Working Row: This ribbon is 2 stitches wide. With a loop held on your hook, insert it through the first vertical strand, then insert the hook through the front part of the chain on top. Pull a loop through the the top chain and the strand. Leave the loop on the needle. You should have two loops on your hook at this point.

Join & Return Row: Now insert your hook through the chain from the previous row. Pull a new loop through. Pull a loop through this new loop and the loop on your needle. You should have two loops on your needle. Pull a loop through these last two loops.

The marker in the photo above is at point of origin. Repeat The Working Row and the Join & Return Row in the round until you have an open ended tube. As you see from the Pork Pie hat at the top, I created a flat base then worked in the round to the depth of the crown. By increasing the stitch count on rows I gave the crown a slight taper to fit the head better.
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