Knitted Threads Designs - Crochet Tips and Techniques Crochet Tips and Techniques!

Afghan/Tunisian Stitch; A Brief Introduction
by Janet Rehfeldt

Knitted Threads Designs - Tips and Techniques

Afghan hooks are an elongated crochet hook that resemble a knitting needle with a hook at the end.  The hooks come in two lengths 10 and 14.  You can also get flexible hooks that are a made with a shortened hook about 5 to 6 with a long flexible wire, usually plastic and a knob at the end of the wire.  Afghan hooks also come double ended for a technique called Cro-Hook where you would turn the work changing colors to create a woven fabric that is reversible.

All types of Afghan/Tunisian stitch is worked in two steps:

  • step one, picking up the loops onto the hook
  • step two, working the loops off the hook to complete the row

In most all types of Afghan/Tunisian stitch techniques, you do not turn your work.  You always have the right side of your work facing you. The stitches are made up of and referred to as bars, Vertical Bars and Horizontal Bars.

  • Vertical bars lay vertically on top of the work.  These are formed by the loops pulled up on your hook.  If you look closely at the structure of the fabric, you will see the vertical bar on top or in front of the work and the vertical bar that is behind or at the back of the work.
  • Horizontal bars lay behind the vertical bars.  The horizontal bars are formed by the YO in step two or the second half of the stitch.  They actually form a V or chain behind the vertical bars.

verticle and horizontal

The different types of stitches are formed by how you place or  insert your hook in relation to the vertical and horizontal bars.   Instructions for working the different types of Tunisian stitches will always refer to the vertical and horizontal bars.  Knowing what a vertical or horizontal bar is and how these are formed (the structure of the stitch) helps in reading your instructions.  All stitches begin with a foundation row of the basic afghan stitch.  Therefore, it is imperative that you learn the basic stitch before moving on to additional Afghan/Tunisian techniques.

Basic Foundation Row:
Step 1:  *Insert hook into the next chain, YO pull up a loop.*  Leaving the loop on the hook, repeat from * to * across the length of the chain. [fig. a] figure a[fig. a]
Step 2:  YO, pull loop through 1 loop on hook,  *YO, pull through 2 loops on hook*.  Repeat from * to * across the row.  Leave the last loop on the hook. [fig. b] figure b[fig. b]

Basic Afghan Stitch Pattern:
Step 1a:  Skip the first vertical bar.  *Insert hook under the next vertical bar on the front of the work, [fig. c] figure c[fig. c]
Step 1b:  YO pull up a loop.* [fig. d] figure d[fig. d]
Step 1c:  Leaving the loop on the hook, repeat from * to * across to the last vertical bar.  Insert hook under the last vertical bar and the bar behind it YO pull up a loop. [fig. e] (working the last stitch in this manner will give you a finished edge) figure e[fig. e]
Step 2:  YO, pull loop through 1 loop on hook,  *YO, pull through 2 loops on hook (as in fig. b)*.  Repeat from * to * across the row.  Leave the last loop on the hook. [fig. f] figure f[fig. f]

Repeat these two steps (or rows) to work the basic afghan stitch.  This stitch is also known as the Tunisian Basic Stitch or the Tunisian Simple Stitch.

Binding Off:  All of the afghan stitches require a finishing row or Bind Off row.

Basic Single Crochet Bind Off:
Working from right to left, skip the first vertical bar, *insert hook under the next vertical bar, YO and draw up loop.  YO draw through both loops on hook. [fig. g]   Repeat from * across.  Finish off. figure g[fig. g]
Slip Stitch Bind Off:
Working from right to left, skip the first vertical bar, *insert hook under the next vertical bar, YO and draw loosely through both the vertical bar and the loop on hook. [fig. h]  Repeat across *.  Finish off. figure h[fig. h]

©Janet Rehfeldt 1999    All Rights Reserved.

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