maandag 4 november 2013

Learn to Crochet Tunisian Style!

Do you want to learn a new crochet technique this winter? Look no further because the upcoming 6/7 weeks I am going to show you all the ins and outs of Tunisian Crochet. I am going to show you how to do it, what kind of tools you need and I am going to show you some small fun projects!

Sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy reading!

This week I am going to publish three lessons, and the following weeks once a week (on Friday) to give you time to have a go at the practice patterns!

Tunisian crochet is an area of crochet that is very small at the moment. There are few patterns and even fewer designers at the moment. This is the main reason I started this course. I want the world to see that Tunisian crochet is a very very cool technique and it has lots of possibilities!

FIG. 444.

Tunisian crochet is crocheting with a very very long needle. The needle has a hook on the one end and a knob on the other end. Tunisian crochet is a mix between knitting and crochet. You work stitches on your needle like knitting but you are manipulating the stitches as if you are crocheting.

The origin of Tunisian crochet is quite unknown. Historians know that in the beginning of the 20th century and around 1930 there was quite a bit of attention to Tunisian crochet. It has been called Tunisian crochet, afghan crochet, idiot's stitch, you name it. It was used primarily for making blankets, hence the name "afghan crochet".

Unfortunately it didn’t last for long and it lost competition to knitting and normal crochet. It had a bit of a revival in the 70’s (my mom remembered it!) and the technique was mostly used for blankets/afghans, potholders and other home accesories. The thing is, with Tunisian crochet you create a lovely thick, woven-like fabric which doesn’t stretch as much as knitting or crochet. It is perfect for warm outerwear such as scarves, and can withstand rough handling as a blanket if you got kids/pets.
(source: yarnclasses)

I cannot understand why Tunisian crochet is very much in the background compared to knitting and crochet. I bumped into it more than 3 years ago and it seems it is gaining a bit of attention, but not much. The needles are hard to come by, and there is little information on the Internet unfortunately. There are quite a few designers working with Tunisian crochet, but I think they tend to stay in a certain comfort zone when it comes to creating new techniques. Why? I think because it is very very hard to become more “mainstream” and get picked up by a certain audience if there is little attention to your craft. Book publishers have noticed this and are reluctant to publish books with Tunisian crochet patterns. This really does not help to gain popularity unfortunately.

This is part of the reason I am doing this course! Tunisian crochet adds new techniques to your “crochet knowledge” and it is very much fun. I am going to show you how to work with the needles and show stitches and ofcourse, as you remember from my course last year, I am going to publish accompanying patterns. This course will go on for about 6, 7, maybe 8 weeks as this is still a work in progress!

Next up: Tools! See you on Friday!

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