Tunisian Crochet is New Again

Jan 10, 2013

When Tunisian crochet first reappeared on the crochet scene several years ago, I was instantly hooked. The gorgeous thick fabric that could be created with Tunisian simple stitch, Tunisian knit stitch, and Tunisian purl stitch was perfect for warm garments and accessories. The insertion of yarn overs created a basic lace and beautiful drape. But as designers continue to explore the possibility of this crochet technique.

In her newest book, The New Tunisian Crochet: Contemporary Designs for Time-Honored Traditions, Dora Ohrenstein explores the stitch patterns, lace designs, and project potential of Tunisian crochet. You will also find in-depth information on how to work basic and advanced Tunisian crochet stitches as well as a great introduction to the history of Tunisian crochet. Here is Dora to tell you a bit about the Tunisian crochet's resurgence.

Tunisian Crochet Skirt  
Shantay Skirt

Modern Tunisian Crochet

The twentieth century brought vast changes to women's lives and their roles in the home. While some needlecrafts maintained their popularity through this period, Tunisian crochet seem to have faded from the picture. One is hard pressed to find patterns using the technique in books published in the decades between the 1920s nd 1960. . . .

Only a few years ago, it was almost impossible to find Tunisian designs in crochet magazines. Publishers were reluctant to give the necessary space to explaining the technique and suspected there was not sufficient interest. Then, suddenly, things changed-Tunisian was in the air and everywhere.

  Tunisian Crochet Afghan
Ariadne Sampler Throw

Who can say why certain pastimes fall in and out of favor? It's just as hard to explain Tunisian's disappearance as it is its resurgence. Perhaps with the steady growth of crochet's popularity, which in turn has led to more sophisticated designs, it was inevitable. Tunisian crochet can yield either solid or lacy fabric that is distinctly different from standard crochet, and with the amazing variety of yarns and fibers now available, designers and crocheters are drawn again to this versatile technique.

Entrelac Tunisian Crochet Bag  
Sierra Bag

What's most exciting about this resurgence of interest in Tunisian crochet, beyond the revival of a technique from the past, are the innovations being explored: Newly invented stitches, varieties of Tunisian lace, techniques for working in the round, and new constructions are showing that the technique is just as relevant in the twenty-first century as it was in its earlier incarnations. In this book, I will share with you some of these innovations as well as some reinterpretations of classics.

— Dora Ohrenstein

This year, discover the possibilities of Tunisian crochet and create innovative projects by pre-ordering The New Tunisian Crochet: Contemporary Designs for Time-Honored Traditions today.

Best wishes,

P.S. Which do you prefer, Tunisian crochet lace or solid Tunisian crochet projects?


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Riverbella wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 7:51 AM

I have been on a Tunisian binge lately. I like both the lace and the solid projects, but I am especially fond of Tunisian Entrelac crochet. I made a baby afghan for an expectant coworker in a soft baby yarn in shades in lavender, blue, and sea green. It turned out beautifully and was simple enough that I could crochet while watching tv. I'm working on a Tunisian crochet lace scarf now. Needless to say, I'll be adding this book to my craft library!

HennieL wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 9:48 AM

I haven't explored the new lace techniques as of yet, but like to do lots of color work in solid Tunisian crochet. I like the woven look of alternating colored rows and to do intarsia and fair isle. My favorite is my plaid pattern.

marburmin wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 10:32 AM

Tunisian crochet is fun and beautiful.  However, if you are a leftie - and I am - doing the entrelac patterns is absolutely undoable...or at least I can't figure it out.  Any suggestions?  I would love to do the wrap that was the cover pattern last year but I can't figure out how to do it.  Thanks for any help coming.

Brooksette wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 2:22 PM

I've been meaning to learn Tunisian since forever ... my goal is to learn at least the basics in 2013!

Char55 wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 5:49 PM

Marburmin commented that she couldn't do the entrelac stitch left-handed. Maybe this will help.

There is a video on youtube entitled

"How to Make the Crochet Entrelac Stitch - Left Hand".

Here is the link to the video:


Moosebumps wrote
on Jan 12, 2013 2:19 PM

What's old is new again, but all I remember is doing afghans in the old 'afghan stitch', topped with cross stitching. It's so nice to see all the new patterns using this technique. Love it!

missathena36 wrote
on May 16, 2013 1:00 AM

are you going to finish the crochet along on Betty's Tunisian Tee ? or show us your finished product