Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting a lot with combining Tunisian crochet stitches to achieve different effects. Over the Christmas period I landed on a combo of simple and twisted knit stitches to achieve this lovely ‘heritage’ checked style pattern. Originally I made my brother a scarf for his birthday, but my Dad was so impressed I ended up making him one too, and not to be left out – the dog of course had to have a little coat made!
While it looks a little complicated, it’s actually really easy and quick to do.
This is a SIMPLE (honest) three part technique. 1. You’re alternating each stitch, 2. You’re changing colour every pass*, 3. You’re alternating each row.
*NB – If you’re new to Tunisian crochet don’t let this confuse you, a completed Tunisan crochet row is made up of two parts, a front pass and a back pass – in the simplest terms, if you’re right handed, you start making your stitches from right to left, when you reach the final stitch you then pull the yarn back through your stitches from left to right so you end up back where you started – think of it like weaving. That’s a full row. This is what gives you the opportunity to add in extra colour, depth and texture and makes Tunisian crochet so much fun to play around with.
For this pattern I used 3 different shades of James C Brett Aztec Aran yarn on a 6mm hook (working on a bigger hook *can* sometimes help combat the dreaded roll associated with Tunisian crochet)
In your first colour make a chain of your desired length, work your foundation pass into the chain, once you reach the end, change colour and complete the back pass in the 2nd yarn.
(For beginners – to start: make a chain of your desired length as you would with regular crochet, insert hook into second ch from hook, yo, pull back through the chain and leave loop on hook – continue this along your chain until the last of your chains and you have a hook full of loops. Drop your working yarn and take your second colour yarn, yo with this new colour and pull backwards through one loop on your hook, *yo, pull through two loops on hook, repeat from * until you reach the beginning again [right hand side])
You now have your foundation row completed with two different yarns.
To begin your first row you will now change colour again to your 3rd colour, at the beginning of your row on the right. With this new colour you now work a Tunisian simple stitch in the first stitch followed by a Tunisian twisted knit stitch in the next stitch, alternating as you go along i.e:
*Tunisian simple stitch, Tunisian twisted knit stitch, repeat from *
At the end of this pass, change back to your 1st colour yarn and complete the back pass in the regular way. You can pull this 1st colour yarn up from the row below where it will be hanging down and not have to join in a new ball, hurray – no ends to sew in! To do this, hold your working yarn to the side of your work and from behind it, pull up the 1st colour yarn from the previous row. Use this to make your back pass.
You will now do the opposite of the previous row; so if you started with a simple stitch then, this row you will start with the twisted stitch.
*Twisted knit stitch, Simple stitch, repeat from * to end of pass, change colour to your 2nd yarn which will be hanging from the previous row (pull up from behind your forward pass yarn) and complete the back pass with the 2nd colour yarn.
You will continue to work your piece in this method. Don’t panic if it sounds complicated now, you can’t mix up your colours as there will only be one option to change to at each end. Just remember to change to the other yarn at the end of each pass and alternate which stitch you start on every row.
Overall the pattern will be a repeat of this:
Row 1: simple stitch, twisted knit stitch
Row 2: twisted knit stitch stitch, simple stitch
Row 3: simple stitch, twisted knit stitch
Row 4: twisted knit stitch, simple stitch
The quick video below demonstrates how to pick up your stitches and starts with the twisted knit then simple, then twisted.
Don’t forget to tag @sylviamargaretdesigns on Instagram so I can see your interpretations.