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I’ve been crocheting for more than 10 years, and yet, there remain some techniques that I have not yet mastered. Tunisian crochet is one of them. It’s not for a lack of interest ; I’m intrigued by the stunning array of stitch patterns one can create in Tunisian crochet. The similarity of Tunisian stitches to some knit stitches is equally compelling, especially for creating certain kinds of fabrics and garments.
So I jumped at the opportunity to review Michelle Robinson’s new book, Tunisian Crochet Workshop. I hadn’t come across a good overview of Tunisian crochet, until perusing Michelle’s book. It’s proven to be a fantastic resource for me as a beginning Tunisian crocheter. You can find it on the Sew and Sew website in paperback and ebook formats. You can also peruse the book before you buy it here.
Let’s take a look at what all of the different sections of the book have to offer!
This book starts at the beginning (a very good place to start!), with lists and photos of all of the tools you will need to learn Tunisian techniques. I especially appreciated the photo guide to the “anatomy” of Tunisian crochet, which detailed all of the different parts of the stitches.
In this section is also a dictionary of basic Tunisian stitches, with corresponding photos of swatches. I found it helpful to play around with Tunisian simple stitch and Tunisian purl stitch before moving on to tackle a project.
Beyond the basics
If you’re already acquainted with the basics of Tunisian crochet, or are a crochet genius and have already whizzed through the basics, the next section of the book offers up plenty of material to keep you busy. From colorwork to cables to surface work, the Beyond the Basics section has information on a little bit of everything to take your Tunisian skills to the next level.
The projects, oh the projects! Notable for their variety and use of Michelle’s signature bright colors, the projects featured in Tunisian Crochet Workshop are simply divine. From bags to cushions to blankets, the project section features a little bit of everything. I’m especially drawn to the adorable Tassel Pouch, which combines different stitch types with some cool contrasting color effects.
I also love the Herringbone Cushion for its incorporation of clean, modern design on one side, and fun and funky stripes on the reverse side.
I hope that some day I’ll have the time and patience to work up the Sampler Blanket, because it’s simply stunning. Plus, you get to experiment with lots of different types of Tunisian stitches, making it the perfect learning project.
Geometric Wall Hanging
I decided to dive in and make the Geometric Wall Hanging. I liked that this project focused on Tunisian simple stitch, but allowed me to experiment with increases and intarsia colorwork. I’m already accustomed to holding my hook with a knife grip, which I think helped somewhat in the transition to handling the Tunisian hook. Although it was a bit unwieldy at first (and my cat enjoyed trying to catch the bobbing cable on the end), I soon found a fairly comfortable rhythm in working the beginning rows. I liked the subtle effect created by using one color for the forward pass and a different color for the return pass.
Next came the colorwork section of the project. I’ve often admired the look of intarsia, but have felt intimidated by what I imagined would be a difficult process of color switching. Once I was a few rows into the process through, it felt like old hat, thanks to the clear instructions Michelle provides on how to change colors mid-row.
All that remains after crocheting the wall hanging is to sew a sleeve for the hanging dowel, put some pretty embellishments on the hanging rope, and create a fun little tassel for the crowning touch. I’m so pleased with my first real foray into Tunisian crochet, and so excited for the final product!
Like I said, I’ve been crocheting for a fair amount of time, and have mastered a lot of techniques in traditional crochet. Although that probably helped me to get into the swing of things more quickly in Tunisian, I still benefited greatly from Michelle’s detailed instructions, and especially the accompanying photos for some of the basic techniques.
Tunisian Crochet Workshop is an invaluable addition to any serious crocheter’s resource library. You can pick up this book as an absolute beginner, and have the foundation for learning a new method of crochet. At the same time, advanced crocheters won’t be disappointed with the gorgeous projects showcasing a broad range of Tunisian stitches and techniques. Bravo, Michelle, for an excellent book!