An afghan hook looks like a knitting needle, with a stopper
at one end and a hook at the other. It does not have an
indentation for the fingers near the hook, but is round throughout
its length. The directions on this page assume you already know
how to crochet, understand basic chain and drawing up loops.
The work will roll up as you stitch each row. This
is normal. Once the piece is blocked and pressed, it will
permanently lie flat. Beginners find this rolling gets in
their way. After about 20 rows, it does manage to stay away from
where you are working and is less a bother. Some yarns roll up more
than others. A good wool or cotton can be finger pressed somewhat,
also. There are other Tunisian stitches (knit and purl) which
do not create this rolling effect, however they are not suitable
grounds for cross stitching.
For every row of Tunisian crochet (aka afghan crochet
and tricot crochet), two passes are required. The first half (drawing
up all the loops on the hook) and the second half, which crochet's
off these loops.
To start, make chain the required length.
Row 1 -First Half:
Skip first chain. Insert hook through top
stitch of next chain. Wrap yarn around hook, and draw through
chain, forming a loop on hook. Continue in this manner through
each chain to the end, retaining all loops on hook as shown
Row 1 - Second Half: Yarn over hook and draw through
first loop. Yarn over and draw through 2 loops. Repeat
yarn over and draw through 2 loops until there is one
loop remaining on hook.
Row 2 - First Half: Insert hook in SECOND
upright (vertical) bar at the front of the work. Yarn
over and draw loop through vertical bar, forming a loop on
hook. Repeat across row, keeping all loops on
hook as in Row 1.
Illustration shows 4 loops on hook and hook
being inserted behind vertical bar for 5th stitch.
Row 2 - Second Half: Work same as for Row
1, Second Half. Continue in this manner for the required
number of rows.
To bind off, slip-stitch across row as follows:
Draw loop through vertical bar as usual and the loop
on the hook at the same time. Repeat across. Break yarn and
draw through last loop.
How to Cross Stitch on a Ground of Tunisian (afghan)
Elegant effects can be had with crewel or
tapestry wool, rayon, silk, or cotton floss. Use enough floss,
or wool strands to cover the area sufficiently, but not so
much as to create bunching. The threads should lay very flat
and not create excess bulk. Practice on a sampler piece using
different yarns and flosses until you get the effect you want.
Many patterns incorporate the same yarns for the embroidery
from which the afghan (or clothing) was worked.
Do not knot. To begin and end each length
of floss, weave a short distance on the back of the work.
Hide the threads as much as possible, making sure they do
not show on the front of the work.
PLEASE NOTE: For more
detail, the illustration is shown with a larger ground
in relation to the tapestry weight yarn being used for
embroidery. There will be almost no space visible with
the proper weight embroidery thread/yarn matched to
the ground. However, a small amount of ground may show
in all this work, but it does not detract from the finished
To embroider cross stitches, follow
the illustrations at right for the correct method of
picking up the chain between the horizontal bars. DO
NOT put the needle through to the back.
The tapestry needle picks up (slips
behind) the front chain of the row of ground, going
between this chain and the horizontal loop on the back
of the work. This keeps the back of your work
free of stitches showing so that you need not line the
item being embroidered. You will need to cross stitch
a little more loosely using this method. If you
go through the holes beside the bars, the back will
have vertical lines similar to ordinary cross stitch.
(If you prefer, you may start at the
right and go toward the left for the first half, and
from left to right for the final cross over). Always
make sure your stitches start in the same direction
in each row, otherwise you will spoil the looks of the
For a free pattern (baby slippers),
For a pictorial essay on Tunisian
crochet, go to: