Tunisian crochet is enjoying a kind of revival right now. I haven't done Tunisian crochet since I was a young girl and had almost forgotten how. But I ran into my afghan hook not long ago and decided to see if I could remember. Naturally I experimented with a dishcloth for the kitchen set I'm currently working on.
The Tunisian stitch is also know as the afghan stitch and each row consists of two parts. First you pick up all the loops and hold them on the hook. When you reach the end of the foundation chain, you work the stitches back off the hook, two at a time. Because you keep all the stitches on the hook during the first part of the row, you have to use a special hook for this method. The afghan hook looks a lot like a knitting needle. It has a stop on one end and the crochet hook is on the other end. If you would like to try it, all you'll need is the special hook and some cotton worsted weight yarn.
Row 1: Chain 30. Insert hook in the second chain from hook, yarn over and draw up the loop. Holding all the loops on the hook, draw up a loop in each chain across. DO NOT TURN.
Yarn over, draw through the first loop on the hook. *yarn over, draw through the next 2 loops on the hook. Repeat from * all the way across until 1 loop remains. The last loop will always be the first loop for the next row.
Row 2: Skip the first vertical bar (the last stitch of the previous row.) *Insert hook in the next vertical bar, yarn over, draw through and keep the loop on the hook.
Keeping all the loops on the hook, repeat from * across. DO NOT TURN. Yarn over, draw through the first loop on the hook. **Yarn over, draw through the next 2 loops on the hook. Repeat from ** back across until 1 loop remains.
You can see in the picture that the beginning row wants to curl and might not look correct early on. Not to worry. As you work additional rows, the yarn gets pushed into place and the pretty squares begin to appear. I pinned it down so that you could see how it will look. That first row always seems to want to curl.
You can see that the fabric is now looking nice and even. These regular squares are what is so distinctive about the Tunisian Simple Stitch. Repeat Row 2 until the fabric measures square.
Last Row: Skip the first vertical bar as usual. Insert hook in the next vertical bar, yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook. Insert hook in next vertical bar and complete a slip stitch. Slip stitch in each vertical bar across. Fasten off. Weave in the clipped ends.
Edging: (Note: If you wish to put the edging on, you may or may not use the last row. This next picture shows a last row. However, it is just as easy to fasten off at the end of the last regular Tunisian row and put the single crochet in under the vertical bars as you come around that last edge.) Cast on a second color two stitches down from the corner. Put a single crochet in each stitch around the edge, with a (sc, ch, sc) in each corner. When you reach the beginning stitch, slip stitch and fasten off.
You can end the edging at this point or add an additional ruffled edge. Cast on original color somewhere in the middle of a side. Chain 3.