Tunisian Crochet: Foundation Rows, Simple Stitch, and Slip Stitch Bind Off

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Tunisian crochet is another one of those techniques that I put off learning for far too long. And it turns out it was easier than I could have imagined! So take a deep breath, watch this video, read this post, and try it – you can do this!

Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com

Tunisian crochet is usually done with a long, straight hook with a stopper on the end – sort of a cross between a hook and a knitting needle. But I’ve designed this tutorial for you to be able to give it a try without buying anything new! Just grab some worsted/ medium weight yarn and a US-J, 6.00mm hook, and watch!

How to Get Started with Tunisian Crochet:

So in the above video I showed you several things: Tunisian foundation rows, the simple stitch, and the slip stitch bind off. Let’s take a closer look in the photos and instructions below.

Tunisian Foundation Rows:

Row 1: Chain to desired length – any number you like. Then working into the second loop from the hook, insert the hook and pull up a loop from each chain to the end. At the end you should have as many loops on the hook as you had chains.Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com

Row 2: Yarn over and pull through the first loop – this is like a chain 1. *Yarn over and pull through 2 loops, repeating from * to end.Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com

Tunisian Simple Stitch:

After making the Foundation Rows, proceed as follows:

Row 3 (Forward Pass): The loop already on the hook counts as the first loop or stitch of this row. So insert your hook, right to left, under the second vertical loop from the previous row. Yarn over and pull up a loop. Repeat in each remaining vertical loop to the end. For the last vertical loop you can go under just the one front as before, or under both loops – try both and see which you like better.Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com

Row 4 (Return Pass): Repeat Row 2 of the foundation rowsGet Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com.To continue, repeat Rows 3 and 4 until you have reached the length desired, then bind off.Get Started with Tunisian Crochet! This tutorial gets you going to day with no special equipment! Video and more at Mooglyblog.com

Slip Stitch Bind Off:

Insert the hook under the second vertical loop of the previous row just as in Row 3. Yarn over and pull up a loop, then pull that same loop through the other loop on the hook – just like a slip stitch! Continue in this manner to the end, then break yarn and weave in ends.

Looks do-able, right? And that’s all you need to get started! Keep going until your ready to bind off, make a bookmark or bracelet, and practice your tension and technique… you’re doing Tunisian crochet! It’s normal and expected for your work to curl as you crochet – you’re actually working each row in front of the previous row somewhat, rather than straight on top. Using a bigger hook than you normally would (like a 6mm with worsted) and blocking usually takes care of it!

So stay tuned for Friday, when I’ll share a new free pattern that uses what you’ve learned today plus stitches you already know to make something pretty and practical! And if you’re heading out you might want to grab a size US-J, 6.00mm Tunisian hook at the store (don’t worry, sale prices are updated every Thursday!).

Be sure to check out and like the moogly Facebook page to get the latest updates, links, and sneak peeks. Moogly is also on Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ – come join the fun! You can contact me via the Facebook page or at TamaraKelly@mooglyblog.com.

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  1. 1


    Oh dear. Now you’ve piqued my interest! I had no desire to learn tunisian crochet, but after watching your video I MUST LEARN IMMEDIATELY! Ha! Ok, I’m gonna pick up a tunisian hook next time I head to town. Should I get the size J for the project you’re gonna teach us?

  2. 6

    Lisa says

    I taught myself the simple stitch from written instructions but was never pleased with the final row. I usually single crocheted around the afghan. Thank you for teaching the slipstitch bind off. That makes a beautiful edge. I hope you will teach other Tunisian stitches soon.

  3. 8

    Heather says

    I’ve used books to try to learn and was not sure I was doing it right…and I wasn’t! (Hopefully I at least invented a new stitch, right? ;)) Thanks for the really great quality pictures!!!!!

    • 9

      Tamara Kelly says

      😀 I’ve done that before – when I first learned to sc I thought you were supposed to go into the BLO. Everything I made had ridges lol! Glad the tutorial helped you!

  4. 12

    Vicki says

    Isn’t this the same as cro-hooking that I learned in the eighties? Except that my hook was double-ended, and I worked two colors alternately, taking off and putting on with the new color, and turning the hook at the end of the row. Maybe I have my instructions somewhere…

    • 13

      Tamara Kelly says

      It’s similar, though as you say the hooks are different, and with Tunisian you don’t turn your work. The Tunisian Simple Stitch is also know as Afghan crochet, and in the late 1800s was also called Tricot stitch, Railway stitch, Fool’s stitch, and Idiot stitch. Some people also refer to it as Shepherd’s knitting.

  5. 14

    Virginia says

    Hi Tamara!

    I just wanted to tell you that your patterns and tutorials are simply amazing. I love how you walk us through the steps so clearly and simply, I was wondering if there was a way you could make a video on a color change with this tunisian stitch? I am wanting to make an afghan (graphghan) and it calls for the color changes. If you would show us how to do that, I would be forever thankful!

    Your fan!

    • 15

      Tamara Kelly says

      Thank you so much Virginia! I hope to make many more Tunisian videos in the future – that will definitely be on the list!

  6. 16

    Elaine says

    Thank you Tamara. I have only just heard of Tunisian crochet. I always wanted to learn to crochet, but I couldn’t remember the stitches, plus there were so many stitches with different names depending on where you lived. I took a look at your video out of curiosity and WOW I can do it AND remember, as easy as knitting. once again Thank you so much for sharing your talent.now can I find an easy pattern for a blanket for my expected grandson.

  7. 17

    Jennifer Anderson says

    Thank you for this tutorial. I have experimented with this stitch before but was never happy with the results. Your tutorial explains in a more simple fashion to what I have seen before that I now understand the procedure.
    Thank you for the time it took to explain & share.

  8. 18

    Irma says

    Thank you so much for the video!! I just made my first dish towel with the Tunisian simple stitch!!!
    The only thing is that the ends curl up, is my tension to tight? what can I do so that it doesn’t curl up??
    I used Peaches n Creme cotton yarn and a regular K crochet hook.
    Thanks, Irma :)

    • 19

      Tamara Kelly says

      Curling is the bane and curse of most Tunisian stitches! The only one I’ve found that doesn’t curl at all is the Purl stitch. What I’d recommend is a solid sc border – at least one round, two if it’s really persistent. Then wet blocking (let it get really wet, ring it out, reshape and lay flat to dry) and you should be all set!

      • 20

        Irma says

        Thanks! I put a border on it and it is better! (one row of sc and one row of sc, ch 2, sc)
        I am going to try your other tunisan videos! I really like this kind of crochet.
        Thanks for the videos! they help alot!
        Irma :)

  9. 23


    Back in 1982 I made a baby blanket for my son who was born in 1983.. it alternated one square of lace crochet and one square of what was called “The Afghan Stitch”. This Tunisian stitch is worked the exact same way as the afghan stitch. Are these the same stitches, except for with a different name?
    The baby blanket had little ducks, etc embroidered in the middle of each afghan stitch. I changed it up a little by adding rows of the Afghan stitch to the very middle of it and after he was born I embroidered his name and date of birth. Sadly the blanket got lost somewhere along the way. Thank you for sharing this tutorial.

    • 24

      marissa says

      Yes, Tunisian crochet simple stitch is also known as afghan stitch.

      It’s an old technique, so there has been plenty of time for extra names to develop and confuse us

    • 26

      Tamara Kelly says

      😀 You’re too fast for me! Yes, afghan and Tunisian are the same thing. I believe it’s had a few other names over the years as well! That baby blanket sounds adorable!

  10. 27


    You do such a fine job with your videos! My interest in Tunisian crochet began about 2-3 months ago….I really doing like it! I’ll keep my eyes open to your site! Thanx again!

  11. 29

    CARMEN says

    I have been practicing the afghan stitch, BUT when i do, it curls up on me. I ‘ve done it really loose and tight, and no matter what it curls all the way up. am i doing something wrong, or is that just how goes?

  12. 31

    Sheabella says

    Thanks for the instruction. My left side doesn’t look like yours. I am obviously picking the wrong two bars at the end. Ugh..could you show the left side at the end of the forward pass so I can see exactly which two bars make up the stitch? I would be so grateful. Also which tunisian hook are you using? I have bamboo and would rather use and metal. Is it an addi? TIA

    • 32

      Tamara Kelly says

      The hook I’m using is a Susan Bates – picked it up at a Walmart I think, about 13 years ago when I decided I wanted to learn to crochet and had no idea what I was doing lol! You can get a good look at the bars on the left side at about 5:44 in the video. :)

      • 33

        Sheabella says

        Thanks so much. I figured it out! It looks so much better. Good thing you picked up a tunisian hook way back then! 😉

  13. 34

    Michelle says

    I’m very grateful for this tutorial. I’m new to tunisian crochet and stumbled on this site after I’d already started my project. My pattern did not indicate how to end my project and I’d just assumed I’d finish the return row and be done. I’m so glad I found your cast off instructions. My finished project looks so much better. Thanks!

  14. 36

    Kelsey says

    I love all the videos and tutorials! The video I really need though is someone showing me how to hold my hook and move the stitches along as that is my biggest issue. It seems like videos I can find either show just a few stitches or crop out the hook hand.

    • 37

      Tamara Kelly says

      Thank you Kelsey! I hadn’t thought about that – I’ll have to add that to the next video! For me, I find it easiest to hold the hook overhand, or knife grip, then just scooch the stitches on down the hook, as I would with a knitting needle. (Scooch is a real word, right?)

  15. 38

    lucretia says

    Thank you so much – been wanting to do tunisian for quite a while but kept putting it off. Now I know how easy it is (thanks to you) – all systems go :-)

    • 41

      Tamara Kelly says

      I’m afraid it’s rarely a one to one translation, though you can design items that will have a similar look! The fabric has differences though.

  16. 42

    Elizabeth C. says

    I can’t thank you enough for this tutorial! Every time i do regular crochet and go back to tunisian, i come watch this video as a refresher! Thank u!

  17. 44


    I have been crocheting for 41 years! I have never been interested in Tunisian until recently. You are a wonderful teacher!! Thank you for helping me learn something new.

  18. 46

    Lisa says

    I just found your blog, and I’ve only looked at a couple of things so far, and I want to tell you, WOW!!
    I’ve been crocheting for almost fifty years, and I thought I knew everything :). When I first heard of Tunisian crochet I thought someone had only re-named the Afghan stitch and I didn’t pay that much attention to it (I know everything, remember :P) I get emails from All Free Crochet, and today I saw your Pretty Pebbles Dishcloth and decided to check it out. You’ve shown me that I really don’t know it all, after all!
    I’m going to watch and read all your tutorials, keep patterns, and go crazy!!!
    Thank you, thank you for all this info. I know it takes a lot to put all this together, so thank you for your time and patterns that you share.
    Lisa in Alabama

    • 47

      Tamara Kelly says

      Thank you so much Lisa! That’s one of the things I love about crochet – there’s always something new to learn and discover!

  19. 48

    Stacy says

    I love all your work and always get excited when I see something new! I just recently started Tunisian and find that I really enjoy it! But unlike regular crochet or knitting, my hands cramp for some reason. Does that sound like a tension issue? An my other question, can you use any worsted weight or is it best to just use cotton? Thank you for all you amazing videos and patterns, they are amazing!!

    • 49

      Tamara Kelly says

      I think the hand cramping might just be the different style of holding? There’s more weight on the hook with all those loops, so I can see hands getting fatigued faster. You can use any yarn fiber or weight! The key is to use a hook several sizes bigger than that called for on the label. :) Thank you!


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