November 4, 2014


My Tunisian Adventures

Long, long ago. When my first born was still pink and pudgy, I took a class at a local yarn shop and learned the basics of Tunisian crochet. There were only four of us in the class: the teacher, myself, and two adorable octogenarians. Over the six weeks, I completed a sampler blanket, which still gets used from time to time when babies pop by and need cuddling.

There was something about the long hook--the stitching on, then stitching off again--that I loved. Like weaving... And so through the years I have continued to crochet this way--with one long hook, my sampler book as a guide, and my own imagination for patterns.

I've made sweaters and scarves, shawls and baby blankets. I've searched high and low for patterns on the internet. I've looked in shops across the country, but always without any result. So I've just made things up.

Recently I tumbled into a wonderful yarn shop in Cambria, California and told the shopkeeper of my love for Tunisian crochet. She waltzed me over to a shelf and showed me THREE books filled with patterns. I was stunned. But as I paged through them, there was that sadness that stirs when you realize it's just more of the same crochet-curse--awful, old-fashioned patterns that look like your grandmother might have whipped them up while watching soap operas in the 60s.

Anyway, it's not the 60's anymore! Introducing my latest shawl. Made from two lovely skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina (merino, silk and cashmere!). Yum. I just sketched out a design, got to work, realized I switched hooks half way through, frogged, got back to work, mattress-stitched, edged, blocked, buttoned, and voila! Shawls are my favorite. Easy to throw across your shoulders when you're cold, and drop onto the back of a chair when it's no longer needed. And for my most recent project, I particularly wanted to make a shawl that could be tied in front so that my arms are completely free and ready for weeding, or riding my bike, or packaging up books to send to readers.

Here are some photos. Big thanks to Morgan, who snuggled into the soft pashmina and looked cute, and to Madeleine, who helped snap the pictures. 

Here, I have the shawl fastened with a single button. Silly me, I forgot to tie the shawl while we were shooting, so unfortunately no photos of it being worn that way. Sorry...

If you are practiced in Tunisian crochet, or know someone who is, send them my way, would you? Only a few of us have made the trek, and I'm hoping to find a few more who have adventured along the same roads I have!

Published: November 4, 2014 | Filed under: Me

Comments (4)
Mimi said:
November 4, 2014 @ 3:46 PM

Oh, that's lovely!

Elizabeth said:
November 5, 2014 @ 8:01 AM

oh that is lovely Jane!!!! what an intricate weaving like pattern! God bless you in all things!! ~ Elizabeth

Jeannie Newton said:
November 6, 2014 @ 4:31 PM

It's beautiful! It's a stitch I have long wanted to learn. Hope to try after the holidays. I have a small book that has that in it. Hoping I can learn from it!

Martha said:
November 21, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

That's so pretty...looks woven, but I do love to crochet and could possibly try to learn the tunisian stitch.

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