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Extended Tunisian Stitches – Class Resources

Extending Forward and Return Tunisian Stitches

A NEW class for 2022. This is a three-hour class that was held online for CGOA over two days: Tuesday February 1 and Wednesday February 2, 2022.

Why Extend?

Extended Tunisian stitches bring new textures and flexibility to Tunisian Crochet, sometimes dramatically! With less yarn, and so little effort too. I’ve been exploring extended versions of standard Tunisian stitches for many years. Scroll down to see the Extended Tunisian Stitch Design Gallery.

Here’s why I do it:

  • Make quick progress on a big project, or with very fine yarn. Each row is taller.
  • Get more mileage out of a small pricy skein. An extended Tunisian fabric weighs less because extended stitches are a bit thinner.
  • It’s easy to add shells and other groups of increases wherever you like. This is not true of the most common non-extended stitches–unless you start the stitch with a yarn over, such as a Tunisian double crochet, which is a bit bulkier.
  • Do fine gradations of stitch heights: get the perfect row gauge as well as the stitch gauge stated in a crochet pattern. Make sloping rows for cool color effects. These are options we take for granted with regular crochet.
  • Many of these stitches are self-healing, meaning if you cut (“steek”) them later to make armholes or a head opening they will form their own safely bound off edge.
  • New mosaic–overlay–intermeshed types of colorwork with Tunisian get a boost from extended stitches. See my recent Embossed Stars post.

Makes Great Fabrics!

  • Eliminate the “Tunisian curl”–that annoying thing that happens when the edges of your work roll up while you’re crocheting more rows onto it. Crocheting lace avoids this curling, but extended Tunisian stitches work for dense, non-lacy patterns too.
  • Clothing fits comfortably. Extended Tunisian fabric has more flex, more drape, more stretch. Really thermal yarns, like mohair, alpaca, and Angora have room to expand and breathe.

The Class Resources

Extended Tunisian Stitches: Design Gallery

Relevant Newsletter Issues & Blog Posts

These are issues of my Crochet Inspirations Newsletter, and blog posts, spanning 2010 to today. Keep in mind that many links in pre-2018 newsletter issues are broken.

Swatches & Tests of Extended Tunisian Stitches

Flickr photo album for this class. This is a great way to see class material at full resolution, and to see an array of new stitch patterns. I love scrolling through my stitch albums. I’m continually creating swatches and photos to add to this album so check it again!

My Pinterest Pin Board created for this class topic. I’ve been finding some creative looks for extended Tunisian stitches in other crocheter’s pins from around the world. We discuss some of them in class.

My Extended Tunisian Stitch Projects (Ravelry)

Extended Tunisian Crochet projects in Ravelry. (Log into your Ravelry account first.) Of my 91 Tunisian projects (so far), these have extended stitches:

  • Embossed Thread Stars; Embossed Thread Coaster; Tunisian Soma Stars
  • Zegue; Ziggy Vest
  • Rainchains
  • Eilanner
  • Graven (its collar)
  • Summer Storm Curtains; Smoky
  • Spoonbill Panel Scarf; Tunisian Spoonbill
  • Zylpha Tunisian Net; Marshmallow Mesmer; Tunisian Mist; Mesmer I
  • Diamond Coaster and the next 4 projects after that
  • Rivuline Shawl
  • Shakti Eyelets
  • Thickie-Dickie
  • Neck Lattice
  • Ostara
  • Swizzle-Shakti
  • Melusine’s Wavest
  • Skinny Shaktism and next 2 projects
  • Summer Islander; Tunisian Island Wrap
  • Vanilla Crown Hat (band)
  • Julep Shrug (sleeves)

Some are pictured above; I’m still adding they images to the Extended Stitches Flickr album.

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What IS Crochet, Really?

'What is crochet' issue: Unusual mesh of two-color very tall stitches

“What Is Crochet, Really?” was first published as issue #103 of Vashti’s Crochet Inspirations Newsletter. I sent it to 8,043 subscribers on October 9, 2020 with the title, “The Big Picture of Crochet”. I’ve updated the third paragraph (“This idea for a newsletter topic…”) as of Nov. 2, 2020.

I have a fresh big picture of crochet to report.

I’ve worried about whether you’d be interested in my “what is crochet” thoughts, but you know what? It’s crochet theory, which we don’t have enough of, so I’m probably not alone in pondering it. 

For help in my quest I turned to national libraries, big crochet sites, encyclopedias, and academia. How does crochet fit into the larger world? How is it defined by and for non-crocheters, versus crocheters? Within the subject of crochet, how is its huge variety organized into subtopics? 

This idea for a newsletter topic grabbed hold of me thanks to three writers (I’ve listed all mentioned sources at the bottom): Cary Karp, Rachel Maines, and Sue Perez. Cary’s Loopholes blog has several thought-provoking posts and published articles about crochet history and structure; his “Defining Crochet” article had me mulling “what really is crochet” for weeks. It turns out that my “how does crochet fit into the larger world” question is addressed in Rachel’s book. Sue’s new category-crossing crochet book was an indirect trigger (see Links at the bottom).

Continue reading What IS Crochet, Really?

Archived Crochet Newsletters: LIST

Have you arrived at this page from Ravelry, Facebook, a blog post, pattern PDF, or elsewhere? Welcome. This is the only place to find the complete list of my archived crochet newsletters, with update notes and direct access to each. Go directly to the list below.

Archived newsletters: first page of a typical issue.

I proudly present a full backlist of my archived crochet newsletters. This page is a public log of my progress as I add each one to its permanent public archive on this site.

As I upload and update each back issue, I’ll add its direct link to the list below. Use the issue number (such as #60 for the one pictured) to find the issue you want in the list. If it isn’t clickable, it’s not yet republished.

The Originals, Enriched

Each of my archived crochet newsletters is in the process of getting its own permanent page on this website. You’ll be able to leave comments, bookmark and return to it, share, pin, and print out a copy. I love that I can add new stuff as the topic evolves. If I’ve updated it more than once, I’ll note the most recent date at the top of its page.

I’m generally preserving the original issues except for very light editing and link-fixing here and there. Many of the topics continue to evolve. Issue #2 is an example of when I add new material and some original notes that were squeezed out of the issue the first time around. This kind of stuff goes at the end of its page, clearly indicated. In the case of Issue #3, the whole issue got a dramatic overhaul!

How to Find an Issue

Know the number of the issue, or the general date it was sent?

The first-ever issue, #1, was sent September 2, 2010. Issue #100 went out September 1, 2019. Scroll through the list below by issue number, which is also chronological.

I always refer to an issue by its number.

Prefer to browse?

I created this page just for you. And for me, when I just want to scroll through the memories.

Have a topic in mind?

Have a topic in mind, but you don’t know the number or date of the issue(s)? I’m working on a way to display newsletters grouped in subcategories.

Vashti’s Archived Crochet Newsletters Complete List: 2010 to the Present

On a mobile device? Scroll to the left or right if you don’t see FOUR columns (Issue #, Sent Date, Original Title, Notes).

Issue #Sent
Original TitleNotes
#12010-09-02 New Crochet Talk: Inaugural Issue
#22010-09-16A Super Crochet ManeuverUpdated title: Crochet Stitch Equivalents (Issue 2)
#32010-09-30A Very Different Kind of Crochet StitchUpdated title: Limpet Stitch: Crochet Half Hitches (Issue 3)
#42010-10-14Graphing Waterlilies
#52010-10-28A Fever for Neck Warmers
#62010-11-11Thick, Thicker, Thickest
#72010-11-24Tunisian for Yarn Bail Outs
#82010-12-09Commutative Property
#92011-01-06The Ribbing Issue
#102011-01-20Breaking Out of Tunisian Ruts 
#112011-02-03Fibers That ‘Sproing’ 
#122011-02-17Twist Some Loops 
#132011-03-03Shrugging Off Winter 
#142011-03-17Ireland, Japan, and Crochet Lace
#152011-04-01Unpacking V-Stitches 
#162011-04-14Flavor Burst Crochet  
#172011-04-28Fancy Cords in 360º 
#182011-05-13Deep Crochet Research 
#192011-05-26Netting vs. Lace  
#202011-06-09Travel Crochet 
#212011-06-23Wee Pebble Stitches 
#222011-07-08Crochet That Pours 
#232011-07-21If Stitch Patterns Could Speak         
#242011-08-04Mirroring Stitch Types 
#252011-08-18Tweak Those Gaps Along Row Edges?        
#262011-09-01Fun With Stitch Blocking  
#272011-09-15Stalking the Wild Slip Stitch  
#282011-10-06Mohairs for Crochet 
#292011-10-20Short Row Startle! 
#302011-11-05Yarns of Different Stripes 
#312011-11-17Sparkly Crocheting 
#322011-12-01Quick Crochet for Kids 
#332011-12-16Jumbo Hooks 
#342011-12-31Protecting Crochet Creativity 
#352012-01-14Draping Simple Shapes 
#362012-02-17Ribs, Old & New Grooves
#372012-03-08When Stitches Lean 
#382012-03-23A Jewelry Experiment Method 
#392012-04-24Love Knot Research 
#402012-05-14Pulling Up a Long Loop  
#412012-07-12Beachy Kimono & Ruana Shapes 
#422012-08-11“Inverse” (NOT Reverse) Crocheting 
#432012-09-27Silver Wire Crocheting 
#442012-11-08Dainty Eyelets for Winter Lace 
#452012-11-30Slip Stitch FAQ Blogged a version of this: Slip Stitch Crochet FAQ.
#462012-12-13Clones Knots, Open & Closed 
#472013-02-19Rayon Threads. Really? 
#482013-03-14Diagonal Tunisian Crochet Discovery 
#492013-04-20‘TEKSplorations’ for Tunisian LaceBlogged about the Tunisian Extended Stitch: Tunisian Extended Stitch Ripple.
#502013-05-16Those Crochet Stitch “Feet” 
#512013-06-18Lacy Summery Seams 
#522013-07-18Slip Stitches, Wool Breeds, & Plying
#532013-08-06Slip Stitch Flowers 
#542103-09-27How (& Why?) of Crochet Coffee Cozies
#552013-12-02Fun Yarn Tests, and – BIG NEWS! 
#562014-01-09Yarn Color Charms to Make 
#572014-02-14Which Beads Added Which Way?
#582014-03-13About That Bump in the Chain
#592014-04-01Star Stitch, the Tunisian Connection 
#602014-04-25Star Stitch Lace Pretties! 
#612014-06-06When Top Loops Are Optional! 
#622014-09-06Hexagonal Lace TypesBlogged overflow from this issue: Beaded Delta Crochet Types of Lace.
#632014-10-02Fun with Double StrandingBlogged overflow from this issue, Double-Strand Crochet, and more overflow: More on Double Strand Crocheting.
#642014-11-07Dramatic Tunisian Edge IncreasesBlogged a version of this: How to Increase Tunisian Crochet Blocks.
#652014-12-05Mock Cables in Slip Stitches Blogged the project: Crochet Cable Boot Cuff Pattern Progress.
#662014-12-21Hot Trend: Boot Cuffs! 
#672015-02-05That Weird Popcorn Stitch Step 
#682015-05-23Filet Net Textures, Rotated! 
#692015-07-04Wish Bracelets: Why Not Crocheted?
#702015-08-14Starting a Stitch with a Backtrack! 
#712015-09-19Beyond Crochet Hook Debates Blogged: downloadable Crochet Hook Diagram, and Crochet Hook Size Charts.
#722015-10-10“Long Tail” Crochet Blogged: Long Tail Crochet Foundations.
#732015-11-25How to Shape Star Stitches 
#742015-12-16Crochet a Filament of Cheer 
#752016-01-23It’s MORE Than an Invisible Decrease! Blogged a version of this: When to Crochet Between Top Loops.
#762016-02-12Heart Shapes with Slip Stitches Blogged a free heart pattern to go with this issue: Slip Stitch Crochet Hearts. Also see Crochet Bunnies Flat or Puffy.
#772016-03-08Find the Color Code of Short Striping Yarns         Related blog post: Rosebud Argyle Color Pooling Stitch.
#782016-05-02Möbius Mindbending Experiences  Related blog post: Mindbender Mobius News.
#792016-06-11Steek (Cut) Stitches the Fun Way ✂ Blogged the overflow from this issue: Steeking Crochet (Newsletter Overflow).
#802016-09-01Pattern Schematics for Insiders and Outsiders
#812016-11-04Crocheting Pendant Loops ➰ 
#822016-12-10Holiday 2016 + Foundation Star How-to[includes #82.5 (12/15/2016) Updates to Last Week’s Issue] 
#83 2017-02-28Hidden Pictures in CUT Stitches! 
#842017-05-05Crocheted Ruffles
#852017-07-07New Stitch Patterns 
#862017-08-10Edgings That Multitask 
#872017-08-24Announcing a Ruana ‘DAL CAL’ (design-along crochet-along) 
#882017-11-18Yarn Overs⤵, Unders⤴, and ‘Purlwise’Blogged overflow from this issue: Yarn Over, Yarn Under (Newsletter Overflow).
#892018-01-13Crochet Around a Ring *Differently* Blogged the design that inspired this issue: Last Minute Crochet Jewelry Gift.
#902018-03-04Elegant Tall Stitches
#912018-04-07Crocheting a Yarn’s Twist Energy 
#922018-05-19Clever Substitutions
#932018-07-21Unzip Foundation Chains
#942018-09-01Referring to Stitch Parts
#952018-10-19Color Revolution
#962018-11-29Choosing Holiday Projects         Blogged the charts of ideas: Holiday Crochet Project Habits.
#972019-02-10Crochet “Life Lists”                               Downloadable PDF of Crochet Bucket List.
#982019-04-06Tricky Tunisian/Afghan Hooks                  
#992019-06-07Barefoot Sandal Phenomenon
#100 2019-09-01It’s Issue 100!: Scaling Every Which Way
#1012020-04-25How I Reset Major Crochet Slumps
#1022020-06-13Wild Whys of Y-StitchesCurrently included in the Tall Stitch Class Resources Page until it gets its own permanent page.
#1032020-10-09Big Picture of CrochetUpdated title: What IS Crochet, Really?
#1042022-01-26The Paradoxical Return PassYou might be able to view it here until I add it to this site.
#1052022-04-22Ripple Stitch DNAView it here until I add it to this site.
Vashti’s Crochet Inspirations Newsletter all issues.


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Slip Stitch Crochet Class Resources

Collage of many examples for Big-Hook Slip Stitch Crochet Class by Vashti Braha
Updated July 20, 2020. First posted in 2012.

This clickable list of slip stitch crochet resources is mainly to aid students of my classes in exploring more about Slip Stitch Crochet at their leisure. (If you have not yet taken any of my slip stitch classes, I hope someday I’ll meet you in one of them!) You’re welcome to enjoy the links below whether you’ve taken the classes or not. They represent the extra information that doesn’t fit into a standard three-hour class. Some are the names of designers, books, other types of slip stitch crochet, etc., that I may have mentioned in a class.

— Vashti Braha

Slip Stitch Crochet Class Resources 2020

Slip Stitch Crochet Designs

Relevant Crochet Inspirations Newsletter Issues

Related Blog Posts

Special to Big Hook Crocheting

Slip Stitching Around the Internet

Slip Stitch Crochet Books of Interest

  1. Tanja Osswald’s Kettmaschen (in German)
  2. Nancy Nehring’s Learn Slip Stitch Crochet and Slip Stitch Caps
  3. Bendy Carter’s Knit 1 Purl 2 in Crochet.
  4. Dora Ohrenstein’s designs and articles in Interweave Crochet magazine, Fall 2010 and Winter 2011 issues.

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Crochet Bunnies Flat or Puffy

2 flat crocheted bunnies (sihouette), 2 stuffed ones, in different slip stitch crochet textures.

This past month I used Tunisian and slip stitches to crochet bunnies flat, rather than in the round. Make two, seam together, and stuff for 3D bunnies. Leave flat for appliqué!

Compare all the shapes in the photo above and below: there are some side-view silhouettes (the yellow wool bunnies) plus several marshmallow candy style bunnies in light blue Lotus yarn.

Two are stuffed, but all started out flat. The stuffed white wool bunny (above far right) uses the square method: I crocheted a flat square of inverse slip stitches, and then seamed and stuffed it. (I followed this tutorial for a knitted square bunny.)

Five marshmallow-candy-shape bunnies lined up from shortest (3 slip stitch) to tallest (2 Tunisian crochet)
From left to right: Three slip stitch bunnies (front-loop slip; inverted back loop; inverted front loop). Two Tunisian crochet bunnies, flat: TSS (simple stitch), TKS (knit stitch). I also added a simple slip stitch outline to all bunnies except the TSS one.

My informal and rather obsessive online research tells me that 95% of all the crochet amigurumi (stuffed toys) are single crochet stitches in the round. The other 5% are single crochet flat, in rows. It’s easy to know which were crocheted in rows because the texture is very different from rounds with no turning. Crochet designers Donna & Michaelene rock the flat method with single crochet.

Internal or External Shaping?

5 slip stitch roses of different colors and petal shapes
Slip Stitches are fabulous
for shaping flower petals

When you crochet bunnies flat, all the shaping happens at the beginning and/or end of a row; never in the middle of a row. This is external shaping. I’ve liked this kind of crochet ever since I swatched lots of shaping techniques for my Slip Stitch Shapes and Special FX class.

External shaping should be an elementary challenge, but it depends on the stitch and the shape. Each row might be different from the rest. I bet crocheters rarely do it constantly for a whole project, though. See my free heart pattern. It’s an easier shape than a bunny because you’re adding or subtracting no more than two stitches at a time.

New to external shaping in every row? Use the short stitch you’re most familiar with: single crochet (sc), slip stitch (sl st), or Tunisian simple stitch (TSS). You need to be able to easily count your rows and stitches. For most people it’s single crochet.

Crocheting any shape in the round (other than a straight tube) requires internal shaping. It kind of depends on the crocheter how basic that is. It’s probably easier for those who started early on with granny squares, flowers, and other motifs in the round.

Slip Stitches, or Tunisian Crochet?

I found no examples of TSS or sl st crochet bunnies, flat or otherwise, except this sweet one in Tunisian knit stitch (TKS). (You’ll need a Ravelry account to view it). I decided to do side by side bunny comparisons. Yes, I went down a rabbit hole.

Surprising Differences

I used the same chart size for each blue bunny. The Tunisian bunnies are much bigger! After making several sl st bunnies, the forward and return passes of Tunisian felt like double the work for the same bunny. Compared to sl st fabric, the return pass seemed to add padding and height to the stitches. The TKS one also feels heavy. It has so much more yarn in it than the others.

Two flat crochet bunnies and a stuffed one, all "marshmallow peeps style" in light blue Lotus yarn
Three slip stitch amigos. See more in progress
on their project page.

Of the three blue sl st bunnies, the inverse front loop one (far right) has the most height. I used it for two bunnies in the first photo above too: the smaller yellow silhouette, and the white bunny from a square.

TSS is similar to using sc. Besides being of similar height, it’s easy to count rows, especially the TSS rows. Both prevent stuffing from showing through (so does sl st). Unlike sc and sl st, Tunisian stitches do lean, but more weakly than it appears. The lean readily blocks out.

Tunisian crochet has a few strong advantages over sc and sl st. There is no turning, so following a charted shape is the easiest. Another big advantage is when edging the shape. I like to edge flat shapes with a round of slip stitches before I seam them together. Crocheting into Tunisian row ends is a joy. “Joy” isn’t the word that comes to mind when crocheting into row ends of sc or sl st.

Happy Easter 2020 everyone!