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Yarn Tests for a New Tunisian Crochet Filet Design

Yarn tests for stitch close up photos: color, plying, thickness, etc.
This blog post is third in a short series about the development of a new Tunisian crochet pattern pdf.

Two kinds of yarn tests.

I did two kinds of yarn tests for my new Tunisian crochet filet scarf (first blogged here).

#1. For Tutorial Close Ups

I’ve learned to take three things into account: the yarn’s plying, color, and thickness.

Yarn plies: I have the best luck with a single ply yarn. More than one ply can add a distracting texture, especially in close ups. I love the look and colors of the purple yarn in the first photo, but its plies worried me. (Each individual ply of this unusual 100% cashmere yarn is twisted, but there’s no twist holding them all together.)

The color(s): Yarn colors also matter for Tunisian crochet filet close ups. A single light color shows texture depth the best. I tend to avoid variegated yarns, with exceptions here and there.

Extreme close up of a good quality crochet thread makes it look old and hairy.
Opera crochet thread is known for its polished, silky beauty. This extreme close up is not its best look.

Subtle color shifts can be a real plus with Tunisian crochet, though! I think this might be because it helps the eye distinguish forward pass loops from return pass loops. (Four Peaks images are good examples of this. Strong contrasting color shifts would normally be distracting. This isn’t the case for Four Peaks because of the small, fine-grained Tunisian simple stitches.)

Yarn weight: If I’m taking close up photos, and the camera has a good zoom lens, why does it matter how thin or thick the yarn is? How about using a crisp crochet thread? I discovered the hard way that I have better luck with a thick yarn. With thread and skinny yarns, the individual fibers show up too much in each loop. Even slight fuzziness is magnified. It makes the yarn or thread look old, shaggy, and worn out.

#2. A Winter Yarn

I fell in love with my first Tunisian crochet filet design in wool. That would be…Warm Aeroette! (Hence the “warm” part.) Traditional filet lace has mostly been a cotton thread kind of crochet project. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think of wool at first.

Until Aeroette I’d only had Tunisian crochet filet thoughts in bamboo (Ennis), silk (Aero), and cotton (dishcloth test in my Lotus yarn). It’s thanks to Warm Aeroette that I discovered how nice Four Peaks is is in a toasty aran-weight wool.

I needed to test with classic wool yarn to know Aeroette better. Could it work in something other than Aero’s fancy silk? Unlike Four Peaks, the wool yarn I used isn’t thick; it’s a fingering/sock weight fine-micron merino wool. (Fine-micron merino has a lot in common with cashmere.)

Thin fingering weight gives the tall Tunisian filet stitches a fine-grained texture. In a thick wool like the Mochi Plus (blue photo above), the filet-style lacy eyelets could look clunky or lumpy as a scarf. Would be a lovely afghan border though!

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Not Tunisian Crochet Stitches: a Converted Filet Swatch

This is the first of 3 blog posts on the release of a new Tunisian crochet pattern. The 2nd is here and the third is here.

I used no Tunisian crochet stitches for the swatch on the left only.

Instead, I used single crochet, double crochets, and chains. (US abbreviations: sc, dc, and ch. Outside of the US: dc, tr, ch). The chs and dcs create lacy open spaces in the style of filet crochet. I alternated each filet row with a row of sc. Not traditional for filet crochet, but it does follow filet logic. (This is one reason I wanted to swatch it; see this newsletter issue about a similar experiment.)

Not Tunisian crochet stitches vs Tunisian crochet (filet-style Aeroette Scarf)
No Tunisian crochet stitches at left, converted from the Tunisian crochet Aeroette scarf at right.

The sc rows give the spaces thicker top and bottom “walls” around the spaces. This matches the thicker side “walls” created by the dc pairs.

This stitch pattern is converted from the Warm Aeroette Scarf on the right, which is 100% Tunisian crochet stitches. I was curious to see how much these two would differ in looks, surface texture, and drape.

Single Crochets versus Tunisian Crochet Stitches

The first thing I notice about the left swatch is the single crochets. Specifically, the backs of them. They’re raised, bumpy, and have a distinctive look. To me they emphasize a horizontal grain of the left swatch.

Unlike the rows of Tunisian crochet stitches on the right, I turned after every row of the left swatch. We’re looking at the right side of a dc row alternated with a wrong side of a sc row. The bumpy sc backs also cause the dc rows to recede a bit. This adds to the effect of the sc rows standing out, almost ridge-like.

This effect is mostly absent from the Tunisian swatch on the right. Its surface is uniformly flatter. Tunisian crochet stitches do have their own horizontal texture. They get it from the return passes – that second part of a complete Tunisian row when you crochet the loops off of the hook. In this pattern, the return pass textures are no more raised than the vertical stitch textures created during the forward passes.

Differences I’m Not Seeing

I expected to see a difference in how the yarn’s color changes look, but I don’t really. Maybe the swatch on the left needs to be much bigger. I also expected the Tunisian one to drape more. Perhaps it doesn’t because this is wool, and the hook size is smaller than I usually use for lacy Tunisian crochet stitches. I used a G-7 (4.5 mm) hook. For the non-Tunisian swatch I used a G-6 (4 mm) crochet hook.

The Warm Aeroette Scarf on the right is the next pattern I’ll be adding to the shop. I’ll announce it in my newsletter. You can also track its project page in Ravelry.

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Tunisian on the Diagonal: Class Resources

Official image for the 2018 Tunisian on the Diagonal class, Chain Link Conference, Portland OR
Final update of this page is in progress, please check backView the high-res image. This is a conveniently clickable group of things I mention and display in Tunisian Crochet on the Diagonal classes. I teach the next one on July 27, 2018 in Portland OR.  I show a huge amount of published and unpublished crochet designs in this class including new, never seen! Each illustrates the stitches and techniques learned.   — Vashti Braha

 

Thinking of signing up for this class? I wrote New Angle on Diagonal Tunisian, and newsletter issue #93, with you in mind.

Diagonal Tunisian Crochet Patterns

Recommended Issues of Vashti’s Crochet Inspirations Newsletter

Blogged It

Photo Albums & Inspiration Boards

Recommended Sites

All about the “Half-Hitch” stitch

  • Quick how-to video (Backward Loop Cast On is the same as a half hitch stitch.)
  • See the CAL discussion thread listed above.

Getting Geeky About the Geometry of Diagonal Tunisian

Any Books on Diagonal Tunisian?

Not that I’m aware of. Here are my three favorite Tunisian crochet references in print:

  • 2008: Tunisian Crochet Patterns 100, Nihon Amimono Bunka Kyo-kai, Japan ISBN 978-4-529-04484-4
  • 2000 (1991), Rebecca Jones: Tricot Crochet The Complete Book, Lacis Pubs., Berkeley CA. ISBN 978-1-891656-28-6
  • 2004, Angela “ARNie” Grabowski: Encyclopedia of Tunisian Crochet, LoneStar Abilene Pubg LLC, TX. ISBN 978-0-974972-55-8

The Five Peaks Tunisian Crochet Shawl design in the news & around the ‘net

I created this resource list for my students & others to explore the Five Peaks Tunisian crochet shawl, and similar start-in-a-corner, edge-as-you-go L-shaped wraps.

Inspiring Features, Examples, and Variations of the Five Peaks L-Shape

  • Doris Chan’s Fairlane
  • Nicky Epstein’s __
  • Barry Klein’s _

Yarn Tests for a New Tunisian Crochet Filet Design

How to Increase Tunisian Crochet Stitch Blocks

Preview: Aery Faery Lacy Tunisian Crochet Scarf

2010 CGOA Runway: Tunisian Weightless Wrap

Two-Color Tunisian Crochet Swatches

Tunisian Crochet Books for Research

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Tunisian Eyelet Meshes: Class Resources Page

A clickable list of resources for my 2016 Tunisian Eyelet Meshes class at CGOA’s Chain Link conference: patterns for designs shown, books mentioned, & articles recommended in class. Also, inspiration for new Tunisian eyelet variations.

 

Story of the Tunisian Eyelet Mesh

Patterns

Recommended Issues of My Newsletter

Blogged (older blogs)

Inspiring Tunisian Crochet Books

You might see a lacy stitch variation to try.

  • 1997: Basics of Tunisian Crochet for Beginners, N. Seto, Japan. ISBN 978-4-529-029285
  • 2000 (1991), Rebecca Jones: Tricot Crochet The Complete Book, Lacis Pubs., Berkeley CA. ISBN 978-1-891656-28-6
  • 2004, Angela “ARNie” Grabowski: Encyclopedia of Tunisian Crochet, LoneStar Abilene Pubg LLC, TX. ISBN 978-0-974972-55-8
  • 2004, Carolyn Christmas and Dorris Brooks: 101 Easy Tunisian Stitches, Annies Attic, IN. ISBN 978-1-931171-74-8
  • 2008: Tunisian Crochet Patterns 100, Nihon Amimono Bunka Kyo-kai, Japan ISBN 978-4-529-04484-4
  • 2009, Kim Guzman: Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches, Annie’s Attic, IN. ISBN 978-1-59635-264-3
  • 2009, Sharon Hernes Silverman: Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting with the Ease of Crocheting, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg PA. ISBN 978-0-811704-84-7
  • 2014, Kim Guzman: Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide.
  • Duplet magazine issue #61.
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Tunisian Extended Stitch Ripple

Three Tunisian filet crochet swatches of my ripple pattern attempts.

Fresh Off the Hook: a Tunisian Extended Stitch Ripple

I swatched these for the Steeking Tunisian Lace class out of curiosity and as interesting visual aids. The Tunisian extended stitch can do some very inspiring things, and it’s fun to steek (cut holes into it).

Imagine steeking this one…I’m seeing a lovely sleeve cap…

Ok, this only sort of counts as class prep on this 6th day of 50 conference prep days. It’s not strictly essential to finishing the class handout, but now I might get design ideas from it in other spare moments. Class prep always generates lots of new design ideas. I revel in this.

My son had a band concert last night so I swatched the white one on the left while waiting for the concert to begin. I’ve been meaning to try a Tunisian extended stitch ripple ever since I wrote newsletter #49 in 2013.