I’m looking over the photos I’ve taken so far of my newest Tunisian crochet design. Lately, the weather here has created some moody lighting. Have a look at these!
I’m calling it Aery-Faery because it is faerie-like and diaphanous, like fairy wings. I’ve crocheted most of it while watching the first season of Once Upon a Time. In fact, I’m pretty sure the idea for this design first came to me while watching the show.
The yarn is divine for a lacy Tunisian crochet scarf.
It’s Artyarns Silk Mohair Glitter; a strand of Lurex is plied with the silk and mohair. It’s particularly fine and smooth. The dyeing is gorgeous. You can’t tell from some of the photos, but it’s the subtle colors of a milky opal. The colors shift like they do in an opal, too.
The Aery-Faery pattern draft is done. I’m testing a variation tonight and have the final proofreading to do before sending it off for tech editing and testing.
Three ways to add stitches at the end of a Forward Pass
It’s good to know how to increase Tunisian crochet stitches more than one way because every project is different. These first two methods are my favorite because they don’t limit how many stitches you can increase at a time. This means I can smoothly add big lacy spaces and whole blocks of solid stitch repeats, when and where I wish, in Tunisian crochet. This is something I’ve always loved about regular crochet.
Have a favorite method of your own? Please let me know in the comments!
Method #1. How to Add Tunisian Stitches with Half Hitches
In my original 2009 blog post about this method, I use a pair of half hitches as one increase. This pair is well known to those who do macramé as the double half hitch (dhh). As far as I know, I’m the first to use it as an edge increase.
A single half hitch can also be used for adding a new stitch, and I’ve since found it mentioned for this in a few older books on Tunisian crochet. I add them to a timeline in this half hitch resource post as I find out about them.
The half hitch is also well known in knitting as the simple/single/backwards loop cast on in knitting. This video shows half hitches being added to a knitting. This is how I do it and I’ve really picked up speed.
How to Do the Double Half Hitch Increase (DHH)
Method #2. Use Tunisian Foundation Slip Stitches as Increases
At the end of your Forward Pass, insert hook in one side loop of the end stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. Then chain the number of stitches you wish to add. (I chained four in this photo.) Then take the last loop off of your hook; your chain stitches should resemble those in the photo.
Then, insert your hook under one loop of the first chain (tinted pink) and leave on your hook. Repeat with each remaining chain; then put the live loop back on your hook, as described in the caption.
I discovered this Tfslst method after I designed the Five Peaks Shawl with half hitch increases. Tfslsts is the method of choice in the Four Peaks Scarf pattern and in the Warm Aeroette Scarf (pictured at the top).
I love having both of these methods to choose from, depending on the project.
They are probably interchangeable enough that you could use the one you prefer. (More on that in the newsletter.)
The most important thing is to choose a method that doesn’t impose a limit! Especially when you’re crocheting something that has a diagonal edge and needs to drape nicely, like a triangular shawl or an asymmetrical scarf. Compare the triangles below.
Often when someone asks in a forum how to increase Tunisian crochet stitches, the advice is to squeeze them in. Typically this means adding a stitch in another loop just behind or next to another stitch. This method is fine if you’re replacing a stitch that you accidentally decreased in an earlier row. If you think of basic Tunisian crochet fabric as a grid, space was already reserved for the missing stitch, and you’re just filling it back in.
Method #3. The “Squeeze-It-In” (my least favorite shaping method).
The Squeeze-it-in method has limits. It’s okay for just a rare stitch here and there, and away from the edges. In other words, as an “internal” shaping method. I don’t mean to impose rigid rules. Depending on the project, yarn type, and hook size, squeezing in new stitches when you wish may come out fine.
For me, this shaping method often interferes with my goal of a languid, swaying drape for Tunisian crochet accessories. When I consider how to increase Tunisian crochet edges for a new design, Squeeze-it-in is last on my list.
Fresh off the hook: Warm Aeroette Lace Scarf. Just uploaded these photos. I’m very proud of it. My goal was to take the popular Aero Tunisian Wrap design, which is crocheted in fine silk, and make a warm wool version with a filet-style border. I used a fingering weight (sock weight) merino wool.
And Two More Goals
The second goal was to do a stepping-stone version of Aero. Originally, Aeroette was going to be a Tunisian crochet lace scarf pattern for a class.
It’s a simpler combination of Tunisian crochet stitches that are put together like filet crochet lace, the same way as Aero. This makes it a great way to understand a more dramatic filet-like Tunisian crochet lace scarf pattern. Like, Aero. The Ennis Wrap, also.
C2C and P2P Shapes
The third goal was to take the start-in-one-corner Aero and make it a rectangle instead of a triangle. In other words, corner-to-corner or C2C. Both Aero and Ennis are “P2P” (crocheted point to point.) I love making P2P and C2C lace shawls with Tunisian crochet! You increase steadily along one edge, then decrease steadily to end up at the far corner of the triangle.
The rectangular Aeroette is a similar crocheting experience. You start at the first of four corners (instead of three). Steadily increase, and then decrease, like with Aero and Ennis. End up at the final fourth corner and you’re done: it’s already edged!
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. This extra information didn’t fit into a standard three-hour class. Some items are names of designers, books, etc., that I may have mentioned in class.
Below I also include a complete list of my downloadable patterns for Tunisian crochet shawls and accessories. In classes I show a huge amount of published and unpublished crochet designs. They illustrate what we learn in class, and what can happen when we take it further. — Vashti Braha
This is theFour Peaks Scarf, a stepping-stone version of the Five Peaks Shawl. It starts in one corner and increases at both edges, just like Five Peaks starts. Then you decrease along one side while increasing along the other for as long as you like. When you decrease along both sides, you’ll eventually create the opposite corner—or the “fourth peak”.
All of these steps are used for the Five Peaks too, but…differently enough to get five corners instead of four.
Isn’t it beautiful what this construction method does with a self-striping yarn?
Getting Geeky About the Geometry of the Five Peaks
Inspiring Features, Examples, and Variations of the Five Peaks L-Shape
Try this self-updating Ravelry search. When I tried it, 32 results came up and it seems most of them are true L-Shaped shawls. (Some V-shaped ones are too, but many V’s are not right angles like the bottom point of an L-shaped shawl is.)