Afghan Stitch (Tunisian Crochet) Basic Instructions

Sampler Afghan Pattern

Sampler Afghan

copyright 1992 Vicki Becker

Tunisian Crochet or Afghan Stitch is done with a special hook, known as an afghan hook. They come in various sizes, as do regular crochet hooks, but they are longer.  The two lengths normally found are a 10 inch and a 14 inch.  Metal afghan hooks have a knob at the end. Larger afghan hooks can be made of wood or plastic.

Tunisian Crochet begins with a foundation chain, as in regular crochet. Chain the number specified in the pattern instructions. Watch your gauge! If your chain is too loose your first row will be bigger than the rows that follow.

In Tunisian Crochet you do not turn your work. The right side is always facing you. Each row is made up of two halves. The first half is worked from right to left and the second half is worked from left to right.

First Half Of Foundation Row

Starting in the second chain, (count the chain your hook is in as the first), insert hook in chain, yarn over and draw up a loop. Continue working across, drawing up a loop in each stitch of the chain. Leave all the loops on the hook, see figures 1 & 2. Now count the loops; there should be the same number of loops as number of starting chain on your hook.

Afghan Stitch Diagram

First Half of Foundation Row


Afghan Stitch Diagram

First Half of Foundation Row

Second Half of Foundation Row

Working from left to right, yarn over and draw through one loop. *Yarn over and draw through 2 loops, see figures 3 & 4. Repeat from * across until one loop remains on the hook. This is the first stitch of the next row.

NOTE: These two half rows always count as one row.

Afghan Stitch Diagram

Second Half of Foundation Row


Afghan Stitch Diagram

Second half of foundation row

Row 2: Skip the first upright bar, directly below the hook. draw up a loop in each bar across. Leave all the loops on the hook; work off the loops in the same manner as the second half of the foundation row. Repeating row 2, complete the number of rows specified in the pattern, see figure 5. NOTE: When drawing up a loop on the last stitch of the row; put your hook through the entire stitch, not just under the bar. this makes a firm salvage edge.

Afghan Stitch Diagram

Row 2


Tunisian Knit Stitch

The foundation row for the knit stitch is the same as the regular afghan stitch.

Row 2: Holding the yarn behind your work, skip the first vertical loop below the hook. Insert the hook from front to back through the center of the next vertical loop. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Repeat across the row, keeping all the loops on the hook. Work the loops off the same as for the regular afghan stitch. See figure 6.

Afghan Knit Stitch diagram

Afghan Knit Stitch

Counting Rows

When you crochet an afghan using the afghan stitch the pattern will specify the number of rows to complete for each color.  You will actually complete one row less with the specified color. Change colors at the end of the second half of the row.  When you start drawing up loops with the new color this completes the last row of the previous color giving you the correct number of rows.


Binding Off

To bind off, work the first half of the last row as follows.  *Insert the hook under or through the next bar; yarn over, draw up a loop on the hook, pull the loop through the loop already on the hook as if to slip stitch; repeat from * to the end of the row.  Cut the yarn leaving enough to weave in later and draw it through the last loop on the hook.

Changing Colors

Always change colors on the second half of the row. Work the second half of the row in the usual manner until two loops remain on the hook. Drop the color you are using, with the new color, yarn over and draw through the remaining loops. Leave a length of yarn in both the old and the new yarn to weave into your work later.



4 thoughts on “Afghan Stitch (Tunisian Crochet) Basic Instructions

  1. I have always wanted to learn the Afghan Stitch. BUT…….I am left handed and self-taught. Will I be able to simply reverse your instructions for this stitch or can I expect to be frustrated in the first five minutes?

  2. I don’t see any problems with reversing the instructions for left handed stitching.

  3. I’m making an Afghan-stitch blanket for my son in his college colors, alternating strips of scarlet and gray. Any tips for how to sew the strips together?

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