The Afghan Crochet Stitch is often referred to by many different names – Tunisian crochet, Tricot crochet, Shepherds crochet, Hook knitting, and Railroad knitting.
This afghan patterns stitch has many variations that look very different from each other. Despite it’s name, afghan crochet stitch isn’t used exclusively for Afghans, nor are they made using only this stitch. Afghan stitch is similar to knitting in that all loops in a row are held on the hook at once. This stitch also differs from regular crochet stitches because the rows are worked in two halves. Unlike regular crochet, where you work each individual stitch to a point where only one loop remains on the hook, before continuing on to the next stitch, with Afghan patterns you work a whole row of stitches onto the hook, and then work that same row of stitches off the hook.
Because of the way the rows are constructed, a unique hook is required. Afghan crochet hooks are longer than regular crochet hooks and have a stopper on the end to keep the stitches from slipping off. There’s also one available that consists of a crochet hook on each end joined by a flexible line in the middle. These are ideal for making rugs because they hold more stitches. Most patterns will stipulate the best suited hook length for that particular afghan crochet design, if unsure, check the measurement of the piece you’re about to make. Choose a hook that is a little longer than the width of your piece.
The stitches are more like knitting than regular crochet stitches, except Afghan Crochet fabric is firmer and thicker than knitted fabric. It produces this heavier effect because it uses a lot more yarn. You can use this stitch to make anything from rugs, floor mats & wall hangings, to sweaters, shoulder bags, baby items, coats and accessories. The stitches are square shaped, which suits the bulky yarn, and are perfect for making multicolored designs.
I have several free crochet afghan patterns for you to choose from.
My large free afghan patterns are all worked in 8 ply yarn. If you wish to crochet in finer yarn or cotton using Tunisian Crochet Stitch, simply use a smaller hook suitable for the weight of yarn you’ve chosen. Lighter weight materials are normally used in Afghan Baby Crochet.
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