Tunisian Puffs, Bobbles, and Popcorns

Creating Tunisian puffs, bobbles and popcorns is relatively straight forward. They are an easy way to create texture in Tunisian Crochet. These three stitches all stand off the fabric, but vary in size.

Essentially this is an approach of working standard crochet within Tunisian. Working the texture stitches on the forward pass.

Tunisian Texture: Top: Popcorn, middle: Bobble, bottom: Puff

Tunisian Puffs

To work a Tunisian Puff Stitch yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch and yarn over and pull through a loop. This is basically working a yarn over before pulling up the loop of whatever Tunisian stitch you are working. (All the photo samples are worked with Tunisian Simple Stitch). Repeat this same technique multiple times in the same space. The last step is to yarn over and pull through all the loops you have worked in this stitch (including the first yarn over).

(Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over pull up a loop) repeat 3 times, yarn over, pull through 6 loops.
Competed Tunisian Puff Stitch

Tunisian Bobbles

Creating a Tunisian Bobble stitch requires a yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loop. This is much like many incomplete double crochet stitches. The techniques is repeated until the bobble is the desired size, and completed with a yarn over and pull through of all the partially completed stitches in the Tunisian stitch.

(Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) repeat 5 times, yarn over and pull through 5 loops
Completed Tunisian Bobble stitch

Check out the traditional crochet Bobble stitch for a comparison.

Tunisian Popcorns

Working a Tunisian Popcorn stitch, as you might expect is like working a traditional crochet Popcorn. However there is a slight difference. Start with a yarn over, and insert the hook into the stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops. Repeat this step one more time, then yarn over and pull through the last 3 loops on the hook. (The reason for this is that Tunisian does not typically complete stitches in the forward pass, as such the next adjacent loop on the hook is the loop of the previous stitch). This will complete 2 double crochet stitches together. Work a few more double crochets in this stitch, remove hook from last loop of completed double crochet, insert hook into the top of the 2 double crochets worked together, and pull the loop through.

(Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over pull through 2 loops) 2 times, Yarn over pull through 3 loops, work 3 double crochets in same stitch, remove hook from last loop, insert hook into first completed stitch in this demonstration, pull last loop through.
Completed Tunisian Popcorn Stitch

All return passes are worked the same, and the stitches are all pushed toward the front of the fabric. Notice that the texture lines up with the vertical lines of the Simple stitch in the photos. This helps to easily see where the stitches are located.

Swirls of Color in Crochet

Creating swirls of color in crochet are easier than it seems. I love using this technique to create hats and have even used it to create a large circular blanket.

To create a swirl start with any method you like to begin a circle (check out the three most popular). Determine the number of stitches for the first round. In this sample I used 12 double crochet stitches.

Divide the number of stitches in the first round by the number of colors to be used. In this case I am using 2 colors, so that is 6 stitches in each color.

Getting started

Work the first stitch as a shorter stitch, for instance a single crochet. Then work the next 5 stitches as a double crochet.

Add the second color by joining directly after the last stitch made. Either slip stitch and chain or use a standing stitch join (learn that trick here). Work another short stitch, a single crochet, and another 5 double crochets. This completes the first round.

Crochet Swirls end of Round 1

Crochet Color Swirls Round 2

Insert the hook back into the loop of the first color (insert a stitch marker in this stitch), working over the second color work 2 double crochets in each stitch.

The first color of round 2.

Pick up the second color and work 2 double crochets in each stitch until the stitch marker. This will complete Round 2. Move marker to the last stitch worked in the first color. Notice how it the stitch increases were worked just as a non-color changing round (see my crochet hat formula for how to create a flat circle).

Completed Round 2

Round 3

Round 3 would be worked with an increase (2 double crochets) and a regular stitch (1 double crochet), so with the 2 colors, pick up the first color work [2 double crochets in the next stitch and then 1 double crochet] to the end of the second color. Pick up the second color and work the same stitch pattern to the stitch marker. This is the end of Round 3.

Completed 3 rounds

Move the stitch marker to the end of the first color, after the second color reaches it, and continue working the “flat circle formula” until it is the desired size.

To make the edges smooth, finish by working shorter stitches in each color, For example work 1 half double crochet, then 1 single crochet, and finally a slip stitch, and fasten off.

Crochet Bag Handles- The Best 3

I need crochet bag handles. Crochet bags have one hurdle for me, finishing them with handles. There are many great handles out there, I could easily purchase leather strapping or wooden rings or traditional purse straps. I could even head to the thrift store and find a cheap handbag that I love the handles on, and cut them off for my bag…but there is a common theme in these approaches; I have to go and get something.

This “final step” is my constant hang up. It is bad enough that I have to weave in the ends; just this step can leave an item sitting in a pile for a while. So, finding a handles solution that does not become a “final stage” has been paramount to my actually completing these projects.

I have come up with 3 crochet bag handles that fit my needs very well. Ones I could actually make and attach are the requirements. Added to these requirements are the need that they not be flimsy and don’t stretch too much.

The first is make it a Tunisian crochet bag handle.

Tunisian crochet fabric, under certain conditions curls. I have taken this trait that is often seen as a deterrent and turned it into a benefit. To create this handle, I simply create a chain for the desired length of the handle using a Tunisian hook size that is a bit smaller then I would normally use (this ensures that the fabric curls). Then I work 3-5 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch. The fabric should be curling up on itself. I then decide to seam the strip together of not. I might even insert a bit of clothes line and let the fabric wrap around it. Attach it to the bag.

The curling of Tunisian fabric to create a handle

The second is make it a braid crochet bag handle.

For this approach I create a chain that are about 3 inches longer then I would like the handle and work a single crochet in each chain. Make 3 of these single crochet strips. Pin the 3 strips together and braid them together, placing a pin at the finished end. Then attached this handle to the bag.

Braiding 3 single crochet strands together to create a handle

The third is make a chained chain crochet bag handle.

In this process you create a chain three times longer than you would like the handle. I don’t fasten off this chain as I may want to add to it to lengthen the handle as I work. Take a larger hook and then use the newly created chain as a “yarn” and create a chain with it. This creates a heavier rope appearance handle. Attach it to the bag.

Chain a Chain, or Double Chain to create a handle

These three types of handles have helped me finish up projects, then I only have to weave in the ends.

A Continuous Granny Square

There are days I need to get into a rhythm with my crochet and the continuous granny square helps me do that.

It does not require counting. It does not require joining, it just keeps going in a spiral. This is prefect for creating scrap squares, of entire scrap blankets.

What I like most is that I do not have to think about the motion of my hands. Anytime I reach a corner, I put in a corner, any time I find a side, I work a side. It really is that simple.

Where I found this technique

I learned about this square judging a “Fastest Hook” competition at a CGOA conference. The continuous granny square was worked by all participants, as it really does lend itself to speed.

A Continuous Granny Square

To make it all you have to do is start the beginning of a circle just like you always would. The first round of a granny squares as 4 sides made up of 3dc each, and 4 corners. The last corner is worked differently creating the spiral.

Lets get started

Round 1: Ch 4, 2 dc in 4th ch from hook, [ch 3, 3 dc in same ch] 3 times, ch 6. DO NOT JOIN ROUND

The four side of Round 1
Chain 6 and skip the join, work into the next corner

Round 2: Skip over the next 3 dc, and [(3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in next ch-3 sp (corner made), ch 3] rep 3 times, (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in ch-6 sp, ch 3. DO NOT JOIN ROUND

Worked with scrap yarn…worked a corner into the ch-6 sp, to finish Round 2.

To work all subsequent rounds, work a corner (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in a corner, work 3 dc a side in ch-3 sp, and make sure that you ch 3 between all blocks. It is that easy.

For a visual chart reference….

To help ensure that you end with an actual square, I mark the ch-6 sp, as this is the same corner of the square that I would end at to have even sides.

At finishing, I will work the beginning tail up the side of a dc at the ch-6 sp and make a connection between the 2 un-joined sides in Round 1. This ties it all together and makes it look like traditional granny squares.

Reversible Shells- A unique fabric

Creating unique reversible crochet fabric is a really fun thing to do. The Reversible Shell stitch is a great technique that can create a memorable blanket, scarf, hat, or really just about anything.

It looks more intimidating than it really is. This technique is worked as a 4 row repeat, working 2 rows in each color.

One of the things that can be a bit trying about this stitch is that after working 2 rows of one color, you remove the hook from the working loop and pick up the loop of the other color and work 2 more rows.

Lets Get Started

Start with a beginning chain of a multiple of 4. The first row has a little different stitch pattern in order to keep the project looking symmetrical.

To work the first row, put a stitch marker in the 4th chain from the hook (this is to help find the location to join the second color), dc in 5th ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch, [ch 1, sk 1, dc in next ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch] repeat across, leave last ch unworked. Do not turn.

The beginning foundation of Reversible Shells in crochet
Reversible Shells, Row 1

A Little Unnerving Way to Start A New Row

Now for the unnerving part, pull your working loop up kind of long and remove your hook. With the second color join with a sc in the marked chain (to work a standing sc, check it out here), now ch 6, sc in the skipped chain of the beginning, (ch 6, sc in next ch) across, working last sc in the unworked last chain. Chain 1, and slip stitch to the last stitch worked in the other color making sure to keep the long loop and the working yarn of the other skein out of the way. Now you turn the fabric.

Using a standing single crochet to join for Reversible Shells
Reversible Shells- drop the working loop and join the new color with a standing single crochet
Adding the first row of a new color in Reversible Shell crochet stitch is a chain loop
Reversible Shells- Work chain 6 and single crochet across, working a single crochet in the unused beginning chain.
Slip Stitch to attach this unique reversible fabric
Reversible Shell- Slip Stitch in last stitch of the other color, make sure to keep the long loop and working yarn out of the way.

Join the Fabrics

This row essentially joins the two colors. When working the shell the hook is inserted through the indicated double crochet and chain 6 loop of the same color that is being worked. Ch2, sk 1 dc, Shell (5 dc in next dc and ch-6 loop), [ch 1, sk 4 dc, Shell in next dc and ch-6 loop (this is the center dc and the chain loop)] repeat across, sc in turning chain. Pull up the working loop to a long loop and remove hook. Do not turn.

Work through the two rows in Reversible Shell crochet stitch
Reversible Shell- Insert hook through both the indicated stitch and the chain 6 loop that is the same color as the working yarn.
Single crochet in last stitch or turning chain.
Reversible Shell- Single crochet in the last stitch or turning chain

Back to Working Only the Same Color

This row works through the same color. Start by inserting the hook in the other color loop, and resize the loop to fit the hook. [Ch 6 and sc in the ch-1 sp (between the 5 dc stitches)] repeat across. Turn and work the Row of joining the two colors.

Single crochet in the chain 1 space between the double crochets of the same color
Reversible Shells- Chain 6, single crochet in the chain 1 space between double crochets of the same color

And Repeat

Repeat the stitch pattern rows or working ch-6 loops, turning and working a joining shell. Then you drop the working yarn, pick up the other color and work the same stitch repeat.

Reversible Shells crochet
Reversible Shells- Work the pattern until the desired length.

Work this until you have the desired length.

I like to finish my work so that it has a little visual balance, so I work a row of the ch-6 loops, and fasten off that color. I then turn and pick up the other color loop. Chain 4 and [sc in the same location I would work a shell, picking up the ch-6 loop, ch 3] repeat across, sc in 2nd ch of ch-6 loop. Then fasten off.

I have found that it works nicely with a wide range of colors and yarn types. Lending itself to endless possibilities.