What is a Tunisian Crochet Hook?
Learn all about Tunisian crochet hooks including appearance, Tunisian crochet hook sizes, and more.
Tunisian crochet can sound a bit complicated but it's actually quite simple once you understand the basics. With this quick guide, we'll walk through the first question most people have when encountering this type of crochet: What is a Tunisian Crochet Hook?
A Tunisian crochet hook is a long crochet hook with a typical crochet hook head and a cap on the end, resembling a knitting needle. Besides that hook, there are other versions. We will go over those in the section below.
On other pages, you can learn more about Tunisian crochet, such as how to crochet the Tunisian stitch and find patterns but this is going to stick mainly to the hook(s) and why having a special tool will help make crocheting this particular stitch much easier.
Before we get to the hooks, let's talk about the names of this type of crochet. Along with the name Tunisian hooks and stitch, you may also hear afghan hook/stitch, railroad or shepherd's knitting, or tricot crochet.
The Tunisian hook was designed for afghans, which is why it's associated with blankets. Also, because it's long and can hold more stitches, it makes the process much more efficient.
What Does a Tunisian Crochet Hook Look Like?
We have a brand new article from Marie at Underground Crafter in which she goes over all the different types of hooks. Read Tunisian Crochet Hooks Guide: How To Choose an Afghan Crochet Hook before getting started.
Below, you can see an example of a typical Tunisian crochet hook. These hooks range from 10-15 inches long, over double the size of your standard crochet hook. Besides the length, they have one other main difference.
On one end, you will see the hook, which can be either the tapered or inline style but on the other end, you will see some sort of stopper, such as a metal or plastic cap. They look a lot like knitting needles until you notice the hook.
Besides the hook mentioned above, there are a few others. There is a flexible version of a Tunisian crochet hook that offers a standard crochet hook with a flexible cable with a stopper attached. This is helpful for some who find the long hook too cumbersome.
Also referred to as a cro-hook, double-ended Tunisian crochet hooks are also available. These are long like the standard Tunisian hooks but have the crochet hook head on both ends.
For round Tunisian crochet projects, there are circular hooks that usually have two metal or wood crochet hooks of standard size with a flexible cable attached between them for the rest of the length. You will see an example of that below. This is a kit that includes interchangeable hooks and cables.
Tunisian Crochet Hook Sizes
Luckily, Tunisian crochet hook sizes are the same as regular crochet hooks, though there are fewer options. Most Tunisian hooks start at D/3 or 3.25 mm hook size and go up to L/11 or 8 mm hooks. Though certain brands and types of Tunisian hooks, such as interchangeable cable versions, can be found in larger sizes, M/13 or 9 mm hooks through Q or 16mm hooks.
Below, you can see the typical Tunisian crochet hook size chart showing the sizes in U.S., U.K., and Metric terms. Click the image or button to download a PDF version.
What are Tunisian Crochet Hooks Used to Make?
The afghan/Tunisian crochet was made to create larger pieces, like afghans. Unlike typical crochet, Tunisian crochet involves casting on and off and moving to the end of the hook and then back without turning your work. So, again, it's as similar to knitting as it is crochet.
Tunisian crochet also results in thick, sturdy pieces, which is another reason it's often used for blankets. The appearance of Tunisian stitches is that off a checkerboard or basket. However, that's just the standard stitch. With other techniques, you can create multiple versions of Tunisian crochet.
If you don't have the special hook, you can still technically do the afghan stitch/Tunisian stitch but you will be limited to very small crochet pieces. When you have 10+ inches to work with on this hook, you can make larger pieces without having to piece it together later, which is super convenient. It's also all about the stitch, too.
Besides throws, the Tunisian stitch is great for thick, winter wearables, such as cardigans, cowls, and scarves. It's great for making sturdy bags and baskets, along with dishcloths and potholders for your kitchen. You can even use it for smaller but substantial things, like ties and belts.
There are few things off limits for this hook but whatever you make will be thick, so keep that in mind. To find free patterns, check out our collection of 28 Tunisian Crochet Patterns or our Tunisian Crochet tag.
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