How to Tunisian Crochet – Lesson 1 Tunisian Simple Stitch

Welcome to Lesson 1 of the Tunisian Crochet Course. In this lesson, we will learn the basics of Tunisian Crochet including key terms, the foundation row, the Tunisian Simple Stitch, and how to bind off.

If this is your first time hearing about this crochet course, then consider checking out the Prep Lesson first to learn more about the materials you will need for this course and the different types of Tunisian crochet hooks.

In January 2021 we are treating this course like a Crochet along. It is always fun to learn new things alongside others. To participate in the crochet along, just join the Our Crochet Journey Facebook group to be able to share photos of your work.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.

The Anatomy of Tunisian Crochet Project

Below we will take a look at the different parts of a Tunisian crochet project and learn some key terms. If there is an abbreviation for the term it will be listed after the term. We will learn more about these parts in the Part 1 Video tutorial.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.

Foundation Chain – The foundation chain is the chain created to start the project. It is where we will pull up our loops for the foundation row. You want to pull up your loops from the back bump of the chain.

Foundation Row – This is row 1 of our project. The foundation row is normally worked exactly the same for every project. The only difference will be the number of chains in the foundation chain.

First Stitch – When you complete a row, the first stitch of the next row will already be on your hook.

Last Tunisian Stitchlts -This stitch is worked the same no matter what Tunisian stitch you are working. There is a special way to work this stitch so that the edge of your work is nice and uniform to the rest of the sides. (Demonstrated in video tutorial part 2).

Rows – Rows are worked in two parts, a forward pass and a return pass. A row is not truly complete until you work the row above it or a bind-off row.

Bind Off – The bind off row is a special row the completes the row of stitches below it without creating another row. This row only has a forward pass. There are several ways to bind off a row, but we will only be covering the two easiest ways in this lesson.

Forward and Return Pass

In Tunisian crochet every row we work has two parts, the forward pass and the return pass.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.
Forward Pass Completed

Forward Pass – FwP

During the forward pass, we will be picking up loops and carrying them on our hook. I like to think of this as working the first half of each stitch. Holding the loops on your hook is what makes Tunisian crochet look like knitting. It is also the reason we have a long crochet hook. The Forward pass is worked from the right to the left of the project if you are right-handed. (It is worked from left to right if you are left-handed.)

When you have a completed the forward pass you can count the loops on your hook. The loops on your hook are the number of stitches in your project. This should also match the number of chains you made in your foundation chain.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.
Return Pass Completed

Return Pass – RetP

The return pass is worked from left to right (for right-handed crocheters and right to left for left-handed crocheters). When working the return pass, we will work the loops off of the hook while completing each stitch. When your return pass is complete, you will only have one loop left on the hook. This loop is the first stitch of the next row.

The Foundation Row

Every project starts with a foundation row. Watch the video below to learn how to create a foundation row.

Here are a few more things to know about the foundation row.

  • Almost all projects start with this foundation row regardless of the stitch you will be using. If a pattern asks you to chain a certain number and complete a foundation row, they will want you to make the foundation row like the video shows above.
  • In a project, your foundation row acts as row 1.
  • The number of chains you work in your foundation chain will be the number of stitches wide your project will be.
  • You can check your stitch count by counting the number of loops on your hook at the end of a forward pass.

Below is a photo of a completed foundation row. Let’s go over some of the different parts of this row.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.

Every stitch creates a loop. The front vertical bar and back vertical bar is the front and back portions of this loop. How you work in and out of these bars to pull up a loop for the next row will determine what type of stitch you are creating.

The Horizontal Chain is created during your return pass. It has three parts (top strand, bottom strand and back bump), but for the stitches we are learning in this course we do not need to worry about the different parts of the horizontal chain.

Tunisian Simple Stitch – Tss

The Tunisian simple stitch is the most basic Tunisian crochet stitch. This stitch has a very unique look and makes it easy to see if you have made any mistakes. This stitch can also be used to make designs using a graph.

Watch the video tutorial part 2 below to learn how to crochet the Tunisian simple stitch.

Did you make a Tunisian simple stitch sample? Does it look like one of the samples below? Don’t worry we will go over what causes these issues in Lesson 2. We will also go over some ways to tame the curl that you are most likely seeing as well.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.

Tunisian Crochet Bind off

When you are ready to finish your project, you may notice that the top of your sample does not look right. We need to work a bind off row before fastening off.

Learn all the basics of Tunisian crochet with this free online course. Lesson one covers all the basics and the Tunisian simple stitch.
Top photo: Project without bind-off row. Bottom photo: Project with bind-off row.

Watch the video below to learn how to work a bind off row in two different ways. There are several ways to work a bind off row but these two ways are enough for us for now.

After finishing your bind-off row, you can fasten off or you can start crocheting a border around your project. Check out lesson 2 when it is available to learn why a border is helpful and the first practice pattern for a video tutorial on how to crochet a border around Tunisian crochet.

Tunisian crochet border and graph image.

Time to Practice the Tunisian Simple Stitch

It is homework time! Go ahead and make a few swatches of Tunisian simple stitch. Practice making you foundation chain, several rows of Tunisian simple stitch and then binding off.

Experiment with different numbers of chains in your foundation chain, work a few rows, work a forward pass then count the loops on your hook and see if you have the same number as your foundation chain. Just make a mental note of the result.

When you finish a sample, look at all sides. Do you see the nice ‘v’s on all sides? Is your piece a square or rectangle? Don’t stress out if it isn’t a perfect sample. We will address many beginner issues in the next lesson. Just enjoy your new skill.


Consider sharing a photo with the rest of the Crochet Along in the Our Crochet Journey Facebook group Lesson 1 post.

The Course Schedule

Week 1: The Basics

Lesson 1– Tunisian Crochet Basics + Tunisian Simple Stitch
Lesson 2 -Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Practice Pattern 1 – January 7th + Crocheting a Border around your Project

Week 2:

Lesson 3 – Tunisian Knit Stitch
Lesson 4– How to Change Colors in Tunisian Crochet
Practice Pattern 2 – Tunisian Crochet Hat

Week 3:

Lesson 5 – Understanding Gauge
Lesson 6 – Tunisian Full Stitch
Practice Pattern 3 – January 21st + Weaving in your Ends

Week 4:

Lesson 7– January 26th – How to Increase and Decrease
Lesson 8 – January 27th – New Tunisian Crochet Stitch
Practice Pattern – January 28th

Let’s Be Friends

Want to know what I am making next? Follow me on Instagram @windingroadcrochet to see sneak peeks of what I am up to and to be notified of when I release new free patterns. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. Join our Facebook group Our Crochet Journey and be a part of our community. Share, photos, ask for help and be inspired all in one place!

Written pattern, tutorials, photos, graphs, and pdfs of the Tunisian Simple Stitch and Basics free pattern are copyright Windingroadcrochet.com. Please do not reprint or repost this content as your own, but please feel free to share this link with others. You can find more information on sharing my work with others in the Terms and Conditions Page.

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