Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Amazing Needle" Vs. Tunisian Crochet

Who knew there would be such a terrific interest in the "Amazing Needle" I wrote about yesterday!  I'm delighted my post inspired so many of you in wanting to learn if its the same as the Tunisian Crochet technique.  Because of interest I thought I'd offer more details about it today...

First, let me state that yes, the techniques are similar.  And no, the end results are definitely not.

Take a look at the image I have here on the right. Amazing Needle Vs. Tunisian: Click onto the picture for a closer viewOn the bottom of my sample is the "knitted" results from using the "Amazing Needle" technique.  Look at the stitches; can you see that the stitches have every characteristic of knit?  See how the knitted fabric has interlocking loops, which makes a flatter fabric than traditional crochet stitches?  This is because crochet has one additional part to its stitches making the fabric slightly thicker than knitted fabric.  The next time you make a crochet chain, look at the one loop hanging on your hook.  Then note what happens after you yarn over to remove it to create your stitch: that stitch now has an additional piece to it.  This phenomenon happens all throughout crochet (which allows us to create fabric stitch by stitch rather than by series of loops as in knitting).  The beauty of the "Amazing Needle" is that it allows us crocheters to use the fundamentals of crochet but eliminates that "third wheel piece of yarn" that ultimately creates knitted fabric!

Take another look at my sample; note the vibrant 'cable' I have running across the one section of stitches. That cable does two things: first, it's showing where my tinkerings with the "Amazing Needle" technique ended and the Tunisian Knit & Purl stitches begin.  Second, the cable is one of two cables that are used for crocheting the knitted stitches.  The cables are used to hold stitches so the hook can go back to pick them up on the next row!  What an amazing concept!!

I do want to make mention that the entire sample pictured today was created with the same crochet hook pictured (the one hand created by Christy).  This means that my stitches are very loose for the fiber I used (had I used a thicker fiber, I would have created a thicker, more condensed fabric.).  I think my Tunisian Knit stitches look OK using this hook with that fiber, but, IMHO, I cannot say the same for the Tunisian Purl stitches -- they look too stretched out for my liking.  Still, though, a clear difference can be seen in the results between the "Amazing Needle" and the Tunisian methods.

Is it easy?  I think if you have knowledge of the Tunisian technique AND of the Crochet on the Double technique, then you'll have no problem mastering the "Amazing Needle" technique.  If you'd like to learn more about it, then I highly recommend picking up the book Top Technique & Special Stitch Afghans in Crochet (check with your local library to see if they have it), or visit and order yourself the hook & some patterns to try. 

I would classify the "Amazing Needle" technique as a hybrid technique: one of which knitted fabric is created with a crochet hook.  I will be listing this technique as #107 on my "Types & Techniques" webpage.

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Anonymous said...

yes thats the afghan knit stitch I asked you about, also called tunisian but its the needle thread at the end through that hole I didn't get.  

Anonymous said...

Your sample photo is on top of your explanation so I cannot read it :(

Anonymous said...

I've made the image smaller, so hopefully that will help.  For a closer view, click onto the image.  It will force another window to open with a larger image.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Much better :)