I was really excited when I saw that Anna Nikipirowicz had a new book coming out called Tunisian Crochet Stitch Dictionary, as this is exactly what my little reference library needed. Imagine my delight when the publisher, Search Press, reached out and offered to send me a copy! And boy, it did not disappoint.
The book is packed with a directory of 150 stitches (which are all so well explained), as well as a really useful section on Tunisian crochet skills. Each stitch has really detailed, step-by-step instructions, actual-size swatch pictures and charts. I’m not particularly au fait with charts (my brain does not work that way naturally), but thanks to the symbols and abbreviations list in the skills section, I was able to follow the charts easily too.
If I’m honest, my Tunisian crochet skills are very limited. Of course, I have released a Tunisian crochet shawl pattern, but this uses only Tunisian Simple Stitch. My knowledge of other stitches is definitely lacking! As soon as I flicked through the stitch directory, I was making lists of stitches I wanted to try and getting ideas for future designs. I decided to work up a couple of swatches to try out some new stitches, and honestly, I had so much fun. To be fair, since I have a one year old to take care of every day, my yarn time these days is very precious, but this truly was like a breath of fresh air. I'm really looking forward to using some of these stitches (and more) in future designs.
The stitches I tried were Rib Stitch (variegated yarn), Lace Shell II (purple yarn) and Diamond Lace (grey yarn). The Rib Stitch is pretty simple but super effective, and I love how it worked up in this gorgeous variegated yarn - the yarn made a relatively simple stitch really shine. The Lace Shell II blew my mind. I had no idea Tunisian crochet could look like that! I actually think I over-stretched my swatch a little when I blocked it, but the shells are so pretty and delicate. I can imagine this stitch would be fabulous for a summery shawl or wrap. The Diamond Lace was my first try at lace in Tunisian crochet, and now I want to try all the lace stitches! This would be so striking as a panel on a garment or even a shawl. Next up on my list to try are Tunisian crochet cables!
Since I released my Matrescence Shawl pattern, which is a great first Tunisian crochet project, I've been on the lookout for a reference book to recommend to someone new to the craft. This book fits that bill perfectly! You should definitely get your hands on it if you're able to.
Speaking of Matrescence, as part of the Irish KAL 2023 organised by Sionnach Yarns (using yarn by an Irish dyer and/or a pattern by an Irish designer), you can get 15% off the pattern using the code IrishKAL2023. I'll pop the links below, along with a link to Anna Nikipirowicz's website to buy this wonderful book.
Happy Tunisian crocheting!