Tunisian Mosaic Crochet Stitch Tutorial
I am so excited to share another way to do colorwork in crochet: Tunisian Mosaic Crochet!
Maybe you’ve been following me long enough to remember when I added overlay mosaic crochet to all my interlocking crochet patterns? Well, this new technique does not require me to edit all 300+ of my patterns! No, I am simply going to show you how easy it is to “translate” my mosaic crochet charts and written patterns into “tunisian crochet language”.
You do not need to know how to do overlay mosaic crochet first. But I do reference that technique in my new tutorial video. I’ve done a written explanation with photos just after this YouTube link, so keep scrolling if you prefer typed instructions.
If you know how to do tunisian crochet and just want the quick version, click here for the list of changes.
You can apply this technique to ALL of my mosaic crochet patterns. Tunisian Mosaic Crochet and Overlay Mosaic Crochet can use the same charts as both are worked from right-to-left (you never turn your work). The stitches are similar in height and width so your design image will still turn out as expected.
To get the Many Hearts sample used in the video go here: https://ravel.me/repeatable-many-hearts
NEW: Tunisian Honeycomb Border to Control the Tunisian Curl
Check out my YouTube tutorial: https://youtu.be/OiksLFuYK8I
or read more here: Honeycomb Border
- Learn Basics of Tunisian Crochet (jump to section)
- Tools & Tips
- Yardage & Size
- Forward Pass
- Return Pass (jump to section)
- Changing Colors (jump to section)
- Bind Off
- Learn Tunisian Mosaic Crochet (jump to section)
- Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) (jump to section)
- Tunisian Modified Double Crochet (FPTDC) (jump to section)
- Translating my written overlay mosaic crochet patterns into Tunisian crochet (jump to section)
- Read the mosaic crochet charts (jump to section)
Tunisian Crochet Basics
Tools & Tips
Usually one of the first things we learn about Tunisian crochet is that we need a super long hook. A lot of people hear that and say, “nah, never mind then”. It is true that you will need a hook long enough to hold all your stitches (sort of like knitting) but you can learn the technique using your regular crochet hook!
Regular crochet hooks are usually 6″ long which will hold about 40 stitches; you will need to be careful that the stitches don’t fall off the back end of your hook (since regular hooks don’t have stoppers on the ends). You won’t be able to use your ergonomic hooks for this. And, later, if you decide you want to go ahead and make a blanket you’ll need to invest in a corded tunisian hook. The cable lengths vary.
There are also long hooks without cords, and these are good for holding more stitches but it can get heavy quickly when you have your entire blanket on the hook all the time.
Tunisian Hooks with a hook on each end (instead of a stopper on one end) are used for working in the round. Hats, bags, pillows, etc.
Regardless of what type of hook you’re using, you’ll want to go up at least one or two hook sizes. If you usually use a 5 mm hook with worsted weight yarn you will want to go up to a 5.5 mm or 6 mm hook at least. This helps prevent your bottom edge from curling up.
Comparing Yardage and Finished Size
When you use tunisian mosaic crochet with a pattern written for overlay mosaic crochet you may be wondering how that affects the yardage.
I used my Repeatable Many Hearts design for these swatches. I made my samples two repeats wide and one repeat tall. I used the same yarn for all my swatches. I did a swatch of interlocking crochet, a swatch of overlay mosaic crochet, and one of tunisian mosaic crochet. (All of my patterns include an option for interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet).
Hooks: I used a 4.5 mm hook for interlocking crochet, 5 mm for overlay mosaic, and 6 mm for tunisian mosaic.
Finished size: 9.75″ x 6″ / 25cm x 15cm for interlocking crochet including the single crochet border, 8.75″ x 5″ / 22cm x 13cm for overlay mosaic crochet (ignoring the fringe but including the JS and ES), and 9.5″ x 5.5″ / 24cm x 14cm for tunisian mosaic crochet.
Grams / Yards of Teal: 18 grams / 40 yards used in my interlocking sample (without the border it would have been 14 g / 31 yards), 11 g / 25 y in my overlay mosaic sample, and 13 g / 29.5 y in my tunisian mosaic sample.
Grams / Yards of White: 11 grams / 25 yards used in interlocking, 9 g / 20.5 y in overlay mosaic, and 11 g / 25 y in tunisian mosaic.
Ultimately, my tunisian mosaic sample used slightly more yarn than the overlay mosaic sample, but I attribute that to the use of a larger hook size. My piece was still curling quite a bit (I taped it to the floor for the photo) so I would never use a 5 mm hook with this yarn and the tunisian technique.
It’s possible that there are tunisian designs out there that will use a different sort of foundation, but for our purposes this simple foundation works perfectly.
First, chain the amount of stitches you need. See Translating my Patterns for more details on the proper stitch count.
The loop on your hook now counts as the first stitch of the first row. The chain closest to your hook is our turning chain and we won’t use it. Then, going through the back bump of the next chain, insert your hoop and pull up a loop.
Repeat this for each chain (insert hook, pull up a look). You number of loops on your hook should now match the number of stitches you needed.
You will now need to do the return pass on your foundation row.
Each row of tunisian crochet has a forward pass and a return pass.
The forward pass is when you will pick up every stitch of the row. When you get to the end you will have a full hook (counting the loops on your hook should match the stitch count you are meant to have).
The forward pass is when you will choose which stitch to use (there are so many tunisian stitches!); for our purposes I will only be going over the stitches we use in tunisian mosaic crochet.
Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) is the first stitch most people learn. Jump down to my photo guide.
In Tunisian Mosaic Crochet we will also be using a Modified Double Crochet. Jump down to my photo guide.
After you’ve filled up your hook with all the stitches of that row, you’ll need to do your return pass to bring your hook and yarn back to the beginning of the row.
To keep our edge looking nice, we will yarn over and pull our yarn through one loop on our hook.
For all the other stitches on our hook we will yarn over and pull through two loops on the hook.
Repeat going through two loops at a time until you’ve reached the beginning of your row and have only one loop left on your hook. This loop counts as the first stitch of your next row.
When we do mosaic crochet we alternate colors every row, so please read the next section before continuing.
As stated, we alternate colors every row and only use one color of yarn at a time in mosaic crochet — which is what makes mosaic crochet so appealing! We do not cut our yarn, we simply carry it up along the side.
If you have done any other colorwork techniques you may find this is the same method here.
Before finishing your final stitch of Color A (so there are 2 loops on your hook), grab Color B instead and finish the stitch as normal.
If you can remember to always put the current color to the right of your work before grabbing the new color then you will have a nice looking twist locking all the color changes in place.
When we have finished our project we may be tempted to simply cut our yarn after we finish the return pass. This works, but it does not have the finished quality we want.
To create a nice looking top edge we will use a Single Crochet Bind Off.
We insert our hook through the vertical bar as though we were doing a TSS and bring up a loop. But now, instead of moving on to the next stitch we will finish the single crochet by pulling our yarn through the two loops on the hook.
Repeat for each stitch all the way across. Our final stitch of the row goes under both loops as usual.
TIP FOR TENSION: try to work a little tighter in the bind off (or possibly go down a hook size) to prevent it from flaring wider at the top.
Now you can cut your yarn and weave in all the tails!
Tunisian Mosaic Crochet
Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS)
In tunisian crochet the stitches look different, so we don’t have the familiar “v” to put our hook under. For Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) we insert our hook through the vertical bar on the front of the row.
The loop that was already on our hook from finishing the previous row counts as our first stitch, so we do not need to use the bar directly below that loop.
For our final stitch, in order to keep it looking nice, we will go under the “v” that can be found on the side.
We have pulled up one loop for every stitch and our stitch count remains the same (I started with 6 chains and now have 6 loops on my hook).
Now we do the return pass.
Tunisian Modified Double Crochet Front Post Tunisian Double Crochet (FPTDC)
February 5, 2023 update: It was kindly explained to me that the stitch I am using is called FPTDC (Front Post Tunisian Double Crochet). Thank you Jessica Hamric! She is a tunisian crochet designer with amazing graphgans! Check out her Facebook Group: Tunisian Crochet Graphghan Boutique. She also suggested a fpextss can work; it does not use as much yarn and does not create as much height.
We are modifying a double crochet because we are dropping it down two rows below (just like overlay mosaic crochet). We are also picking up the front AND back loop.
Also like overlay mosaic crochet, when we do this
TMDC FPTDC we will not be using the loop that gets hidden behind it. Our stitch count for the row remains the same – we are not increasing our stitch count.
I use US terminology, so a double crochet always begins with a yarn over. We then drop down 2 rows (if we are using Color A we will be dropping below the Color B row and inserting our hook through Color A). Insert your hook BELOW the return pass going behind the FRONT AND BACK of the vertical bar. Pull a loop up.
We now complete the first half the double crochet only. In normal crochet a double crochet is yarn over, insert hook and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through two loops, yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops. We will only yarn over, insert hook and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through two loops. Then we move on to the next stitch.
Translating my Written Mosaic Crochet Patterns into Tunisian Crochet
The Key is key to knowing how to use any written pattern. 😉
The Key tells us details so that the actual written pattern can be condensed.
KEY for Overlay Mosaic Crochet
MC = Main Color
CC = Contrasting Color
Sp = space
Sk = skip a stitch
CH = chain
SC = single crochet
sc = SC into Back Loop only
FSC = foundation single crochet: chain 2, insert hook in first chain, yarn over and pull a loop through, yarn over and pull through one loop (chain made), yarn over and pull through remaining 2 loops (SC made); to make the next stitch insert your hook into the chain made previously
DC = double crochet
dc = DC into Front Loop of stitch, 2 rows below
JS = Joining Stitch: insert hook under both loops, pull up a loop, slip stitch, SC in same space
ES = End Stitch: SC under both loops, CH 1, cut yarn and pull through tightly
- When we do tunisian crochet we will use a TSS instead of a sc.
- We will do a
TMDCFPTDC instead of a dc.
- The JS (Joining Stitch) is the first stitch of each row. With tunisian crochet this is the loop where we have just changed colors.
- The ES (End Stitch) is the final stitch in each row. We will always end our forward pass by going under the final two loops to bring up a loop.
- Instead of doing a FSC (Foundation Single Crochet), for our tunisian foundation we will chain the desired number of stitches and then pull a loop up through each stitch. Use the same stitch count as the instructions where it tells you how many FSC; do not use the optional chain foundation number (or you will have one stitch too many).
When we look at my overlay mosaic crochet patterns we can see that the written pattern can look like this:
MC 4 – JS, *dc1, sc1, (dc1, sc3) x2, dc1, sc5*, ES
Using tunisian crochet we know that the first loop on our hook counts as the JS. Our first stitch says dc1 which means we will do a
TMDC FPTDC. The next stitch says sc1 so we will do a TSS. The brackets and asterisks are used the same way as always. For the ES we will make our final stitch of the row under both of the loops on the edge. Then we make our return pass (ending with a color change) before starting row 5.
Note: not all of my patterns tell you at the beginning of the row whether it uses the MC (Main Color, 1st color used, usually darker color) or CC (Contrasting Color, often the background). All of my patterns DO state which color is which, but it is not always found at the beginning of the row like the above example.
Note: not all of my patterns will have asterisks (*). These are used to show the section that can be repeated as many times as desired. The brackets are also for repeating sections but they are used differently. Please see my tutorials on brackets if needed.
As mentioned in the list of changes above, we will use the stitch count for the FSC (Foundation Single Crochet) in the overlay mosaic crochet pattern to determine how many chains to start with.
The overlay mosaic crochet pattern also lists an option to chain and single crochet back and there is an additional turning chain included in that count. Do NOT use that count for tunisian crochet – you will have one stitch too many.
For example, if the overlay mosaic crochet pattern says to begin with 41 FSC, for tunisian crochet you will chain 41. The loop on your hook counts as the first stitch and the chain closest to your hook is already your turning chain. You will pick up a loop through each of the remaining 40 chains you created.
Read Mosaic Crochet Charts
If you already know how to read an overlay mosaic crochet chart then all you have to do is apply the changes as listed.
Take note that my charts do NOT show the JS or ES but you must make sure to crochet those stitches still. Other designers may include the side stitches on their charts.
I sure hope I’ve given enough details to satisfy all your questions in a simple way that doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time! I have full confidence that you can do this! If this written / photo explanation isn’t clicking, please try watching my video tutorial.
©️ 2023 Ashlee Brotzell.
All rights reserved. This publication is protected under federal copyright laws. Reproduction or distribution, in whole or in part, in any medium, is strictly prohibited.
What does this mean?
This is an original pattern by Ashlee Brotzell. You may not copy, reproduce, sell, or share any part of it whether for profit or not. This includes, but is not limited to, the written pattern, the chart, and the photos. No translations or video tutorials are allowed.
Sales of your finished items are, of course, unrestricted (and I wish you all the best!). I appreciate credit given to the designer when possible but it is not a requirement. You may tag me @AshleesLint or direct people to my website www.ashleeslint.com
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