The Afghan stitch, also known as Tunisian crochet and many other names, originated in Tunisia, an African Country bordering on the Mediterranean. The Afghan stitch is worked on one long crochet hook called an Afghan hook, and instead of crocheting a row and turning your work, you work in a forward and backward motion. All the stitches are picked up and held on the long hook during the forward motion. During the backward motion, your work comes off the hook. The Afghan stitch produces a stiffer and denser finished product that resembles knitting in appearance.
Chain any number of stitches for the foundation row. Keeping all the stitches on the hook, skip the first chain and draw up a loop in each chain across the row, but do not turn when you reach the end of the row.
Make a yarn over and draw it through the first loop on the hook. Then, make another yarn over and draw it through the next two loops on the hook, repeating this two-loop procedure but stopping right before the last loop on the hook. The stitches come off the hook as you work this row. The remaining loop always counts as the first stitch of the next row.
Keep all the stitches on the hook as you crochet and skip the first vertical bar on the row and draw up a loop under the next vertical bar. Continue drawing up a loop under the the next vertical bar all the way to the end of the row. That completes the first half of the Afghan stitch. Work the second half of Row 1 by repeating the second half of the foundation row in Step 2.
Skip the first stitch in the row and insert the hook in the next vertical bar. Make a yarn over and draw it through two loops on the hook. That completes a slip stitch. Slip the stitch in each vertical bar across the row and end off. These four steps complete the Afghan stitch.
Another way to crochet the foundation row is to cast stitches onto the crochet hook the way you would cast stitches onto a knitting needle and work them off the same way you did for the second half of the foundation row.
Stitches go on the hook during the forward motion and they come off the hook during the backward motion. If this isn't occurring, you're doing something wrong.
- "The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet"; Margaret Hubert; 2010
- How to Crochet - Tunisian Crochet Stitch or Afghan Stitch
Julia Margaret writes for various online publications, specializing in gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Northridge, and studied horticulture at UCLA Extension. Margaret also holds a Master of Arts in special education.