Drat these free gifts on the front of magazines that tempt me into experimenting with new crafts! They are a glorious curse, or maybe a damnable blessing. Either way, the Tunisian crochet hook on the front of a crochet magazine was perfectly timed, as I had been reading about the technique and was already interested. I like the way that it seems to combine crochet and knitting to produce something thicker (and therefore presumably warmer) than both.
Tunisian crochet basics ). Initially I had some difficulty keeping the edges straight. After a few rows I realised this was because I was missing the additional chain stitch between the forward and return pass. I like to think of this as the equivalent of the "turning chain" in ordinary crochet, but since Tunisian crochet isn't turned this might be confusing for other people. It also only appears at one end of the piece.
Once I had worked out this little glitch I had a play with crocheting in stripes. This is when the technique really became inspiring to me, because the finished pattern varies completely according to where you introduce the new colour. So, introducing the new colour at the start of the forward pass (going forward and then back) gives a classic striped pattern. However, doing the same stitch in the same way but introducing the new colour on the return pass (going back and then forwards) gives a kind of tweed-like pattern.
This has sent my mind spinning with ideas - the "tweed" pattern using a combination of space-dyed yarns, or one space-dyed and one solid colour. Jackets, pullovers...... cosy clothes for cold weather. I can feel the need to extend my yarn stash!