Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ultimate Tunisian Crochet Value Pack from Leisure Arts

Hello crafty crochet cats! I have something super special to share with you today. I have been eyeing some lovely Tunisian crochet projects lately. Sadly, I hadn't been able to start them because my Tunisian is a bit rusty. In fact, I have only made one very small project and it was way back when I first learned to crochet. So I didn't even remember how to do the basic Tunisian stitches. Now, that is problem because you know I am never drawn to basic patterns, so not only do I need a refresher, I need a crash course in how to be awesome at Tunisian.    

My favorite resource for patterns and pattern books has a wonderful bundle, Ultimate Tunisian Crochet Value Pack, that includes six of their bestselling Tunisian books. By the time I studied the concepts in these books, I was ready for any Tunisian project... maybe even ready to design my own. 

Included are:

Ultimate Beginners Guide to Tunisian Crochet

This was the logical one for me to start with, since, essentially, I have no skill set with this technique. "Award-winning teacher, Kim Guzman, walks you through the basics and takes you through each step with clear photos and friendly instructions. Nine fresh projects for you to explore will help you develop the skills you need... Projects include Stockinette Scarf and Hat, Seed Stitch Ruana, Drop Stitch Cowl, Diagonal Hearts Crib Cover, Felted Duffel, Cabled Mitts, Hoodie Vest, and Mitered Vest."

Practice Practice!

I have always admired, and made many of, Kim Guzman's patterns. She is very clear and easy to follow. Plus, she designs some really breathtaking things. I spent a lot of time reading and practicing and re-reading the opening part because all of the basic stitches are very well explained as are some extra things you will need to know. This will be my go to resource until I commit things to memory - which can take awhile with my memory. 


This is a fabulous way to learn new stitch patterns and the end of your practice leaves you with a usable item which are great for quick gifts. There are 16 designs with step-by-step instructions, close-up photos of stitch details, and online technique videos! 

The dishcloths, designed by Becky Stevens and made using cotton medium weight yarn, are Easy Peasy, Basket Weave, Crossed Stitch, Open Boxes, Lacework, Double Stitch Stripes, Extended Stitch, Double Stitch, Mesh, Diagonal Duo, Americana, Wavy Wonder, Bright Wipes, Lattice, Brocade, and Snowflakes.


This is a great resource with 61 pattern stitches to add texture and beauty to your Tunisian Crochet projects. Plus, a complete scarf pattern is included to show how to incorporate the pattern stitches in your fashion accessories, afghans, and other projects. At the start there are stitches that are the building blocks of Tunisian Crochet stitch patterns. I spent a lot of time practicing these.  After you have those mastered, you will find more complex and really stunning stitches to play with. I am so excited about the design possibilities. 


Now that you have mastered the basics you are ready for something more interesting. Each project in this book from Kim Guzman is actually made with a series of small fabric segments that are quick to complete. To help you get a good grasp on how to do short row projects, you will find several great projects including a fun scarf and beret, a beanie, a lacy wrap, a feminine cardigan, and a romantic two-piece cape. I need that cape in my life... time to go yarn shopping I think. 


You know I love shawls, they are my weakness, I never have less than two in my UFO stack. This great book has shawls using yarns from fine weight to bulky. There are eight diverse wraps in Tunisian Shawls will take you through the seasons in style and comfort. Designer Sharon H. Silverman says the variety of shapes and styles make shawls the perfect opportunity for crocheters to master Tunisian techniques while creating beautiful fashions. Designs include Autumn Embrace, Cables and Heart, Expanding Vees, Hot Pink Lace, Silver Shimmer, Popover Wedges, Red Hot Wrap, and Fair Isle Winter Capelet.

You have to start somewhere! 

I instantly started one and will let you know how it progresses... my skills are yelling at me to pick an easier one so cross your fingers. Thankfully, the instructions are well written and there is video help available. 


Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets has eight original designs in contemporary colors by Sharon H. Silverman. Whether you’re looking for classic cables, ripples, stripes, bobbles, or basket weave blocks, you’ll find projects to suit your taste and become heirlooms for that special baby. In addition to having good instructions and photographs, there are free online technique videos are also available.

I really like that they are organized from Easy to Intermediate-Plus, the designs included are: Basket Weave Blocks, Purple Garden, Frosted Stitch Stripes, Color Waves, Bubbling Bobbles, Telegram, Cables and Honeycomb, and Bright Strands. Once I finish my shawl, I will start one of these too. 

I felt like I needed to have a play with the things I learned from this value bundle of books and so I made this awesome little project bag tote. That is a lot of Tunisian SS... which you will learn to do in the first book. Now I feel ready for the more complex projects I told you about in the other books! 

Not bad for a beginner! 

Have you made anything using the Tunisian techniques? I sure would love to hear about it. 

Take some time to browse Leisure Arts' great selection and make sure you also connect with Leisure Arts on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss a special or new pattern! Also, if you sign up for their knitting or crochet newsletters, you get a free pattern on Fridays!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

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