Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Powerful Tunisian Crochet Stitch to Love

Neck Lattice (1 skein!) 
photo ©2011 Vashti Braha
Neck Lattice 
photo ©2011 Interweave Press
I'm giving away a full downloadable edition of the new Simply Crochet   book! 

If you don't know about the main stitch used for Neck Lattice (just published by Interweave Press) and all designs shown in this post, please read on. 

It's one of the two stitches that have liberated my Tunisian crocheting.   (See "Breaking Out of Tunisian Ruts," issue #10 of my Crochet Inspirations newsletter for the other one.)


This amazing Tunisian stitch:
A Shakti Scarf (new design)
shows both sides of fabric

  • Conserves yarnNeck lattice uses ONE SKEIN. So do my other designs based on this stitch. 
  • Loves every Tunisian crochet hook size.
  • Loves a wide range of yarn weights, thicknesses, and textures.
  • Is reversible: looks fabulous on both sides (not always the case with a Tunisian crochet stitch).
  • Is fast to crochet (not always the case with a Tunisian crochet stitch).
  • Singlehandedly creates a sheer, breezy, weightless Tunisian crochet lace. Not only that, it can be stretchy.

[Have you ever used this stitch? Leave a comment on this blog post about it and you'll be entered to win the Simply Crochet e-book. 
You have until tomorrow, Fri. Dec. 9 at 10pm EST to enter.]

Notice in these photos how different the Tunisian crochet stitch can look depending on fibers, yarn weights, hook sizes, and degree of laciness over the years. (I know the photos are arranged weirdly in this post. It's just the way Blogger is sometimes.)



When Interweave Press published the new Simply Crochet book this month, I took stock of my design journey with this unique Tunisian crochet stitch. Neck Lattice, included in this book, was a pivotal discovery for me as a crocheter

Same Neck Lattice pattern and hook size, thicker yarn!
released my early photos of it (including a prototype) this week, and I remembered the exhilaration of discovering its edge-as-you-go latticework. 

And, the wonder of using the yarn that book editor Robyn Chachula chose for me to use--it's the mottled red alpaca one in the two uppermost photos. 

I had only used fingering weight yarn (sock yarn) for it until she sent me a lace weight yarn. I worried at first, but then I loved seeing the design take shape from only one skein. It grew quickly because I used a big Tunisian crochet hook.

A Shakti Scarf (new design)
For all its power, this Tunisian stitch doesn't seem to be one of the basic stitches one learns after the Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss), even though it's easy to do! It's not standardized: it goes by more than one name, and explanations for how to do it vary widely. I've seen it called Extended Knit Stitch, Corded Stitch, Tunisian Knit Single Crochet, Tunisian Shaker Stitch, and "Tunisian Knit Stitch with a chain-1."

Here are my other experiments with this stitch over the past year or soNOTE: several of these are "Shakti Scarves," which are all versions of the same Tunisian Shakti design
A Shakti Scarf (new design)


Update:
Tunisian Shakti Scarves crochet superpattern is now available in my DesigningVashti pattern shop, and Ravelry store
A Shakti Scarf (new design)






Islander Wrap








A Shakti Scarf (new design)








A Shakti Scarf (new design)










97 comments:

  1. I can't wait to get a copy of this book. I have been looking at this patter from all of the previews. I have never done Tunisian crochet before, but I am excited for the chance to learn something new. The even better part is that I have been looking for a shawl that I like for a while and this really catches your eye! Thanks!

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  2. Wonderful! The fabulous stuff you are putting out on a regular basis (and other cutting edge designers like you, of course) is the reason I will NEVER get around to taking the knitting lessons. I won't ever have the time. There is still far too much to learn and do with crochet!

    Thank you, Vashti, for keeping it all so exciting!

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  3. I've never even heard of this stitch before - how strange that it doesn't even have a consistent name! I definitely want to try it out now.

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  4. Thanks so much for commenting. I'm glad the tweaking I've done to this post all morning hasn't kept it from being visible. And KinnicChick, you sure made my day!

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  5. I like Tunisian crochet but have never made anything large partly because of its yarn-eating abilities so I'm very interested in this mystery stitch if it conserves yarn!! And it is lovely.

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  6. Awesome! I don't say much, but had to here, lol!

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  7. I have never done Tunisian crochet before, but I want to try it out and I would also love a copy of the Simply Crochet book too!

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  8. Looks like a very nice stitch. Will have to try it. Thanks for all you do for crochet and tunisian. love your patterns. Debi

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  9. Anonymous2:03 PM

    I have a tawashi dish scrubbie that I made using the Tunisian Simple Stitch (pics here alllll the way at the bottom http://www.willynillyknits.com/2011/10/05/just-done-hats-amigurumi-unicorn-cowl-and-tawashi-scrubbie/). I love the technique but could not find any tutorials for additional tunisian stitches. I'll be sure to look for the book you mentioned by Mary Beth Temple. I'm a big fan of her podcast! AND I would love a copy of your book. Thanks for the work you do!

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  10. I didn't know this stitch - but you gave the names, I searched for them, saw how it's done and made a swatch. What a great stitch! The more I learn about Tunisian, the more I love it. Thank you.

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  11. Very pretty. I'm going to try swatching this later today when I've got some free time.

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  12. Oh, how I love your blog!! Vashti, every time I open it up, I get inspired!!! This stitch is beautiful and I love the fact it is reversible. I would love to win the book, and I am going right now to preorder the pattern. Have a lovely holiday season!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  13. I'm glad more crocheters will know about this stitch. It's not a new stitch; I first found it in some common regular stitch dictionaries, but it didn't catch my eye because it didn't look as lacy as it can easily be.

    I love your comments!

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  14. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I have used the stitch but not really in a project yet. Of course I want to be included in the drawing. Thanks!

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  15. No I have never heard of this stitch. But its results are quite beautiful.

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  16. Another great discovery that you are sharing with us!! After designing a piece done completely in TSS, I am definitely looking forward to fiddling with this new stitch to see what it can do! I can't wait to get my hands on the new book either :)

    Thanks again for all you hard work! -Kate

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  17. I love reading your insights about all kinds of crochet, tunisian included. Love the photographs you provide too.

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  18. I haven't done tunisian before - but I know that Santa is bringing me tunisian hooks and my resolution for 2012 is to get into tunisian! I'm really looking forward to it, and to giving this stitch a try!

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  19. i've done tunisian on&off since i was a child, and until recently didn't know that there was more than the simple stitch!

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  20. Great blog!
    I have always liked Tunisian, it is really neat that more people are discovering it too.

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  21. I love, love, love this stitch! I use the term extended stitch. I used it in my pattern, A Funny Thing Happened. I just loved how much it GREW! :)

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  22. I have not used this stitch, but your creation is beautiful! I would love to be the one to win this giveaway!

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  23. I've only recently started playing with Tunisian and love your designs! I've already put this book on my Christmas wish list, mainly because of this pattern! Heading off to pre-order the Shakti Scarf now...

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  24. I've been doing Tunisian since back when we still called it the afghan stitch. Not one of my favorites because I'm too impatient and it seems slow to me. I do use it for small projects, dishcloths, potholders. But this new variation is very interesting. I will put it on my to learn in the new year list. Thanks. Cay

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  25. Anonymous5:08 PM

    I love the Shatkistitch in the scarf. I also really like the red alpaca yarn. I think I might have to make the scarf in that yarn!

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  26. Vashti: I seem to crave every Tunisian stitch I can find. I love all the variety the new larger hooks and gorgeous yarns that have liberated the old afghan stitch. What a generous offer you are making. I hope I win the book, but if I don't, I can't wait for it to be available. Your designs, and pictures are very inspiring for all of us! Thank you so much. Sandi Postle

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  27. Thank you for sharing information about this book. I can hardly wait for a copy. I'll pick it up as soon as it is released.

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  28. Being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I made this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/keyhole-scarf-9 for my SO. Then decided to make one for myself in Tunisian Stitch ~ which is currently OTH. I truly LOVE this stitch, and plan on making many, many more items with this stitch. My next LARGE project is going to be exclusively Tunisian ~ why a Queen-sized Pittsburgh Steelers Logo Afghan of course!!
    Thanks for letting me share my utter LOVE of the Tunisian Stitch!

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  29. Willena T. was unable to post a comment here so I will for her:

    "I love your designs, what beautiful work. I tried to leave a comment, but wasn't able to "pick a profile". Might be my computer as it has been acting weird lately. I wanted to let you know that I looked at the post and loved it!

    Kind regards
    Willena"

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  30. I love tunisian crochet and happy to see more nice patterns for it. Haven't tried this stitch but looking forward to learning it and making some of these shawls.

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  31. I've been waiting to find a pattern I really LOVE to try the tunisian crochet and now I've found it! I love your Neck Lattice!!! I'm so glad you posted pics of it and have made this generous offer.

    dtf1983

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  32. Please enter me to win. I learned to crochet years ago, but have mostly knit. I'm now trying to expand my crochet knowledge.

    Lindsey

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  33. Love ot, when I was.learnimg to crochet my teacher had an amazing baby bootie pattern using this stitch wish i could remember it

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  34. Very pretty stitch! Maybe if I win the book I will make it my business to play with Tunisian more ...

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  35. I have not yet learned the stitch, but have some Tunisian hooks. Just need a good point of direction. The pictures you show make me want to learn even more.. Beautiful!

    Flametide(@) aol.com

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  36. I haven't done any Tunisian crochet yet but it's on my list of things to learn.

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  37. What a beautiful piece! I have not yet done Tunisian crochet but I am ready to begin. This book is a great place to start.

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  38. Here is Misschou's comment:

    "Hello Vashti,
    Once again, thank you for your Newsletters that learn me a lot (specially the one with the variegated yarns and the other with the different textures of yarn, your experiments are very helpful).
    I tried also once again to comment your blog for the kind offer of the edition of The Simply Crochet Book but I can't, like the other day... so I comment here...
    I just wish to try this technique and with this help I think I could reach something new and original. Thank you so much for the lovely inspiration and the good energy.
    Misschou
    P.S. Please forgive my bad English..."

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  39. I love to work the Tunisian stitches! I even have some tutorials on You Tube on some of the basic Tunisian stitches. I am always collecting patterns and books on crochet I would love to win a free electronic copy!

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  40. Anonymous11:44 PM

    I made a couple of lovely Tunisian shawls this year and loved making them. I feel I need a clone to fully explore all that Tunisian has to offer! I haven't tried the lattice stitch, though.

    I live in India and usually there's isn't any point trying to enter a giveaway, but since this is an ebook version, perhaps I stand a chance?

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  41. Beautiful work - this stitch is on my short list of ones to learn (visual learning and left-handedness make crochet and knitting rather interesting).

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  42. I've used the same stitch in my first Tunisian scarf! :) Sadly, the wind has stolen that first project from me. I would love to have a copy of this book, I've been anxiously waiting for this to come out!

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  43. I have never used this stitch (which is not surprising since I just learned Tunisian last month and am still at the Tss stage). BUT I was just on Laughing Willow's site today looking at the "Funny Thing Happened" shawl and wondering about that stitch...

    Would love a copy of the book, so put my name in the hat please! And thank you.

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  44. Here comes a comment all the way from Sweden!
    Beautiful blog and thanks for the inspiration U are giving.
    Can't wait for the new book!!!
    Thanks Vashti

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  45. It looks wonderful... siting here in stockholm, sweden i would love to get that book. tunisian crochet is my excape from the university deadlines so i keep sane (oh deadline-stress and soon xmas)

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  46. Great patterns!!! Love to learn more about Tunisian crochet. Cheers May

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  47. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Sounds good ... but I'm forcing myself to stay with what I already have in my SOS.

    I joined the online Tunisian Crochet group and it's wonderful to have Kim Guzman and ARNie as our listmoms!

    There are actually quite a few TC videos on YouTube.

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  48. I've been wanting to try Tunisian crochet, but have not done so yet. This might be the nudge I need to get me started.

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  49. That scarf is gorgeous! I've never heard of that stitch, but I can't wait to try it for myself.

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  50. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Tunisian has always been a mystery to me - maybe this would help demystify it! Thanks for having this offer.

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  51. I've played around with Tunisian but haven't finished a project with it yet. I love this scarf, I'll move it way up on my to do list!

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  52. I have never done tunisian lace. That would be fun to try!

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  53. Anonymous9:16 AM

    I have always loved your patterns and have wanted to learn Tunisian crochet. Thank you for offering this to someone.

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  54. A Vashti pattern in Tunisian! A double treat! I would love to try this and winning the book would be the icing on the cake...

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  55. So many great comments everyone!

    Here's one from Ambar Enid:
    "vashti, i tried leaving a comment in your blog, twice, but couldn't. just wanted to say i liked the blog post. :) ambar"

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  56. What good timing, I'm planning on learning more about Tunisian in the new year (not quite a resolution, but an intention). I've done a couple of projects using Tunisian, but I've not yet explored the vast array of stitches available.

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  57. I've never been more excited by a crocheter's creative designs as I have been by yours! I can hardly wait to try the patterns!

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  58. I haven't tried Tunisian crochet but it's on my list for want to learn. They looks fantastic!

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  59. Anonymous9:41 AM

    I used to do Tunisian years ago when it was called the "afghan stitch" and was rather stiff. I just ordered your Shakti scarf and your book is on my Christmas wish list. I love it when someone takes something old and makes it new again by tweaking it. Keep tweaking!

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  60. This looks interesting and I'm anxious to try it when I can find just the right yarn! The book looks wonderful from what I can see!

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  61. I have never tried Tunisian crochet but the great looking patterns in this post and in the new book make me eager to try it. After I finish up my holiday crocheting, I'll be ready for something new and wonderful.

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  62. I just started crocheting this year and I have not tried Tunisian crochet stitches yet. I just purchased some Tunisian hooks a couple weeks ago and planned to learn online some of the basics. Thanks for the inspiration, Vashti!
    `~sMiLeS~'
    Tammy

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  63. My 2012 New Year's resolution is more Tunisian Crochet. And maybe I'll finally finish that Weightless Tunisian Shawl I started in 2010!

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  64. I have this book on my Christmas Wish list!!! I have a beautiful skein of yarn that is begging to be used - and I think one of these Tunisian patterns will be perfect.

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  65. Hi Vashti! I haven't gone beyond TSS yet, but this stitch looks scrumptious. I love absolutely everything you do, Lovely Lady. You are pure inspiration.

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  66. I would love to enter and learn more about Tunisian, I am just a beginner!
    Thanks :)
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  67. Hey Vashti! I love this stitch. I just used it with another stitch to create a lovely reversible scarf. Congrats of on the book...can't wait to get my hands on a copy :-)

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  68. I have tried tunisian a couple of times, but have not had the best of luck with it. I would love to try it again

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  69. I love Tunisian! I collect vintage crochet stitch dictionaries because they have some great Tunisian stitches. I also love, love, love your blog. There's always something new and interesting. Not to mention lovely!

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  70. wow! I didn't realize tunision could look like that; would love to learn how. :)

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  71. I have never used this stitch. But, it is great, and I look forward to trying it sometime soon.

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  72. Oh, so beautiful! I haven't done anything with this stitch yet, but you've certainly piqued my interest!

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  73. Just found your website. After crocheting for years, I am interested in trying tunisian crochet & would love a chance at the book.

    Patrice

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  74. I'd love to try this stitch, I love Tunisian.
    Great article Vashti.

    Susan Parker

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  75. Fun article - not sure if I am familiar with that exact stitch, but I do like final product!! So glad your pattern is featured in this new book!

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  76. I would love to be entered to win this. I haven't done a lot of Tunisian but what I have done I have enjoyed. In fact I need to start a pillow now that my daughter requested. I did two HO pillows and now she's asking where her third HO is. LOL I also like the fact that this stitch conserves yarn.

    Wanda

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  77. That Tunisian Stitch looks fascinating. Over the years, I've done some tunisian but lately so many stitch possibilities are being explored. The book looks wonderful - Hope I win!!!!
    Mary Jane

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  78. shaktistitch-would love to buy this pattern! Is this the right place to say the 'secret word'?
    I guess I'll be "forced" to buy Simply Crochet! The patterns are so beautiful!!

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  79. NB: Not the right place for the secret word-I read above more carefully!

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  80. What a lovely stitch. I especially like the red Shakti scarf that's almost big enough to be a shawl. My most recent adventures have been with Tunisian in the round, and I'd love to see how this stitch would work in the round. Thanks for the chance to win the book and for your always interesting newsletter and blog.

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  81. Aha! I preordered the pattern. Very excited. I want to do the red one! I have also signed up for your newsletter. I have not done this stitch before. My Tunisian experience is buying cool patterns from you and then crocheting dishcloths. D'oh.

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  82. I am so happy that Tunisian crochet is becoming more popular. I really am loving all the new patterns that I am seeing. Thank you for the chance to win this!

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  83. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Looks like an amazing stitch. I took a Tunisian class with Jennifer Tan and learned a couple I didn't know before but not this one. I like the way this works up and can't wait to learn it and create.

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  84. I really hope to try tunisin crochet soon

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  85. Wow this looks like a very interesting stitch with lots of options. I look forward to the book.

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  86. Winner will be determined by using a random number generator. I'll announce the winner here later today. Thanks for participating! I loved your comments.

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  87. ohh, I missed it. I love regular tunisian and would love to learn how to do the lacy stitch. It always seems too advanced for me.

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  88. Wow, that is amazing. Lightweight and the same on both sides? You have certainly got my attention.

    Oh, and sign me up for the giveaway.

    Godiva on Yahoo Tunisian Groups.

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  89. These are stunning, Vashti!! One of the reasons I really don't like doing Tunisian is the slowness. Would love to learn your new favorite stitch! :D

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  90. very cool designs. I barely know how to do any tunisian, though I own a few hooks, but other then a few bits in freeform, I've never made any projects with any stitches.

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  91. Vashti, my first visit here... your work is simply amazing. I have never tried Tunisian but after seeing these lovely designs, I just may have to learn!

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  92. I've been experimenting with tunisian stitches.
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

    MariAngel (rav id)

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  93. I always visit your Blog, looking for inspirations with Tunisian Crochet.I must tell you: you are a very talented lady. Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing your creations. Cheers from British Columbia.

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  94. What a great design and now I can't wait to try this stitch. Thanks!

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  95. Thanks for sharing your blog.

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    We will also be happy to cooperate with your blog such as adding its link to our site.
    All the best,
    Diane
    info@coollectors.com

    ReplyDelete

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