Draft – Tunisian Crochet Symbols

The Japanese standardized their Tunisian crochet chart symbols decades ago; I have a pattern book from the late 1960s that contains a Tunisian crochet chart, and the format looks the same as charts you would find today. However, around the world different groups of crocheters have come up with their own symbols. As far as I know, only Japan has an official standard for knit and crochet symbols that publishers are required by law to use.

The point of this article is to explain chart symbols, not to teach how to work Tunisian crochet stitches. There are YouTube videos galore that can visually teach you the more common stitches.

Here is a sample chart similar in style to one that you could find in a Japanese pattern book:

Tunisian Simple Stitch chart

The first row is the foundation row and is worked differently than the rest, even though the chart doesn’t show any difference. This chart shows 10 stitches per row, so you would loosely chain 10, then work the forward pass by drawing the yarn through the back bump of each chain skipping the first chain, ending with 10 loops on your hook. Some patterns may tell you not to skip the first chain, in which case you would only chain 9 at the beginning; this would result in a rounder corner, but is not recommended if you intend to seam later.

Color Key:
white = Japanese symbols (basic ones are standard)
skyblue = symbols from The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches
gold = symbols from Renate Kirkpatrick’s Crochet Techniques (UK terminology)
plum = symbols from Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet

Notes:

  • Start with yarn in back unless otherwise noted.
  • “Insert hook into vertical bar” = insert right to left unless otherwise noted.
  • Yarn overs are made over the top of the hook, back to front, unless otherwise noted. Japanese patterns books typically use a Reverse yarn over in the case of reverse-type stitches such as Purl Stitch, though U.S. pattern books use the regular yarn over. The reasoning for the reverse yarn overs is so that double-sided stitch patterns are identical on both sides. I indicate the difference using brackets [].
  • There exists a Reverse/Purl naming controversy; for more information, read this. The way the Japanese named the stitches, they would agree with that article. Also a source of confusion is the fact that two different stitches are called Slip Stitch (one of crochet origin, the other of knit origin).

Symbol Chart

Symbol Tunisian Stitch Names Description                
Chain Stitch,
鎖編み目
kusari amime
Yarn over, pull yarn through loop on hook.
Simple Stitch (Tss),
loop or knit stitch,
simple or Afghan stitch,
表編み目
omote amime
Insert hook into vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
Return Stitch (R),
Return Chain,
もどり編み目
modori amime
Yarn over, pull yarn through next two loops on hook, except for the first stitch of the row in which the yarn is pulled through only one loop.
Bind Off,
Crochet Slip Stitch,
Tricot slip stitch,
slip stitch,
引抜き編み目
hikinuki amime
Insert hook into vertical bar from right to left, yarn over, pull yarn through bar and loop on hook.
Purl Stitch (Tps),
裏編み目
ura amime
Bring yarn to front, insert hook into vertical bar, yarn over [reverse yarn over], pull yarn through bar. This stitch is sometimes referred as Reverse Stitch in some publications.
Reverse Stitch (Trs),
Back Loop Stitch,
Tss worked into back loop only of stitch in previous row,
すじ編み目
suji amime
バックステッチ
bakku sutecchi (back stitch)
Move the Return chain to front, insert hook into vertical bar on back side, yarn over, pull yarn through bar. (Alt. description: Tss behind the Return chain.)
Knit Stitch (Tks),
stocking stitch,
メリヤス編み目
meriyasu amime
Insert hook into front of loop below the Return chain, yarn over, pull yarn through loop.
Reverse Knit Stitch,
裏メリヤス編み目
ura meriyasu amime (Purl Stitch from knitting)
With yarn held in front, insert hook through back of loop below the Return chain, yarn over [reverse yarn over], pull yarn through loop.
Yarn Over,
Increase one Tunisian simple stitch (Inc 1 Tss),
かけ目
kakeme
Yarn over the hook, back to front.
Reverse Yarn Over,
手前かけ目
temae kakeme
Yarn over the hook, front to back.
Tunisian Slip Stitch (Tsl),
Tunisian slipped stitch (Tsl st),
すぺり目
suberime
Insert hook into vertical bar.
Slip Stitch with yarn in front,
浮き目
ukime
With yarn held in front, insert hook into vertical bar.
Twisted Stitch,
Twisted Tunisian simple stitch (TwTss),
twisted knit,
ねじり編み目
nejiri amime
Insert hook into vertical bar from left to right, yarn over, pull yarn through loop.
Reverse Twisted Stitch,
twisted purl,
裏ねじり編み目
ura nejiri amime
With yarn held in front, insert hook into vertical bar from left to right, yarn over [reverse yarn over], pull yarn through loop.
3-in-1 Stitch Increase,
3目の編み出し増し目
amidashi mashime
Insert hook into vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar, yarn over, insert hook into same vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
2-to-1 Stitch Decrease – forward pass,
Tunisian simple stitch two together (Tss2tog),
loop under two vertical bars,
2目一度
nime ichido
Insert hook into two vertical bars, yarn over, pull yarn through both bars.
3-to-1 Stitch Decrease – forward pass,
Tunisian simple stitch three together (Tss3tog),
3目一度
sanme ichido
Insert hook into three vertical bars, yarn over, pull yarn through all three bars.
2-to-1 Stitch Decrease – return pass,
もどり2目一度
modori nime ichido
Yarn over, pull yarn through next three loops on hook.
3-to-1 Stitch Decrease – return pass,
もどり3目一度
modori sanme ichido
Yarn over, pull yarn through next four loops on hook.
Double Crochet (Tdc),
Tunisian half double crochet (Thdc),
treble (tr),
incomplete double crochet,
長編み目
naga amime
This is worked the same as a regular double crochet stitch, except for leaving the last loop on the hook.
Treble Crochet (Ttr),
Tunisian double crochet (Tdc),
double treble (dtr),
incomplete treble crochet,
長々編み目
naga naga amime
This is worked the same as a regular treble crochet stitch, except for leaving the last loop on the hook.
Crossed Stitch,
交差編み目
kousa amime
1. (Japanese method) Skip one vertical bar, insert hook into next vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar, insert hook into first vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
2. Insert hook into next two vertical bars, yarn over, pull yarn through both bars, insert hook into first vertical bar (of the two you just worked), yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
Crossed Double Crochet Stitch,
長編み交差編み目
naga ami kousa amime
1. (Japanese method) Skip one vertical bar, insert hook into next vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar, insert hook into first vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
2. Insert hook into next two vertical bars, yarn over, pull yarn through both bars, insert hook into first vertical bar (of the two you just worked), yarn over, pull yarn through bar.
Slipped Cross Stitch,
目通し交差
medooshi kousa
Chain ? Stitch – crochet slip stitch into the loop then chain,
chain petal,
チェーンペトゥール編み
chenpetouru ami
Insert hook into vertical bar, yarn over, pull yarn through bar, yarn over, pull yarn through loop.
Front Post Stitch,
長編み引き上げ編み目
naga ami hikiage amime
Front Post Treble Crochet Stitch,
長々編み引き上げ編み目
naga naga ami hikiage amime
2-Stitch Puff,
中長編み2目の玉編み目
naga ami futame no tama amime
3-Stitch Puff,
Make Bobble (MB),
中長編み3目の玉編み目
naga ami sanme no tama amime
2-Stitch Bobble,
長編み2目の玉編み目
naga ami futame no tama amime
3-Stitch Bobble,
clusters,
長編み3目の玉編み目
naga ami sanme no tama amime
3-Stitch Picot
popcorn
The following Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss) variations are made during the forward pass into the return chain instead of the vertical bar. These are often used as increases.
Tss into chain top (top leg only),
top front loop
Insert hook (front to back) through the top leg of the Return chain, yarn over, pull yarn through.
Tss into chain top,
top loops
Insert hook (front to back) through both legs of the Return chain (excluding back bump), yarn over, pull yarn through.
Tss into chain space,
Tss worked under chain loop and between two vertical loops,
loop in space
Insert hook (front to back) through the space below the Return chain, yarn over, pull yarn through.
Tss into chain back,
top back loop
Insert hook (front to back) through the back bump of the Return chain, yarn over, pull yarn through.
Reverse Tss into chain back With yarn in front, insert hook (back to front) through the back bump of the Return chain, yarn over, pull yarn through.

Updates:
01-2012: Added sample chart, increase/decrease symbols, Tss variations symbols, and Harmony Guide symbols.
12-2011: Redid the chart to combine all names under one column; added stitch description column.

3 Responses to Draft – Tunisian Crochet Symbols

  1. Marny says:

    Knitting and Quilting patterns also have different names for some designs.

    It’s probably the same for regular crocht and other forms of needlework, like Embroidery stitches or needlepoint stitches.

    Different languages/different signs — not unusual.

    I’m glad you have made these Tunisian Crochet symbols/names available. Someone posted your URL to the online Tunisian Crochet group!!

    Thank you!

  2. Lelly says:

    Thankyou for this site ,I never knew there were symbols for Tunisian Crochet until I stumbled on a pattern with symbols and was puzzled as to what they were.
    Great job.

  3. Susan Winlaw says:

    Fantastic post. Thanks for these symbols. I have saved a copy of the page in my files for future reference. I saw the page in our Tunisian Crochet Group in Yahoo.
    Must get back to promotion our newest book. Wish I could just crochet in the sun. S>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s