Stitch Library

Tunisian Crochet: Knit Stitch

brown crochet shawl sits on a large log with a coffee mug

The Tunisian knit stitch (abreviated in patterns to tks) is so named because it looks just like knitting on the right side of the work. It looks so much like knitting that you will get disbelieving gasps of “that's not crochet” wherever you go.

brown thick shawl rests on a carpentry support in a wooden barn

The Fireside Shawl from The Shawl Project Book Two uses Tunisian knit stitch.

But turn to the wrong side and the fabric looks very different to knitted fabric. There are a series of ridges on the back of the fabric. These create a very warm and squishy fabric.

Unlike knitting, the Tunisian fabric doesn't stretch very much. So you wouldn't want to use it to make a tight sweater but the lack of stretch can be an advantage sometimes as the fabric is very sturdy.

The Tunisian knit stitch is worked like the Tunisian simple stitch but the hook is inserted differently, in such a way that the vertical bars of the stitch bend around to look like the V of a knit stitch.

Like the Tunisian simple stitch, you start the piece with a foundation row and a standard return pass. The knit stitch is then worked into the foundation and subsequent rows and you always use the same standard return pass as with any Tunisian stitch.

How to work the Tunisian knit stitch (tks)

All Tunisian crochet stitches are formed by working in various ways between the two vertical strands of the stitch. There is a strand towards the front of the work and one sat behind it. In this picture you can see the vertical strands at the front. 

Starting with a completed foundation row (tutorial here), hold the yarn at the back of the work. Ignoring the first stitch of the row your loop on the hook acts as the first stitch of the row work as follows:

Step one: Open the stitch so that the front vertical bar is to the left and the back vertical bar is to the right. 

Insert your hook from back to front between the two strands of the vertical bar of the stitch.

tks step 1 second part

Step Two: Yarn over and draw up a loop.

tks step 2

Step Three: Repeat steps one and two for each stitch to the last stitch.

tks step 3

Step Four: Insert hook into the chain one you made at the start of the return pass and draw up a loop.

tks step 4

Step Five: Step Five: Work a return pass by yarning over, pulling through one loop on the hook to start then work the rest of the row by making a yarn over and pull through two loops. (photo tutorial here) When you have just one loop remaining on the hook your row is complete.

 Want to learn more? Why not join us in class!? Our course, Tunisian Crochet: Basics and Beyond, is an exploration of Tunisian Crochet techniques that takes you from first stitches through to following charts and patterns to create some gorgeous samples that build into a colourful cowl.

If you are ready to give Tunisian Crochet a try here are our selection of patterns and books that contain at least one Tunisian Crochet pattern


This tutorial was originally written and photographed by Joanne for a series of articles published in Love Crochet magazine and is reproduced with permission.

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temperamental artist shawl made using tunisian simple stitch
a hand holds a hook and an incomplete piece of Tunisian crochet

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