I'm still swatching away over here! I'm in Kim Guzman's Tunisian crochetalong for the Sapphire Wrap, and I've been quietly watching crocheters chatter in the group like I'm some kind of lurking creep. Rather than out myself as someone who is the newest of newbies, I've decided to just up and be a Tunisian crocheter. So after learning the basic Tunisian crochet stitch last week, I learned the Tunisian knit stitch, the Tunisian purl stitch, and the Tunisian extended stitch.
The Tunisian knit stitch (tks) looks like knitting, but it's crocheted! Ahh! And it's dense. It feels like double work. After a couple of false starts, I got the hang of what to do and where. After that, it seemed fine!
The Tunisian purl stitch (tps) is just rows of purls and gets you a fabric that looks like garter stitch. I was pretty awkward at this at first, but now it's fine and I'm completely comfortable with it.
The Tunisian extended stitch (tes) makes me think of knitting, but with double crochet. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that thought kept popping into my head over and over as I swatched this. It looks like the Tunisian knit stitch, but isn't nearly as dense. I was excited to learn this stitch because it's used in the Sapphire Wrap.
I've been using Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet, and I've been having a pretty good experience with it. No screaming freakouts (this happened the first time I tried knitting lace). No panicking because I got confused and became convinced that steps were missing in the instructions. And, knock on wood, no sweating and crying. I've also been watching video tutorials, which always help me.
I've asked before, but how do you learn best? Do you watch videos? Or do you prefer to read books so you have your written instructions and pictures that you can refer to at any point? Or do you like to have both, like I do? Are you more of a face-to-face person and do best when taking lessons or learning from a friend? Let me know in the comments because I'm curious.
I know knitters who declare certain techniques all but impossible until they take a class and then the formerly impossible technique feels like second nature to them. If knitting is involved, I can usually grasp a new concept with just some written instructions and maybe a few simple line drawings. But if we're talking about crochet, I'm all but praying to YouTube when it's time to learn new stitches. Lucky for me, Leisure Arts has some great crochet tutorials and I'd recommend subscribing to the YouTube channel if you haven't already done so.
How people learn things is interesting to me. Sometimes my little girl says something and I'll realized that she's parroting back something she heard a grandparent say. It floors me how tightly her memory holds on to information if she sees it in a book, or on a game or DVD. I think if I sang to her about yarncrafting, she'd be making little toddler projects by the end of the year. Musical tutorials aside, I think the best way for me (and for my two-year-old) to learn something new is to give myself plenty of chances to work through it.
So that's what I've been doing a lot of over here for the past few days. I've been giving my hands a chance to work the stitches and get familiar with the process. Some parts of Tunisian crochet remind me of Knooking, and parts of it remind me of regular ol' crochet, and most of it seems new and odd. But I have these swatches and soon I'll get started on my shawl swatch! And maybe by then, I will officially learned Tunisian crochet.