Crocheting Blog

Mastering the Tunisian Purl Stitch (+ 3 Bonus Stitch Patterns)

A long with the Tunisian simple and Tunisian knit stitches, the Tunisian purl stitch rounds out the basic Tunisian crochet stitches.

Though a bit fiddly to learn, the Tunisian purl stitch (abbreviated Tps) is vital to exploring the possibilities of texture in Tunisian crochet. Follow along for a full photo tutorial for this stitch as well as three gorgeous stitch patterns to practice your purl. 

Tunisian Crochet Purl Stitch Swatch

Learn the Tunisian purl stitch and practice with three beautiful stitch patterns.

Tunisian purl stitch: the unsung hero of Tunisian crochet

When it comes to learning Tunisian crochet, the simple stitch and knit stitch get all the attention. But without the purl stitch, they would get pretty boring pretty quickly.

Similar to the purl stitch in knitting, the Tps creates tiny purl bumps, adding structure and visual appeal to fabric. Mixing that texture with other Tunisian crochet stitches results in stitch patterns perfect for everything from borders to the body of crocheted designs.

The Tunisian purl stitch is also the perfect solution to every crocheter’s worst nightmare — curling edges.

Tunisian Crochet Class

Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet

Combine the best of two needlecrafts to create three cozy accessories that look like they’re knit — all using a single crochet hook! Get the Class

The Tunisian purl stitch step by step

This Tunisian purl stitch tutorial builds on basic Tunisian crochet skills.

Beginning row for tunisian crochet

To start, make a chain of any number of stitches, complete the standard foundation row and the standard return pass. You should have just one loop left on the hook.

Step 1:

Yarn over tunisian crochet 

Move yarn to front of hook.

tunisian crochet purl stitch in action

With yarn still in front, insert hook through the vertical bar of the next stitch. It may help to hold the yarn with your finger to keep it from slipping off the hook.

Step 2:

tunisian crochet purl stitch

Release your grip on the working yarn, bringing it off of the hook and to the back of the work. Yarn over. 

Step 3:

finished tunisian crochet purl stitch

Pull up a loop and leave the loop on the hook. That is one completed Tunisian purl stitch!

Step 4:

Continue Steps 1-3 for each stitch in the row until the last stitch. Tss through the last stitch as normal. The row will look something like this:

ready for return pass on tunisian crochet purl stitch

Return pass as normal, then begin again!

Curious about what the back of the fabric looks like? It’s pretty similar, but even more textured than the front. 

back side of tunisian crochet purl stitch

Practice makes perfect

The only downside of the Tunisian purl stitch is that it can be a little awkward to complete when you first learn it. Getting the hang of holding the yarn in the front of the work then resetting it to the back may seem fiddly, but it is completely worth it. To prove it, here are three lovely stitch patterns to help you practice the Tunisian purl stitch. 

Stitch 1: The honeycomb stitch

 tunisian crochet honeycomb stitch swatch

The honeycomb stitch is one of the most popular stitches in Tunisian crochet. It creates a lace-like surface with little pools of recessed fabric that mimic a honeycomb. 

Start with a chain of an even number of stitches. Complete the standard foundation row and return pass. Each row is followed by a standard return pass. The do the following:

  • Row 1: Tps, Tss; repeat across row to last stitch. Tss in the last stitch. 
  • Row 2. Tss, Tps; repeat across row to last stitch. Tss in the last stitch.
  • Repeat these two rows as desired. Finish with the standard bind off.

Stitch 2: 2×2 ribbing

tunisian crochet ribbing swatch

The 2×2 rib is a take on the knit stitch pattern of the same name. It alternates Tunisian knit and purl stitches to make a fabric that is perfect for a border, like on blankets and hats.

Chain a multiple of 4 + 2. Complete the standard foundation row and return pass. Each row is followed by a standard return pass. Then do the following:

  • Row 1: Tks, *2Tps, 2Tks; repeat from * to last stitch. Tss in the last stitch.
  • Repeat to desired length. Finish with a standard bind off.

Stitch 3: The basketweave pattern

tunisian crochet basketweave stitch swatch

The basketweave pattern is classic in both crochet and knitting. Tunisian crochet puts its own spin on things, creating a texture that is perfect for baby blankets and throw pillows.

Chain a multiple of 8 + 4. Complete the standard foundation row and return pass. Each row is followed by a standard return pass. Then do the following:

  • Row 1-4: 3Tks, *4Tps, 4Tks; repeat from * to last stitch. Tss in the last stitch.
  • Row 5-8: 3Tps, *4Tks, 4Tps; repeat from * to last stitch. Tss in the last stitch.
  • Repeat these eight rows as desired. Finish with the standard bind off.

Are you giving the Tunisian purl stitch a try? Which of these three stitch patterns is your favorite?

Tunisian Crochet Class

Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet

Combine the best of two needlecrafts to create three cozy accessories that look like they’re knit — all using a single crochet hook! Get the Class

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