In Tunisian crochet we often see that stitches are made with a yarn over (often abbreviated yo). However yarn can be grabbed and pulled through in different ways. In this article I show the difference between a yarn over and a yarn under in Tunisian crochet.
The Tunisian simple stitch as an example
In this article, I use what I consider the most basic stitch in Tunisian crochet: the Tunisian simple stitch. For more details on what I call “basic stitches” in Tunisian crochet, see the page I created on this topic.
A Tunisian simple stitch is made by inserting the hook under the front vertical bar of a stitch in a previous row. The hook moves under this front vertical bar in the same direction as the row you are busy with. So, from right to left for right-handed crocheters, and from left to right for left-handed crocheters.
Note: I opt for the place where the hook is inserted in the work to name basic Tunisian stitches. It’s a deliberate decision with the intent to keep things clear and somewhat structured.
This being said, there is one thing to pay attention to. Depending on whether you make a yarn over or a yarn under, the visual of the Tunisian simple stitch will change.
Well, to make a yarn over, you move the yarn… over the hook. Then you grab and pull the yarn through the work.
You create a loop on your hook. Have a good look at this loop. The yarn thread from the yarn ball is linked to the base of the front vertical bar (or leg) of the loop you have just created.
This means that the front leg of the loop on your hook is linked to the next stitch you’ll make.
The yarn under technique is not often used. I hardly come across it in patterns. You make a yarn under when you move the working yarn… under the hook. Then you grab and pull it through the work.
You create a loop on your hook that looks like a “standard” loop. But actually it has something a little different. Have a close look at it.
The yarn thread from the yarn ball is linked to the base of the back vertical bar (or leg) of the loop you have just created.
This time, the back leg of the loop on your hook is linked to the next stitch you’ll make.
Note: A yarn under may seem like something “incorrect”, but I don’t think so. There is nothing right or wrong in doing a yarn over or under. The fabric will have a different visual. Different does not mean wrong as long as this is what we intend to make.
Close up on yarn over and yarn under to make a Tss
Here are 2 close-up photos to show the details of Tunisian simple stitches made with yarn overs and yarn unders.
I’ll admit the difference is not huuuuge, but still, it’s there.
On a bigger swatch, the difference is more visible.
A video (in French)
In the below video I show how to make a yarn over and a yarn under. The Tunisian simple stitches on the right are made with yarn overs. On the left with yarn unders.