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Afghan Stitch Tutorial: Numbering Rows in Tunisian Crochet; Return Pass
Afghan Stitch Tutorial: Complete the Forward Pass, and Learn How to Crochet the Return Pass

Afghan Stitch Tutorial: Complete the Forward Pass, and Learn How to Crochet the Return Pass

Photos © Michael Solovay

Photo 21 shows how my work looks once I've pulled up a loop in each chain stitch.

When you reach this point, you've completed the "forward," also known as the "forward pass."

There are some crocheters who would say you've completed row 1; others would say that you've only completed the first part of row 1. I'm in that camp; to me, it makes more sense to think that I haven't completed a row until I've reached a point where there are complete stitches, and they are secured. Which reminds me to mention that it's not a good idea to stop in the middle of a row when you work this stitch. If you want to stop working, I also think it's a good idea to complete both the forward and the return passes before you put the work down. Fixing messed up work is easy with this technique, but in some cases it does involve ripping back a bit further than you might be used to with non-Tunisian crochet.

I've discovered that many aspects of Tunisian crochet seem to be controversial; we are somehow lacking a common vocabulary to describe various aspects of this technique. In regards to which way is the correct way of numbering rows, I've come across expert crocheters on both sides of the debate. I've given up on worrying about which way is correct. If you ask me, either way of doing it is just fine, provided that pattern designers make it clear which way they're numbering rows. Which is the main reason why I mention my own preference; if you would like to use my Tunisian crochet patterns, that's an important tidbit of information for you to be aware of. Of course, you should also be aware that some crochet designers may number their rows the other way.

Next comes the "return," otherwise known as the "return pass."

To start off the return pass, you'll crochet one chain stitch (photos 22, 23 and 24.)

If you already know how to crochet, you're used to crocheting a turning chain in between rows. I want to emphasize that this chain stitch is not a turning chain! You aren't going to turn your work over; you're going to keep crocheting with the same side of the work facing you.

Next you're going to start consolidating groups of two stitches at a time, as follows: wrap your yarn over your hook (photo 25) and then pull it through the next two loops on your hook (photo 26.) You'll end up with something that looks like photo 27. Repeat, wrapping the yarn around your hook again (photo 28) and pulling it through two more loops (photo 29.)

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