I have an obsession with learning new crochet techniques. I really really do. Ever since I made the Rainbow Dash tie, I’ve been looking for ways to make neat color patterns in crocheted work. I solved the tie problem with tapestry crochet, but I wasn’t entirely happy with that because you still have to compensate for the slant in the stitches. So on and on my research went and I came across Tunisian crochet. It looked pretty intimidating as first because I saw people describe it was ‘a combination between crochet and knitting’ and I didn’t know anything at all about knitting at that point.
But then I saw this beauty and I was sold. This looked like exactly what I needed, a neat way to ‘pixel art’ in crochet without silly slanting stitches. So I ninja’d some Tunisian hooks from my mom and grandma and started practicing.
First thing I made was a cute little shroom (following this chart). All the color changes were absolute hell at first cause I really wasn’t used to working with 5+ different threads in one row. But I managed, and I was pretty damn happy with the result. Nice and square stitches instead of slanting ones, yay! Well, not exactly square, as you see the whole thing is a bit vertically stretched, but I figured that was just a result of my tension still being pretty inconsistent and the fact that I used a way too large hook.
Happy as I was with this first experiment, I didn’t continue making stuff with this technique for a long time, partially because I had a lot of other stuff on my to-do list that needed to be done first (Animecon, cupcakes), and partially because I didn’t really know yet what to make with it. I discarded the technique for the pony-themed ties because for a tie I only have like 15-20 stitches in a row to work with, and that’s not enough to make decent looking cutie marks.
But, to make a very long story short, after Animecon I realized I needed a purse. Because I have this habit of stuffing all my important things in my pockets, but during the con I just had so much stuff to carry around that it kept falling out. And my bulging pockets probably looked ridiculous, too. :’D
So when I figured I needed to make a purse (seriously, why would I buy one if I can make one…) I instantly thought ‘Whooo, that would totally be big enough to crochet some cool pixel art on!’
It wasn’t hard to figure out what kind of picture I wanted to make. I’ve always been a big fan of Companion Cube, and that seemed pretty easy to turn into some decent looking pixel art, so a Cube it was!
This time I bought a hook that was actually the right size for the yarn (the shroom was made with a 4 if I recall correctly; the Cube with a 2.5), made a nice chart based on some embroidery patterns I found, and started hooking.
It turned out to be probably way too ambitious for a first real Tunisian project, but that’s how I do things. ^^; Most tutorials said that, just like with intarsia knitting, you want a separate ball of yarn for each area of color instead of stranding colors along at the back. Which meant that at most points I had 10 different strands of yarn active, ARGH.
I admit, when I started, it was a complete tangled up mess, until I decided to follow another tip from all the tutorials and actually wound my yarn onto some yarn bobbins instead of working from the ball. That helped millions. Seriously, if you ever try Tunisian color work or intarsia knitting, don’t be like me and think ‘I don’t need them silly bobbins’. xD
As you see, the pattern is still not exactly square, but thankfully not as stretched as the shroom sample. I’m really really happy with how it turned out. :D The sewing of the bag itself is still a bit wonky, I think I’m gonna construct the thing a bit differently next time, but all in all this is definitely a case of experiment success!