Ready to try your hand at Tunisian crochet? This post explains all you need to know about the different types of Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet hooks: cabled, stick, and double ended Tunisian hooks, and how to choose which to use for your next project.
Tunisian Crochet Hook Guide
Tunisian crochet hooks are also called Afghan hooks. These are long crochet hooks that either have a stopper on one end (similar to a knitting needle), have a cable attached, or have a hook on both ends. Which is the best hook for a certain project? Well that just depends on what you’re making. Let’s discuss!
No matter which hooks you choose, your best chance of finding what you need will be online. For some reason every brick and mortar store I’ve checked has a very limited selection (typically 6 or 6.5mm only) and I have personally never seen a double ended hook in-store. I have included links to all of my favorite hooks below.
See all of the Tunisian hooks offered on Amazon at this link.
1. Stick Tunisian Hooks
Stick Tunisian (afghan) hooks are typically ~12″ (30cm) long. These hooks are excellent for making anything small-ish that is worked flat and in rows, such as in the Wisteria Wrap, the Heavely Hygge hat, the Back in Brugge Beanie, or the Honeycomb Shawl pattern. (Note that the Back in Brugge Beanie could also be worked in the round if you have a double ended hook!)
The largest item I have been able to crochet with a stick hook is a baby blanket which is about 36″ wide. The wider the project, the more you have to really cram the stitches on. This can get tiresome on your wrist toward the end of the project when all that weight of the blanket is on the hook. Any wider than baby blanket size and you’ll need a hook with a cable attached for added width/length.
2. Cabled Tunisian Hooks
Cabled hooks come in a wide variety of options. You can find inexpensive sets online that each have their own cable permanently attached (such as these, pictured below) or you can find interchangeable sets (such as these, these, or these).
Interchangeable cabled sets typically have eight different hook sizes included – and may or may not! – come with 1 – 3 cables of varying lengths and a stopper for one end. (The addi click set requires the purchase of cables and stoppers separately.)
Make sure to double check which hook sizes are included in the set you intend to purchase. Some sets only go up to 6mm while others go up to 8mm, 10mm, or even 12mm.
With cabled afghan hooks you can make anything from a tiny little washcloth to full-size afghans or blankets.
Note that because of the way most interchangeable cabled Tunisian hooks are made/used, it may be possible to add a hook to both ends of your cable turning it into one long, double ended hook. This could be beneficial if you are making a sleeve or other item and do not have access to a double ended stick hook.
Unfortunately this does mean that you will either have to purchase a second set of interchangeable hooks to get two of the same size (extra cables not required) or use two hooks from your set that are slightly different sizes. In this case I would put the size you actually need at the forefront (the hook used to pull up the loops), and the next size down on the back end (the hook used to pull the loops through).
3. Double Ended Tunisian Hooks
Double ended afghan hooks are anywhere from 6 – 8″ long to 12 – 14″ long and are used for crocheting Tunisian in the round. This means cowls, hats, wristlets, anything that is worked in a circle.
Many double ended hooks you find online will have two different sizes on each end. It can be difficult to find them with the same size on both ends, but I did pick up this pretty fuchsia hook on Hobbii and am working with another hook manufacturer to develop larger millimeter hooks that are the same size at both ends.
In order to crochet Tunisian in the round you will work in a continuous spiral, with no joining. What is nice about this is that there is a definite right side and wrong side, and you can play with fun colors as well – depending on which Tunisian stitch used. I have oodles of these types of patterns in the works! Stay tuned. 😉
What size hook to use?
In my experience, when working Tunisian crochet I need to go up several hook sizes than what I would normally use with a regular crochet hook. For example, I like to use a 6mm regular crochet hook when crocheting with worsted weight yarn, but when using that same yarn in Tunisian I go up to an 8mm hook to get that same fabric density.
All Tunisian crochet tends to curl, which is totally normal and is easier to correct by bumping up the hook size.
Best all around Tunisian set?
Personally I love my addi click set. I love that it includes sizes from 3.5mm to 8mm, and three cables of different lengths. I do prefer the double ended stick hooks for crocheting in the round (which are hard to find!), but if I were to purchase another set of the addi click hooks (not including extra cables) I would be able to crochet virtually anything Tunisian whether it be a small flat washcloth, a huge afghan, a sleeve worked in the round, etc – anything using up to an 8mm hook size, that is.
See a list of fun Tunisian crochet patterns below!