First of all, I’d like to say a huge thank you for tuning in and listening to the very first episode of the Yarn Over podcast to talk all about Tunisian Crochet. A lot of hard work has gone into reaching this point and I still can’t quite believe it’s finally live. I hope you enjoyed it and will be tuning into the rest of the series. We have some more amazing guests joining us in future episodes and feel so giddy over the fact Toni Lipsey was our first.
INTRODUCTION TO OUR GUEST
In this episode we chat to the queen of Tunisian crochet, Toni Lipsey from TL Yarn Crafts. For those of you who don’t know, Toni is a crochet designer and educator and now also an author of her own book Tunisian Crochet Handbook. She’s been running her crochet business since 2013 which turned into her full time career in 2017. As a regular watcher of her videos myself, I find her excitement over the craft so infectious and always look forward to receiving that notification pop up on my phone.
A SKILL PASSED DOWN
Having started learning to crochet from her mother who taught her how to create a granny square. A granny square that then turns into, and I quote ‘this huge hideous camouflage blanket’! Toni has come such a long way from the first time she picked up a set of hooks, despite actually putting them down for quite some time. She held on to the confidence and creativity she gained from learning to art of crochet. About 10 years later in 2010 when her life felt a little unsettled following a graduation, a wedding and a house move; Toni felt like she needed some focus so she picked those hooks back up and never looked back.
THE WORLD OF TUNISIAN CROCHET
Fast forward a few more years and the name, Toni Lipsey, is well known within the crochet community but more so when it comes to Tunisian crochet. We discover that Toni actually stumbled into it by accident at a craft fair after seeing a woman sat working on a project with a giant crochet hook who very kindly taught Toni a few stitches and the history of them.
Who’d have known it would have been a ‘right place, right time’ moment?
It was after Toni decided to delve deeper into Tunisian crochet that she realised there wasn’t much out there by way of books, patterns, tutorials. Not to say that she was the first person to create content but she definitely disrupted this particular niche and helped get the change and steer the conversation to where it is today.
Tunisian crochet is like taking the best of both worlds between crochet and knitting – it’s certainly one of those techniques you have to try. The stitches are so unique and the mechanics of creating using them are so encouraging to see whilst you’re working on your project.
Toni explains so much more in her handbook which can be found here and is perfect for both beginners and seasoned crocheters.
TIPS FOR TUNISIAN CROCHET
Toni’s top tips:
- Start with quality tools – having the right tools is super important. You don’t need to invites £££’s but having a good quality hook can really help you stay motivated.
- Don’t feel like you need to start small! You wan’t to make a wearable or a big blanket? You go for it! There isn’t a set starting point. *
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Help is out there be that from loads of different people, places and resources.
*[Mention of geo pot holder as a great starting point to practice technique for Tunisian crochet in particular for a ‘beginner’ – are we allowed to share this (if available) outside of the book?]
[Mention of lovelin?? shawl – uses a lot of fun and interesting stitches and techniques throughout that push your boundaries a little – comfortable next level]
One of my favourite things about having this conversation is how there really is no limits when it comes to crochet. Just because you’re only starting out doesn’t mean you can’t start to make whatever it is you want to make. You don’t need to start small or start with the basics. As Toni says, there are so many resources out there now to help you on your crochet journey but you’ll never know if you never try. It really is all about the practice. It will click for you if you’re willing to put the time and effort in. And… that sense of accomplishment once you’ve finished making something is worth every minute spent.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve given Tunisian a try or if you plan to after listening to how passionate Toni talks about the techniques of it – come and join the community on Facebook and Instagram.
MORE FROM TONI
Want to learn more from Toni? You can find pattern and blog posts at tlyarncrafts.com and you can find tips and inspiration on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
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