3 Color Tunisian

The 3 Color TunisianTM technique yields rich results with beginning Tunisian Crochet skills.  Some beginning Tunisian crocheters even find it easier to do than Tunisian Simple Stitch using just one color alone!  The technique is addictive, and it makes simple projects very special with its focus on texture and color.

3 Color TunisianTM allows you to create interwoven color and texture in ways that standard crochet or knitting don't easily allow.  It is the ultimate stash-busting technique since what it does best is intermix color and texture.

While you can do this technique with any Tunisian Stitch, we find that it is particularly effective with the most basic stitch:  Tunisian Simple Stitch.

So what is the simple secret of this amazing technique?  You use 3 colors at a time (or a base of 3 colors at a time) and you change colors at the start of each pass. (Review Changing Colors with Tunisian Crochet)  Since you are changing colors at each pass (not row!), you will have 2 colors in each row and the resulting fabric will appear "interwoven" and not "striped".

As with most Tunisian Crochet work - we recommend really bumping up the hook size.  With both hook and yarn size being equal, Tunisian Crochet will create a much denser fabric than standard crochet.  To get a drapey fabric with Tunisian, think big hooks.

3 Color TunisianTM in Action


To start with 3 Color TunisianTM, you need to master the basic Tss stitch as well as review our Changing Colors with Tunisian Crochet tutorial.

To do start off with 3 Color TunisianTM, simply:

  • Work your chain and first forward pass in Yarn #1. 
  • Switch to Yarn #2  for your reverse pass, leaving Yarn #1 to hang behind your work
  • Switch to Yarn #3 for the forward pass of the next row, leaving Yarn #2 to hang behind the work.

    Keep going in this way, changing yarns at each pass, switching to the yarn that is "waiting for you" at each side of the work.  You will make some almost magical observations:

    • When working with 3 yarns, there is always the yarn you are working with, and the yarn that waits for you at each side of the work.
    • When switching between 3 yarns at each pass, there is no noticeable stranding of yarns up along the sides of the work or additional ends to weave as is usually associated with color work.
    • It is actually EASIER to see where to insert the hook in the fabric when you do your next stitch since the vertical bars (forward pass) are a different color than the horizontal threads (reverse pass).


      Some close up examples of 3 Color TunisianTM Fabrics

      A favorite of mine to work up:  I worked up a sample of the Tunisian Cushion Cover using 3 Color Tunisian - a slight variation on the single color specified in our PillowTalk Exploration Collection.  Uses a Tunisian P Hook.
      An advanced variation using a Tunisian Slip Stitch:  The book, The New Crochet, by Lark Publishing, features the Mermaid Poncho designed by Jennifer Hansen.  This is another example of the rich fabrics that can be achieved with 3 Color TunisianTM.
      Pillows are versatile and fun stashbuster:  Another example of our Tunisian Cushion Cover from our PillowTalk Exploration Collection worked up in 3 Color TunisianTM.  I modified the pattern here to use a Tunisian Q hook.
      You can get lacy with the technique too:  A close-up sample of our Falling Layers Scarf that is featured in our More Decidedly Different Scarves pattern collection.  Worsted and sport weight yarns with a Tunisian Q hook.

      A perfect technique for intermixing textures:  When we do shows such as Stitches or the Knit and Crochet Show, our demonstrations of 3 Color TunisianTM are very popular.  Here are some swatches that we have worked at various shows.
      Here is a yoga bag we whipped up in the 3 Color TunisianTM Technique.