Tunisian circle potholder, with instructions
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Tunisian circle potholder, with instructions

Project info
Hooks & yarn
4.0 mm (G)
Lily Sugar'n Cream Ombres
Michaels in California

Update: I’ve slightly modified the instructions to avoid confusion on the stitch count. It occurred to me it would be clearer if all the ‘spoke’ rows were done the same way, by pulling through TWO at the beginning of each return row which originates in a central sc. (The same principle as when you do a border of short rows along an edge and pick up your last stitch through the existing loops. Otherwise you end up adding a stitch with each row.) Hope no one got tripped up by that!

A version of Tunisian crochet circles I worked out after some trial and error. The usual sort of Tunisian circle patterns I see are built from short rows into broad sideways wedges and resemble polygonal pinwheels.

This one is based on a ring of single crochet into a magic circle. It’s also built as wedges with short rows, but they end up as long narrow segments. These make a smoother circle instead of an angled polygon.


Here’s how I did a 12-stitch radius circle, like the ones used for the green and blue potholder. These instructions assume you know how to work both conventional and Tunisian crochet, and how to weave in ends, etc.

Stitch counts are optimized for this general hook size (H or G) and yarn type (worsted cotton). Some people trying out these instructions have mentioned that at their crochet tension they don’t need to make all 20 wedges for a full, flat circle.

Materials and tools: Size H Tunisian hook, 1 skein worsted cotton yarn, tapestry needle.

Start the center with a conventional hook if you prefer - it’s less cumbersome than the long hook. Magic circle, ch1, 10 sc into circle. Don’t join to the first sc with a slip stitch - that comes later.

Switch to Tunisian hook. modified instructions Ch 12. Work 1 row of Tss. Last stitch goes into first sc in center ring, for 12 sts. (That’s the join.) Make return row: pull through TWO loops for the first stitch, then continue.

Wedge: Work 3 sts along the row (4 loops on hook). Pull through one, then through two to return as normal. Work 5 sts (6 loops). Return normally. Work 8 sts (9 loops). Return normally.

Work all sts in row, and take the last st into next sc in center ring. Return: pull through TWO, then continue.

Keep repeating the wedges around the circle, working twice into each central sc. Yes, you did initially work only once into the first sc, the one you started with. The last wedge will go again into that same sc, so it ends up being worked into twice like the others. When you complete the circle, you will have 20 wedges and 80 sts around the circumference.

Make the last return row, then cut the yarn with a long tail. Thread it on a tapestry needle. Stitch along the right side to close the gap between the first and last wedges. There’s a trick to making it inconspicuous: Pull the yarn through the horizontal loops of each row and snug them up as you go, all the way to the center. Let the edges roll under your stitches to the wrong side. Weave in the end along the back.

The sewn join row shows in the back-side closeup of the multi-colored mat. Take a look at the closeup of the green and blue potholder and see if you can spot the join row on the right side. (It’s at about 5 o’clock.) Keep your tension even as you stitch, and it should blend in pretty well.

After making a second circle and weaving in all ends, put the circles back to back and sc or crab stitch around the circumference with another length of yarn. Make a hanging loop if you like - I don’t, because they end up dragging in the food when I use the potholder!

For a somewhat larger circle, like the multi-colored mat: Ch 15 for the first Tunisian row. Work the wedges in short rows of 5, 9, 13 and then to the center.

Remarks on the photos:

The mat as shown has 2 wedges per color triangle. Color changes start with a short row into the last complete row of the previous wedge. The border is 2 rows of sc and one of crab stitch (reverse sc). To keep the border from cupping, I worked an increase at the edge of each triangle color change in the sc rows.

My examples are a potholder made with two circles crocheted together, and a mat I keep under my molcajete (a Mexican stone mortar). Obviously circles have plenty of other uses - basket or bag bases, modular pieces for afghans and mats, etc.

I’ve got no idea if this is actually an original method or an un-vention. Go ahead and tell me if it’s been done already! I did a fair amount of looking around online for circle instructions and didn’t run across anything else quite like it. I’ve seen circles done with double-ended hooks in a somewhat similar way to this, but this one takes only a regular single-ended Tunisian hook and has a different look.

Any rate, I like it! It goes much faster for me than making circles in conventional single crochet, and avoids the usual problems with both conventional spiral round construction (line jogs at color changes and in the last row) and joined rounds (slanting seams and obvious joins).

The 12-stitch radius circle is a good potholder size, natch, since I like making potholders. Making a larger or smaller circle involves modifying the stitch counts for the wedges, though not the initial number of sc in the ring. I’m currently working out how to do a REALLY large circle, such as for a floor mat. Figuring out the right number of short rows in each wedge and how far inwards to carry each of them is the key to keeping the circle from cupping or rippling.

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About this pattern
Personal pattern (not in Ravelry)
About this yarn
by Lily
100% Cotton
95 yards / 57 grams

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  • Project created: August 11, 2013
  • Finished: August 11, 2013
  • Updated: October 23, 2013