TOTALLY TUNISIAN
Simply Crochet|Issue 118
Tunisian crochet designer Sandy Walker loves using her skills to make blankets and shares the journey and inspiration that led her to becoming an expert at this knit-like technique
Sandy Walker

How and when did you learn to crochet?

My mom Penny was a master fibre artist who could knit and crochet with the speed and precision of a finely tuned machine. She was also a wonderfully patient teacher. I can still hear her advice: “Use the hook, the hook is the tool.” She was a perfectionist, correcting my mistakes and always working the piece further along so I did not get frustrated. Projects were always finished neatly on both the right and wrong sides.

Can you remember what your first crochet project was? How did it turn out?

I learned to crochet at 17, had a mini business selling tote bags to friends, taught one how to crochet, and moved on to making blankets as gifts. My mom crocheted my spectacular wedding dress in 1976 and I made shawls for the bridesmaids.

What drew you to Tunisian crochet and what about it do you enjoy so much?

I discovered Tunisian crochet in the 1970s and it was my preferred technique for warm, dense blankets. I am proudly Canadian and the cold, snowy winter climate and our heritage definitely influence my designs of useful warm blankets and apparel.

With a little care, all edges on a Tunisian piece have clearly defined stitches, making assembly and adding borders simple. Tunisian in the round is a game changer for colour work and has infinite possibilities.

How did you start designing?

In 2016, I participated in my first few CALs. I discovered the beauty and versatility of post stitches and adapted them to Tunisian. My first original design was the aptly named The Penny Drops. It became awell-received CAL and the first piece of the Penny Collection.

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