A couple of months ago a Michelle from Poppy and Bliss posted this pattern for Tunisian crochet feathers and it has blown up all over Facebook and Pinterest recieving over 10,000 saves/shares. This is no wonder as the pictures are absolutely beautiful!
I decided this would be a good first couch test as it looked relatively fast and easy, but did use Tunisian crochet, a technique I had not tried before and overall I was very pleased with the results.
First of all, as this pattern only uses 11 stitches you do not need a special Tunisian crochet hook which is great. Any Hook without a handle (or even with of the shaft is long enough) should do. I just used a basic steel hook.
Then, having not done Tunisian crochet before, naturally I hit up Google looking for a tutorial. I found a great one from Mary Jane over at Mary Jane’s Mary Janes. It is clearly written with clear photos. I personally like photo tutorials because you don’t have to rewind them if you miss points, but if you prefer video tutorials, there are plenty on YouTube I am sure.
Onto something I didn’t like so much, how the pattern for the large feather was written. While the instructions are clear, repeating the same instruction over and over for each colour change makes the pattern look, at first glance, more complicated than it is. I prefer things to be written concisely in the clearest way possible. I much prefer the instructions for the small feather and feel the large one could have been written the same way and a colour scheme included separately, i.e. row 5: A, row 6:B and so on. A small criticism, but a pattern that looks hard can be off putting for beginners.
Overall I found this project easy to reproduce to a high standard, but it did take me a few goes.
I abandoned my first attempt when I just could not figure out what was going wrong. I either found I had not enough loops or not enough stitches to form loops with. In the end my main two errors occurred when making the turn at the end and were:
1. Skipping the end stitch, i.e. turning after making 1 through the top bar, which resulted in not enough loops on the hook.
2. Not pulling through the single loop first, before pulling through two loops at a time on the return, resulting in no place to make 1 on the next row.
My second attempt was much better, though I did have to frog some rows, and by the end I had the technique down. After this the feathers were easy and quite quick to make. After a couple I really didn’t need to look at the pattern any more.
Another tip I have is on the choice of materials. I made feathers using 8ply (dk) acrylic yarn and coarse and fine crochet cotton. Although the feathers made with the fine cotton look the most difficult I actually found them easiest as the vertical bars were the most clearly defined. I found the acrylic the hardest as sometimes it was difficult to get the hook under the vertical bars due to the yarn being a but sticky, but this can be overcome by ensuring you keep your tension loose.
When I was done I steam blocked all my feathers to get a crisp look, now just need to decide what to do with them.
Overall I encourage you to give this pattern a go. It is easy and fast and a great first Tunisian crochet piece if you have been interested in the technique. I encourage you to make it you pr own through your choice of colours and patterns, but importantly, without too much difficulty you should be able to achieve results as spectacular as the picture.