Free Tunisian crochet shawl pattern – Porphyry

If you want a bit of a challenge, but are not really ready for something very complex, try out this new Tunisian crochet shawl pattern that I’ve prepared for you.

The pattern is simple, but not easy. But once you get used to the stitches, you’ll breeze through in no time.

Check out the video tutorial for help with any stitches new to you.

And if you’d rather use a chart to make this, check out the pattern listing in my shop and get full instructions as well.

Porphyry shawl Tunisian crochet pattern yarnandy 9

Background for the Porphyry shawl

This shawl is dedicated to friendship over the decades and was a present for a good friend of mine. We’ve known each other and shared our friendship for two decades and we’re both 30, so that says something.

Our friendship has lasted throughout the years, just like a piece of porphyry in a river. If you’ve ever found one of these elusive rocks in a river bed, you’ll notice how smooth and pleasant it is, despite the many years of pounding pressure it’s been under, living in a river and all.

I wanted to create something special for my friend, so I chose this spectacular stitch combination that is warm, so it’s perfect for winter, doesn’t curl, and looks pretty no matter if you look at it from up close or from far away.

The overall pattern is simple and laid-back because we both appreciate simplicity. The simple picot border is meant to finish off the edge without any frills.

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Measurements

This shawl can grow as large or as little as you want. My sample measured about 180 cm (70”) in length and about 70 cm (27”) at the widest point.

Add more rows for a larger shawl.

Skill level

Intermediate or enthusiastic beginner – you need to know how to make Tunisian simple stitches, Tunisian twisted knit stitches and full stitches, to be able to count stitches and to be able to recognize these stitches, as you will possibly be working off pattern after the first few rows.

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Notions

  • Yarn: any yarn in your stash, preferably a DK weight, wool or acrylic – about 600 meters or more, depending on how large you want to make your shawl;
  • Optional yarn: a lace-weight mohair or alpaca yarn as companion – same length as main yarn;
  • Hook: Tunisian crochet hook with a cable – 8 mm or hook 3 mm larger than the one recommended for your yarn – longer cables are better for this pattern (60-100 cm);
  • Optional: one stitch marker;
  • Scissors and tapestry needle for binding off.

Abbreviations

Explained for right-handed; for left-handed please mirror the instructions.

  • Ch – regular chain stitch;
  • F – Tunisian full stitch – insert hook into next space between vertical bars, YO and pull up a loop;
  • Ls – last stitch – put hook through the 2 vertical loops at the end of the row YO and pull up a loop;
  • Picot – regular Ch3 picot: Ch3, Sl St into back bump of first Ch;
  • R – special Tunisian return: Ch2, repeat [YO and pull through 2 loops] until 1 loop left (Ch2 instead of Ch1 at the beginning of the return helps with the shape of the shawl);
  • Sk – skip stitch;
  • Sl St – slip stitch;
  • Tss – Tunisian simple stitch – insert hook from right to left behind the next vertical bar, YO and pull up a loop;
  • TwK – Tunisian twisted knit stitch – move the next vertical bar to the right of the vertical bar behind, insert hook between them, YO and pull up a loop.

Video tutorial – right-handed

Video tutorial – left-handed

Observations/Notes

  • You will be working on only one side of the shawl, with a forward pass and a return pass for each row.
  • You never work into the first stitch (the one under the loop on your hook), all the increases are done by picking up loops in the spaces between other loops.
  • In the first row, the last Tss counts as Ls.
  • The videos will show you how to work the different stitches if you are unfamiliar with them.
  • The numbers in the (round brackets) at the end of the row mention how many loops you need to have on your hook before beginning the return row, including the first and last stitches.
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Gauge

Gauge pattern to get a 10 cm by 10 cm square. Start with a slip knot on your hook.

In this case, in the return row you should only Ch1, instead of Ch2, since you are making no increases at the end of the row.

R1. Ch11, 11 Tss, R.

R2. Repeat {Tss, TwK} 5 times, Ls, R

R3. Repeat {TwK, Tss} 5 times, Ls, R

Rows 4-9: Repeat R2 and R3 3 more times.

If your gauge swatch comes out smaller, make more rows to reach the recommended size of the shawl.

Instructions

If you need a more visual guide to starting the shawl, please check out the video linked above, it will show you the first 5 rows and then you can continue working on your own.

If you need a chart, there is one in the full version of this pattern.

Start with a slip knot on your hook.

R1. Ch4, 4Tss, R (5)

R2. F, TwK, F, Tss, F, TwK, F, Ls, R (9)

R3. F, TwK, Tss, TwK, F, Tss, F, TwK, Tss, TwK, F, Ls, R (13)

R4. F, [TwK, Tss] 2 times, TwK, F, Tss, F, [TwK, Tss] 2 times, TwK, F, Ls, R (17)

R5. F, [TwK, Tss] 3 times, TwK, F, Tss, F, [TwK, Tss] 3 times, TwK, F, Ls, R (21)

Continue in pattern, increasing by 4 stitches per row until you reach a size that is acceptable to you.

I made about 50 rows for the sample shawl.

Stop when you have about 5% of your yarn left, to make the bind-off row and the picot edging.

Porphyry shawl Tunisian crochet pattern yarnandy closeup 1
This is what the edge will look like without binding off.

Picot edging

When you are satisfied with the size of your shawl, bind off in pattern, like in the row below, but instead of leaving each new loop on your hook, you make a Sl St.

You can Sl St to the last stitch for a simple border or you can add the picot border like in the following instructions:

Border. F, Tss, repeat [Picot, Sk1, Tss] to middle stitch, F, Tss, F, repeat [Tss, Picot, Sk1] to Ls, F, Ls

The numbers of picots will vary depending on the number of stitches of the row you stop on.

Now that the shawl is finished, you can wash and block it into its natural shape, a lightly rounded triangle. It will curl slightly at the ends. Do not stretch out the stitches, as you will lose the texture of the fabric.

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Final thoughts on this Tunisian crochet shawl pattern

I hope you’ve enjoyed this free pattern for a Tunisian crochet shawl and will try it out. 

If you need any help with it, please don’t hesitate to ask for it. If you need full instructions, you’ll find them here.

I can’t wait to see your project! If you share it on social media, don’t forget to tag me @yarnandy and use #PorphyryShawl. I always love seeing your projects!

If you want to explore my other free patterns, check them out here:

And if you want to keep in touch and find out when I release new patterns, or when I am looking for testers, sign up below.

Lots of hugs,

Andrea

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