They call this Entrelac crochet, Tunisian crochet, or the Afghan stitch and you do it with the long crochet hook. (The word Entrelac actually refers to the diamond pattern as well as the hook.) This was my first project using the long hook and I will say that I enjoyed it…mostly.
The difference between regular crochet and Tunisian crochet is that with Tunisian crochet you start by pulling up a loop for each stitch in the row and keeping all the loops on the hook until you get to the end of the row. Then you pull through each loop on your way back to complete the row. This makes a very thick and pretty fabric.
I used a YouTube tutorial on the Red Heart Yarns channel called How to Entrelac Crochet. The tutorial is done by The Crochet Crowd’s Mikey and is very easy to follow. In the video he uses a regular crochet hook and his squares are seven stitches by seven rows. Because he never has more than seven loops on his hook at one time, he is able to use a regular crochet hook.
For my little blanket I did fifteen rows of fifteen stitches for each of my squares. This meant that I had to have fifteen loops on my hook at one time so I used the long Tunisian hook pictured above that I borrowed from my mother-in-law. The blanket is started in the center and worked in an around-the-world pattern, attaching each new square as it is made. When I decided it was big enough I filled in the sides with the black triangles (that was in the tutorial too) and did a little border that incorporated the three colors of the blanket.
It was fun to learn a new type of crochet and the fabric is very cool because it doesn’t have holes like you’re used to seeing in regular crochet. It’s also a nice way to do squares because you don’t have to sew or crochet them all together at the end.
Tunisian crochet does seem to take a lot longer to make a small blanket than regular crochet. I guess this is because the fabric is more dense. It uses more yarn per square inch than regular crochet, also because of the density of the fabric. Tunisian fabric has a tendency to curl up on you, but once you attach squares on the sides they pull it straight again.