When looking at a single crocheted or basic Afghan/Tunisian crocheted item, you’ll notice blocks are created by the vertical bars and horizontal threads. These blocks form a mesh on which embroidery stitches can be worked to create a beautiful design. The most popular stitch used is the cross stitch.
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I used embroidery thread and a tapestry needle, but you can also use yarn. Instead of a knot, leave a yarn tail several inches long when you begin. You’ll weave the yarn in after you are finished.
Work over the bars of the mesh in a basic cross stitch design. The technique is illustrated in the picture. Stitch all diagonals in one direction and then return in the opposite direction. What is important is that you consistently make your stitches the same way.
Of course, you can use other embroidery stitches to embellish your project. If you are an embroidery person, you already have many designs available to you. These can be transferred on to your crochet item and then stitched.
If you want to look for some examples, try your local library. The best place to find patterns is older Afghan books from the 1980s and the early 1990s. This was a popular technique at that time and you’ll be surprised at the beauty of the various afghans.
Below are a few items I thought were especially attractive and may inspire you.
These pictures are from The Great Afghan Book by American School of Needlework.
This is from All-Time Great Afghans by McCall’s Needlework (1989) and demonstrates various embroidery stitches on basic single crochet squares.
This is from McCall’s Knit/Crochet Encyclopedia (1977). A very ornate design is worked on cream-colored, basic Afghan crochet panels.