Whether you need a sophisticated wrap for the office, or a delicate shawl for an evening out, this light and airy tunisian crochet ruana fits the bill. There’s gorgeous drape and a simple strap on a front panel for easy closure. And best of all, there’s a knit version too! The Kingston Ruana is the crochet version of a knit and crochet collaboration I did with fellow designer Alexandra from Two of Wands, and we both loved the process of working with each other to design these sister pieces.
Designing and blogging can be an isolating job, since we’re often working at home by ourselves without an office environment and work colleagues to socialize with on a daily basis. This collaboration with my friend Alexi enabled us to work on something together, so even though we’re miles apart, we could talk about the same design, brainstorm together, learn about the yarn together, and at the end, photograph our pieces together. I have to say, that was the MOST fun, since we made a whole day of it in New York City!
We first came up with the idea when we were walking around the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. Since neither of us were really looking to get more yarn, we spent the time window shopping and comparing notes from our blogging businesses. One thing we found in common was that our readers often lamented the lack of a knit project when we launch a crochet one, and vice versa. How cool would it be if we both made one design, but in two crafts, so everyone is happy? It took 7 months to make our plans come true, but it was worth the wait!
Both of us used Lion Brand’s Beautiful You yarn, a 100% acrylic sport weight (CYC weight level 2 FINE) yarn available in 16 different colors. We used Pumice Stone, as we both were drawn to the greige-ness and versatility of this color. The Kingston Ruana is worked up with a single strand of Beautiful You, using the Tunisian Simple Stitch to create a tight woven texture that looks almost like fabric. The Stone Ridge Ruana uses 2 strands of Beautiful You together in garter stitch for a fast, easy make. Both constructions use about the same amount of yarn, albeit in different ways, while maintaining oodles of drape and an effortless look.
The ruanas use the same simple shape, an upside down U, where the legs of the U are the front panels. To keep the ruana from falling off your shoulders, we added a short strap to one of the front panels to tuck the other front panel through. No need to mess with buttons or belts or zippers here! You can choose which side you want the front panel on, to show off your best side (because we all have them, don’t we?). The Kingston Ruana is also slightly shorter than its cousin, because Tunisian crochet offers less stretch than a knit garter stitch.
For the Kingston Ruana, the construction starts at the bottom of one of the front panels. Once you get to the end of the front panel, leave that last stitch on scrap yarn, and work the other front panel. Then both panels are joined by working the following steps (photos below in the free pattern):
- Work the forward row of the first front panel.
- Without working a corresponding reverse row YET, work the forward row of the 2nd front panel. Both panels are now on your Tunisian crochet hook.
- Now, work the entire reverse row of the 2nd panel, and chain the indicated number of stitches to create the back-of-neck.
- Join the chain loop to the reverse row of the first panel by yarning over and drawing the yarn through the chain loop and the last loop of the first panel. This is the first loop in the reverse row.
- Then continue working the reverse row of the first panel.
When you’re done with this row, both panels should be connected via the chain stitches in the middle. The next Tunisian crochet row will be a forward/reverse pass along the first panel, the chain stitches, and the second panel together. Then just continue the Tunisian Simple Stitch down the back.
There are a few rows of half double crochet at the bottoms of the front and back to minimize the curling you often see with Tunisian crochet. While I used an I (5.5mm) size Tunisian crochet hook for the bulk of the ruana, I used a smaller G (4.0mm) regular crochet hook for the half double crochet rows. I find that the G size gives me the guage I’m looking for, but when you work in Tunisian crochet, you’ll want to increase your hook size by 3-5 sizes. I purchased a set of Denise Interchangeable Tunisian Crochet Hooks so that I can try on crochet hooks like I’m looking for the right allen wrench for a piece of Ikea furniture.
Where to Find the Patterns
You can find the Kingston Ruana as a free pattern below in multiple sizes. You can also purchase a printable/downloadable PDF for an extra schematic, and an ad-free/comment-free experience. The Kingston Ruana is also available as a full kit from Lion Brand Yarn. You’ll receive the yarn needed for your size, along with a printed copy of the pattern.
If you’re looking for the knit Stone Ridge Ruana, head over to Alexandra’s website, Two of Wands!
The Kingston Ruana
- 6 (7, 8, 9) skeins of Lion Brand Beautiful You (3.5oz/100g, 326m/298 yds) in Pumice Stone
- Size I/5.5mm Tunisian crochet hook
- Size G/4.00mm crochet hook
- tapestry needle
Abbreviations (US Terms)
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- sl st – slip stitch
- ch – chain stitch
- yo – yarn over
- fdc – foundation double crochet
- hdc – half double crochet
- dc – double crochet
- TSS – Tunisian Simple Stitch: (forward pass) insert hook behind the front vertical bar, yarn over and bring up a loop, leaving the loop on the hook.
- Sizes: XS/S (M/L, XL/2XL, 3XL/4XL)
- Front length: 21 (21.5, 22, 22.5) inches, laid flat and blocked.
- Back length: 27 (27.5, 28, 28.5) inches, laid flat and blocked.
- Width: 47 (50.25, 53, 56.25) inches, laid flat and blocked.
- Model is 5’8” and is wearing size XS/S
- Gauge: 16 sts and 14 rows in 4 inches of Tunisian Simple Stitch, blocked.
- Foundation double crochet stitches can be replaced by working the given number of fdc sts + 2, chains, then working double crochet in each chain across the row.
- The ruana is constructed by crocheting each front panel up separately, then joining the panels with a row of Tunisian Simple Stitch, and then continuing to work the TSS down the back.
- At the beginning of the TSS row, you already have a loop on your hook, so you’ll work the first TSS stitch by inserting your hook into the 2nd front vertical bar.
- You can find a video tutorial of the Tunisian Simple Stitch on my Youtube Channel.
Tunisian Crochet Ruana Pattern Instructions
Start with G hook.
Row 1 : Work 82 (87, 92, 98) fdc. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 2. Work 1 hdc in each st across. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 2. Work 1 hdc in each st across. Turn.
Row 4 (TSS, forward): [Switch to size I tunisian crochet hook] Starting with the 2nd ch from hook, insert your hook behind the front vertical bar, yo, and bring up a loop. Keep the loop on your hook. Continue to work into each back bump across, yo and bring up a loop, keeping all loops on your Tunisian crochet hook.
Row 4 (TSS, reverse): YO, pull through 1 loop on hook. Repeat [YO, pull through 2 loops on hook] to end of row. You will have completed 82 stitches in the row.
From here onwards, each row consists of both a forward and reverse row.
Row 5-76 (78, 80, 82): Work TSS rows for 72 (74, 76, 78) more rows or until panel is approximately 21 (21.5, 22, 22.5) inches long.
Remove Tunisian crochet hook and secure the loop on a piece of scrap yarn or stitch marker.
Repeat Rows 1-76 (78, 80, 82) for PANEL 2. Do not remove crochet hook at the end of Row 76 (78, 80, 82).
Row 77 (79, 81, 83) (TSS, forward): Work a forward row on the same panel currently on the hook. Keeping the piece on the tunisian crochet hook, pick up PANEL 1, insert the hook into the first loop and work a forward row on PANEL 1. You should now have 2 separate panels on your tunisian crochet hook.
Row 77 (79, 81 ,83) (TSS, reverse): Work the TSS reverse row across PANEL 1. When you get to the last stitch, chain 18 (19, 20, 21), then yo and pull through the [last ch st + 1st st of PANEL 2]. Continue working the TSS reverse row across PANEL 2. Your panels should now be joined together.
Rows 78 (80, 82, 84) -164 (168, 172, 176): Work TSS rows for 87 (89, 91, 93) more rows or until back panel is approximately 25 (25.5, 26, 26.5) inches long.
Row 165 (169, 173, 177): [Switch to size G crochet hook]. Insert your hook behind the front vertical bar, yo and bring up a loop. Yo, and complete a single crochet. Repeat across the row. Turn.
Rows 166 (170, 174, 178) – 173 (177, 181, 185): Ch 2. Work 1 hdc in each st across for 8 more rows or approximately 2 inches. Turn at the end of each row.
Row 174 (178, 180, 184): Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each st across.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Start with G hook.
Row 1: Work 23 fdc. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each st across. Fasten off and weave in end.
Sew the strap to either front panel, approximately 4 inches from the bottom edge and 4 inches in from the center.
Weave in all remaining ends.
Pin the blanket to a flat surface and block the piece. Depending on the yarn used, you can either steam or wet block your ruana to relax the yarn and minimize curling.