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The Great 'Purl' Controversy

Ok, so it’s not a great controversy, but it is a dilemma.  Since Tunisian Crochet has so many different names, titles, and terms associated with it, publishers and designers don’t always call stitches by the same name.  Crocheters are accustomed to this, since the Victorian Era and current European crocheters use different stitch names than crocheters in the USA.

Currently there are 2 Tunisian Crochet stitches whose names are being switched with each other: The Reverse Stitch and The Purl Stitch.  This wouldn’t be such a dilemma if the mechanics of each stitch weren’t so radically different.

The general trend is to follow the example that some 20th Century books have established.  However, there are enough folks who are reversing the terms that a small battle is lurking on the horizon over which stitch should be called by which title.  I am presenting my evidence for the choices of stitch titles I have used; which is beginning to look like I’m completely opposite to the major publishers in the USA.

In the first place, my terms, titles and labels are based on the belief that Tunisian Crochet is a hybrid of Knitting and Crochet: It has elements and mechanics of both, but the end results are different.  

Due to this combination of Knitting and Crocheting, I find it helpful to use Crochet terms for those elements that are taken from crochet, and to employ knitting terms where applicable.  For examples: in knitting, the Purl Stitch is worked from the back of the piece, instead of the front.  In Regular Crochet, the hook is inserted under threads or into loops, not ‘bars.’

In regards to the Reverse and Purl stitches, I based my stitch labels as found in older European and Victorian sources:

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Godey’s and Peterson’s Magazines (of the Victorian Era) referred to a Wave Stitch that ‘somewhat resembles purl knitting.’ This stitch uses the Back Vertical Thread for the Foundation.  Victorian Era publications prove this is not a new stitch.
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The Complete Stitch Directory (translated from the Italian ‘Millepunti,’ 1982) identifies the stitch that ‘pulls the yarn to the front of the piece’ as the Reverse Stitch.  
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Most 20th century stitch guides do not list the mechanics of working a stitch with the Back Vertical Thread (Purl), despite the Victorians using it.
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My Victorian Era sources don’t list the stitch that ‘pulls the yarn to the front of the piece;’ yet that is what most modern books include.
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I believe the Reverse Stitch ‘Reverses the mechanics’ of Tunisian Crochet.  This is the only Foundation in which the yarn is pulled to the front of the piece; thus ‘reversing’ the mechanics of how a stitch is formed.  I suspect that someone created the Reverse Stitch by applying the mechanics of Purl Knitting to Tunisian Crochet.  However, the fact remains that Purl Knitting is done on the back, even though the piece faces the needleworker when creating the stitches.
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Yes, there is the argument that ‘reverse’ could refer to the back of the piece; however, knitters do not call the stitch ‘worked on the back of the piece’ as a ‘Reverse.’


Finally, in my research and personal exploration of this needlework style, I discovered that individual threads could be manipulated in ways that Knitters could never dream of, and Regular Crocheters would find extreme.  It is these *extreme* or Unconventional Foundations that decided for me which stitch should labeled Purl and which stitch should be labeled Reverse.  Some stitches would simply be too confusing to label, if the Purl stitch is worked on the front of the piece.
 
The following is a list of how I categorize stitches:

All stitches that use threads or loops from the back of the piece are labeled as Purl type stitches.

All stitches that use threads or loops from the front of the piece are labeled as Simple type stitches.

All stitches that pull the yarn to the front are labeled as Reverse type stitches.

All stitches that insert the hook into a stitch all the way to the back are labeled Knit type stitches.

All stitches that insert the hook in between stitches are labeled Full type stitches.
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Currently there are 2 Tunisian Crochet stitches whose names are being switched with each other: The Reverse Stitch and The Purl Stitch.  This wouldn’t be such a dilemma if the mechanics of each stitch weren’t so radically different.
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