Tunisian Crochet: Spin a Cozy Case for Your Tablet or Laptop

Tunisian crochet is a bit like knitting with a crochet hook to create a woven fabric. Try pairing this easy technique with rare-breed wools!

A. Sabine Schröder-Gravendyck Nov 22, 2023 - 8 min read

Tunisian Crochet: Spin a Cozy Case for Your Tablet or Laptop Primary Image

Tunisian crochet creates a fascinatingly squishy yet firm fabric that is fast to make. Photos by A. Sabine Schröder-Gravendyck unless otherwise noted

Editor’s note: Sabine’s Woolly Basket knitting pattern published in Spin Off Summer 2020 continues to be a reader favorite, so we asked her for another rare-breed friendly design. The Endlessly Adaptable Woolly Case in the Winter 2024 issue of Spin Off is a recipe that allows you to make a slipcase for any size device using any gauge of yarn using Tunisian Simple Stitch. Here’s Sabine to tell us what she loves about Tunisian crochet and a bit more about creating her Skudden-wool iPad case. And there’s a guide at the end for determining yardage needed to create your own sweet Woolly Case!

When working with a fleece, I love to create many small samples. I spin a few yards of singles, a few yards of two-ply, try adding more or less twist, and just get a feel for the fiber. I create tiny swatches using different stitch patterns and techniques, which often include Tunisian crochet. This fascinating technique produces a relatively firm material. You make one row of stitches in two passes so all stitches in a row are connected. This is different from crocheting where you make one independent stitch at a time. Additionally, each row of stitches is connected to the row below and the row above. The result is a special structure that is a bit woven-like. I enjoy the rhythm of this technique very much.

Tunisian crochet was a perfect match for the sturdy case I wanted to create for my iPad. Since all of our devices are different sizes and shapes, the pattern is easily adaptable for phones, tablets, and laptops.

See three more rare-breed Woolly Cases in Spin Off Winter 2024. From left: Lincoln Longwool, Navajo-Churro, and Cotswold. Photo by Matt Graves

Sabine’s Woolly Case

I worked with Skudden fleeces for my Woolly Case, and you can read more about the breed and how I prepared the fiber in last week’s post.


After sampling, I settled on a drafting technique that created the texture that I wanted. This was a “middle backward draw,” drafting roughly 3 inches backward with my fiber-supply hand, while pinching with the forward hand. I did not smooth the single as the twist was entering the drafted fibers.

I added some locks of the other white Skudden fleeces, and one ply received a flick-carded lock from the brown fleeces every now and then. I spun most of the yarn on a Louët Julia, ratio 18:1, and some on an Ashford Joy 2. My final handspun was a three-ply yarn that measured 8 wpi (wraps per inch).

Sabine’s finished Woolly Case, designed to fit her iPad, measures 11.5" x 9.5" (30 x 24 cm).

I measured my iPad and then crocheted a swatch to determine the hook size and yardage needed (see below). Following the steps outlined in Spin Off Winter 2024, I crocheted the fabric and sewed it together. With a finished size of 30 x 24 cm, the bag fit my iPad perfectly. The edges of the flap ended up rolling up a bit; therefore, I reinforced the fabric by pulling yarn through the back of the fabric in a meandering pattern and stitching along the edge.

Enforce the edge, then add the closure.

I made the buttons from slices of a sweet chestnut branch (can you spot the little star in the middle? It’s all natural). The closure is made with cabled yarn.


Estimating Meters/Yards from a Swatch

While it is exciting and liberating to create projects that don’t rely on a very specific set of instructions, spinners know that this approach also presents its own challenges. Wondering how much fiber and how many yards you need to spin for this Tunisian crochet project? Angela Schneider, Master Spinner and Spin Off’s project editor, will show you one way to estimate yardage based on a swatch. These calculations are done in metric because it is easier to calculate, but you can use Imperial if you prefer.

  1. Measure 10 meters of the yarn you would like to use. Calculate grams/meter:
    Grist = starting weight / 10 m.
  2. Using Tunisian Simple Stitch, make a swatch that is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) wide and work until you use up most of the yarn.
  3. Secure the yarn and cut off the unused tail. Deduct the yarn you have left to determine how much you used.
    Length used: Ls = starting length – leftover length.
  4. Calculate how many total square centimeters (Ts) are in your swatch: multiply width (W) by the height (H).
    Total swatch area: Ts = W x H.

Now you’ll need to measure the device you would like to wrap in a cozy handspun case. See the full project in Spin Off Winter 2024 for instructions on measuring your device and adding a flap. For this example, let’s assume you need a quick estimate for the device below.

C=width and D=height circumference. Illustration by Angela K. Schneider

  1. Calculate the total area needed in your finished project (T): multiply the width (C) by circumference (D). Add extra to D if you want to include a flap on your case. Total project size: T = C x D
  2. Calculate the meters required proportional to the meters used in your swatch:
    Project meters = T/Ts x Ls
  3. Calculate project fiber required:
    Project fiber = grist x project meters
  4. Add a little for a margin of error or extra for edgings.

Let’s say you spun a sample of 10 m that weighs 7 g, and you used it to crochet a swatch of 10 cm x 8 cm, with 15 cm of yarn left over. And you plan to create a bag that is 30 cm wide and 48 cm in circumference.

Grist: 7 g/10 m, which is 0.7 g/m.
Swatch meters: Ls = 10 m sample – 15 cm left = 9.85 m used.
Swatch area: Ts = 10 cm x 8 cm= 80 cm2.
Project total area: T = 30 cm x 48 cm = 1,440 cm2.
Project meters = T/Ts x Ls = 1440 cm2 / 80 cm2 x 9.85 m = 177 m.
Project fiber = 0.7 g/m x 177m = 124 g (which can be rounded up to 41/2 ounces)

Spinner’s math can feel complicated, but just take it one step at a time.

A. Sabine Schröder-Gravendyck, DVM, makes her home on Germany’s North Sea coast where she works as a naturalist and educator in sustainability and ecology. She is always looking for new ways to help people merge their personal spaces with nature. Learn more at

Angela K. Schneider is the project editor for Long Thread Media and an enthusiast for all the textile arts, especially when projects are layered with meaning.