Welcome to Start Crocheting! In this series, I’ll teach you another beginner crocheting technique every post. We already covered everything you need to start crocheting. Next week includes turning your work and the double crochet stitch.
Learn to Read Patterns
If you’d like to learn how to read a crochet pattern, take note of the abbreviations in the parenthesis throughout this series. This is how the instructions would appear in a normal pattern. If it’s a little overwhelming for your first time, don’t worry – you can always come back to them later once you’re more comfortable.
We left off last week holding our yarn with a slip knot over the hook, all ready to go.
Step Two: Make a Chain (ch)
90% of your crochet projects will start out with a chain. A chain is just a series of chain stitches. Note that we are now ignoring the free, unattached end of yarn and we will only be working with the attached end of the yarn.
a. Begin by wrapping the yarn around your hook once. I do this with my dominant hand that is holding the hook, but technically you can also do it with your nondominant hand that’s just holding the yarn – whatever works best for you! This is called a yarn over (YO).
b. Use the hook to pull this new piece of yarn through the loop that’s already on your hook. This will form a single chain stitch.
Your chain is now one stitch long.
c. Yarn over (wrap the yarn around your hook) and pull it through again. Now you’ll have a chain that is two stitches long!
Continue doing this until your chain has ten stitches. The bigger your chain is, the bigger your end product will be – and the more practice you’ll get.
Step Three: Make Your First Row Using Single Crochet Stitches
a. To begin your single crochet (sc) stitch, insert your hook into the last chain (ch) stitch you made. I highlighted it in yellow below to help guide you. The more you crochet, the easier it will become to recognize which tangle of yarn belongs to which stitch!
In a pattern, this chain stitch would be referred to the “first chain from the hook”. The second chain, or the one highlighted in pink, would be referred to as the second chain from the hook, and so on. Note that the loop on your hook is never considered a stitch.
b. Just like with your chain stitch you did in Step Two (a), yarn over. Bring this piece of yarn back through the stitch the same way you came, but not through the loop on your hook.
Now you have two loops on your hook!
d. To finish your single crochet stitch, yarn over again…
e. … and pull this piece of yarn through both loops on your hook.
Ta da! Now you’re back to one loop on your hook and you have completed one single crochet. I highlighted below to show how it’s attached to your first chain stitch.
To make your next single crochet, you will repeat all of Step Three with one change; begin by inserting your hook into the second chain stitch instead of the first. It’s highlighted in pink above.
Now you have two single crochets.
f. Continue making single crochets down your chain. In total, you will have nine single crochets.
Make sure to take a good look at the photo below to determine where your last stitch should be! I spent my first several big projects completely lost as to why I couldn’t get my rows even. It’s because I never learned where my last stitch goes and I never counted my stitch.
I’m urging you now, save yourself the headache. Count your stitches, at the very least until you get comfortable identifying each chain, single crochet, and where the last stitch on each row should be.
Here’s what you should end up with:
Practice by starting over …
To keep practicing your single crochet stitches, you can either opt to unravel what you’ve already made by simply removing your hook from the loop and pulling on the yarn still attached to the skein, or you can continue your piece. If this is truly your first time crocheting, it’s probably a little wonky and uneven anyways – maybe it even has a hole or two! Don’t despair. This is normal and it gets easier with practice.
… or by turning over
If you are either a quick learner or already have some experience, you can continue on by turning your piece over (yes, literally just flip it so your hook & loop are closest to your dominant hand and the beginning of your first row is now behind held by your left hand). Make a chain stitch by yarning over and pulling through the loop, then carry on inserting your hook through both loops on your single crochets all the way down the row just like you did for the chain.
If you practice the single crochet stitch this week, next week will be super easy for you.
Next Week: Turning Your Work & The Double Crochet
Did I lose you? Don’t worry – I’ll explain this with photos next week along with how to make one of my favorite stitches, the double crochet. The double crochet will cut down the time you have to spend crocheting, requires less yarn to make the same square inches, and is used just about as frequently as the single crochet is when you start looking at projects to make.