Crochet is a wonderful craft! You can easily learn the basic crochet stitches, and be able to make all sorts of items with just the basics. Once you have mastered these simple stitches, it is really easy to move on to more complex stitches, which are really just variations on the basics!
Basic Crochet Stitches
It is worth noting, however, that crochet terms are country-specific. So if you are following a pattern, it is important to know which terms they are using in that pattern. Check before you start! Below is a conversion chart, which also includes the abbreviations used in crochet.
Crochet Conversion Chart Us vs Uk
|ch- chain stitch||ch- chain|
|sl st- slip stitch||sl st- slip stitch|
|sc- single crochet||dc- double crochet|
|hdc- half double crochet||htr- half treble crochet|
|dc- double crochet||tr- treble crochet|
|htr-half treble crochet||hdtr-half double treble crochet|
|tr- treble crochet||dtr- double treble crochet|
|dtr- double treble crochet||trtr- triple treble crochet|
|yo- yarn over||yoh- yarn over hook|
|fasten off||fasten off|
So let’s get started with all the basic crochet stitches you will need to start crocheting anything at all. All instructions here are given using US terms.
REMEMBER - All the instructions below use US Terms
This is used to start your very first row or ring of stitches.
- Full article: How to make a slip knot
- Make a loop around your hook
- Pull another loop through that loop.
- Tighten gently and slide the knot up to the hook.
Chain Stitch (ch)
This is the foundation upon which you will form your crochet. You must already have a slip knot on your hook.
- Full article: How to do chain stitch for crochet
- Wrap the yarn over your hook from back to front.
- Draw the yarn through the slip knot to form a new loop.
- Repeat to form as many chains as you need.
- When counting chain stitches, do not count the slip knot as a stitch.
Slip Stitch (sl st)
This is the shortest crochet stitch. It is not used to make up fabric, but rather to join chain stitches, or to move the yarn along to another part of the fabric, without adding any height. It is also often used for shaping the crochet fabric.
- Full article: How to do slip stich crochet
- Insert the hook into your work (top of the second stitch from the hook).
- Wrap the yarn over the hook, from back to front.
- Draw this new loop through both the work and the loop which was already on your hook. All in one movement.
- If you are joining a chain ring, insert hook into first chain that you made, yarn over hook, draw the new loop through both the first chain and the yarn on your hook, all in one movement.
Single Crochet (sc)
- Full article: How to do single crochet
- Insert the hook into the work, second stitch from the hook.
- *Wrap yarn over the hook from back to front.
- Draw the yarn through the work only. (2 loops on hook)
- Yarn over again, now draw the yarn through both loops on the hook.(1 stitch left on hook)
- The single crochet is now made.
- Insert hook into next stitch.
- Repeat from *to make the next single crochet.
- Continue to the end of the row, or for as many single crochet are required.
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
This is halfway in height between a single crochet and a double crochet.
- Full article: How to do half double crochet
- Wrap yarn over hook, then insert the hook into the work.
- It must be inserted into the 3rd stitch from the hook.
- *Yarn over hook, (yo) and draw the loop through the work only. (3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over hook again, then draw through all 3 loops on the hook at once. (1 loop left on hook)
- 1 half double crochet is made.
- Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch, repeat from * until required number of half double crochet stitches are made.
Double Crochet (dc)
- Full article: How to do double crochet
- Yarn over hook, from back to front.
- Insert hook into work. It must go into the 4th stitch from the hook.
- *Yarn over, and draw through work only. ((3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over, and draw through the first 2 loops only. (2 loops on hook)
- Yarn over, and draw through the last 2 loops on the hook.
- 1 double crochet made.
- Yarn over again, insert hook into next stitch and repeat from * until required number of double crochet are worked.
Half Treble Crochet (htr)
This stitch gives you height halfway between a double crochet and a treble crochet.
- Full article: How to do half treble crochet
- Yarn over twice
- Insert hook into 3rd chain from hook, YO, draw up loop. (4 loops on hook)
- *Yarn over
- Draw hook through 2 loops. (3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over
- Draw hook through all 3 loops. (Only 1 loop on hook)
- This is your half treble stitch.
- Yarn over twice
- Insert hook into next stitch.
- Repeat from * until required number of half treble stitches are worked.
Treble Crochet (tr)
- Full article: How to do treble crochet
- Wrap the yarn around the hook twice, from back to front.
- Insert the hook into the fifth stitch from the hook. The first four chain stitches form the equivalent height of a treble crochet.
- *Yarn over again and draw this loop through the work only. ( Four loops on hook).
- Yarn over again and draw through the first two loops only. You should now have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over again and draw through the next two loops. Now you will have two loops left on the hook.
- Wrap the yarn over once again and draw through the last two loops on the hook. You are now left with one loop on the hook.
- You have made your first treble crochet stitch.
- To continue, wrap your yarn over twice, insert hook into the top of the next stitch and repeat from* all over again.
Basic Crochet Stitches - Increasing and Decreasing
These basic stitches will give you a good foundation for crochet and will see you through the most simple patterns. To follow a pattern you may also need to be able to increase and decrease your stitches, for the shaping your garment.
How To Increase In Crochet
You simply work more than one stitch into the stitch, space, or chain in the row below. Easy!
So if you need to increase 1 stitch, you will work 2 stitches into one space. If you need to increase more than 1 stitch, it is best to spread your increases across the row, each time working 2 stitches into one space until you have the required number of stitches.
How To Decrease In Crochet
Here you will be working a crochet stitch over more than one stitch, space, or chain.
Method One - Simple
This is the simplest. You simply skip one stitch and work your next stitch into the following stitch, space, or chain. This can, however, leave you with visible openings in your crochet.
Method Two - No Gap
- For this method, you insert your hook under both loops at the top if the stitch in the previous row
- YO and pull up a loop.(2 loops on hook.)
- Insert hook under both loops of next stitch in the row, draw up a loop. (3 loops on hook.)
- Yarn over again and pull through all 3 loops. You have now created 1 stitch where there were 2 on the row before.
Method Three - Invisible Decrease
- Insert the hook under the front loop only of the stitch in the previous row.
- Insert the hook under the front loop only of the NEXT stitch in the previous row.
- Yarn over and draw through 2 loops
- Yarn over and draw through last two loops.
- You have condensed two stitches into one space, or decreased a stitch.
Basic Stitches - In Conclusion
Once you have mastered these seven basic stitches, you will be able to crochet almost anything! A lot of really fancy decorative crochet stitch patterns are just combinations of those described above. Things which sound advanced and intimidating are actually pretty simple once you have mastered these basics. For example, puff stitch is formed in much the same way as a half double crochet, just with a few extra YO’s and pull throughs! Things like moss stitch and seed stitch are made by alternating single crochet with chain stitches or single and double crochet stitches. If you take some time to experiment with stitch combinations you will soon be creating your own decorative stitch patterns. Combine that with using different colors or yarn types, and you will be designing your own crochet items in no time at all! Enjoy building your crochet confidence with these basic crochet stitches.