So, you want to learn how to crochet for beginners? Crochet is very ‘On Trend’ now, and with good reason. As with any craft, you need to start right at the beginning and learn all the terminology and the most basic steps, and then move on from there. Continue reading to learn how to crochet step by step, the easy way.
- How to Crochet for Beginners
- How to Crochet for Beginners: Basic Crochet Stitches Abbreviations
- How to Crochet for Beginners – Learn How to Crochet Step by Step with This Tutorial
- Step 1 - How to Hold a Crochet Hook Correctly
- Step 2 - How To Crochet a Slip Knot
- Step 2 - How to Wrap the Yarn Over
- Step 3 - How to Do Chain Stitch Crochet
- Step 4 - How to Do Crochet Single Crochet (Sc)
- Step 5 - How to Finish the Ends
- Step 6 - How to Crochet Different Colors
- Step 7 - How to Crochet Increases
- Step 8 - How to Crochet Decreases
- Step 9 – Learn to Crochet the Magic Ring
- How to Crochet - More Stitches for Beginners
- How to Crochet Different Shapes
- Crocheting for Beginners - Projects
- Crocheting for Beginners - In Conclusion
- How to Crochet for Beginners
How to Crochet for Beginners
I have just recently read a post on social media that said something along the lines of: “I could not find the long red scarf I wanted for my boyfriend anywhere in the stores, so I taught myself to crochet.” Alongside the post was a picture of her boyfriend wearing his amazing red scarf. Crochet is truly a satisfying hobby! Anything you can make with any type of textile or fabric; you can make with crochet and this is exactly why it is a fantastic idea to learn to crochet.
The popular form of crochet as we know it started in Europe in the early 1800s. It involves looping some kind of yarn with a single hook, joining all these loops together to form a fabric. It ranges from very fine lacework to thick floor rugs, and everything in between.
Supplies Needed for Crocheting for Beginners
All you really need is just crochet hooks and yarn! This can be a very thrifty hobby. Until you want to start buying handspun, hand-dyed alpaca yarn!
Crochet hooks are made in a variety of materials- for example, bone, plastic, steel, aluminum, and bamboo. They also come in a variety of crochet hook sizes, according to their diameter. You can buy very thin steel hooks for working with fine cotton. These are labeled 00 to 14. (0.4 to 3 mm metric).
More commonly used are the aluminum, bamboo, and plastic hooks, which come in sizes B-1 to U. (2.5 to 25mm metric)
Crochet yarn is generally sold in balls or skeins. Most types of yarn will be labeled with the thickness in grams or ounces and the fiber content. Always keep the yarn's label as it commonly includes washing instructions.
Not all yarns are the same thickness. The thickness or yarn weight you will use usually depends on the thickness of your crochet hook. Guidelines on the suitable size hook for a particular yarn can generally be found on the yarn label.
Thicker yarns need fewer stitches and a thicker crochet hook, so are quicker to work up. Fine, thin yarns or cotton are better for more delicate work but require more stitches and take longer to create your crochet ‘fabric’. When starting to learn how to crochet, choose a medium to thick yarn weight.
Crochet yarn is commonly made from cotton, wool, acrylic. Anything you can knit with, you can also crochet. Crochet can, in fact, be done with ribbon, strips of fabric, very fine wire, twine, and anything in between! Anything that can be wrapped around a hook and looped can be used as yarn. Acrylic yarn is generally cheap and easy to use when you are learning. Other Crochet Supplies
Also useful are scissors, a tape measure, and stitch markers, which are handy for marking the beginning of round or repeating patterns.
How to Crochet for Beginners: Basic Crochet Stitches Abbreviations
Here are the common abbreviations and different stitches used in crochet patterns. Notice how there are different terms used for the US and UK, so it is important you always know the origin of your pattern. On the Treasurie blog, we use US terminology.
Crochet Conversion Chart Us vs Uk:
|USA Abbreviations||UK Abbreviations|
|ch - chain stitch||ch - chain|
|sl st - slip stitch||sl st - slip stitch|
|sc - single crochet stitch||dc - double crochet|
|hdc - half double crochet stitch||htr - half treble crochet|
|dc - double crochet stitch||tr - treble crochet|
|htr -half treble crochet||hdtr -half double treble crochet|
|tr - treble crochet stitch||dtr - double treble crochet|
|dtr - double treble crochet||trtr - triple treble crochet|
|yo - yarn over||yoh - yarn over hook|
|fasten off||fasten off|
How to Crochet for Beginners – Learn How to Crochet Step by Step with This Tutorial
Most crochet patterns start with a base of chain stitches and a single crochet stitch. With this one stitch, you can make many different items including clothing, toys, and homewares. Continue reading to learn how to crochet step by step.
Step 1 - How to Hold a Crochet Hook Correctly
How to hold the hook? This is a matter of personal preference. Some people like to hold it as you would hold a pencil, others hold it like a knife. See which feels comfortable for you. I prefer pencil grip.
- It is important to keep the tension of your yarn steady and fairly tight. To do this, wrap the yarn around the little finger of your left hand. If you are left-handed, everything applies in reverse, to the opposite hand!
- Then use your middle finger to control the feed of the yarn, while your index finger and thumb hold your work.
This is just a recommended idea. It doesn’t really matter how you hold the yarn and hook, as long as you are keeping the tension tight enough. If it is too loose your stitches will be loose and sloppy.
Step 2 - How To Crochet a Slip Knot
All crochet projects start with you making a slip knot in order to get the yarn on the hook. This will be the first ‘link’ of your chain.
- Make a loose loop of yarn,
- Twist the yarn around the end of the hook (back to front) and pull it back through.
- You will have a loose knot at the end of your hook.
- Tighten gently.
Step 2 - How to Wrap the Yarn Over
One of the most basic crochet skills used in every type of stitch is the yarn over technique. Yarn Over is abbreviated to yo in crochet patterns.
- Wrap the yarn from back to front over the hook. If it feels easier, you can keep the yarn still and move the hook. As long as your yarn is wrapped around from back to front, you will have correctly done a yarn over.
Step 3 - How to Do Chain Stitch Crochet
All crochet pieces need a chain stitch to start off. It gives the first crochet row something to anchor into. This chain will be the width of your required fabric. Chain Stitch is abbreviated to ch in patterns.
- Create a slip stitch so your yarn is on your hook.
- Wrap your yarn over (yo) and pull this loop through your original loop. Don’t pull it too tight! This is your first chain. Repeat this movement to form as many chain stitches as required.
Chain stitch tips:
- Keep your loops fairly loose, as you will need to get your hook into the holes in the next step.
- The length of your chain will be the width of your crochet fabric. If you are following a pattern, your pattern will present this as, for example, ch50, which means you must create 50 loops.
- Do not count your slip knot as a chain stitch.
- Most crochet patterns will require you to count the number of chain stitches. When counting chain stitches, don't count the chain on the hook. You can see below where to start counting.
Step 4 - How to Do Crochet Single Crochet (Sc)
Now you know how to do a slip knot and a chain, it is time to learn your first stitch. Single crochet is the smallest, simplest stitch in crochet. It is written as sc in patterns. Read a more in-depth article on single crochet.
How to Single Crochet the First Stitch & Row
- Chain your desired number of stitches and 1 extra for turning stitches.
- Insert hook into the second chain from the hook.
- Yarn over (remember it is back to front) and draw the loop through the work. You will now have two loops on your hook.
- Then yarn over again and draw the hook through both loops at the same time. You will have one loop on the hook. You have now created the first stitch of single crochet! Well done!
- Insert your hook into the next stitch and repeat.
How to Turn a Row
When you have reached the end of your row of single crochet stitches, you should have one less single crochet stitch than you have chain stitches. This is because you started crocheting into the second chain from your hook.
- To continue, turn your work around so that the wrong side is facing you.
- Make 1 chain stitch (ch) as your turning chain stitch.
- Insert your hook into the second sc and repeat, making sc stitches all the way along, into your newly created row of sc. Insert the hook through the whole of the top loop of each stitch. The last stitch of each row must go into your sc turning stitch of the previous row.
- Keep doing this, turning your work around each time, until your crocheted fabric is the required length.
Step 5 - How to Finish the Ends
To finish off your crochet work, and stop it from unraveling, cut your yarn and pull it through the last loop on your hook, and then pull it tight. Use a large yarn needle to weave the ends through a few inches then cut any excess.
With just this simple stitch you can make almost anything. It will not look especially decorative and fancy, but that is coming soon! Single crochet will give you a strong, firm fabric with no big spaces in between stitches. If you are longing to make lacy, airy creations, follow along here, and we will get there!
Step 6 - How to Crochet Different Colors
Whether you want random color changes or stripes, it is important to learn how to change yarns. If you read the full tutorial on changing yarns in crochet you will learn 4 different methods you can use but here I will show you how to do the simplest knot.
- Finish so you have 2 loops left on the hook at the end stitch.
- Yarn over with the new color of yarn.
- Pull through to finish the stitch. If you leave a long tail there is less chance of it pulling out.
- Continue your crochet as normal and this will hold the color change in place.
Step 7 - How to Crochet Increases
You can easily increase the number of stitches in a row by crocheting 2 or more stitches into the one stitch below. This will be abbreviated in your pattern as "inc" or "2sc in the next sc". The same method can be used for other crochet stitch types. Some patterns will have you increase at the beginning or end of the row and some may have it happen at a designated point along the row. It will depend on the nature of the shaping of your item.
Step 8 - How to Crochet Decreases
The easiest way to decrease the number of stitches you have is to simply skip a stitch. This will result in a small gap that is barely noticeable. In patterns, this is generally abbreviated to "dec" or it may tell you to skip (sk) one stitch. There are other methods to decrease but this is by far the best way for beginners.
Step 9 – Learn to Crochet the Magic Ring
Another important skill to learn when crocheting is the magic ring. This starting technique results in small or invisible holes in the center when crocheting in the round.
- Loop an e shape with the ball end of the yarn on top.
- Insert your hook into the "e" and wrap the yarn over.
- Pull through keeping the loop loose.
- Chain 1, keeping it loose still.
- Crochet your desired stitches in the number indicated on the pattern. In this photo it was a single crochet stitch.
- Pull the tail to tighten the center.
How to Crochet - More Stitches for Beginners
There are countless more stitches to choose from when learning how to crochet. 3 of the most common besides single crochet are:
In the photo below you can see the increasing height of the stitches. All of these samples were in a single row.
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Half double crochet (hdc) is a stitch that is between single crochet and double crochet in height. It has medium-density that is between single and double crochet.
- Crochet a foundation chain with 2 extra chains for the turning chains.
- Yarn over and insert into the third chain from the hook.
- Do a yarn over and pull through 1 loop (3 loops on hook).
- Yarn over and pull through 3 loops (1 loop on hook).
- Repeat for the rest of the row.
- To turn a row you will need to chain 2 for the turning chain.
How to Crochet Double (dc)
Double crochet is abbreviated dc. It is a popular stitch as it is easy to do and makes up a little quicker than single crochet.
- Create a slip knot and chain your desired stitches. This is called your foundation chain.
- Yarn over and insert the hook into the third chain from the hook.
- Yarn over and pull through (3 loops on hook).
- Put the yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook (2 loops on hook).
- Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook (1 loop on hook).
- To turn a row you will need to chain 3 for the turning chain.
Half Treble Crochet (htr)
Half treble crochet is halfway between double and treble stitch. It is useful when you need stitches of various sizes and makes up very quickly.
- Do a foundation chain with 3 extra chains for turning.
- Yarn over twice
- Insert the hook into the third chain.
- Yarn over and draw up a loop (4 loops on hook).
- Do a yarn over and draw through 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
- Yarn over and draw through 3 loops (1 loop on hook).
How to Crochet Treble (tr)
Treble crochet is open and lacy and one of the quickest stitches to make up the fabric. It is abbreviated tr.
- Do a slip knot then create a foundation chain. Chain 4 extra stitches for your turning chain.
- Wrap the yarn around the hook twice.
- Insert the hook into the 5th chain.
- Yarn over and pull through (4 loops on hook).
- Do a yarn over and pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
- Yarn over and pull through 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
- Yarn over and pull through 2 loops (1 loop on hook).
- For turning rows. you will need to chain 4 for the turning chain.
Learn to Crochet More Fancy Stitches
- Shell stitches
- Diamond stitch
- Moss stitch
- Wave Stitch
- Cluster Stitch
- Crocodile Stitch
- Chevron Crochet
- Puff Stitch
- Puff Stitch
- Popcorn Stitch Crochet
- Slip Stitch
- V Stitch Crochet
How to Crochet Different Shapes
You can use different stitches to make circles, rectangles, squares, and even hearts. As well as being the foundation of different items, these shapes can be used to adorn and embellish.
Crochet hearts can be created as a stand-alone shape or be incorporated into a granny square or other shape. The linked article will show you 3 different methods of crocheting hearts. My favorite is the hearts in the round which can be strung together to make a garland. They are created using stitches of different heights.
Crochet circles can be crocheted flat or in a spiral shape. They are started with a chain joined with a slip stitch or with a magic ring that results in a smaller center hole. The circle pictured used single crochet which results in a dense shape. The linked article helps troubleshoot so you can get perfectly shaped and flat circles.
Crocheting Granny Squares
Granny squares are crocheted using a double crochet stitch and make beautiful blankets and scarves. They are at their best when worked in different colors for each row. Granny squares use chain stitches to create corners. You can also make solid granny squares that look denser without the holes and granny stripes crocheted straight across.
Crochet rectangles can be made from almost any stitch. They can be crocheted from side to side or around a center. Rectangles can be used for blankets, shawls, pillow covers and even placemats. You can use one large rectangle or join several smaller ones together. The linked article will show you 3 different methods for making rectangles.
Crochet flowers make your projects unique, fun, and colorful. Attach them to a sweater or glue them to a brooch back. This article will show you 4 different flowers as well as the pictured leaves to complete the look. Flowers can be monotone or multicolored for a bright coordinated look.
Crochet triangles can be used for bikini tops, shawls, scarves, and even blankets. This tutorial will show you 5 basic styles to suit different projects depending on whether you need a solid or lacy look. Triangles can be made small or large depending on how many rows you crochet.
Crochet ovals can be used for the base of bags and baskets as well as placemats and coasters. The oval shapes can be crocheted in rounds or in a spiral for a continuous look.
Crocheting for Beginners - Projects
Your imagination is the only barrier here. Once you have mastered the basics of crochet for beginners, you can create anything, from fine cotton wearables to heavy and thick rag rugs. Examples of crochet projects are:
- Crochet blankets
- Baby blankets using granny squares or simple stitches
- Crochet Hats
- Crochet Scarves
- Clothing including crochet tops, and crochet dresses
How to Crochet Scarves
One of the best projects to start with is learning how to crochet a scarf. A scarf is essentially just a long rectangle that can be made from any stitch you like. It can be simple or quite fancy. The scarf below was made using chunky wool and a double crochet stitch so was really fast to make. One word of advice - count your stitches occasionally to make sure your scarf is not getting smaller or wider. I crocheted this scarf while watching TV and ended up redoing it a bit as I forgot to double-check my width.
How to Crochet Practice Squares
It is a good idea to practice a little before starting on any ambitious projects. So that you don’t feel that you are wasting any time, plan to make a dishcloth or a face scrubbie with your practice squares. It won't matter if your stitches are a bit too tight, or loose or wonky at first. Practice will make perfect!
- Choose a pure cotton yarn in a thick size. Double knit/worsted weight is ideal for practice squares. For this, you will need a G-6 (4mm) hook.
- Start with about 25-30 chain stitches, depending on the size you want to make.
- Crochet your rows of single crochet until you have made a square shape.
How to Crochet Headbands
Another quick project is to make is learning how to crochet a headband. As a scarf, a headband is simply a rectangle that is joined at the short ends. You can decorate it with flowers or a bow or even just leave it plain.
- Make a chain of say 9-11 stitches. You can make it wider or narrower as you please.
- Keep going with your rows of single or double crochet until it is long enough to fit around your head, slightly stretched.
- Sew the short edges together and you have a headband. You can even change colors to create stripes.
Crocheting for Beginners - In Conclusion
Although these are only the most basic stitches in crochet for beginners, you can make so many different things using them. If you are a fan of Amigurumi, those cute little stuffed animals, are made using single crochet.
You could make a scarf, fingerless mittens, or even a warm baby blanket using these basic stitches. Give it a try, build up your skills, and eventually, you will be creating that beautiful long, red scarf that you cannot find anywhere in the stores! It is extremely easy to get ‘hooked’ on this hobby!
How to Crochet for Beginners
- Crochet hook in a suitable size
- Yarn in any thickness
- Create a slip knot to join the yarn to the crochet hook. Make a starting chain stitch in your desired length For a sample, try 12 chains.
- First single crochet stitch: Insert the hook into the second chain.
- Yarn over and pull through (2 stitches on hook)
- Yarn over again, and pull through both stitches (1 stitch on hook).
- First row of single crochet: Continue with single crochet stitches to the end of the row.
- Chain 1 for a turning chain. Turn your work and continue single crochet stitches in the second row. Continue until you have your desired height of crochet fabric.