How to Single Crochet
Single crochet is a simple stitch that’s perfect for your first project. It is one of the most basic and most common crochet stitches. It’s often abbreviated SC in crochet patterns.
Let’s make the first row of our swatch in single crochet stitches.
- Start with a chain of 11 stitches. (You can use the starting chain that we made in the previous section.)
- Then, insert the hook into the second chain from the hook.
- Bring the yarn over the hook from back to front. Draw the yarn through the chain to pull up a loop. (You will now have two loops on the hook.)
- Next, yarn over again. Draw the yarn through both loops on the hook. You will now have one loop on the hook, and your first single crochet is complete.
Repeat these steps, making one single crochet stitch into each of the nine remaining chain stitches for a total of 10 single crochets. As you work, be careful not to twist the chain.
For a lot more information about the single crochet stitch, read: How to Single Crochet for Beginners
How to Make a Turning Chain
When you come to the end of a row, you will turn your work over, make one or more chains stitches (for the turning chain), and then begin the next row of stitches.
Turn the Work
To turn your work, simply rotate the piece 180 degrees clockwise. The opposite side of the work will now be facing you.
I like to keep my hook in the stitch as I turn the work so that I don’t lose my place.
After you turn the work, you’ll need to make one or more chain stitches. These chain stitches, called the turning chain, bring the yarn up to the correct height to work the first stitch of the next row.
The number of chains in the turning chain depends on the height of the stitch you’ll be making in the next row.
- Single crochet: one chain
- Half-double crochet: two chains
- Double crochet: three chains
- Triple crochet: four chains
How to Work Row 2
Let’s go back to our crochet swatch and make the second row of single crochet stitches. This row will be worked into the previous row of single crochet stitches, not into the starting chain.
- Turn the work and chain 1. (The turning chain worked at the beginning of a single crochet row does not count as a stitch.)
- Insert the hook under the top 2 loops of the last stitch of the previous row.
- Yarn over from back to front. Draw the yarn through the stitch and pull up a loop. There will be two loops on the hook.
- Yarn over again, and pull through both loops on the hook. There will be one loop left on the hook. The single crochet stitch is complete.
Work right to left across the row. Repeat these steps, making one single crochet stitch in each of the nine remaining stitches. Count your stitches, and make sure you have the correct number.
At this point, you can turn your work to make another row of stitches. Keep making more rows of single crochet until you’ve reached your desired length. Then, cut the yarn and fasten it off.
How to Fasten Off
Once you’ve completed the last row of your crochet swatch, you’ll need to fasten off the yarn so that the stitches don’t unravel.
To fasten off:
- Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch yarn tail.
- Use the hook to up draw the yarn tail through the loop on your hook.
- Remove the crochet hook from the work, and pull on the yarn tail to tighten it.
At this point, you may want to weave in the yarn tails to secure them.
To weave in the ends, thread a blunt-tipped yarn needle with the yarn tail. Then, weave the needle back and forth through the crochet fabric.
And there you go! You’ve just completed your first crochet swatch.
More Crochet Stitches
How to Half-Double Crochet
Step 1: Yarn over (YO) from back to front.
Step 2: Insert the hook into the next stitch. Put the tip of the hook under both of the loops at the top of the stitch.
Step 3: Yarn over (YO), and pull the yarn through the stitch.
You should now have three loops on the hook.
Step 4: Yarn over (YO) the hook again, and pull the yarn through all three loops on the hook.
You should now have one loop remaining on the hook.
Great job! You have now completed a half-double crochet (HDC) stitch.
How to Double Crochet
- Yarn over. Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop.
- Yarn over, and pull through two loops on the hook.
- Yarn over again, and pull through both two loops on the hook.
How to Treble Crochet
Briefly, here’s how to make a treble crochet. (Note: This tutorial uses US terms.)
- Yarn over twice. Insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop.
- Yarn over, and pull through two loops.
- Yarn over, and pull through two loops.
- Yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.
Treble crochet creates a looser fabric that drapes well. It’s often used in light, lacy, open patterns.
Continue across the first row:
To continue working in treble crochet, repeat steps 2-7 in each subsequent stitch until you reach the end of the row.
When you have worked into the last chain, take a second to count your stitches. You should have eleven stitches (Remember, the four skipped chains at the beginning of the row count as a stitch!)
Continue working Row 2:
- To start the next row, turn your work and chain 4. The chain-4 counts as the first stitch of the second row.
- Then continue working in treble crochet across the row. Skip the first stitch, and work the first treble crochet into the second stitch of the row.
- Continue working a treble crochet into each stitch across the row.
- Work the last treble crochet into the top of the turning chain from the previous row.
When you count your stitches, you should have eleven stitches. (Remember, the turning chain counts as a stitch.
How to Slip Stitch
Last but not least, we have the crochet slip stitch. Slip stitch is the shortest of the basic crochet stitches. In patterns, slip stitch is often abbreviated SL ST.
Slip stitch is a very useful and versatile technique. You can use slip stitches to move the yarn across a row of stitches without adding much height. You can also use slip stitch to join a round of crochet into a circle, connecting the last stitch of the round to the first stitch of that same round. Lastly, you can use surface slip stitch to decorate the surface of crochet fabric.
To learn all about slip stitch and how to make it, check out How to Slip Stitch in Crochet (sl st) for Beginners
More Crochet Techniques
Working Into the Chain
Let’s take a closer look at the chain stitches you’ve just made.
The front of the chain looks like a series of interlocking Vs. And, if you turn the chain over to the reverse side, you’ll see that each stitch has a bump or back bar.
You’ll work the first row of crochet stitches into this foundation chain. Depending on the type of stitch, you’ll make the first stitch of the row into the second, third, or fourth chain from the hook. The pattern instructions will tell you where to make your first stitch.
To work into the starting chain, insert the crochet hook into the chain stitch from front to back. The tip of the hook will pass through the center of the V.
Note: Some patterns will ask you to turn the chain over and make the first row of stitches into the back bar only. Working into the back bar can give your project a cleaner edge.
Increasing and Decreasing
If you want to make anything other than a flat rectangle, you’ll need to learn how to increase and decrease in crochet. Increasing adds stitches to your project, while decreasing subtracts stitches.
Increasing is very simple. Just make 2 or more stitches in the same stitch.
Working in the Round
There are two main ways to make a crochet project: work flat in rows, or work in the round.
To learn more about working in the round, check out this article on how to start crochet projects with the Magic Ring technique.
You can combine the basic crochet stitches in different patterns to create new unique textures.
For example, moss stitch (aka linen stitch) is a beginner-friendly crochet stitch made from an alternating pattern of chain stitches and single crochet. It’s very easy to work, and the perfect stitch to learn after you’ve mastered the basic crochet stitches.
How to Crochet in the Front and Back Loop
Another way to change the loop of basic crochet stitches is to insert the hook in different loops. Crocheting in the front loops or back loops only can create a ribbed texture and add a decorative element to your work.