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Basic Stitches

Instructions for Beginners to Learn the Basic Crochet Stitches

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Beginning crocheters can check this list to find the most essential basic stitches they will need to know. Find a description of each stitch plus links to tutorials, instructions and / or videos for learning how to crochet each basic stitch.

Chain Stitch

Basic Crochet Stitches -- The Chain Stitch
Basic Crochet Stitches -- The Chain Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay

The chain stitch is the most basic of all crochet stitches. You'll use the chain stitch in several different ways:

  • Chain stitches are used to begin most crochet projects. When a grouping of chain stitches is used at the beginning of a project, it can be referred to as a "starting chain," "base chain," or a "foundation chain."
  • A "turning chain" is often used between rows of crochet stitches.
  • Many crochet patterns utilize chain stitches within the stitch pattern; they can create a variety of interesting effects, ranging from picots to lacy openwork areas.

If you're brand new to crochet, this is the first stitch you should learn. Here are some resources for learning about the chain stitch:

Slip Stitch

Basic Crochet Stitches -- Slip Stitch
Basic Crochet Stitches -- Slip Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Slip stitches are useful and versatile. Pictured here is one possible use for the slip stitch; when your crochet instructions tell you to "join with a slip stitch to form a ring," this photo shows an example of what your work might look like.

In general, slip stitches are useful for joining one crocheted element to another. There are many other ways you could use them; in my surface crochet tutorial, you'll learn about different ways you can use slip stitches to add color and visual interest to the surface of a crochet or knitting project. This page also details more uses for slip stitches, and includes simple instructions for crocheting the slip stitch.

Single Crochet Stitch

Basic Crochet Stitches -- Single Crochet Stitch
Basic Crochet Stitches -- Single Crochet Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay

The single crochet stitch is another basic crochet stitch you'll need to know. It's a short stitch that appears frequently in many different crochet patterns.

Here are some resources for learning the single crochet stitch:

Half Double Crochet Stitch

Rows of Half Double Crochet Stitch
Rows of Half Double Crochet Stitch -- Photo © Michael Solovay

Half double crochet stitch is taller than the single crochet, and shorter than the double crochet.

Double Crochet Stitch

Basic Crochet Stitches -- Double Crochet Stitches
Basic Crochet Stitches -- Double Crochet Stitches -- Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Double crochet is another basic crochet stitch you'll need to know. It's a tall, textured stitch with many potential uses. Double crochet combines well with all of the other basic stitches, and there are unlimited ways to use it.

Here are some resources for learning the double crochet stitch:

Treble Crochet Stitch / Triple Crochet Stitch

Treble Crochet Stitch Worked in Rows
Treble Crochet Stitch Worked in Rows -- Photo © Michael Solovay

The treble crochet stitch is also known as the triple crochet stitch. It's taller than the double crochet stitch, and requires a tiny bit more effort to crochet.

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