Learn the basics of how to crochet, starting at the very beginning.
If you’re brand new to crochet, the vast array of available hooks, yarns, stitches, and patterns can seem overwhelming. What should a beginner learn first? Which hooks and yarns should (s)he use? When there are so many options, how do you know where to start? Let's explore the possibilities.
Introduction to Crochet Supplies
You don't need many supplies to get started with crochet. The basics include
- A crochet hook
- Some fiber -- usually, yarn or crochet thread, although there are other possibilities
A tapestry needle is also nice to have; you can crochet without one, but if you have one, it'll make your life easier when you've finished a project and it comes time to weave in the ends. A tape measure or ruler is helpful for checking your gauge.
That's it! Those are the basic supplies you need to get started.
If you've never crocheted before, and you have no clue what yarn you should buy for working your first crochet stitches, these suggestions will help.
Learn More About Crochet Supplies:
If at any point you decide that you'd like to go beyond the basics, there are plenty of additional items to consider. You can find out more information about some of them by taking a look at my page dedicated to crochet supplies.
There are several different ways you could hold your crochet hook. One way is pictured at left, but you'll want to learn about your other options too. This article is important for both left and right-handed crocheters.
A slip knot is one of the very first things you need to know to get started with crocheting. You might already know how to make a slip knot; if you don't, this tutorial will help.
Beginning crocheters usually start out by learning the chain stitch first. The chain stitch is one of the most important basic crochet stitches you'll need to know; chain stitches form the foundation of most crochet projects.
Enjoy these resources for learning the chain stitch:
Crochet Abbreviation for the Chain Stitch:
In order to save space, certain words in a crochet pattern are usually abbreviated. The abbreviation for the chain stitch is "ch," or sometimes "chs" for the plural form. You'll usually see "ch" followed by a number -- for example, ch 135; this would mean that you should crochet 135 chain stitches.
After you've learned the chain stitch, you'll want to learn the other basic crochet stitches. Single crochet stitch is one of these; it is an essential stitch to know.
We've posted several resources which will help you get comfortable with the single crochet stitch:
- Edna Kurtzman's single crochet stitch video
- My step-by-step single crochet stitch tutorial with photos
- List of single crochet stitch variations
Single Crochet Abbreviation
The abbreviation for the single crochet stitch is sc. So, every time you see this abbreviation appear in your crochet pattern, remember that it means you're supposed to work the specified number of single crochet stitches.
Free Patterns for Practicing Your Single Crochet Stitch
- Beginner's single crochet scarf pattern -- This is a unisex scarf in a simple, basic style. The pattern is written without abbreviations; it includes complete explanations covering all the important details. (Pictured at far left)
- Simple crochet accessories: This is a group of several different accessories -- scarf, headband, fingerless gloves and beanie -- that are crocheted using only single crochet and chain stitches. The beanie also uses slip stitch. These are all beginner-friendly crochet patterns. (Pictured at near left)
- Fast easy crochet baby blanket for beginners
- Free crochet pattern for an easy baby afghan square
- Team spirit hat pattern -- To work this pattern, you'll need to know how to change colors in single crochet stitch and how to work back loop single crochet stitch.
See Also: Single Crochet Patterns
Double crochet stitch is an important stitch to know. It is one of the most essential basic crochet stitches.
Here are some resources for learning how to work double crochet stitch:
- Double crochet stitch video
- Double crochet stitch tutorial with pictures
- List of double crochet stitch variations
The abbreviation for the double crochet stitch is "dc." If this abbreviation appears in your crochet pattern, you'll know that it means you're supposed to work the specified number of double crochet stitches.
Free Crochet Patterns for Practicing Your Double Crochet Stitch
Slip stitches are very easy to learn, and they come in handy too. They serve multiple purposes:
- When you're crocheting in rounds, you'll use them to join the beginning of the round to the end of the round.
- Use them as a design element when you need a stitch that adds a negligible amount of height to the design. If a single crochet stitch is too tall, a slip stitch is probably just what you need.
- You can use slip stitches as decorative elements on the surface of a crocheted piece. To see examples and learn this technique, check out my slip stitches in surface crochet tutorial.
- You can work slip stitches in rows or rounds as you would with any other crochet stitch. See the classic menswear stitch pattern for an example of slip stitches worked in rows.
Learning How to Crochet Left-Handed
We've published several different resources to help left-handed people learn how to crochet.
- Learn how to crochet left-handed. Find links to free videos and more resources that will help.
- Tips and advice from left-handed crocheters
- What are the best books for learning left-handed crochet?
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