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How to Crochet -- For Beginners

A Total Beginner's Guide to Learning How to Crochet

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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

Crocheting
C Squared Studios/Photodisc/Getty Image

You don't need many supplies to get started with crochet. The basics include

That's it! Those are the basic supplies you need to get started.

Yarn Recommendations for Beginners:

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 our page dedicated to crochet supplies.

How to Hold a Crochet Hook

How to Hold a Crochet Hook.
How to Hold a Crochet Hook. Photo © Michael Solovay.

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.

How to Make a Slip Knot for Crochet

Tightening a Loose Slip Knot for Crochet
Tightening a Loose Slip Knot for Crochet -- Photo Copyright Amy Solovay

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.

How to Crochet a Chain Stitch

Crocheted Chain Stitches
Crocheted Chain Stitches -- Photo © Amy Solovay

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.

How to Single Crochet

Rows of Single Crochet Stitch
Rows of Single Crochet Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay

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:

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

Projects for Practicing Your Single Crochet Stitch
Projects for Practicing Your Single Crochet Stitch -- Photos © Michael Solovay

See Also: Single Crochet Patterns

Learn the Double Crochet Stitch

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

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 Abbreviation

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

Crochet Granny Square
Crochet Granny Square -- Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Learn How to Make a Slip Stitch

Crochet Slip Stitch -- Join With a Slip Stitch to Form a Ring
Crochet Slip Stitch -- Join With a Slip Stitch to Form a Ring -- Photo © Amy Solovay

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.

Crochet Tutorials

Crochet Tutorial
Crochet Tutorial -- Photo © 2010 Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Find crochet tutorials for learning a variety of different techniques.

Finishing Techniques:

These finishing techniques are an important part of crocheting.

Learning How to Crochet Left-Handed

Learning How to Crochet Left-Handed.
Learning How to Crochet Left-Handed. Photo © M. Solovay

We've published several different resources to help left-handed people learn how to crochet.

Thanks for Visiting!

We really appreciate your interest in our free patterns and tutorials. Want to find more of them? If so, we invite you to stay and browse awhile. Here are some additional crochet resources you might also enjoy.

Learn More About Crochet

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