Basic crochet stitches for beginners
Are you just learning to crochet? The first things to learn are the basic crochet stitches: chains, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and a few more. Below you’ll find both written instructions and videos for each of 7 basic crochet stitches for beginners to learn.
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Table of Contents
What supplies will I need in order to crochet?
To begin the basic crochet stitches, you will need yarn and a crochet hook. Sounds simple, right? Except that there are so many choices! A lot can be said about which hook and which yarn to choose, but I’m not going to go into all of that here.
First, a crochet hook. For your first foray into crochet, I suggest a basic, inexpensive crochet hook that can be found at almost any craft store. I started with Susan Bates crochet hooks when I was learning. A set like the one below on Amazon is a great choice. It will give you a few different sizes of crochet hooks.
Usually you use larger hooks for thicker yarn and smaller hooks for thinner yarn. Most yarn labels have a recommended hook size on them, so that makes a good starting point.
In the US, crochet hooks have letter sizes on them. I suggest a J, K, or L for starting out with. If you are outside the US, you will likely find hooks with metric measurements. The measurement refers to the diameter of the hook. Look for something between 6 and 8 mm for your first hook.
Next, yarn. It’s really important that you start with a yarn that is light or medium colored, not dark. Also, get yarn with a smooth texture. Dark colors and furry textures can make it really difficult to see what you’re doing, so I suggest avoiding those until you have more experience.
I also suggest starting with yarn that is worsted weight or bulky. Look for a symbol like this on the yarn label with either a 4 or a 5 on it.
This Basic Stitch Anti-pilling yarn from Lion Brand would be an excellent first choice.
Slip knots and crochet chains
First, you’ll need to learn to make a slip knot and crochet chains. In written crochet patterns, the word slip is abbreviated sl.
Most patterns don’t mention the need to make a slip knot, so you probably won’t see it mentioned. It is understood that you will start with a slip knot if the pattern begins with chains. Chain is abbreviated ch in written patterns.
To make a slip knot, begin as though you are tying a knot in your yarn, but don’t pull the end all the way through. This will leave an adjustable loop in your yarn that you can tighten or loosen by pulling on the two ends coming out of it.
You place your hook through that loop, and tighten it so that it is just the tiniest bit loose around your hook. Hold the hook in your right hand. Place your skein of yarn on your left side, and hold the strand coming out of it in your left hand.
In crochet, there will be a lot of wrapping the yarn around the hook. If you look straight down at the top of the hook, you will always wrap the yarn clockwise.
If the yarn is coming off the left side of your hook, you’ll wrap all the way around your hook starting at the back. If the yarn is coming off the right side of your hook, you’ll just lay it across the front.
With the slip knot on the hook, wrap the yarn all the way around the hook starting at the back. Pull this strand of yarn through the loop of the slip knot by sliding your hook through the loops and turning the hook slightly toward the knot, catching the new loop under the hook and pulling it through the first loop.
Check out this video to see it done!
Single crochet stitch
The single crochet is a stitch you will use a lot. It isn’t the smallest of all crochet stitches, but nearly. In written crochet patterns, it is abbreviated sc.
To make a single crochet stitch, place your hook under both loops of the next stitch and yarnover. Yarnover means to wrap the yarn around your hook. At this point in the stitch, the yarn going back to your skein should be coming off the right side of your hook, so you will yarnover by taking the yarn across the front of your hook.
With your crochet hook, pull this strand through the stitch. Then yarnover again and pull that loop through the other two loops on your hook.
Watch me make a single crochet stitch in this quick video.
Half double crochet stitch
A half double crochet stitch is just taller than a single crochet stitch. In written patterns, you’ll see this stitch abbreviated hdc.
To make a half double crochet stitch yarnover one time, then insert the crochet hook under both loops of the next stitch. Yarnover again, which in this case will just be laying the yarn across the front of the hook. Pull that yarnover through the stitch. Yarnover again, wrapping all the way around this time. Pull that yarnover through all three of the loops on your hook.
See how it’s done in this quick video tutorial.
Double crochet stitch
A double crochet stitch is about twice as tall as a single crochet stitch. In written patterns, it is abbreviated dc.
You begin a double crochet stitch with one yarnover. Then place the hook under both loops of the next stitch. Yarnover again and pull that through the stitch. Yarnover again and pull that through two loops. Yarnover once more and pull that through two loops.
Watch me make a double crochet stitch in the video below.
Crochet slip stitch
A crochet slip stitch is the smallest of all crochet stitches. In written crochet patterns it is abbreviated sl st.
To crochet a basic slip stitch you insert the hook under both loops of the next stitch, yarnover, and pull that yarnover through the stitch and the loop on your hook all at once.
See a video of a slip stitch below. Note that in this photo, the slip stitch is just the tiny oval shaped loop at the top of each stitch. The longer stitches below it, are much taller stitches being used as a base.
Treble crochet stitch
The treble crochet stitch is taller than the double crochet stitch. It is abbreviated tr in written patterns.
To crochet a treble stitch begin with two yarnovers. Place your hook under both loops of the next stitch. Yarnover and pull that through the stitch. Yarnover and pull that through two loops. Yarnover again and pull that through two loops. Yarnover one more time and pull that through the last two loops.
See a video of a treble crochet stitch below.
Double treble crochet stitch
Some would argue that a double treble is not one of the basic crochet stitches, since it is very tall and not commonly used, but you may as well learn it, since we’re here and I have a video of it.
In written crochet patterns, this tall crochet stitch is abbreviated dtr. It is even taller than a treble crochet stitch.
To work a double treble crochet stitch, start with three yarnovers. Insert your hook under both loops of the next stitch. Yarnover and pull that through the stitch. Now four times you will yarnover and pull that through two loops, until you only have one loop remaining on your hook.
See a brief video tutorial of a double treble crochet stitch below.
What is the first thing a beginner should crochet?
You’ve learned the basic crochet stitches now. What next? It’s time to crochet something of course!
First, I suggest you grab my free crochet abbreviations list. You can easily download and print it. You may have noticed that in the instructions above I mentioned abbreviations for these basic crochet stitches. Crochet patterns use many abbreviations. You will memorize them as you use them, but until then, a list will be helpful.
Next, you’ll want to try some easy crochet patterns designed for beginners. My Beginner Bracelet crochet pattern is the perfect first crochet pattern.
When you are ready to learn more, head to my Learn to Crochet page for more videos about learning to read crochet patterns, beginner crochet patterns, and intermediate tutorials.
Next, I highly suggest subscribing to my newsletter so you can stay in the loop about my latest patterns, tutorials, and events!
My Facebook group is also a fun place to hang out, get to know other crocheters, and share your love of all things yarn!
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