How to Crochet

How to Crochet: How Do I Start Crocheting? 

Ready to learn how to crochet? Unlike other needlework crafts, crochet requires learning multiple different kinds of stitches, techniques, and skills. Learning how to do crochet can feel overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. 

How to crochet a granny square
Image source: Haak Maar Raak

The good news is that you can learn how to start crochet with just a crochet chain, one basic crochet stitch, and a yarn needle to weave in your ends. Continue reading to explore the following “how to crochet for dummies” topics:

    • The tools you’ll need to start learning how to make crochet
    • How to crochet step by step (with pictures)
    • How do you start crocheting (how to start a sitch)
    • How to crochet a single crochet stitch
    • how to crochet videos with step by step instructions

What Do You Crochet With?

Before learning how to crochet, yarn and crochet hooks must be discussed. Both crochet yarns and hooks come in a variety of sizes and styles, but you don’t need to buy the whole store to get started.

A good rule of thumb for purchasing your first crochet tools as you learn each step of how to crochet is to start in the middle. Most crochet beginners start with a size H-8 (5mm) crochet hook

Xaluminum crochet hook
Image source: Wool Crafting

Since crochet hooks are designed to work with specific types of yarn, that also means that you should start with worsted weight crochet yarns. Sticking to worsted weight yarn won’t leave you feeling restricted when purchasing yarn.

If you are learning how to sew or already know how to sew, you understand the importance of choosing the right type of fabric for the project and your skill level. Crochet yarn also impacts the difficulty and finish of any project you work on. 

The simplest way to ensure you’re working with the correct yarn is to follow the guidance provided by a pattern. You don’t have to use the exact brand and colors of yarn that the pattern creator did, but you should use the same yarn weight and the appropriate hook.

As you practice how to crochet, the different yarn types and weights will become clear to you. In time you will intuitively understand the pros and cons of different yarn materials, weights, and textures. For now, keep a yarn table like the one below nearby while shopping.

Weight Symbol & Category Names 

(Refers to Thickness)

Pictures

Recommended Hook (in millimeters)

Number of Single Crochets in Every 10 centimeters

Best Used for

Weight: 0

Name: Lace

Thin colored yarn crochet
Image source: Ebay

1.5 – 2.25 mm (regular hook)

32 – 42 double crochet stitches

Decorative trim and amigurumi

Weight: 1

Name: Super Fine

Super fine yarn crochet
Image source: Pinterest

2.25 – 3.25 mm

21 – 32 stitches

Socks, Baby Clothes, Amigurumi

Weight: 2

Name: Fine

Egyptian cotton fine yarn crochet
Image source: Amazon

3.5 – 4.5 mm

16 – 20 stitches

Socks, Baby Clothes, Amigurumi

Weight: 3

Name: Light

Light yarn weight crochet
Image source: Etsy

4.5 – 5.5 mm

12 – 17 stitches

Clothing, larger crochet dolls, soft toys

Weight: 4

Name: Medium

Medium weight crochet yarn
Image source: Etsy

5.5 – 6.5 mm

11 – 14 stitches

Clothes, scarves, hats, soft toys

Weight: 5

Name: Bulky

Bulky weight yarn crochet
Image source: Mil Creations

6.5 – 9 mm

8 – 11 stitches

Hats, scarves, warm clothing (such as sweaters)

Weight: 6

Name: Super Bulky

Super bulky weight yarn crochet
Image source: Etsy

9 – 15 mm

7 – 9 stitches

Blankets, decor

Experienced crocheters recommend that anyone that wants to learn how to crochet for beginners work with yarn that is light or pastel in color, not patterned, low textured, and inexpensive. 

How to start crochet
Image source: Shopee

Read the table below to learn why each factor is important for beginner crocheters.

Yarn Tip For Beginners

Why It’s Important

Light/pastel color

Makes stitches and work more visible.

Solid colored (no patterns)

Helps you avoid miscounting your stitches

Low texture

Makes stitches and work more visible. More durable yarns that won’t show wear with lots of practice.

Inexpensive

You’re bound to make mistakes when learning how to crochet step by step. Affordable yarn removes the stress of wasting precious materials.

Some additional supplies that are helpful, but not necessary right away include:

    • A yarn needle to weave in your ends easier
    • Scissors
    • Measuring tape
    • Storage for your crochet yarn and tools

How to Learn Crochet Step by Step

You might be thinking, “Just show me how to crochet already!”. Before you can learn how to crochet easily, you first need to develop a strategy for how to begin your crochet journey. If you accidentally start with the most challenging stitch, you’re likely to quit too soon.

How to crochet step by step
Image source: Pretty Ideas

In order to guarantee that you’ll be able to start your first projects quickly, you should follow a logical learning order. You can use the recommended order below (going from top to bottom) or create your own. 

Just be sure you understand when each stitch or technique is used in crochet so you understand how they can all work together to create beautiful beginner crochet projects.

The “Teach Me How to Crochet” Checklist

Stitch / Technique

How It’s Used

Slip knot

Forms a knot in the yarn to begin a crochet chain.

Start a crochet chain/turning chain

Creates a “foundational chain” that you will stitch into. Typically the first step of any crochet project.

Weave in ends

Secures yarn ends so that a finished project doesn’t unravel.

Basic crochet stitches:

    1. Single crochet
    2. Half double crochet
    3. Double crochet
    4. Triple crochet

Forms the body of crochet projects. While there are many more crochet stitches, these four are considered foundational.

Change colors

Allows you to create patterns by changing yarn colors throughout a project.

Crochet decrease (also called “stitch two together”)

Creates dimension and shape in crochet projects, and especially important in amigurumi projects.

How to crochet in the round (or how to crochet a circle)

Allows you to create round projects such as hats, beanies, circle blankets, and more.

Magic crochet circle

Gives you control over the size of your crochet circle opening. Great for amigurumi projects.

The good news is that you don’t have to learn all of these stitches and techniques to start your first project. Try mastering one technique or stitch at a time and build on your crochet knowledge slowly.

How to do crochet for beginners
Image source: Life with Neal & Suz

Now that you’ve got a game plan for learning how to crochet for absolute beginners, you’re almost ready to get started. Before you dive in, check out these extra tips.

    • When first practicing a new stitch, start with a practice swatch instead of beginning a whole project. This eliminates the pressure of getting it right and provides more freedom to learn.
    • Feel free to unravel mistakes. Sturdy yarns can be stitched and unraveled without showing any wear. You’ll be much happier with the finished piece, and you’ll learn more by fixing your mistakes.
    • Don’t forget to make a gauge swatch before starting a project, especially if it’s a clothing item. 

Steps on how to crochet
Image source: Desert Blossom Crafts

    • Wind your yarn skeins into yarn balls before crocheting. This may feel like busywork, but yarn balls have important advantages over skeins, including: 
      1. Improves your stitch tension. Stitching from a ball of yarn helps you achieve even tension, which is challenging for novice crocheters.
      2. Prevents dreaded yarn tangles. Skeins are prone to tangling towards the end.

What is a hank a ball a skein
Image source: The Spruce Crafts

    • If you are making items to sell or gift, custom care labels and custom woven labels are sure to improve satisfaction with the piece. Crochet sellers often use hang tags to improve branding and sales. Remember that a great gift or product includes more than just the yarn and stitches!
    • Pay attention to your work and whether or not you’re using the right crochet hook. If your work is too loose, switch to a smaller hook. If your stitches are too tight, swap to a larger hook. Experiment with hooks during the gauge swatch to avoid switching mid-project.

Learn how to crochet for beginners
Image source: Planet June

At last, it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty and answer the question, “How do you crochet?.” Keep reading for information on how to crochet for beginners step by step.

How to Start a Crochet Stitch

Let’s cover how to crochet for beginners step by step, slowly. Starting a crochet stitch is simple, and only requires three basic steps:

    1. Making a slip knot
    2. Stitching a foundation chain
    3. Stitching into the foundation chain (with a crochet stitch such as the single crochet).

Starting a Crochet Stitch: The Slip Knot

There are many different ways to make a slip knot, but feel free to follow along with these simple instructions that don’t require a crochet hook. (Note: Left-handed crocheters should search for left-handed instructions.)

How to begin crochet
Image source: Sigoni Macaroni

    1. Hold the tail end of your yarn with your left thumb and pointer finger. Use your pinky and ring fingers to hold the working yarn (the yarn coming from your yarn ball).
    2. Pinch the middle of the loop with the fingers on your right hand. Using your right hand, twist the yarn away from you. The working yarn should lay on top of the yarn tail.
    3. Reach through the loop you just created with your right hand. Grab the working yarn and pull it through the loop.
    4. Continue pulling the working yarn through with your right hand while holding the yarn in your left. Pull until the loop is tight.
    5. To further tighten the slip knot, use your crochet hook. Place the hook in the slip knot and pull on the working end to tighten it into your loop.

Congratulations! You’ve just completed the first step of starting a crochet stitch: the slip knot. Keep your hook in the slip knot and get ready for step two: the foundation chain.

Starting a Crochet Stitch: The Foundation Chain

While there are exceptions, the general rule is that no crochet project can begin without a foundation chain. The foundation chain (also called the “base chain” or “starting chain”) is where you’ll work your first row into.

Follow along with these steps to create your foundation chain. Left-handed crocheters will need to flip instructions, but it’s recommended to find instructions already written for left-handed people.

    1. Hold the yarn and hook properly. This is done by holding your slip knot between the thumb and middle fingers of your left hand so that the knot faces you. Allow the working yarn to flow over your index finger, between the index and middle fingers, over your palm, and then back between your middle and ring finger. 
    2. Hold the crochet hook facing upward.
    3. Yarn over the hook. Wrap the working yarn over the hook from back to front. 

Chain stitch crochet
Image source: The Spruce Crafts

       4. Rotate your crochet hook about a quarter-turn counterclockwise. Meanwhile, loop the yarn and get ready to hook it. Pull the crochet hook down and through the loop on the hook.

How to crochet pictures
Image source: The Spruce Crafts

      5. You’ve just created one chain stitch. Continue chain stitches until you have either chained the number for your pattern or feel finished.

How to crochet easy

Image source: The Spruce Crafts

Starting a Crochet Stitch: How to Single Crochet For Beginners

The single crochet stitch is the most common starting point for new crocheters. Practice your first full crochet stitch by following the instructions below.

    1. Place your crochet hook into the second chain away from the hook.

A basic single crochet stitch
Image source: Wiki How

      2. Wrap the yarn over the hook (back to front) and pull up a loop. You should now have two loops on your crochet hook.

How to single crochet for beginners
Image source: Annies Catalog

      3. Once again, wrap the yarn over the hook and pull it through both loops on the hook.

How to single crochet for dummies
Image source: Annies Catalog

      4. Congratulations! You’ve just made your first crochet stitch. 

How to single crochet step by step
Image source: Annies Catalog

You can continue stitching until the single crochet stitch feels natural and comfortable to you. Some additional tips for your stitching include the following:

    • The single crochet is the shortest crochet stitch. 
    • Single crochet is a US crochet term. It is also referred to as “double crochet” in UK terminology. Always be sure you know which terminology a pattern uses to avoid confusion.
    • At the end of a single crochet row, you must make one additional chain stitch. This is called the “turning chain” and allows you to move your work to the next row.

How to Crochet Videos for Beginners

If following written instructions isn’t for you, check out crochet tutorial videos. All of the techniques discussed in this article have thousands of different video tutorials. Benefits of following crochet video tutorials include:

    • It’s easier to follow along with the visual cues of someone else working.
    • You can immediately see if you’ve made a mistake.
    • Tutorials provide more support than pictures or written instructions. 
    • Videos can be re-watched, slowed down, and saved for future reference.

Think crochet video tutorials are more your style? Check out video tutorials for all of the steps covered above!

How to Make a Slip Knot

How to Make a Crochet Chain

How to Single Crochet

Summary: How to Crochet for Beginners Step by Step

As you’re learning how to crochet, focus on one skill at a time until you’ve built up confidence and knowledge to take on the next technique. Keep it simple with yarn and supplies until you’ve covered all the basics.

Don’t be afraid to look up new how-to crochet pictures and instructions if the materials you’re following don’t work for you. Remember to enjoy yourself!

Basic crochet stitches for beginners
Image source: Tip Junkie

You can get started with your first crochet project with the basics (slip knot, chain stitch, weaving in ends) and just one or two of the basic stitches! Start out small with projects such as dishcloths, coasters, and scarves. 

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