Crochet is the craft of making fabric or lace using a crochet hook and yarn or thread. It is not at all hard to learn. To start out, you should get 4-ply yarn and a larger sized hook (I recommend a J or K size) to make it easier for you to see what you're doing. Once you've become familiar with crochet and what your work ought to look like, you can try the smaller and more delicate work.
- First make a slip knot, then make a chain.
- Make a slip knot. Take your yarn and make a loop, with the long end on top. Drop the long end behind the loop, then reach through and pull the yarn through the loop, tightening the first loop. If you've done this correctly, the loop you've pulled through should be adjustable; you can make it larger or smaller.
- Put the loop on your crochet hook, adjusted so it's not too tight. Hold the hook in your right hand rather like a pen, with your fingers close to the hook end.
- Your left hand controls the yarn. Position the yarn so that the end closest to the hook runs over your index finger, then under your middle finger, then over your ring finger. This allows you to control yarn tension.
- Now make a chain. With your left index finger, loop the yarn over the hook, going from back to front toward you. This is a 'yarn-over'. With your right hand, use the hook to pull the yarn-over through the loop that's already on the hook. You should wind up with a new loop on the hook, and the old loop has become a chain stitch below the new loop. Important: do not tighten--you're going to need to get the hook through that chain stitch on the way back.
- Keep yarning over and pulling through until you have a chain as long as you want your piece to be wide--this will be the bottom of your piece.
- Now you're going to come back down the chain, putting a stitch in each chain link.
- Hold the chain in your left hand--you can hold your work with your thumb and ring and pinky fingers while your index and middle finger control the yarn. Look at the chain below your hook, and skip the chain stitch directly below the hook.
- Insert your hook into the second chain from the hook. Yarn-over and pull through. You've created one stitch. Move to the next chain link, insert the hook into the chain, yarn-over and pull through, and continue on down the chain to the end.
- You've done your first row of single-crochet stitches. Now it's time to turn and go back.
- The Second Row
- Chain once, and turn your work so you can go back down the row you just made. Look closely at the stitches. Each stitch has a little loop on top. Insert your hook under that loop, going under both sides. Yarn-over and pull through and you've made the first stitch of the second row.
- Go to the next stitch and again insert your hook under the loop on top, yarn-over and pull through, and so on down the row. At the end, chain once and turn your work.
- Third Row and Beyond
- Each additional row is done the same way as the second row. Keep adding rows until the piece is as long as you want it to be.
You've just learned how to single-crochet. The stitch described here is the basic single-crochet stitch. It will make a solid rectangular piece that you can use to make scarves or afghans. There are many crochet variations, double-crochet, filet crochet, granny squares, ripple and so on.
Your local craft store will have the materials you need, a wide variety of yarns and hook sizes, as well as instruction books that will help you learn the many variations of crochet.