Crocheting is fun, and learning to do it is easy! Once you've mastered the tips in this article I suggest you pick up a copy of Crocheting Secrets Revealed to learn how to improve your craft and make your items truly look professional.
Pick up your hook and yarn, and you're ready to start.
Hold the crochet hook
You will want to experiment with different ways of holding the crochet hook until you find one that is comfortable for you. Some people hold the hook like a pencil, others hold it like a knife, and some have their own unique grip. The important thing is that you have control over the tip of the hook and that your hand is relaxed and comfortable.
Hold the yarn
Hold the yarn so that the earlier stitches (or the tail and slip knot, if you're just starting your first stitch) is between the thumb and middle finger of your left hand. The yarn from the ball feeds up over the first finger of your left hand and then under the other fingers. You will make stitches using the section of yarn between your thumb and first finger, and you can adjust the tension on the yarn by moving your first finger up and down. Yarn tension helps to keep the stitches smooth and even.
- To begin crocheting, tie the yarn onto the hook with a slip knot. After the knot is formed, pull it gently against the hook.
- Hold the slip knot and the tail of the yarn as described earlier. Slide the hook forward, catch the slightly taut yarn between the thumb and first finger of your left hand with the hook, twist the hook a little so that the yarn is wrapped around the hook, and pull the hook gently back through the original loop.
You've made a chain stitch! The new stitch is on the hook, and the previous stitch (in this case, the slip knot you started with) is hanging loose below the new stitch.
A chain stitch is the basic stitch that begins all crochet patterns. It is abbreviated as ch in printed patterns. The twisting motion you made to wrap the yarn around the hook is called the yarn over. It is abbreviated as yo in printed patterns.
- When you made the first stitch, you ended up with a new stitch on the hook. Repeat the process to form a chain. Keep your movement smooth and the tension on the yarn steady so that the stitches turn out smooth and even. This is the foundation chain used to begin most patterns. Printed directions will tell you how many stitches to make in the chain.
- After you've made the foundation chain, you can start creating fabric with the single crochet stitch. It is abbreviated as sc in printed patterns.
Make the foundation chain. Then make one more chain stitch at the end. Hold the chain in your left hand with the front (smooth side) facing you. Push the hook through the second stitch back from the end (the last stitch in the original foundation chain). Yarn over the same way you did when you made a chain stitch. Draw the hook back through the chain, bringing the yarn with it. You will have two loops on the hook. Yarn over again. Draw the hook and yarn back through the two loops already on the hook. You will end up with one loop on the hook.
You've just completed a single crochet stitch! To make the next stitch, push the hook through the next chain stitch and follow the same procedure. You can work back along the entire row, making a single crochet stitch in each stitch of the foundation chain. You will end up with a full row of single crochet stitches.
- The second row is worked in the opposite direction. To turn, first make one chain stitch at the end of the row you just finished. This is sometimes called the turning stitch. Then turn your work around so that the row is in your left hand and the hook is on the right end. When you count the number of stitches in a row, the turning stitch is not counted.
When you look down at the finished row, you will see that the tops of the row of single crochet stitches look like chain stitches. Slide the hook under the two strands of yarn that form the chain on the top of the first single crochet stitch, yarn over, and pull the hook back through. There will be two loops on the hook. Yarn over again and draw the hook back through the two loops, leaving one loop on the hook. You've just completed a single crochet stitch on the second row!
- Continue working along the row. Now you're crocheting fabric! Remember to make an extra chain stitch at the end of each row before you turn and work in the other direction.
You can make a scarf, a hat, or a bootie using just these simple stitches. Have fun!