Learn How to Crochet: Crochet for Beginners

In this post, I will teach you how to hold your yarn and hook, selecting yarn, hook sizes, how to make a slip knot and crochet a chain, how to make a single crochet, finishing off yarn, weaving in yarn tails, joining yarn (changing colors), how to use markers and consistency of stitches.

Background:

I love to crochet. My mother taught me when I was a young child. She crocheted several afghans. I learned to crochet by using her leftover yarn. I have taught my daughter, my granddaughter, and my best friend how to crochet. So now, I want to teach YOU!

Over the past few years, I have resumed this hobby and expanded my knowledge and repertoire. Crocheting gives me great pleasure because I enjoy making something beautiful from a skein of yarn. I also love the variety of colors and texture of yarn. The possibilities are endless!

Holding Yarn and Hook

I am left-handed but I actually crochet right-handed. It may feel awkward at first but over time you will get more comfortable with this. Your fingers act as tension. In other words, they sort of “feed” the yarn as you are crocheting as well as keep tension so your stitches are not too loose.

Right-Handed

Below shows how to hold your yarn if you are right-handed – – at least this is how I hold the yarn and hook. There are some variations among crocheters. Your pinky and index fingers help you control the tension of the yarn.

The picture below is the same hand and hook position but with your thumb on the chain you are crocheting. Your thumb and middle finger sort of pinch the yarn/chain (what you are crocheting) and move it up and down your hook, sort of guiding each loop/chain to go over the head of the hook (after yarn over). Watching the “Slip Knot and Chain” video in this post below will help you to see what each finger does.

LEFT-Handed

Below shows how to hold your yarn if you are left-handed – – at least this is how I hold the yarn and hook. There are some variations among crocheters. Your pinky and index fingers help you control the tension of the yarn.

The picture below is the same hand and hook position but with your thumb on the chain you are crocheting. Your thumb and middle finger sort of pinch the yarn/chain (what you are crocheting) and move it up and down your hook, sort of guiding each loop/chain to go over the head of the hook (after yarn over). Watching the “Slip Knot and Chain” video in this post below will help you to see what each finger does.

Selecting Your Yarn (as a beginner)

There are so many types of yarn, different colors, textures, and weights. One of my favorite things to do is to spend time shopping for yarn – – so many beautiful choices!

However, as a beginner, I strongly suggest using basic acrylic yarn in a light color. If you use something that has a lot of texture, is very fuzzy, has varying color, or even a dark color, it is much harder to see your stitches.

A basic acrylic, light-colored yarn without texture is easy to see and easy to unravel if you make a mistake. Once you learn how to crochet (be patient with yourself), you can then graduate to using different types of yarn.

Hook Sizes

There are many different sizes of crochet hooks ranging from .6 mm to 20 mm (maybe larger). The most commonly used hooks range in size from 3.75 mm to 6.5 mm (labeled as F-K).

As you are learning how to crochet, I suggest using 5.5 mm, 6.0 mm, or a 6.5 mm hook. Most importantly, however, look at the yarn skein label and use the hook size recommended for that yarn.

Slip Knot and Chain

First, let’s learn how to make a slip knot and crochet a chain. Crocheting a chain is the foundation for your crochet work.

The abbreviation for chain stitch is ch.

The video below shows how to crochet a chain.

Start with Learning How to Do a Single Crochet

The abbreviation for single crochet is sc.

The video below shows how to make a single crochet stitch, including how to make single crochets on the second and remaining rows.

Single Crochet

Below is a picture of 4 rows of single crochet stitches.

A turning chain for single crochet is ONE chain.

What is a turning chain?

When crocheting multiple rows, you use “turning chains” at the beginning of the next row to raise or transition to the next row of stitches. Different stitches require a different number of turning chains (stitches).

To learn other basic crochet stitches, click HERE.

Finishing Off Yarn

The video below shows you how to finish off your work.

Weaving Yarn Tails

The video below shows you how to weave in (hide) your yarn tails when finishing your work.

Joining Yarn

Hopefully, you will not need to join yarn as a beginner. In other words, you should have enough yarn in your skein to finish your beginner project. However, if you do need to join yarn, (start a new yarn skein or change colors), click HERE to learn how.

If you need to join yarn, (start a new yarn skein or change colors) at the end of a row, click HERE to learn how.

Consistency of Stitches

As a beginner crocheter, your crocheting may be inconsistent. In other words, some of your stitches may be too tight and others may be too loose. The good news is that your crochet stitches will become more consistent over time. Just keep practicing!

Stitch Markers

I started using stitch marker a few years ago, especially on more difficult crochet pieces and they were a game-changer for me!

Crochet patterns are based on mathematical formulas. In other words, if you mistakenly add stitches or reduce stitches in a row, your work will not be consistent. So, stitch markers help you keep track of the number of stitches, rows, or specific locations of your crochet work in progress. Hence, using stitch markers save you from continuously counting the stitches in each row and thus keeps your work consistent and uniform.


Abbreviations

To start off with, let’s learn the basic crochet abbreviations below:

    • chain – ch
    • slip stitch – sl st
    • single crochet – sc
    • half double crochet – hdc
    • double crochet – dc
    • triple crochet – tc
    • yarn over – yo

Click HERE to see a complete list of crochet abbreviations from Yarn Craft Council.

Click HERE for crochet chart symbols from Yarn Craft Council.

PRACTICE!

The best way to improve your technique and the consistency of your work is to practice.

First, start off just crocheting a chain. You can tear it out and then crochet another chain using the same yarn over and over again. Crocheting chains will get your fingers acclimated as to how to hold the yarn and hook.

Next, use your chain as a foundation and then add a row of single crochet. See the video earlier in this post as to how to crochet a row of single crochet stitches.

Maybe start off with making a few wash clothes (a simple square) and then maybe transition to a scarf using the same stitch. Just continue crocheting rows of single crochet stitches until the scarf is the length you want it.

Once you get good at doing a single crochet stitch, then learn a half double crochet, then a double crochet, and then maybe a triple crochet.

Click HERE to access videos for all the basic crochet stitches.

Over time, you will be able to combine these stitches and other advanced stitches to create more intricate crochet pieces.

Be patient and I promise it will be easier and your work will look better over time. Enjoy the journey of learning and celebrate progress over perfection!

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions by commenting below.

Be sure to Pin this for future reference.

Be brave! You can do this! Happy Crocheting!

 

 

 

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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.