I'm what you would call a crochet fanatic. I love it. I've crocheted so many cool things, from sundresses to blankets to stuffed animals to baby hats and booties and more.

I love teaching newbies how to do it because most people pick it up fairly quickly.

And you will be amazed at what you can make with a simple hook and some yarn.

Today I'm going to teach you all of the basics. On top of that, I'm going to show you how to decipher patterns.

Seriously, once you learn the five main stitches and you can read a pattern you will be able to crochet absolutely anything.

The possibilities are endless!

If you already have a crochet hook and some yarn then get them out because we're going to use them today. If you don't have your supplies just yet, no worries, I am going to explain everything that you need to know before you start.

I hope that I can inspire you to start this incredible craft. Make sure that you bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it at any point if you need some help.

Now, let's go!

Before we start any crochet for beginners, let's go over the basics.

First of all, what is it?

Well, crochet is a skill or a craft that is centuries old. It takes its name from the French word crochet, which means hook.

One of the reasons that I love crocheting is because I find it incredibly relaxing. It's my way of disconnecting from all of the stresses of the world. And I love that the repetitive motion of the stitches is very calming.

It's fun, and it's easy to learn. Seriously, anyone can do it. Yes, even you!

Crocheting uses a hook and yarn.

That's basically it.

making crochet circle

 Image  via canva.com

Check it out:

With that hook and yarn, you can make beautiful creations like hats, scarves, doilies, blankets, tops, home crafts, stuffed animals, and so much more.

My favorite things to make are baby hats, booties, and diaper covers. You can crochet the most adorable items for babies, even as a beginner! It's true.

Once you learn the basic single crochet stitch, you will be able to handle the rest of the stitches easily.

And here's some excellent news:

By the time you get to the end of this article, you will be able to read crochet patterns. So why is that important, you might ask.

Well, once you can follow a pattern, you can literally make anything.

When you're talking about crocheting, the possibilities are endless. You can take a basic hat pattern, for example, and create your own unique masterpiece.

Here's an example of some cute baby hats that I made.

Crochet baby hats

Image by Mindy Fischer, all rights reserved

Now before you start thinking that those hats look too complicated for beginners, let me assure you that they are not.

I used just two basic stitches to make them.

I used a simple hat pattern that begins with a circle, which I'm going to teach you in a minute. And then I added some extra details like buttons for the eyes and hearts for the eye and nose.

You can add hearts to anything. I'm going to teach how to make them in just a minute. They're super easy and fun to make.

Honestly, once you learn the basic stitches, you can make anything. Your only limit is your imagination.

One of the best parts of crocheting is that it doesn't require expensive equipment. All you need to get started is some yarn, a hook or two, and some scissors.

Yep, that's it.

I recommend that you also do it under good lighting. It helps when you can see what you're doing.

If you're doing a project like a granny square blanket or even like the baby hats I just showed you, then you will also need a needle with a large enough eye to thread your yarn. The needle is for connecting pieces that you crochet and sewing in the tails.

What You Need:

crochet hook

A hook - Image via Flaticon.com 

yarn

Yarn - Image via Flaticon.com

scissors

Scissors - Image via Flaticon.com

light bulb

Good lighting - Image via Flaticon.com

needle

A needle with a large eye - Image via Flaticon.com

The hooks

crochet hook

Image via ​pexels.com

When you're first starting I recommend that you get a basic set of crochet hooks. You can find them at any craft store, yarn store, or online.

There are just a few things that you should know about the hooks.

First, they come in different sizes. A starter set will usually have three to six different sizes included. The hooks get labeled with letters.

A basic set will usually include E through J. The size J hook will be the largest, and the size E hook will be the smallest.

Different patterns will call for different sized hooks.

Generally speaking, the hook size coincides with the type and weight of the yarn that you use.

Beginners usually work with worsted weight yarn and either a G or an H hook.

Once you get into it, you may want to venture out to other sized hooks.

The very tiny ones are good if you want to work with thread instead of yarn. The larger hooks are fun when you use a very thick yarn for your project.

The best hooks for arthritis

Do you have arthritis in your hands? Holding a regular crochet hook for long periods can get painful if you have arthritis in your hands or fingers.

But don't let that stop you!

They make special ergonomic hooks just for you!

Personally, I love the ergonomic hooks even if you don't have arthritis because they are more comfortable to hold. However, they are a little more expensive than regular hooks.

The best yarn for beginners

Okay, now let's talk about the yarn.

There are tons of choices out there when it comes to yarn.

Don't let that intimidate you.

If you are working from a pattern, then it will tell you what weight of yarn you will need.

Remember:

The weight of the yarn is its thickness.

The yarn's label will list the weight. It will be from one to seven.

yarn ball

Yarn Ball - Image via pexels.com

For beginners, you should look for worsted weight yarn. It will be labeled number four. It's a good medium-thickness yarn to work with when you're starting.

You could also go with a number three, but some beginners may feel it's a bit too thin.

The yarn label will also tell you the size hook that you should use with it.

Yarns also come in a wide variety of prices.

I recommend that you use a cheaper yarn when you're a beginner. As you get better at the craft, you can choose more expensive yarn for your projects.

But when you're practicing, the cheaper yarn is just fine.

How To Hold The Hook And Yarn

As you can see in the video below, there are different ways to hold your hook.

For me, the knife grip feels most comfortable.

But:

There is no right way or wrong way to hold it. Do what feels right for you.

If you've never crocheted before, try out both the pencil grip and the knife grip. Try some stitches holding it both ways so you can find out which one you like better.


Okay, now are you ready to get to the good stuff?

Now For The Chain

The slip knot is the very first thing you do in crocheting. The very next thing you're going to do is the chain. The chain will be the foundation for anything that you crochet.

Here's an excellent video to show exactly what to do.

I want you to practice making chains until you are very familiar with the technique.

When you're reading a pattern, it will abbreviate the chain as "ch" or "chs."

As I just said, the chain is going to be the foundation for everything that you make.

That's right.

So before you moved on to the basic stitches, make sure that you have mastered both the slip knot and the starting chain.

Now let me give you a great tip that will save you from stress and frustration later on:

Don't make your chain too tight.

Trust me on this. If you make your foundation chain too tight you will have a tough time getting your hook back into it for the next stitch. The way we build on the chain is to crochet back into it. So they have to be loose enough for the hook to go back through.

You're doing great.

You've got the foundation down.

Now it's time to get after those stitches!

There are five basic stitches in crocheting, but they all build off of the single crochet stitch.

Good news, though!

Once you learn that you will be able to pick all of the others quickly.

1. The Single Crochet Stitch

In patterns, they abbreviate the single crochet stitch as "sc."

As you can see in the video, you are working in rows. It is essential that at the end of each row you do one chain before you turn your work and start on the next row.

I want you to practice your single stitch until you get very comfortable with it.

Here's a reminder of the steps for the single crochet stitch:


  1. Push your hook through the stitch or chain on the row below
  2. Yarn over
  3. Pull through one loop on your hook
  4. Yarn over again
  5. Pull through both loops on your hook]

And just like that, you're crocheting!

I'm going to teach you some more stitches today, but even if you stopped right here, you could start making things. You can make a simple hat or a washcloth or even a blanket using just the single stitch.

But, it gets better...

2. The double crochet stitch

Our next stitch in crocheting is the double crochet stitch, which you can watch in the video below.

When you are reading patterns, the abbreviation for the double crochet stitch is "dc."

The double stitch is twice as tall as the single stitch.

Remember when you did the single stitch, and you chained one at the end of each row before you turned your work?

Well, with the double stitch you are going to chain three at the end of every row before you turn your work around to begin the next row.

Another difference with the double stitch is that you start with a yarn over before you push your hook through the chain or stitch below.

Practice this double stitch until you get the hang of it.

Now, are you ready for a little challenge?

Try doing one row of double stitches. Then when you get to the end of the row, chain one, turn your work around and do a row of single stitches. When you get to the end of the row for your single stitches, chain three, turn your work around, and then do another row of double stitches.

You'll see after a few rows what a cool pattern it makes to alternate rows with single and double stitches.

Before we move on, let's just go over the steps for the double stitch one more time.

The steps for the double crochet stitch:

  1. Yarn over
  2. Push your hook through the chain or stitch in the row below
  3. Pull through one loop on your hook
  4. Yarn over
  5. Pull through two loops on your hook
  6. Yarn over
  7. Pull through the last two loops on your hook]

3. The half double crochet stitch

Now it's time for my favorite stitch, the half double crochet stitch. I love the look of this one.

When you're reading patterns, the abbreviation for the half double crochet stitch is "hdc."

The half double stitch is taller than the single stitch, but not as tall as the double stitch.

At the end of every row of single stitches, you chain one before you turn your work. And you know that at the end of every row of double stitches, you chain three before you turn your work, right?

So how many do you think we chain at the end of each row of half double stitches?

Did you guess two?

You're right!

So it goes like this:

  • For single stitches, you chain one at the end of the row before you turn your work
  • With half-double stitches, you chain two at the end of each row
  • For double stitches, you chain three at the end of every row
  • And with treble stitches, you chain four at the end of each row

Keep in mind that you yarn over before you start the half double stitch and the double stitch. But you don't yarn over before you begin the single stitch.

Steps for the half double crochet stitch:

  1. Yarn over
  2. Pull through one loop
  3. Yarn over
  4. Pull through all three loops on your hook

4. The treble crochet stitch

The treble stitch is sometimes called a triple stitch. When you're reading a pattern, the abbreviation is "tr."

Of all of the stitches that we are working on today, the treble crochet stitch is the tallest.

When you get to the end of the row of your treble stitches, you will chain four before you turn your work and begin on the next row.

One big difference between this stitch and all of the others is:

The way you start it

For the treble stitch, you will yarn over twice before you push through the chain or stitch below.

Now go ahead and practice a few rows of the treble stitch.

You're doing great!

There's just one more stitch to learn, and it's probably the easiest. But before we move on, let's review the steps for the treble stitch.

Steps for the treble crochet stitch:

  1. Yarn over
  2. Yarn over again
  3. Push your hook through the chain or stitch below
  4. Yarn over
  5. Pull through one loop
  6. Yarn over
  7. Pull through two loops on your hook
  8. Yarn over
  9. Pull through two loops
  10. Yarn over
  11. Pull through the last two loops

5. The slip stitch

The final stitch that we will learn today is the slip stitch. In patterns, the abbreviation is "sl st" or "ss."

The slip stitch is the shortest of all of the stitches. It doesn't add any height at all to your work. I like to use the slip stitch at the end of my project to make a sort of border.

On the baby hats that I showed you earlier, I used one row of slip stitches in a different color to finish them off.

Slip stitches are also used to make circles.

If you chain four and then do a slip stitch into the first chain, you will have a circle.

It's important to remember that just like the single stitch, you don't yarn over before you start the slip stitch.

Now let's review the steps:

Steps for the slip stitch

  1. Push your hook through the chain or stitch
  2. Yarn over
  3. Pull through the stitch and the last loop on your hook]

You're doing great! You've now learned all of the basic stitches used in crochet.

So who's ready to make something?

Okay, let's do it!

Once you can read a pattern, you can make virtually anything. So let's review the abbreviations used in crochet patterns.

how to read a crochet pattern

 Image from canva.com

The Simple Washcloth Pattern

Now let's try out your new skills with a simple pattern. You will use an H or an I sized hook for this project.

The crochet washcloth

Ch 26.

Row 1: Sc into the second ch from the hook and into each st across

Row 2: Ch one and turn your work. Sc into each stitch across

Row 3: Ch one and turn your work. Sc into each of the first two sts. *Sc into the next st, dc into the following st; repeat from * across. Sc into the last three sts

Row 4: Ch one and turn your work. Sc into the first st. *Sc into the next st, dc into the following st; repeat from * across. Sc into the last two sts.

Rows 5 -29: Repeat rows 3 and 4

Rows 30-31: Ch one and turn your work. Sc into each stitch across

Cut your yarn and tie off. Then use a large needle to weave in the ends.

When you are crocheting, you will either work in rows, like we just did with the washcloth, or you can work in rounds, which you would use for things like hats.

The stitches will be the same. The difference is, instead of working in straight rows, you will be working in a circle.

First, the Magic Circle

The magic circle is one of the ways that you can begin working in rounds. This is the trickiest thing that we're going to learn today.

The video above walked you through it. I want you to watch it again. And I want you to practice this technique several times until you get it.

One of the things that I love about the magic circle is that it closes up the hole in the center of your circle.

But it's not the only way to make a circle.

If you're struggling with the magic circle, don't get stressed out. Most people find it difficult at first. But once you get it, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about with it.

There's another way to make a circle that is much easier if you're having trouble.

Try chaining four and then slip stitch into the first chain. Now you have a circle. The only downside of doing it like that is that you will have a hole in the center of your circle.

Honestly, it's just a matter of personal preference. Slip stitching a chain together is the easiest way to do it. But don't give up on that magic circle. Give it a few more tries before you move on.

How to crochet a simple circle

As the video below will show you, there are other ways to make circles.

The basic rules of crocheting in the rounds are that you increase each round by the same number of stitches that you started with when you made the original round.

I know, that sounds a bit confusing, but once you do it a few times, it will make more sense. Any pattern that you follow will tell you round by round where to make the increases, so you don't have to memorize this.

It works like this. If you make a circle with six stitches, then each round will increase by six stitches. So round one will be six stitches. Round two will be 12 stitches. Then round three will have 18 stitches, and so on.

Here's an example of a circle pattern so you can see how to put it together.

Simple circle pattern

Foundation chain: Ch 3 and then sl st into the first ch to form a small circle.

Round one: Ch 1, and then work six sc into the center of the circle (6 sc).

Round two: Work two sc into each sc in the row below (12 sc).

Round three: (Sc into the next sc, then do two sc into the next sc) repeat that six times (18 sc).

Round four: (Sc into the next two sc, two sc into the next two sc) repeat that six times (24 sc).

Round five: (SC into the next three sc, two sc in the next two sc) repeat that six times (30 sc).]

Crochet hearts

The video below shows how to make crocheted hearts.

The heart starts the same way as the circle. Remember there are a few different ways to create that beginning circle. You can use the magic circle, or you can chain four and slip stitch into the first chain.

The difference between the circle and the heart is that the heart uses different stitches throughout the round, while circles use the same stitch the whole time.

Here's another pattern for the heart that you can try.

The crochet heart

Start with a magic ring or chain four and slip stitch the first chain to form a circle.

Round 1: Ch 2, 15 dc into ring, sl st into the top of the first dc.

Round 2: Ch 2, one dc into the same stitch, four trc into next stitch, two dc into next stitch, one hdc into each of next four stitches.

Now we are at the point at the bottom of the heart:

Do 1 dc, one trc, and one dc into the next stitch.

Now going up the other side:

Do one hdc into each of next four stitches, two dc into next stitch, four trc into next stitch, one dc into next stitch, chain 2, sl st into the same stitch.

Fasten off, pull magic ring closed, weave in ends.]

The famous granny square

If you are new to crocheting, then you might not know all about the granny square. They are extremely popular in crochet.

They are little squares that you crochet individually. Then you can stitch them all together to make a blanket or a throw.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that there are millions of granny square patterns. Some of them are very difficult, but there are also tons of beginner patterns that you can do.

I told you earlier that your only limit is your imagination. That is so true.

You can mix and match colors with your squares. You can even mix and match patterns if you want. Just be sure that all of your squares are the same size.

Each pattern will give you the measurements of the square so you can be sure they will all match up.

Now I'm going to blow your mind.

You can even mix and match the sizes if you want. Think outside of the box. Be creative.

Lay out all of your squares after you make them and line them up the way that you will stitch them together.

The last thing that we're going to work on today is the granny square. Here are two videos with simple beginner patterns to make your squares.

Try them out along with the videos. Just pause your video while you make your stitches. Then restart it whenever you're ready.

Basic granny square

Here's your first pattern for the granny square. As you'll see in a minute, they start with a circle, and you work it in rounds.

Wait, we're starting with a circle and working in rounds to make a square?

Yep. That's right.

Pretty cool, huh?

See? I told you this was going to be fun!

Another simple granny square for beginners

As you can see with this pattern, the square has more holes in it. But just like the previous pattern, this one uses double crochets and chains, and it works in rounds.

Well, there you have it! You're crocheting!

I want you to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it if you need some refreshers.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it is very relaxing and fun.

And if you make a mistake? So what! No biggie. Just unravel your work and start again.

My best advice to you is to look for free beginner patterns to practice your crocheting. If you Google "Free crochet patterns for beginners" you will find tons of them.

You can search YouTube for cool patterns and instructions that you can follow along with too.

I can promise you this:

The more you practice, the better you'll get at crocheting. So practice, practice, practice my friends!

Now I would love to hear from you!

How did you do with our beginner guide to crochet? Are you getting the hang of it? Do you have questions?

Let us know in the comments section below what you think. If you made something along with us today, we'd love to see it. So post those pictures!

Happy crocheting everyone!

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