Crochet is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby that anyone can do! This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to crochet.
We’ll go over everything you need to know to get started, from the fundamentals of hook holding to the six most common crochet stitches. We’ll even go over the best yarn to use and where you can find free beginner crochet patterns.
If you want to start a new hobby or learn a new skill, you’ve come to the right place! After reading this crochet beginner’s guide, you’ll be able to make lovely wearable items like scarves, hats, and blankets.
How to Crochet for Beginners
This guide is for you if you’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet but didn’t know where to begin. With these simple step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to learn the fundamentals of crocheting.
What is Crochet?
Crochet has been practiced for centuries and remains one of the most popular yarn crafts today. It is a technique for making a looped fabric out of yarn using a crochet hook.
Crocheting is not difficult to learn, but it can be challenging at first. Crocheting, like learning any new skill, will require perseverance and patience.
Begin by learning the fundamental techniques and a few basic stitches. After you’ve mastered the basics, you can progress to intermediate and advanced techniques.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of crochet, you can make everything from baby booties to granny squares.
What do you need to start crocheting?
One of the best things about crochet is that it requires few tools to get started. In reality, you only need two things:
- A hook for crocheting
Learning can be made easier with the right tools. Choose hooks and yarns that are easy to work with to ensure your success. Here are my top picks for the best beginner crochet supplies.
Yarn comes in a variety of weights, ranging from super-fine baby yarn to bulky-weight wool. Different patterns will call for different types of yarn.
However, for beginners, I recommend medium weight (four) acrylic, wool, or cotton yarn. This type of yarn is available online or at any craft store!
Yarn weight is medium. Beginners should use worsted weight yarn, in my opinion.
Texture that is smooth. Using a ball of simple, smooth wool or acrylic yarn makes it easier to see your stitches.
Color is light. When working with dark or multicolored yarn, it can be difficult to see where to insert the hook.
Crochet hooks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The most important thing to remember is to match the hook size to the yarn weight. When working with thicker yarns, use larger crochet hooks and smaller crochet hooks.
For beginners, I recommend starting with a medium-sized ergonomic hook, such as G6 (4.25 mm) or H8 (5.00 mm).
Check the back of the yarn label if you’re not sure what size crochet hook to use with your yarn. It will recommend a hook size for your specific yarn.
If you want to pick up a few more items, you could also get:
- yarn needle, or a pack of blunt-tipped tapestry needles.
- stitch markers
- small, sharp scissors
How to Crochet Step-by-Step
Let’s get this party started! Gather your materials and look for a comfortable workspace with good lighting.
I recommend that you read through the steps before picking up your hook. Remember that learning to crochet takes practice, so keep at it!
This guide uses crochet terms from the United States and shows right-handed instructions. Learn the difference between British and American crochet terms by using this handy crochet terms conversion guide.
Step 1: How to Hold the Crochet Hook
The first step is to figure out how to hold the yarn and crochet hook in a way that feels natural to you. Most people use their dominant hand to hold the hook and their non-dominant hand to hold the yarn.
Please keep in mind that I am right-handed, so the pictures will show me holding the hook in my right hand and the yarn in my left. I’ll write the instructions from a right-handed perspective, but lefties can reverse the directions to learn how to crochet left-handed.
Most people hold the crochet hook in one of two ways: with a pencil or with a knife.
Pencil Grip: Hold the crochet hook between your thumb and index finger like a pencil. For more balance and control, use your third finger underneath.
Grip the knife with your hand over the hook, palm down. Place your thumb and index finger on the hook. For added control, wrap your other three fingers around the shaft of the crochet hook.
Personally, I prefer to use the knife grip to hold the hook. Try both options and see which one feels most natural to you.
How to Hold Yarn for Crocheting
Loop the yarn through the fingers of your non-dominant hand to hold it. Pass the yarn through your pinkie, third and middle fingers, and index finger.
To increase the tension on the yarn, loop it once around the pinkie before passing it under the third, middle, and index fingers.
It may feel awkward at first to hold the yarn in this manner, but keep practicing. With practice, you’ll discover your preferred method for holding and maintaining tension on the yarn.
Step 2: How to Tie a Slip Knot
After that, tie a slip knot to secure the yarn to the crochet hook.
To tie a slip knot, do the following:
Take a piece of yarn from the ball. Begin the loop about 6 inches from the yarn’s end, leaving a tail to weave in later.
Make a clockwise circle with the ball end of the yarn, laying it over the top of the tail end.
From front to back, insert the crochet hook into the center of the loop. Grab the ball-end yarn with the hook and pull it through the center of the loop.
Tighten the loop around the hook by pulling both ends of the yarn.
The slip knot is finished, and you are now ready to begin crocheting.
Step 3: How to Yarn Over
The “yarn over,” abbreviated YO, is a basic crochet technique used to create all of the basic crochet stitches. For example, in the next step, you’ll use yarn-overs to make a starting chain and then single crochet stitches.
Here’s how to do it:
Working yarn is looped clockwise over the hook from back to front.
Wrap the yarn around the crochet hook with your left index finger, or pivot the hook under the yarn with your right. Either action achieves the same result.
After you’ve mastered the YO motion on its own, you can incorporate it into your basic crochet stitches. Let’s keep going.
Step 4: How to Make a Starting Chain
The following step is to create a starting chain. A starting chain is a series of crochet chain stitches that serves as the foundation for the remainder of the crochet project.
To begin a chain, do the following:
With your right hand, hold the hook, and your left hand, the yarn. If it isn’t already there, insert the hook into the slip knot.
Hold the slip knot end between your thumb and middle finger on your left hand.
Bring the working yarn from back to front over the hook (also known as “yarn over”).
Rotate the hook slightly to catch the yarn in the hook’s bowl (or mouth). Pull the hook through the hook’s loop. One chain stitch has been completed.
Yarn over the hook and pull up another loop to make another chain stitch. Rep this procedure, making as many chain stitches as your pattern requires. Make 11 chain stitches to correspond with my swatch.
Move your left-hand fingers up the chain as you work. Hold the chain two or three stitches away from the hook for the best control.
It may take some practice to maintain consistent tension from one chain stitch to the next – so keep practicing! You will eventually find your rhythm.
Remember not to count the loop on your hook or the slip knot as stitches when calculating how many chains you’ve made.
Step 5: Working Into the Chain
Let’s take a closer look at the chain stitches you just completed.
The chain’s front looks like a series of interlocking Vs. And, if you flip the chain over, you’ll notice that each stitch has a bump or back bar.
The first row of crochet stitches will be worked into this foundation chain. The first stitch of the row will be made into the second, third, or fourth chain from the hook, depending on the type of stitch. The pattern will tell you where to start your first stitch.
Insert the crochet hook from front to back into the chain stitch to work into the starting chain. The hook’s tip will go through the center of the V.
Some patterns will instruct you to turn the chain over and only make the first row of stitches into the back bar. Working into the back bar can help your project look cleaner.
The first row of crochet can be challenging, especially for newcomers. Working into chain stitches is difficult because it is difficult to know where to insert your hook and there isn’t much fabric for your other hand to hold.
Nonetheless, I hope you will persevere! It will be much easier to know where to insert your hook and hold the work steady after the first few rows of stitches.
Step 6: How to Single Crochet
Single crochet is a straightforward stitch that is ideal for your first project. It is one of the most fundamental and widely used crochet stitches. In crochet patterns, it is frequently abbreviated SC.
Let’s start our swatch with a row of single crochet stitches.
Begin with an 11-stitch chain. (You can reuse the starting chain from the previous section.)
Then, from the hook, insert the hook into the second chain.
Bring the yarn from back to front over the hook. Pull the yarn through the chain to create a loop. (The hook will now have two loops.)
Repeat the yarning process. Draw the yarn through the hook’s two loops. You should now have one loop on your hook and your first single crochet is finished.
Rep these steps, inserting one single crochet stitch into each of the remaining nine chain stitches for a total of ten single crochets. Take care not to twist the chain as you work.
Step 7: How to Make a Turning Chain
When you reach the end of a row, flip your work over, make one or more chain stitches (for the turning chain), and then start the next row of stitches.
Turn the Work Around
Simply rotate the piece 180 degrees clockwise to turn it. You will now be facing the opposite side of the work.
To avoid losing my place, I like to keep my hook in the stitch as I turn the work.
You’ll need to make one or more chain stitches after you turn the work. These chain stitches, known as the turning chain, raise the yarn to the proper height for the first stitch of the next row.
The number of chains in the turning chain is determined by the height of the stitch in the next row.
- One chain for single crochet
- Two chains = half-double crochet
- Three chains in double crochet
- four chains in triple crochet
Which is more important: The Chain-1 or the Turn?
Should you chain first or turn your work first? It makes no difference which step you take first!
The only thing that matters is that you choose one and stick with it throughout your piece. It’s also a good idea to rotate your work in the same direction every time – either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Step 8: How to Work Row 2
Return to our crochet swatch and add the second row of single crochet stitches. This row will be worked into the previous row of single crochet stitches rather than the beginning chain.
- Chain 1 and turn the work (The turning chain worked at the beginning of a single crochet row does not count as a stitch.)
- Insert the hook through the top two loops of the previous row’s last stitch.
- Yarn from the back to the front. Pull the yarn through the stitch to make a loop. The hook will have two loops.
- Re-yarn and pull through both loops on the hook. The hook will only have one loop left. The single crochet stitch is finished.
Cross the row from right to left. Rep these steps, one single crochet stitch in each of the remaining nine stitches. Count your stitches and double-check that you have the correct number.
You can now turn your work to make another row of stitches. Continue making rows of single crochet until you reach your desired length. Then, cut the yarn and secure it.
Step 9: How to Fasten Off
When you’ve finished the last row of your crochet swatch, fasten off the yarn so the stitches don’t unravel.
Remove the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.
Draw the yarn tail up through the loop on your hook with the hook.
Remove the crochet hook from the work and tighten the yarn tail.
You may want to weave in the yarn tails at this point to secure them.
Thread a blunt-tipped yarn needle with the yarn tail to weave in the ends. Then, weave the needle through the crochet fabric back and forth.
And there you have it! You have just finished your first crochet swatch.