We here at Easy Crochet get this question all the time: How do I learn how to crochet?
This extensive crochet beginners guide will explain different parts of basic crochet knowledge including what a crochet hook is, common crochet abbreviations, simple crochet stitches and even how to spell crochet. You may see from time to time crochet spelled croshay. But the correct way to spell it is “crochet”. If you do come across a crochet pattern with it spelled the other way, rest assured they are talking about the same crochet as I am going to teach you about here.
Ready to get started? Keep on reading to learn to crochet, know all their easy about crochet basics and be ready to start your first crochet project with confidence with these step by step crochet for beginner instructions.
How to Crochet
First thing’s first: start crocheting now.
I promise you can do it! I was a beginner once before, too. Not only that, but I’ve written this ‘how to’ guide in an easy-to-understand way that will help all beginners to learn the basic crochet knowledge needed to start a crochet project!
This guide is an easy way and the best way to learn all you need to know about crocheting by studying about:
- Crochet Hooks
- Crochet Stitches
- Crochet Abbreviations
- Weaving in Yarn Ends
- Gauge in Crochet
- Joining Yarn / Changing Colors in Crochet
- How to Keep Track of Rows and Stitches
What Is Crochet?
Crochet is the art of creating fabric by looping yarn with a crochet hook. Sounds simple right? Well, it is… I promise!
What Materials Do I Need to Crochet?
You’ll need just two crochet supplies as a beginner to get started.
- Yarn: Yarn comes in many weights (how thick it is) and yardages. Certain projects use specific weights of yarn, but others – like blankets – can use just about any size. You can buy yarn online or in-store, but I always prefer to buy it online. Online, you have a much wider selection and can choose from just about any brand there is.
- Crochet Hook: Crochet hooks come in many sizes. The most common, however, is anywhere between a 3 mm and 15 mm size. There are sizes smaller and larger than those, but are only used for very specific use cases. Crochet hooks generally used with specific yarn weights as well. For example, medium #4 weight yarn should be used with either a 5.5 mm or 6.5 mm hook.
With all the different types of yarns and hooks, the selections can be a bit overwhelming. However, luckily for you, just about every crochet pattern gives you the specifics of what you’ll need. The pattern will tell you the exact yarn weight, the exact type of yarn, and the preferred hook size. Then, with the right yarn and hook, you’ll be on track to start making your first scarf, hat, blanket, or something else.
What Is a Crochet Hook?
A crochet hook is a handheld tool used to form crochet stitches. The different parts of a crochet hook are listed in this image and include the point, throat, grip, shaft and handle.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the hook so when you pick up a hook for the first time, you will understand it and its parts before starting your first pattern.
There are over thirty different sizes of crochet hooks, and crochet patterns will usually specify a hook size. Crochet hooks are identified by either their US or Metric names. For example, a 5.5 mm metric size hook is also known as an I-9 size hook in the US.
- 2.25 mm (B-1)
- 2.75 mm (C-2)
- 3.5 mm (E-4)
- 3.25 mm (D-3)
- 3.75 mm (F-5)
- 4 mm (G-6)
- 4.5 mm (7)
- 5 mm (H-8)
- 5.5 mm (I-9)
- 6 mm (J-10)
- 6.5 mm (K-10.5)
- 7 mm
- 8 mm (L-11)
- 9 mm (M/N-13)
- 10 mm (N/P-15)
- 15 mm (P/Q)
- 16 mm (Q)
- 40 mm
The post linked up above will explain crochet hooks in detail and help you find the best one for your style of crocheting.
How Do I Hold a Crochet Hook?
The two most common ways to hold a crochet hook are a pencil grip and the knife hold method.
- Pencil Grip: Use your thumb and index finger to pinch or hold the grip of the hook (see illustration above) like you would a pencil.
- Knife Hold: As the name implies, you will hold the hook like you would a knife, placing your thumb on the thumb rest or grip.
There are different ways to hold the hook, but the most important thing is to choose one that works best for you. The rule of thumb is to hold your crochet hook with your dominant hand and the working yarn with the non-dominant hand. You can find videos on YouTube that will help go through this process step by step.
Yarn in Crochet
Yarns are available in many fibers, lengths and weights. Yarn thickness is used to determine the weight of the yarn, which can be categorized into weights of 0 – 7.
The weight of the yarn will determine what size crochet hook you will use, too! To make it easy, most yarn companies include all this information on the yarn label of each skein of yarn. So if you are ever unsure what weight of yarn you have or what hook you need to use, just check the label.
Yarn comes in a variety of different weights, and the higher the number, the thicker the yarn.
- Weight 1 – Super Fine
- Weight 2 – Fine
- Weight 3 – Light
- Weight 4 – Medium
- Weight 5 – Bulky
- Weight 6 – Super Bulky
- Weight 7 – Jumbo
Learn all about the different types of yarn in my more detailed post, so you can find out which one is your favorite!
My personal favorite yarns to crochet with is a medium weight four yarns (aka worsted weight yarn) such as Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand or Brava Worsted by We Crochet, both of which are 100% acrylic yarn, inexpensive and work perfectly to crochet blankets with! Take a peek at Vanna’s Choice below!
How to Read a Crochet Pattern
One of the first things you need to do once you get all the tools of the trade, is to understand how crochet patterns are written, and how you need to read them. Most crochet patterns feature an extensive use of abbreviations, and all have a common outline.
Beginner Crochet Stitches & Techniques
The chain and single crochet stitches are two of the most common and basic stitches that every beginning crocheter needs to know before trying to tackle making a project from a crochet pattern.
Below, You’ll learn how to start crochet projects by studying beginner crochet stitches. I’ll also explain basic techniques of the slip stitch, half double crochet and the double crochet stitch too! Once you learn all about the different stitches below, you will be well on your way to crocheting!
Beginner Basic Crochet Stitches
Learn more about each beginner-friendly simple crochet stitch below.
#1. Chain Stitch (ch)
A simple crochet stitch that often forms the foundation of what crochet stitches are worked into during projects. View our video tutorial on chain stitches. You will hear this first row sometimes called the foundation chain. There is a front loop and back loop of every chain (or stitch) that resembles a V.
The number of chains across in a crochet pattern can determine the length or the width of a crochet project.
- To make your first stitch, start by making a slip knot.
- Insert hook into slip knot point first, bring yarn over the shaft of the hook from back to front and grab it with the throat of the hook.
- Draw hooked yarn through slip knot and onto the hook. This movement will make one ch stitch.
- Repeat steps two and three for the next stitches until you have the desired number of stitches for a pattern. One loop will remain on hook.
Turning Chains: A turning chain is the chain made at the start of a row (or end of the row) depending on which way you look at it with your hook to bring the yarn up to the height of the next row.
#2. Single Crochet Stitch (sc)
Single crochet stitches are one of the first beginner crochet projects you make! This first project usually consists of rows and rows of single crochet stitches to make a scarf, washcloth or even a blanket if you are feeling adventurous.
- Insert the crochet hook from front to back in the center of the second chain from the hook.
- Bring the yarn over (yo) the hook and pull the yarn back through the chain from back to front (2 loops on hook).
- Yo and pull through both loops on the hook.
- Learn more about the single crochet stitch and how to start making single crochet rows for your next project.
#3. Slip Stitch (sl st)
- Insert hook into the designated stitch
- YO (yarn over) and pull back through the st and through the loop on the hook.
#4. Half Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)
HDC stitches are a favorite stitch of many since it has some height but is also quick to work up.
- Yo (yarn over) insert the hook from front to back of the designated stitch
- Yo the hook and pick up a loop.
- Yo the hook and pull back through all three loops on the hook.
#5 .Double Crochet Stitch (dc)
Double Crochet stitches are fun to learn because it’s the next step up from a half double crochet, and you’ll realize how much quicker it is to finish crochet projects when using this stitch.
- Wrap the yarn over (YO) the hook, insert the hook into the specified st.
- YO the hook again, draw the yarn through the st, so there are 3 loops on the hook
- YO the hook again draw it through 2 loops, so there are 2 loops on the hook
- YO the hook, draw it through the final 2 loops.
#6. Triple Crochet Stitch (tr)
The Triple Crochet stitch or Treble Crochet Stitch, one of the tallest crochet stitches you can create. This is usually the next stitch you’ll want to learn after the DC stitch.
- Make a chain of a desired length of any #
- Yarn over (YO) twice, inert hook in the designated the next stitch (the fifth chain from the hook for the first TR of a project)
- YO, draw through the stitch (four loops on the hook)
- YO, draw yarn through two loops on the hook. (three loops on the hook)
- YO, draw yarn through two loops on the hook (two loops on hook)
- YO, draw yarn through two loops on the hook
You made a Triple Crochet Stitch! Now, to continue: YO twice, and repeat steps 2-6 in next chain or stitch
More Beginner Crochet Techniques + Skills to Know
Crochet Abbreviations in Patterns
Crochet abbreviations are a way to shorten a crochet stitch’s name or certain crochet actions inside crochet patterns. There are even punctuation combinations that are short for repeatable actions.
For example, single crochet abbreviated will be written as sc.
Many crochet designers (including me on my crochet blog), publishers, and companies will use these standard US abbreviations when referring to various crochet stitches and actions.
It is essential to understand what these abbreviations mean because most crochet patterns will only refer to stitches and actions in abbreviated form. You can take a look above at the crochet stitch section to see the abbreviations I used or click the link above too to learn all about crochet stitch abbreviations.
Weaving in Yarn Ends in Crochet
Weaving in yarn ends is a method used to secure & hide yarn tails (the snipped off ends) by stitching them back in and through a crochet project.
Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to weave those pesky ends in below.
How to Weave in Ends in Crochet
- Attach the cut yarn end (or the working yarn) to the yarn needle and weave horizontally across your work.
- Change directions multiple times, and then weave yarn vertically in the opposite direction as many times as you can before cutting off the yarn with scissors close to the project.
The Importance of Gauge in Crochet
Gauge is a measure of how many stitches and rows fit a length of a crocheted piece. This crocheted piece is usually 4 inches (or about 10 cm), and it is used to indicate the size of each stitch.
If I can recommend nothing else, please remember that getting your gauge right is extremely important!
If you get more stitches than the pattern’s gauge, that means your crochet is too tight, If you get fewer stitches than the pattern, your crochet is too loose. It’s simple… I promise!
Expert Tip: Make sure the gauge is followed for a perfectly shaped project.
Joining Yarn in Crochet
Joining yarn is the method of entering a new ball or skein of yarn when you’ve crocheted to the end of your current thread.
You can see our tutorial on how to change colors in crochet, which will help you when you want to not only change colors, or you run out of yarn in a project.
How to Keep Track of Stitches in Crochet
The best way to keep track of crochet stitches and rows in crochet projects is by using a stitch marker or sm abbreviated. A stitch marker is a small tool that is used in crochet and knitting to help keep the place of a stitch while working up a design.
Stitch markers can be made of metal, plastic or even left over yarn. Anything that can be used to mark the place of a stitch can be considered a stitch marker.
How to Crochet for Beginners Step-by-Step Tutorial
The beginner tutorial below will teach you how to make a single crochet row.
Use this single crochet tutorial for a step-by-step photo and video tutorial of this beginner-friendly stitch.
- Chose your yarn
- Chose the hook that corresponds to the yarn
- Hold the hook in your dominant hand (left hand or right hand)
- Make a slip-knot
- Chain 9
- In the second chain(stitch) from the hook, single crochet
- Single crochet into each chain across
- At the end of the row, chain 1 and turn your work (flip over)
- Chain 1 and repeat steps 6-8 to complete another row
After you are familiar with the terms and resources above, then you are ready to make your very own crochet project and apply the new skills you learned like granny squares, simple blankets and more!
Check out or extensive archive with over 400 free crochet patterns, many of which are the easiest skill level. These free patterns and free crochet projects are broken up by yarn weight, yarn type, brand, skill level and more!
Crochet Beginner Guides + A Free Easy Crochet Pattern
- How To Read Crochet Patterns
- How to Crochet a Sweater
- Crochet Mitten & Glove Sizing Chart
- Crochet Hat Size Chart
- Crochet Scarf Size Chart
- The Best Ergonomic Crochet Hooks & Hook Sets
Even More Beginner Crochet Tutorials
- How to Crochet the Shell Stitch (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- How to Crochet the Waffle Stitch
- How to Corner-to-Corner Crochet (C2C) for Beginners
- How to Crochet Back Loop Single Crochet
- How to Half Double Crochet Two Stitches Together or Half Double Crochet Decrease
- Must Try Textured Crochet Stitches
- How to Make a Slip Knot in Crochet
- How to Triple Crochet (tr)
- Bobble Stitch Crochet Pattern
More Crochet Stitches to Learn
- 28 Amazing Crochet Stitches to Learn
- Bobble Stitch Crochet Pattern
- Bullion or Row Stitch Crochet Tutorial
- Crochet Griddle Stitch Tutorial
- Crochet Loop Stitch Tutorial
- Crochet Mesh Stitch Pattern
- Crochet Popcorn Stitch Pattern
- Crochet Ridge Stitch Tutorial
- Double Crochet Cluster Stitch Tutorial
- Double Crochet Front & Back Post Stitches