We get this question all the time: How do I learn how to crochet?
This extensive beginners guide will explain different parts of basic crochet knowledge including what a crochet hook is, common crochet abbreviations, simple crochet stitches and more so you will be able to start your first crochet project with confidence!
Ready to get started? All you need to do is add yarn and have fun!
First thing’s first: start now.
I promise you can do it! I was a beginner once before too. 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 begin their own crochet project!
What Is Crochet?
Well, crochet is the art of creating fabric by looping yarn with a crochet hook. Sounds simple right? Well, it is… I promise!
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 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 5.5mm metric size hook is also known as an I-9 size hook in the US.
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.
Many designers (including me), publishers, and companies will use these standard US abbreviations when referring to various crochet stitches and actions. It is very important to understand what these abbreviations mean because most patterns will only refer to stitches and actions in abbreviated form.
Beginner Crochet Techniques
The chain and single crochet stitches are two of the most basic techniques that every beginning crocheter needs to know before trying to tackle making a project from a pattern.
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.
- Make 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 chain stitch
- Repeat Steps two and three until you have the desired number of stitches for a pattern. One loop will remain on hook.
Turning Chains: A chain made at the start of a row with your hook to bring the yarn up to the height of the next row.
Single Crochet (SC):
- Insert 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.
Weaving in Yarn Ends
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 primer on how to weave those pesky ends in:
- Attach the cut yarn end 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 10cm), 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! Promise!
Expert Tip: Make sure the gauge is followed for a perfectly shaped piece.
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 do that here.
After you are familiar with the terms and resources above then you are ready to make your very own crochet project!