This article is geared towards the novice crochet. It contains beginner crochet instructions. I will cover the 'what' and 'how' of crochet. The first thing for a beginner crocheter needs to know is the what. Good news, these materials are fairly simple, and inexpensive. All you will need is a hook-ended needle, and some yarn. Any color will do, but for beginner crochet, I suggest a thicker yarn. A bigger gauge (size) needle is also a good idea to work with initially. One other thing you'll need for crocheting is a crochet pattern. Eventually, you can advance to level that you won't need a pattern for many items, but for now, it's indispensable. Start simple. Try a scarf or a potholder for your first crochet pattern, and work up from there.
Now let's talk a little bit about stitches. Crochet has approximately thirty eight thousand recorded stitches. Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little, but I bet I got an eyebrow raise out of you. There are, however, many, many stitches in the wonderful world of crochet. Most are far beyond the scope of this article. In beginner crochet, we will learn the basic stitches so that you can get started. I highly recommend that further along your crochet journey you pick up these vast and varied stitching techniques as they will enrich your experience and widen your capabilities. For now, we will focus on the five basics; the foundation stitch, the single crochet, the half-double crochet, the double crochet, and the triple crochet.
The foundation stitch is both the most often used stitch in crochet, and the most important. I say most often used because nearly every type of pattern requires the foundation stitch as a, well, foundation. It is also the most important because each time you want to start a new row, you will be using this stitch. So let us start our beginner crochet lessons with this stitch. Wait, just one thing. Crochet is rampant with terms and abbreviations that you should familiarize yourself with. Below I have provided a chart to make this part a little easier for our beginner crochet course. Read the chart a few times, and I'm sure you'll easily pick up on it.
Foundation stitch (a.k.a. chain stitch)
Begin by making a slipknot on your needle. A slipknot is a knot that is loosely tied to enable movement. Be sure to keep it loose. Hold the needle in your right hand (if you are right-handed, lefties should invert the instructions) and the thread in your left. With the open end of the hook facing you, hold the string behind the needle. Bring the thread around the needle so it is now hanging between you and the needle, and turn the open end of the hook down on the thread. Grab the thread with the hook, and pull through the slipknot. Wrapping the thread around the needle and grabbing it like this is called a yarn over. This is one stitch. Yarn over (yo), and pull through. Again, yo, and pull through. Do this many times until you are comfortable with the motion. Here's a helpful tip. Wind the thread around the fingers of your left hand, over your pointer, under your middle, over your ring, under your pinky (some people like it the opposite way, you have to try it out to see what's good for you). Hold the thread so it can run freely, but slightly taut so it doesn't run away from you. Some people find it useful to hold down the last stitch done by one of the fingers of the right hand, or to hold the thread in between the thumb and middle finger of the left hand. Again, all these are tips to make crocheting more comfortable for you. Try each of them out, and see how it feels to you.
Once you have stitched the amount of foundation stitches your pattern calls for, you can begin the actual pattern. Different patterns call for different stitches. We will start small, and get bigger.
Single crochet is very simple. Stick your needle into the second chain stitch (the needle is placed in the second stitch only for the first row. For the second and all following rows, stick it in the first stitch). Yo, and pull back through the chain stitch. You will now have two loops on your needle. Yo again, and pull through both these loops. This is one single crochet. (I told you it was simple, even for beginner crochet!) Repeat this procedure throughout the whole foundation chain, placing one single crochet stitch in each chain stitch, to complete an entire row of single crochet. Once you've reached the end of the row, you will have to turn to get the next row. Turning is done by chaining a certain number of chain stitches. The number will vary depending on the stitch you are using. Single crochet requires one chain stitch, and you will need to add one as we go up in the stitches (i.e. half-double gets two chain stitches etc.)
This is really no harder than the single crochet, so if you didn't find the last stitch difficult, you shouldn't have any trouble with this one either. Yo, and stick your needle into the third stitch (this is for the first row only. All subsequent rows should be done in the first stitch). Yo again, and pull through. You should now have three loops on your needle. Yo again, and pull through all three loops. This is one half-double crochet.
This is almost exactly the same as the half-double (hence the similarity in name), only one step more. Yo, and stick your needle into the fourth stitch. Yo, and pull through. Yo again, and pull through the first two loops on your needle. Yo once more, and pull through the last two loops. This is your double crochet. Note that for all subsequent rows, stick the needle into the second stitch instead of the fourth.
If you've come this far, I don't think triple crochet will give you a rough time at all. Yo twice, and stick your needle into the fifth stitch. Yo, and pull through. Yo again and pull through two of the loops on your needle. Repeat that step two more times. This is your triple crochet. Once again, for all additional rows, stick the needle into the second stitch, instead of the fifth.
Now that you've learned the basics, you are ready to enjoy many hours of crocheting. There are hundreds of patterns out there for the beginner crochet crowd (the bunny slopes of crocheting, if you will), though, you'll see, that you will quickly lose your novice status for a more exalted title (Queen of Crochet sounds nice, huh?) Practice, as always, makes perfect, so the more time you spend with these stitches the better you will get. I hope this beginner crochet tutorial has been helpful (or, if not, at least entertaining!) For any questions, or for further instruction, please visit our crochet homepage. Good luck, and may all your crocheting dreams come true!
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| September 24, 2017
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