Stitch n Save: Crochet Guide

Crochet Instructions

Crocheting is a beautiful style of needlework that can be easily learned with the proper set of crochet instructions. Below, I've gone through the basic steps for those just starting out, and a few for the more weathered crocheters. Read carefully, and practice each step a few times before moving on to the next one. This will ensure that you have a good grasp of what you're doing. Remember, the more you practice, the better you'll get. Enjoy!

Starting your crochet:

All patterns of crochet start the same, a foundation chain (also known as the chain stitch), and that's where we will start with these crochet instructions.

  1. Make a slipknot on your needle, not too tight.

  2. Using the left hand (needle in the right with the hook facing you) keeping the thread tight, wrap the long end of the thread behind the hook.

  3. Bring the thread around to the front.

  4. Now, turn the hook face down, grab the thread with your hook, and pull the thread through the original loop of the slip-knot (this is why the knot shouldn't be too tight, there has to be room for the hook and thread to pass through.)

  5. Continue this procedure to create a chain of loops the length of the desired piece of work.

Try this stitch several times before you actually choose a pattern just to get the hang of it. This is an easy stitch, and should go smoothly after your first few tries. Don't judge your skill level before you've stitched at least ten or twenty stitches. If it's still difficult to do this stitch after twenty or so stitches, you may want to read the instructions again just to ensure that they were understood properly.

Now that you have your foundation chain, you can learn the stitches. Let's start with the easiest one, called single crochet.
Here's how to do this single stitch.

  1. Stick your needle into the second stitch in your foundation chain.

  2. Yarn over (or YO, is a common term in crocheting which simply means wrap the thread around the hook, just like you've done for all your stitches).

  3. Pull this thread through the chain stitch. There should be two loops on your hook now.

  4. YO again, and pull through both loops. Congratulations, you've just completed your first single stitch!

Repeat the procedure through the whole first row.

The next step you will want to learn is know as the turning stitch. When you've completed your first row of actual stitching (i.e. not your foundation chain), you're going to want to begin the next row. To do so, you will need to stitch a turning stitch (or turning chain). How many of these stitches are needed will differ according to which stitch the pattern calls for. We'll start with single crochet. Complete the entire row of single crochet stitches. Now you're ready to make your turning chain. Many people have a difficult time with this one, so don't get frustrated if it doesn't come to you immediately. It may take several tries before you're happy with the stitch.

Turning Chain:

  1. (To recap, you're at the end of your row) Stitch one chain stitch.

  2. Skip the first single stitch of the last row (not the one on the needle, but the actual stitch in the row), and stick your needle into the second stitch of the row.

  3. Single stitch into this second stitch. And that's it. It sounds easy, and it will be, too, once you've tried it a few times.

The stitch into which you stick your needle will vary depending on the stitch you're using. For single crochet, you will insert the needle into the second chain from the hook, and add one for each ascending stitch (i.e. half-double in the third, double in the fourth, and triple in the fifth). (*Note: This only applies to the initial row of stitches. For all consecutive rows, single and half-double go in the first stitch, and double and triple go in the second.) The number of turning stitches you do will also increase as the stitch gets larger. One chain stitch is made for the single crochet, two for the half-double, and so on.

The following set of instructions is for those with a little more experience. Beginners of the art should probably use the single crochet until it's completely mastered before attempting the more complicated stitches. I will now explain how to make various stitches. These are all built upon a foundation chain, so step one is after you've completed your foundation chain.

Half-Double crochet:

  1. YO, and then insert your needle into the third stitch from the hook
  2. YO again, and pull this through the chain. You should now have three loops on your hook.

  3. YO again, and pull this through all three loops (this will create a new loop that will be left on the needle).

This is the half-double crochet stitch. Again, for the second and all following rows, insert the needle into the first stitch and proceed as instructed.

If you can do the half-double, double is no problem at all. It's no harder, and only makes your life easier because you're getting more stitches for each original foundation stitch (therefore projects will be finished faster).

Double Crochet:

  1. (This stitch starts the same way as the half-double, except insert the hook into the fourth stitch.) YO, insert the hook into the fourth stitch from the needle.

  2. Pull through the chain (you should have three loops on the hook).

  3. YO again, and pull through the first two loops on your needle (you should now have two loops on your hook).

  4. YO one more time, and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook.

This is the double crochet stitch. Don't forget, for all consecutive rows insert the needle into the second stitch.

Triple crochet may seem much harder, but is really only one step more complicated.

  1. YO twice, and insert your hook into the fifth stitch.

  2. YO, and pull through the chain, leaving four loops on your needle.

  3. YO, and pull through the first two loops on your needle.

  4. YO again, and pull it through the next two.

  5. YO one last time, and pull through the final two loops on the needle.

You have completed one triple crochet stitch. As with all the others, though daunting at first, this stitch is far from impossible. After a few practice tries, you will see how naturally it will come to you.

These are the basic stitches used in almost all crochet instructions. Once you've mastered them, a nice challenge is mixing the different stitches within the same pattern. There are numerous combinations to be tried, and the results are simply gorgeous. Whether sticking to the classics, or inventing patterns of your own, you can now enjoy this peaceful and beautiful art on your own.

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RSS | August 24, 2019

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