The most basic crochet skill you need to master is the chain. The chain is the foundation of most crochet projects, as you start with a row of chains and then work your stitches into them. Usually the pattern you are working on will tell you how many chains you need. Here we’ll talk you through the basic steps.
First, tie a knot. Make a slip knot, leaving a 10cm tail of yarn.
Yarn over. Wrap the yarn over your crochet hook.
Pull through. Catch the yarn with your hook, and pull it through the existing loop.
The slip stitch
The slip stitch has lots of different functions, from travelling along a row to joining rounds when you’re crocheting in the round (think warm hats, socks and funky bags).
Insert hook. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
Yarn over. Wrap the yarn over the hook, then pull through the stitch. You should have two loops on your hook.
Pull through loop. Pull your hook through the first loop. That’s it!
The double crochet stitch
Mastered the chain and the slip? You’re ready to learn the double crochet stitch (dc), known in the US as a single crochet stitch. The double crochet is the grandfather of crochet stitches, producing tightly woven, dense fabric that can be used to make anything from simple scarves and cowls to home accessories and jumpers.
Insert hook. Insert your crochet hook into the next stitch.
Yarn over, and pull through. Wrap the yarn over the hook, and pull through. You should have two loops on your hook.
Yarn over again, and complete. Yarn over again, then pull through both loops on the hook.
Crochet stitch abbreviations
You’ve got your crochet hook and yarn and you’ve practised the basic crochet stitches – you’re ready to start a whole project.
If you’ve never seen a pattern before, don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through. Although, on first glance the directions in a pattern might look cryptic with so many letters and numbers, once you know what the abbreviations stand for you’ll be on your way.
Here are some of the most common crochet abbreviations and terms you might encounter in your crochet pattern:
Ch – chain
Ss – slip stitch
Dc – double crochet
Tr – treble crochet
Htr – half treble
Dtr – double treble
Trtr – triple treble
It’s also important to remember that American and British crochet terminology are different, so it’s always important to check which one the designer is using.
See our series: Crochet techniques for beginners