crochet basics for beginners

Crochet Basics for Beginners

How to Crochet for Beginners

What is Crochet?

Crochet is a time-honored craft that creates items by looping yarn with a single hooked needle. This has been a popular handicraft for hundreds of years. People love creating objects that are useful, creative and beautiful. Even more so, people love gifting items that they have created for their loved ones.

Is it Difficult to Learn?

With any skill, it takes practice to truly master the art of crochet. However, it is completely possible to teach yourself how to crochet following tutorials and videos online. I did this myself over ten years ago. I never even knew what crochet was when I passed by the craft section at my local Walmart. A small pattern book of hats caught my attention, and I bought my supplies right then and there. That night I stayed up watching YouTube videos and practicing basic stitches.  Within a few days I had created my first scarf. This is completely possible for you to do as well! These guides are created to teach you how to crochet for beginners and we’ll be starting with the basic. With practice and time you will build upon these foundation blocks of crochet. 

Essential Crochet Supplies

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

  •  Crochet HooksThere are several different types of hooks. They come in a range of sizes and materials that they are made of. For a beginner I do suggest getting metal crochet hooks similar to the ones linked here in various sizes. 
  • Yarn – There is no shortage in yarn. It’s made in hundreds of colors and varies in width and colors. It is recommended for beginners to start with a medium weight yarn, so either DK or worsted weight would work best. 
  • Craft Scissors – While technically almost any type of scissors will cut yarn, I highly recommend getting a pair of craft scissors. These are sharper than regular scissors and will help when cutting yarn and other fabrics you may incorporate into your projects.
  • Stitch Markers – Let’s be fair, these are technically optional. You use stitch markers to keep place where you are in a pattern. When I first started I would use a spare string of yarn as a stitch marker. Now I use these lock shaped stitch markers and I wish I had started using them sooner!  

How to Hold Your Yarn and Hook 

Just like almost everything else in crochet, there is multiple ways to hold your yarn and hook. The best thing to do is try different ways and find what feels most comfortable for you. The two most common ways to hold your hook is called the knife hold and pencil hold. 

The way you hold your yarn is also important because this is what keeps your tension. Now tension was a really hard concept for me to understand when I first started crocheting, but basically it’s how tight or loose your loops are. Different projects call for different tension, some stitches need to be tight (like in stuffed animals) while in other projects they are meant to be loose (like in flowy garments). For the most part, it is important to keep your tension the same throughout your project. Here is a video showing you different ways to hold your yarn and crochet hook. 

I personally hold my yarn and hook like the picture below. I know a lot of people wrap their yarn either around either their index finger or pinky finger but this always felt incredibly uncomfortable for me. Keep trying different methods until you find what works best for you.

crochet basics for beginners How I hold my yarn

Side note: I remember when I first started crocheting it felt incredibly foreign to hold the yarn and hook, even using the method that I use now to hold them. At first this is normal, and it will feel awkward but with practice it will soon feel like second nature. Don’t give up! 

Creating a Slip Knot

Now that you have your basics, let’s learn how to start our crochet project. There is multiple ways to begin a pattern but the majority will begin with a Slip Knot. This gets your yarn on the hook and creates the foundation row for your project. There are multiple ways to create a slip knot. Below is a video showing a popular way of creating a slip knot. 

Make a Chain

Now that you have your slip knot made you can begin to create your chain. The chain stitch is one of the most important stitches to learn and master. In a crochet pattern the abbreviation for chain is “ch” and is usually followed by a number. So a pattern will look something like  ch 62, which means you will create 62 chain stitches. 

Here is a video showing you how to create a chain. 

Now that you know how to hold your hook and yarn, create a slip knot and make a chain, you are ready to learn your first proper stitch! Next we will be learning how to create a single crochet. This is one of the most used stitches in crochet patterns. 

You can learn how to single crochet at this link  here.

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