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How to Crochet: A Beginner's Guide With Photos and Videos

Stacie enjoys writing about the things that interest her most: reading, writing, food, wine, and the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

Get started on your first project!

Get started on your first project!

Crocheting for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

My grandma taught me to crochet when I was five years old, and it is something I still love to do to this day. Once you start crocheting, you will find that it is a fun, fulfilling hobby. Follow these easy steps, and you will be crocheting beautiful pieces before you know it.

In this article, you'll learn:

  1. Supplies Needed
  2. How to Make a Chain
  3. How to Single Crochet
  4. How to Half Double Crochet
  5. How to Double Crochet
  6. How to Treble Crochet
  7. How to Finish Off
  8. Abbreviations and Common Terms
  9. Videos, Resources, and Next Steps

Supplies Needed

These are the two basic supplies every beginner needs. As you get more practice, you will find a use for rulers, longer hooks, and markers. Keep a pair of scissors handy too!

  • Crochet Hook: I suggest a size H/5.00 mm for beginners. It will be easier for you to use until you get the hang of crocheting. I prefer wooden hooks because they feel smoother, but aluminum hooks work great as well.
  • Yarn: Pick a brightly colored, worsted weight yarn. Worsted weight is the most commonly used yarn for crocheting. You want to choose a brightly colored yarn instead of a dark color because it will be easier to see your stitches.

How to Make a Chain

Every crochet project and pattern begins with a foundation chain. You will find that the stitches of a foundation chain look like a row of Vs.

  1. To make a foundation chain, you need to start by making a slip knot.
  2. Put your hook through the slip knot, holding the hook in your right hand and the yarn and slip knot in your left hand. Bring the yarn over the hook (you want the yarn to come towards you) from back to front.
  3. Pull the yarn through the slip knot with the hook. This will give you two stitches in your foundation chain.
  4. Repeat until you have a chain with 11 stitches. (Practice until you have a smooth, loose chain to work with.)

Note: When you make one chain stitch, it is often called "chain one." The abbreviation for chain is ch (and for multiple chains, it is chs).

How to Single Crochet

The single crochet stitch is the shortest stitch in height. It is also one of the most common stitches you will use in crocheting.

Row 1

  1. With the last chain still on your hook, insert the hook into the back ridge of the second chain from hook (the ridge is the piece of yarn under the V-shape).
  2. Bring the yarn over the hook, like you did while making the chain, and pull it through the ridge. You will now have two loops on your hook.
  3. Bring the yarn over the hook again, and pull it through the two loops. You have just completed one single crochet.
  4. Insert hook into the next ridge, and yarn over. Pull the yarn through the ridge.
  5. Yarn over again, then pull it through the two loops. You have made another single crochet.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 single crochets (count the Vs to make sure).

Note: The term "yarn over" refers to bringing the yarn over your crochet needle. In patterns, it is often abbreviated to YO. When you are making your first row, make sure you don't let your chain twist—keep it straight.

Row 2

  1. Before you turn your work to start row 2, you need to chain one. This chain is called a turning chain.
  2. Turn your work around, pulling the row you just completed towards you. The hook will now be at the beginning of the work again.
  3. Insert the hook under the two top loops of the single crochet closest to your hook. Yarn over, and draw the new loop through. You will now have two loops on your hook.
  4. Yarn over again, and draw it through the two loops on your hook. You have now made a single crochet on your second row.
  5. Continue across the row until you reach the end. Count the Vs to make sure you have 10 single crochets.
  6. Make a few more rows for practice, until you feel comfortable moving on.
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Read More From Feltmagnet

How to Half Double Crochet

The half double crochet is taller than the single crochet but shorter than the double crochet.

Row 1

  1. Chain 11 stitches (loosely). Yarn over and insert hook into third chain from hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 3 loops on your hook.
  2. Yarn over, and pull through all 3 loops on the hook. You have just completed one half double crochet.
  3. Yarn over and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have three loops on your hook.
  4. Yarn over, and pull through all three loops on hook. You have now made another half double crochet.
  5. Repeat steps three & four until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.

Row 2

  1. Before you turn your work, you need to make a turning chain. Chain 2 and turn your work (the 2 chains will count as the first half double crochet on row 2).
  2. Insert the hook under the two top loops of the half double crochet from the previous row, work a half double crochet.
  3. Half double crochet in each half double crochet across the row, until you reach the end of the row. You should have 10 stitches by the end.
  4. Again, practice by completing a few more rows, until you feel comfortable to move on.

Note: If you are following a pattern, read it carefully. The turning chain won’t always count as the first half double crochet. Always count your stitches to make sure you haven’t dropped or added a stitch.

How to Double Crochet

The double crochet is another popular stitch, and one of my favorites. It has one more step to it than the half double crochet, so take a while to practice it and get the hang of it.

Row 1

  1. Chain 12 stitches (loosely). Yarn over, and insert hook into fourth chain from the hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 3 loops on your hook.
  2. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook. There will be 2 loops remaining.
  3. Yarn over again, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on the hook. You have now completed your first double crochet.
  4. Yarn over and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have 3 loops on your hook.
  5. Yarn over, and pull through the first 2 loops on hook.
  6. Yarn over again, pulling it through the remaining 2 loops on hook. You have completed another double crochet.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.

Row 2

  1. Before turning your work, chain 3 as the turning chain. These three chains will count as the first double crochet in the new row.
  2. Turn your work. Double crochet into both top loops of the next double crochet from the previous row.
  3. Continue across the row. By the end, you should have 10 double crochets (counting the turning chain).
  4. Repeat the rows until you feel comfortable enough to move on.

How to Treble Crochet

The treble crochet is the tallest of these four stitches. It is also called triple crochet (you begin the stitch with 3 loops on the hook).

Row 1

  1. Chain 13 stitches (loosely). Yarn over twice, and insert hook into fifth chain from the hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 4 loops on your hook.
  2. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook. There will be 3 loops remaining.
  3. Yarn over again, and pull through the next 2 loops on the hook. There will be 2 loops remaining on the hook.
  4. Yarn over, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on the hook. You have now made your first treble crochet.
  5. Yarn over twice, and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have 4 loops on your hook.
  6. Yarn over, and pull through the first 2 loops on hook.
  7. Yarn over again, pulling it through the next 2 loops on hook.
  8. Yarn over, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on hook. You have completed another double crochet.
  9. Repeat steps 5 to 8 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.

Row 2

  1. Chain 4 (turning chain counts as first treble crochet), and turn your work.
  2. Treble crochet in the next treble crochet from previous row.
  3. Continue across to the end of the row. You should end up with 10 treble crochets.
  4. Complete a few more rows until you feel comfortable with this stitch.
Here are all the stitches together—you can see the difference in size.

Here are all the stitches together—you can see the difference in size.

How to Finish Off

To finish off your project, cut the yarn at the end of your last row. You will want to leave about four inches of yarn at the end.

Bring the loose end through the last loop on the hook. Tighten it. This creates a knot, keeping the ends from unraveling. Weave yarn end into stitches.

This is called "finish off," "fasten off," or "end off."

Abbreviations and Common Terms

Here are some abbreviations and definitions of common terms found in patterns:

CC = Contrasting Color

ch(s) = chain(s)

dc = double crochet

hdc = half double crochet

MC = Main Color

mm = millimeters

sc = single crochet

sp(s) = space(s)

st(s) = stitch(es)

tog = together

tr = treble crochet

YO = Yarn Over

* (star) = Work the instructions following the * as many more times as the instructions say, in addition to the first time you did it.

(dagger) = Work all instructions from first † to second † as many times as instructions say.

right side vs. wrong side = The right side is the side that will show when the piece is completed.

work across = Continue working the pattern as you already have been.

: (colon) = The number given after the colon at the end of row is the number of stitches you should have on that row.

() or [ ] (parentheses or brackets) = Work the instructions between parentheses or brackets as many times as specified by the number following or space indicated.

What's the Next Step in Crocheting?

Once you have mastered these stitches, you should try a simple project, like a scarf. Remember that these are just the basics of crocheting for beginners. There is still a lot to learn before you will be ready to crochet a sweater or afghan, but you are on your way!

Commenter Kat07 crocheted her first scarf by following the directions on this page. See her beautiful red scarf pictured below? She did a fabulous job. Share your success stories!

More Resources

  • Susan Richards: Beginner's Crochet
    This article by Susan Richards goes over the basics of crocheting, the different stitches, how to add and drop stitches, and tips for reading a pattern. The article includes clear photos of the various steps.
  • Crochet Pattern Central
    A free directory of patterns, instructions, and tips. This site allows users to post their own patterns, creating an ever-growing collection, as well as tips and tricks they’ve used themselves.
  • Charts and Abbreviations
    Clear, useful charts for crochet hooks and knitting needles, showing the equivalent sizes between US, UK, and metric measurements. This site also contains an easy-to-read list of crochet abbreviations.
  • Crochet Me
    "Crochet Me" is an online crochet magazine where you can find free patterns, chat in the forums with other crafters, and learn tips and tricks from other crocheters, like how to straighten unraveled yarn and how to wind yarn into balls.
  • Annie's Attic - Yarn FAQs
    A Frequently Asked Questions guide to yarn, including a handy yarn calculator to figure out how many skeins are needed for a project. Learn about yarn gauge, yarn plies, and how