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How to Work a Single Crochet Stitch for Beginners With Video

Updated on April 8, 2016
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The single crochet is not only the easiest stitch for beginners to master; it’s also the most essential! The single crochet is the foundation for the other stitches crocheters use. Once you master the single crochet stitch, making a double, or triple crochet is as easy as adding a yarn over.

The half double and the double crochet both add a single yarn over to the single crochet stitch.

The triple or treble crochet adds two yarn overs to the single crochet stitch.

Crochet Supplies

To learn the single crochet, you’ll need to grab some yarn and a crochet hook, and preferably one that is larger in size such as an I or J hook. This will make is easier to work the stitch, and will make you less likely to get your yarn tangled.

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Making a Slip Knot

The first step in working a single crochet step involves making a slip knot. This can be tricky the first time you do it, but it’s a very simple technique.

Hold the yarn like you’re going to make a regular knot, like the first knot you make when you tie your shoes, but don’t actually make the knot. You should have a long end of yarn that is attached to the skein, and a short end of yarn.

Insert the hook under the short strand of yarn, and pull down on both the long and short strands. This will create a movable knot, or “slip knot.”

Prep the yarn like you're going to make a regular knot.
Prep the yarn like you're going to make a regular knot. | Source
Insert the hook under the short strand.
Insert the hook under the short strand. | Source
Pull down on both the long and short strands at the same time.
Pull down on both the long and short strands at the same time. | Source
Pull the slip knot tight.
Pull the slip knot tight. | Source
Pull the slip knot tight so that it is asx close to the hook as it can get.
Pull the slip knot tight so that it is asx close to the hook as it can get. | Source

Creating the Chain Stitch

The second step in working the single crochet requires making the chain stitch. This is how you create the foundation giving you a place to actually put the single crochet stitches. This is why it’s typically called the foundation chain.

To create the chain, simply loop the yarn of the hook, use the hook to grab the yarn and pull it through the loop that is already on the hook. Do this about ten times. This will allow you to practice the stitch by creating a row of single crochet.

The Foundation Chain
The Foundation Chain | Source
Create a chain stitch by yarning over (pulling the yarn over the hook).
Create a chain stitch by yarning over (pulling the yarn over the hook). | Source
Use the hook to grab the yarn and pull it through the loop that is already on the hook.
Use the hook to grab the yarn and pull it through the loop that is already on the hook. | Source
Pull the yarn through creating the chain stitch.
Pull the yarn through creating the chain stitch. | Source

Working the Single Crochet

Now that the foundation chain is made, it’s time to work your first single crochet stitch. You’ll start by inserting the hook into the second chain stitch from the hook.

When crocheting a pattern, any row that starts with a single crochet, will inevitably start with a single chain stitch. This gives you room to make the single crochet, and acts as the very first single crochet of the row. This is why you make your first single crochet in the second chain from the hook.

After inserting the hook into the chain stitch, pull the yarn over the hook just like you did for the chain stitch. In patterns, this is called a “yarn over” and is typically abbreviated as YO.

Use the hook to grab the yarn and pull it through the chain stitch. Yarn over again, and pull the yarn through both loops that are already on the hook.

Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook.
Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook. | Source
Source
Yarn over and pull the yarn through the chain stitch.
Yarn over and pull the yarn through the chain stitch. | Source
Pull the yarn though the chain stitch.
Pull the yarn though the chain stitch. | Source
Pull up the loop.
Pull up the loop. | Source
Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops already on the hook.
Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops already on the hook. | Source
Pull the yarn through both loops already on the hook.
Pull the yarn through both loops already on the hook. | Source

You just made your first single crochet! Finish the row by working a single crochet stitch in each chain all the way across to the end of the row.

Once you get to the end of the row, make a single chain stitch and then turn the work so that all of the single crochet stitches you just made are on the left side of the chain.

Work a single crochet stitch in first single crochet, and in each single crochet of the row.

Create Your Own Cell Phone Cozy

You can continue to repeat this pattern for several rows to practice the stitch. If you repeat the rows until the piece measures about five inches in length, you can make a cell phone cozy!

All you have to do is repeat the process and create another piece that is also five inches in length and then sew the two pieces together.

Chain one, and insert the hook in the top of the first single crochet of the previous row.
Chain one, and insert the hook in the top of the first single crochet of the previous row. | Source
Source
Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook.
Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook. | Source

Working a Single Crochet Stitch Video

In the video below, I show you how to crochet several single crochet stitches in the foundation chain. I also show you how to chain one, and then turn the work and start another row of single crochet.

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Increasing and Decreasing

Increases and decreases often scare beginning crocheters because they not only make the pattern difficult to read when you’re first starting out, but they can also be confusing because you have to count the stitches.

Increases are easier than decreases I think. To increase, you work two or more stitches in one stitch of the row below. You can create simple patterns such as shells using increases. Many lace crochet patterns use increases to create the open and delicate look of lace. Increases are also commonly used when making the crown of a hat.

Crochet Abbreviations

Stitch
Abbreviation
Chain
ch
Single Crochet
sc
Half Double Crochet
hdc
Double Crochet
dc
Triple Crochet
tc
Slip Stitch
ss
Yarn Over
YO

Decreases are a bit more difficult. In a decrease, when you insert the hook to pull up a loop, you do it twice. You insert the hook in one stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, and then insert the hook in the next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. You end up with three loops on your hook instead of just two. Then you yarn over and pull the yarn through all three loops on the hook. This makes two stitches into a single stitch.

Decreases are typically used in patterns such as blankets, pull-overs, stuffed animals and shawls, or cover-ups. They are most commonly used in patterns that require you to make a circle of some kind.

How Did I Do?

Did this tutorial explain the single crochet stitch well enough for you?

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The single crochet stitch is a versatile one; it’s perfect for making tight, strong patterns like handbags and hats. It also makes a wonderful edging stitch.

Once you master the single crochet, learning the half double, double and treble crochet stitches will be a breeze!

Happy crocheting!

© Copyright 2013 - 2015 by Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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    • queerlyobscure profile image

      Cecil Wilde 4 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      This is a great explanation for beginners! Very clear and easy to follow.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great tutorial and always wanted to try crochet. Maybe someday when things are a bit quieter around here. But thank you so much for sharing and have voted and shared, too!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is brilliant. I'm bookmarking this so I can give it a go at the weekend. I'll let you know how things turn out. Thanks so much for posting this.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You did a terrific job here Made. Not only your directions but your beautiful pictures!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Had a go crocheting using this hub. I did 5 rows and for once it stayed looking like a square instead of a triangle. Hopefully soon I can crochet something. Thanks again for posting this.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Congrats on the HOTD! This is a perfect step by step on learning how to crochet. Well done. It reminds me of not doing this for ages now. Thanks for sharing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Congrats on HOTD. Honestly I have forgotten more about crocheting than I remember. I really want to get back into it.

      Great photos. Angels are on the way ps

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for such a useful hub on how to crochet a single chain. It will help beginners. Very good illustrations as well.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Great hub! And congrats on the HOTD!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Congratulations on HOTD, well deserved! I have attempted to crochet in the past and I really enjoyed it. You may have inspired me again. I thought your step by step tutorial was awesome. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

      I'm sold Daughter of Matt! Congrats too! I see why after reading this both inspirational and helpful article. The video offered great encouragement that these fumble and insensitive fingers may be useful. Does touch or sense have an impact with creating the loops or stitches? Injuries taking hot spark plugs out of cars leaves finger tips a bit lacking.

      I see a future soon around the corner. A Christmas gift and maybe a fall gift for fun too. I have an afghan blanket near twenty or more years made by my mom then and is the warmest blanket I own. I would like to make a shawl and a blanket this year. I am excited and hopefully in about a month will begin learning. Therapeutic too for seeking being a non-smoker this has been emphasized by many. So, I see great hope and frankly I have a grin from ear to ear now thinking of sitting on the front porch.

      Thank you so much for the ideas and presenting a very informative and easily understood article. I will let you know if I have any challenges with the hook and a decrease.

      tim

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Checking back. Apologies, just noticed it is Daughter or Maat . . . old man memory stuff failed again.

      :) tim

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Congrats on HOTD! Great hub, I might actually be able to learn how to crochet with all this helpful info! Great job and thanks for sharing!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I don't crochet, but you explain it so well. This is a beautiful hub! So worthy of HOTD! I love the photos with the words on them, plus the table, the video, the poll. You are very deserving of HOTD. Sharing this one!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Thelma Alberts Thank you! I know what you mean, after I wrote this hub I went on a crocheting binge for 2 weeks!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @pstraubie48 It's a fantastic hobby. I find it almost meditative. I really enjoy it when I'm having a stressful day.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @liesl5858 I'm so glad you found it useful!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @AudreyHowitt Thank you!!!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @rose-the planner Thank you!! It really is a wonderful hobby, I'm so glad I could inspire you to try again!! :D

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Great idea for a hub. Question: Do you think crocheting or knitting is easier? I want to start but I'd like to start off with the easiest to learn. Thanks.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @tsmog Thank you!! The sense of touch is beneficial, it allows you to crochet without constantly looking at your fingers. But I suspect while you're just starting out, you'll be watching your fingers intently anyway. I think after you get into a rhythm, you should be find, you'll have to figure out what it feels like to you.

      Crocheting is excellent for those trying to quite smoking. It helped me quite a bit! It keeps the hands busy, and I found that I didn't want to put down my work to go have a smoke. I wanted to finish the row, and then another row, then I'd tell myself, I'll do just one more row... and eventually I just never went out to smoke!

      I'll be writing a hub soon specifically on increases and decreases, so hopefully that will help. I'm also writing a hub about the double crochet. Let me know how it goes!! :D

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @tsmog no worries! it's rare that people actually spell my name right. I don't even really notice anymore. Feel free to use DOM if it's easier! :D

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Better Yourself Thank you!! I'm so glad this hub has inspired so many people!! :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Victoria Lynn Thank you so much!! These pictures were the result of getting a new camera, I was playing with the macro settings and thought what better way to test it. I have to admit, I'm very pleased with the images myself! As always, thanks for reading and sharing!! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Well, you did a great job with the camera. I'm always interested in researching cameras if ever I do upgrade. What kind do you have? The pics are incredible!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Crystal, sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Personally I think crocheting is easier, mainly because instead of two needles, you're only using one hook. While there are more stitches to learn, they are all variations of the same stitch, which makes it easier to learn them. Once you master the single crochet, the rest really are very easy. The hardest part of crochet, I think is learning to read and interpret the instructions in a pattern.

      I think I just gave myself an idea for another hub! :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Victoria, I did a ton of research, but I had a slight advantage. Since I was in ophthalmology, I knew a bit about lenses. Both Nikon and Canon make ophthalmic lenses, and in my personal opinion, Nikon has always had the clearer lenses, and they are also the least likely to scratch. So, I kept that in mind when I bought my camera and I ended up going with a Nikon D5100. The lens I use is actually the stock lens. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed photography enough before I went into the expense of a macro lens (which I REALLY want now).

      After I used the camera for a couple of weeks, I found I wasn't 100% satisfied with it's clarity. So I did some more research and compared the images of the Nikon D5100 with the Canon Rebel T3i (which was the other camera I was looking at) and I was shocked to find, that indeed the Nikon had MUCH clearer images than then Canon. I also have found, after three months of using the Nikon, that there really is a "sweet spot" where images are crystal clear. Once I found that, I've had absolutely gorgeous photos. The ones in this hub are some of the best shots I've taken with the camera. Although today, I did just get a photo of a dragonfly that was simply amazing. I'm very happy with my purchase! :)

    • OliviaCarter profile image

      Olivia Carter 3 years ago from United States

      Very good hub. Inspiring enough for me to start learning crochet. I have always wanted to learn it but postponed it due to some reason or the other. Now your hub has rekindled the interest and I am surely bookmarking this hub. Thanks a ton for the wonderful tutorial, very clear and easy to follow.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Olivia!! I'm so glad it rekindled that interest again. Crocheting is such an enjoyable hobby, and can be very relaxing! Let me know if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help! :)

    • DemiT profile image

      DemiT 3 years ago from Greece

      Wonderful hub, with insightful pics and videos!! I have been thinking about learning to crochet but did not where to look for the best step-by-step instructions!! Now, I have found the place :)

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