Let’s start with the real basics, Yarn and a Crochet Hook! The yarn that many of us crocheters started out with was Red Heart Supersaver yarn or some other brand very similar that is available at most big box stores as well as craft stores. Besides the beautiful array of colors you have to choose from, guide your attention to the size or the weight of the yarn. This is usually indicated on the sleeve around the yarn skein by a number. For example, it may show the number 4 which is usually called Worsted Weight or number 2 which is often called DK weight. The smaller the number, the thinner the yarn. I recommend you start with a medium weight such as the worsted or bulky #5 but no lower than a #4. The skill of crocheting takes a lot of hand and finger coordination and trying to handle a thin yarn can make it even more difficult. Now for the hook: the label on the yarn usually gives a suggestion for the hook size so as a beginner crocheter, it’s good to follow this guideline. Hooks are sized here in the U.S. by numbers and letters but sometimes a letter may be listed under two different numbers but again, since we are beginners, go by the size given on your yarn sleeve. Once again, the smaller the number, the thinner the hook.
So the first thing we will do is hold our yarn in one hand and the hook in our dominant hand. I am right handed so I will give instruction based on being right handed so if you are left handed, all is the same, just done in opposite hands. We first must place a SLIP KNOT on our hook. Make a loop about 6 inches from the tail of the yarn, then insert the yarn connected to your skein (your working yarn) to form a loop within a loop and slightly pull. Place this loop on your hook and tighten just enough to not slip off.
Pretty much all crochet projects begin with a foundational chain or chain stitch so let’s make some chains! So, now that you have the slip knot on your hook, wrap the yarn over your hook from back to front, then draw that working yarn through the slip knot. You’ve made your first chain!
Continue to yarn over (from back to front of hook) and pull it through the loop on the hook. Repeat this for as long as you desire your chain to be.
I suggest you practice this over and over, to get your chains to be nice and loose enough for your hook to go through for your following stitches. This means, you must RELAX and not tighten up. It’s natural to tighten up when you’re learning something new, I know!…. but make this a fun and relaxing venture – not a job! It won’t be perfect but practice to become relaxed with the process. Once you have this down and your chains are nice and pretty and big enough for your hook to go through later, you are ready to start making Single Crochet Stitches!
Let’s learn how to crochet now! Crochet is REALLY just a variation of different loops! So the single crochet stitch is like a building up of the chain stitch.
So we will be crocheting a flat surface, going down the chain, then turning around and going back in the opposite direction, all the while building our fabric upward! Now, to make a single crochet stith, you will
- Chain 1 to make a Turning Chain to build up to the level of a single crochet stitch. now,
- Turn your work, skipping the 1st chain,* insert your hook in the next chain (through the two loops at the top of that chain),
- *Yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over again, pull through the 2 loops that were already on the hook.** And, you’ve made a Single Crochet! Now, do this all the way down your chain by repeating from the * to **.
- To begin a new row, chain 1 , then turn your work, (insert hook in first sincle crochet (sc), yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over pull through 2 loops) and repeat!
…….. Now practice the single crochet stitch all the way to the end of your chain and continue to practice, making beautiful rows (adding a chain 1 at end of row before turning to start new row) and remember RELAX, loosen up ! If your rows start to look wonky, it means you started to tighten up your body and your hands. Just take those rows out and start over! NO BIG DEAL. We all started this way but persistance makes nearly perfection (nobody’s perfect!)
You can actually make a beautiful fabric with just this one stitch alone! But, we can’t end everything right here so, next time we will learn the Slip Stitch and the Double Crochet stitch. In the mean time, keep practicing and have fun!