Learning how to crochet is an awesome skill, providing endless hours of entertainment and relaxation. Handmade crochet projects also make fabulous gifts for your family and friends.
But learning how to crochet can seem a bit intimidating at first.
So, if you want to explore how to crochet but aren’t sure how to start, keep reading!
How to Crochet: Getting Started
Essential Crochet Tools
Part of the beauty of learning how to crochet is the simplicity of the project. All you really need to get started is some yarn and a crochet hook.
However, the size and specifics of these items will ultimately depend on the project and pattern of your choosing.
Yarn comes in a bunch of different sizes and densities, referred to as weights, and different patterns will recommend different weights.
For beginner projects, a medium-weight synthetic fiber yarn is the easiest to work with. Once you’ve chosen your yarn, you can also determine the crochet hook size you need.
Some extras you might want when learning how to crochet include:
Tips and Tricks
The first thing to remember about crocheting is the difference between the working and non-working ends of the yarn.
The working end is always the end attached to the skein of yarn. The non-working end of the yarn is the tail end.
When holding onto your project, you’ll want to hold the chain three or so stitches away from the hook to create the right amount of tension.
When counting the stitches in your chain, do not include the slip knot or the turning chain in your stitch count.
How to Crochet: A Step-by-Step Guide
First and foremost, you need to master your hand positions.
Typically, you’ll hold the hook in your dominant hand and yarn in the non-dominant hand.
With the hook in your dominant hand, you can hold it one of two ways: pencil grip or knife grip.
For a pencil grip, hold the crochet hook like a pencil between your forefinger and thumb, placing your fingers on the notch.
With a knife grip, you’ll want to hold the hook palm facing down between your first two fingers, wrapping the other three fingers around the hook for support.
Once you’ve found the hand position that feels the most comfortable for you, you’ll need to adjust the yarn accordingly.
Loop the yarn over the pinkie of your non-dominant hand, under the next two fingers, and then over the index finger.
This keeps tension in the yarn and prevents it from getting tangled.
Making a Slip Knot and Yarning Over
The next step in starting your first crochet project is to make a slip knot. Slip knots are the starting point of any crocheted work of art!
To begin, pull a length of yarn more than 6 inches from your skein.
Leaving a 6-inch tail, make a loop with the yarn and pull the working end of the yarn through the loop, making a second loop.
Pull the two ends of the yarn to tie off the loop, and voila! You have your first slip knot.
Now, you’re ready to start your chain.
After creating a slip knot, you’ll need to yarn over (abbreviated YO). Take the working end, loop it over the hook clockwise back to front, catch it on the hook, and pull the yarn through the loop to tighten it.
You’ve now yarn over-ed and created your first stitch! You can practice this motion as many times as you want until it feels natural.
How to Make a Chain
After mastering the yarn over and the slip knot, the next step in learning how to crochet is to make a starting chain.
Insert your crochet hook into the slip knot and yarn over. Catch the new loop with the hook and pull it through your slip knot.
Repeat this process with the new loop in your hook to create as many stitches in your chain as your pattern calls for.
Once you’ve created your starting chain, you’ll notice the V shape of the stitches.
The point of the V is where you’ll insert the crochet hook to build out more stitches.
Once you’ve passed your hook through the center of the V, yarn over and pull the loop through. You should now have two loops on your hook.
With both loops hooked, yarn over again and pull both loops through. Now, you’ll be left with just one loop.
Moving onto the V of the next stitch, repeat this process until you reach the end of the chain. This is called a single crochet stitch (abbreviated SC) and is an excellent beginner stitch pattern!
Turning the Work
When you reach the end of your chain, you’ll need to turn the work to begin the next row of stitches.
To do so, just turn the whole project 180 degrees so that the opposite end now faces you. To start the next row, you’ll need to create at least one chain stitch (abbreviated CH), called a turning chain.
When just starting out, you’ll likely be working with a single crochet stitch. If so, you’ll need to crochet just one chain stitch.
For a half double crochet, you’ll want two stitches; for a double crochet, you’ll want three, and so on.
Once you’ve turned the work and created your turning chain, insert the hook in the next stitch, yarn over, pull through, and continue on as usual.
Typically, you’ll work left to right across the row. When you reach the end, you’ll turn the work again and keep crocheting in this fashion until you complete your project!
Once you’ve finished your project, you’ll want to fasten it off so the yarn doesn’t unravel.
With the final loop still on your hook, cut the yarn from the working end, leaving a 6-inch tail. Use your hook, loop still on, to pull the tail through the remaining loop.
Now, you can remove the hook and pull the tail to tighten the end. If desired, you can take a yarn needle and weave any remaining tail through the existing stitches.
Once you’ve fasted off the tail, your first crochet project is complete!
How to Crochet: Final Thoughts
Now that we’ve gone over the basic steps, you’re ready to learn how to crochet!
With this skill under your belt, the crafting world is your oyster. Try out one of these crochet patterns and get to work!
Leah is a writer for That Sweet Tea Life and is passionate about learning and trying new things.
She has a master’s degree in English and loves to write about and share her colorful & crafty DIY experiences!
Leah can be reached at email@example.com