Crochet 101 Series: Basic Techniques & Crochet Stitches

Use this simple tutorial to learn how to crochet the 5 basic crochet stitches. Includes instructional videos and pictures.
crochet techniques

So far we’ve covered the benefits of learning how to crochet and the essential crochet supplies

In today’s lesson, we are going to go over all of the basic crochet stitches and techniques. 

I hope you’ve got your yarn and crochet hook ready!

Without further ado let’s jump into the tutorial!

How to Crochet

As with any new hobby, it’s important to get the basics down before you move on to the more complicated techniques.

Before I show you how to crochet the different stitches I’ll go over some basic crochet techniques and terminology. 

Basic Techniques & Terminology

Slip Knot

slip knot
Slip Knot

Before you can start creating a chain of stitches you must first create a slip knot. 

The slip knot attaches the yarn to your hook. 

How to Create a Slip Knot

1. Pull out 6 to 8 inches of yarn.

2. Wrap the yarn around your pointer and middle finger once. 

The string should cross your fingers forming an X.

2.Using your finger or hook pull the top yarn underneath the bottom yarn. This will form a loop. 

3. If you haven’t already, insert your hook into the loop. Pull the tails to tighten the loop on the hook.

Yarn Over (yo)

yarn over
Yarn Over

Like the slip knot yarning over is a foundational crochet technique and is the next step in forming your first chain of stitches. 

Once you’ve created a slip knot, you will yarn over and pull the lead yarn( yarn attached to the ball) through the loop on your hook. 

How to Yarn Over 

1. Attach the yarn to your hook with a slip knot. 

2. Wrap the lead yarn from back to front over your hook.

3. Slowly rotate the hook downward as you pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. 

4. Repeat.

This motion is repeated over and over again and will become second nature with practice. 

Tension

examples of uneven tension
Example of uneven tension in a chain of stitches

Having the right amount of tension on the lead yarn will ensure your stitches are not too tight or too loose. 

If you crochet too tightly you won’t be able to get your hook underneath the stitches and it may also cause your work to pucker.  

If you crochet too loosely your stitches will be too large and will cause your finished work to look sloppy.

Practice keeping an even tension on the lead thread as you crochet.

Foundation chain (ch)

foundation chain
Foundation chain/Chain Stitch

The foundation chain can also be referred to as the starting or base chain. 

It is the first group of stitches created in a pattern.

Every crochet pattern will tell you how many stitches you need for the starting chain. 

Ex: Ch. 62 (foundation chain is 62 stitches)

Creating a chain of stitches is the best way to practice maintaining the appropriate tension.

How to Crochet a Foundation Chain

 To create a foundation chain or single chain of stitches, you must be able to create a slip knot and know how to yarn over. 

1.Create a slip knot and attach your hook.

2.Yarn over.

3. Repeat until your chain is the desired length. 

*Practice Tip- Play with the tension of your lead yarn to see how it affects your stitches. 

Slip Knot & Foundation Chain Video Tutorial

Turning Chain (tch or t-ch)

turning chain
Turning chain

The turning chain is the number of stitches you need to crochet to start a new row.  

The number of stitches in the turning chain is based on the height of the stitch being used. 

For example, if you are using a double crochet stitch the turning chain would have 3 stitches.  

This keeps the height of each row uniform. 

Now, that we’ve gone over some basic terminology and techniques let’s move on to the crochet stitches. 

How to Crochet the 5 Basic Crochet Stitches

5 basic crochet stitches
4 of 5 Basic Stitches

These 5 stitches are the foundational crochet stitches: slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet.

You’ll need to master them before moving on to the more advanced stitches.

Each stitch in this tutorial will have a short video and written instructions. 

The slip, single and half double crochet stitches are the shortest of the five stitches.

They also create a tight weave which makes them perfect for winter hats, scarves, face scrubs, etc.

Slip Stitch (sl st)

The slip stitch is unique in that it can be classified as a stitch and a technique. 

Unlike the other stitches, the slip stitch has many uses.

It can be used to:

1. Join parts of a pattern together.

2.Decoration.

3. Decrease stitches. 

4. Its own stitch.  

It is the shortest and easiest of all the stitches.

How to Slip Stitch 

1. Chain the desired number of chains.

2. Insert the hook into the 2nd chain from the hook.

3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the chain and the loop on the hook. 

4. Repeat steps 2-3 across the starting chain, then chain 1. Row 1 complete.

To create more rows you would repeat steps 2-4.

Some patterns use the slip stitch as the primary stitch, but most patterns don’t.

Special Note#1: After you make your first row, you will insert the hook under the top two loops of the next stitch. 

If you would like to try a slip stitch pattern try one of these: (insert links to slip stitch patterns.)

Single Crochet (sc)

single crochet example
Sc swatch

Once you’ve masted the slip stitch learning how to single crochet is easy.  

Many of the more advanced stitches use a combination of the single crochet and another stitch to create interesting patterns and textures.

How to Single Crochet

1.Chain the desired number of stitches.

2. Insert the hook into the center of 2nd chain from the hook. (The chain on the hook does not count as a chain.)

3.Yarn over and pull the yarn through the chain. (2 loops on the hook.)

4. over and pull the yarn through both loops.  

5.Repeat steps 1-4 across the starting chain. 

6. When you get to the end of the row, turn your work, chain 1 (turning chain). 

7.You have just completed your first row of single crochet stitches. 

To make more rows repeat steps 2-6 across the first row. 

Single Crochet Video Tutorial

 Half Double Crochet (hdc)

half double crochet example
hdc swatch

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

How to Half Double Crochet

1.Chain the desired number of stitches.

2.Yarn over, then insert the hook into the 3rd chain from the hook.

 3.Yarn over and pull through the chain. ( 3 loops on the hook.)

4.Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops. 

5.Repeat steps 3-4, across the starting chain. 

6. When you get to the end of the row, turn your work, chain 2. Row 1 complete. 

To add more rows repeat steps 2-6 across the previous row of half double crochet stitches.

 Special Note #2: When creating addition rows for the hdc, dc, and tr stitches remember the following:

  • Skip the first stitch in the previous row under the turning chain.
  • Your last stitch will be placed in the top of the turning chain of the previous row. 
how to create second row

Half Double Crochet Video Tutorial

If you want to quickly add height to your project, the double and treble crochet stitches are the way to go. 

However, these stitches are best for projects that you want to have a loose, light feel to them. 

 Light blankets, scarves, and shawls would work up well with these stitches. 

Double Crochet (dc)

double crochet example
dc swatch

The double crochet stitch is by far one of my favorite stitches. 

Why? Because I’m impatient and like to finish my crochet projects quickly. 

Since it’s taller than the previous stitches, you can add more height to your project faster. 

How to Double Crochet 

1.Chain the desired number of stitches.

2.Yarn over and insert the hook through the 4th chain from the hook. 

3. Yarn over and pull yarn through the chain (You should have 3 loops on the hook.)

4. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook. (2 loops on the hook.)

5.Yarn over and pull through the remaining loops. 

6.Repeat steps 2-5 across the rest of the starting chain.  

7.When you get to the end of the row chain 3. Row 1 complete.

To add more rows repeat steps 2-7 in the previous row. 

Double Crochet Video Tutorial

Treble (Triple ) Crochet (tr)

treble/triple crochet example

The treble or triple crochet is the tallest of the basic stitches.

Like the double crochet, the treble crochet stitch is great for open projects and works up quickly. 

How to Crochet the Treble (Triple) Crochet

1.Chain the desired number of stitches. 

2.Yarn over twice and insert hook through the 5th chain from the hook. 

3.Yarn over and pull yarn through the chain (4 loops on the hook.)

4.Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops. (3 loops on the hook.)

5.Yarn over and pull through the next 2 loops. (2 loops on the hook.)

6.Yarn over and pull through the remaining loops. 

7.Repeat steps 2-6 across the starting chain.

8. When you get to the end of the row, turn your work, chain 4. Row 1 complete.

To add more rows to your work repeat steps 2-8 in the previous row.

How to Practice

As the saying goes,”Practice makes perfect.”

The best way to practice the stitches we’ve covered today is by creating a swatch.

A typical swatch is usually 4 x 4 in (10 x 10 cm) and are simple to make.

How to Create a Swatch

1.Create a foundation chain that is 4 inches (10 cm) in length.

2. Crochet enough rows, using your chosen stitch, until your work is 4 inches (10 cm) tall.

You’ve created your first swatch.

This is an important technique to learn especially if you plan to crochet garments or create your own crochet patterns.

Once you’ve created a few swatches, you’ll be ready to move on to crocheting your first project.

If you’re having trouble trying to figure out how to hold your crochet hook check out this post from The Spruce Crafts on how to hold a crochet hook.

They have instruction for right and left handed crocheters.

In our next lesson we’ll be covering how to read a crochet pattern.

Until Next Time!

EJ

Don’t forget to pin this lesson for later!

how to crochet tutorial

2 thoughts on “Crochet 101 Series: Basic Techniques & Crochet Stitches

  1. I tried learning how to knit and crochet a few years ago. I was horrible at it and impatient. You make it seem easy though. Maybe I’ll have to try my hand at it again. I’ve always wanted to be able to just sit down and make something with my own hands.

    1. Hi Brooke! I could never get knitting down. Crochet was a little easier for me to pick up. It does require patience, but if you start with the basics it gets easier. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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