How to Crochet – Beginners Guide to Teaching Yourself

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Teach yourself how to crochet – a beginner’s guide to learning how to crochet and entering the world of adorable amigurumi crochet patterns and projects! I wrote a beginners guide MANY moons ago as part of a set of Free Crochet Projects and patterns. Since then, the power of video really come to light, ESPECIALLY when comes to teaching YOURSELF to crochet. So this really is an updated version (and hopefully BETTER! version) for you to follow! It isn’t 100% complete yet, as we will be adding videos as we go. BUT.. the initial steps – of getting the basics in place and doing Single Crochet is all layed out for you already! MORE to come as we go along. If you find you are finished with the Single Crochet, the end of this article will point you to the next steps!

collage showing different crochet steps

Get Started with Basic Crochet Supplies

  • Some yarn (it is great to use inexpensive “regular” double knit acrylic yarn or wool or yarn- that you can unravel over and over again to give it another. Though cotton yarn is popular with crocheters too)
  • A crochet hook to suit the yarn you are working with. Check the yarn’s label it will tell you which hook size to use! But usually between 3mm – 5mm it is good.
  • A pair of scissors
  • Patience & our basic video instructions

Later, when you start on a project, you will need more specificis – like different colours for Granny Squares, yarn needle to sew up loose ends or safety eyes and stuffing for Amigurumi Friends.

Keep Calm and Have Another Go

So.. the absolute KEY to learning how to crochet, especially, if you are teaching yourself.. is to keep calm and have another go! Take as LONG AS YOU NEED to learn how to make a crochet chain… which begins with getting your tension or hold on the crochet yarn correctly, making a slip knot and then learning the crochet chain. This can take ages. And because it can take ages.. it can feel REALLY BORING! But believe me.. once you have this VERY basic part of crochet right, you can learn the rest REALLY quickly.

It took 3-4 gos before my kids figured out this step. And now we never look back. In fact, my daughter even has her very own Crochet Store now – designing and writing her own Crochet Patterns!

00 US terminology vs UK terminology

The US and the UK terminology are different and can REALLY CONFUSE people. We tend to use the US terminology throughout all our crochet projects. But this is a helpful reference guide for anyone learning to crochet – these are the basic stitches that you will see most common. The most common crochet abbreviations are shared in the brackets.

  • Chain or Chain Stitch (Ch) US = Chain (Ch) UK
  • Slip Stitch (Sl St) US = Slip Stitch (SS) UK (appreviation different)
  • Single Crocht (SC) US = Double Crochet (DC) UK
  • Half Double Crochet (HDC) US = Helf Treble Crochet (HTR) UK
  • Double Crochet (DC) US = Treble Crochet (TR) UK
  • Treble or Triple Crochet (TR) US = Double Treble Crochet (DTR) UK
  • Double Treble Crochet (DTR) US = Triple Treble Crochet (TRTR)
  • Yarn over (YO) US = Yarn over hook (YOH) UK
  • Magic Loop/ Magic Circle (ML or MC) US = same for UK
  • Gauge US = Tension UK

How to view the Crochet Video Tutorials

For ease – you can watch our set of How to Crochet Video Tutorials, right here on this website OR you can visit my YouTube Channel. Where all the videos are duplicated. If you do choose to watch them on YouTube, pretty please do follow the channel, as well as like any videos you watch, it is a small thing, but really helps!

01 Your Tension

So. We ALL found that getting your head around HOLDING your corchet yarn is almost the hardest thing of crochet. Once you “get” how to hold the yarn and create the right tension, everything else begins to fall into place. So it is really worth taking your time over this and not getting frustrated! The Tension, the Slip Knot and the basic Crochet Chain, will be the first thing you need to practice over and over until you can progress. We probably spent the most time on these to begin with. And also had to come back to them 3-4 times over time, before we all “got it”. So be patient. Be kind to yourself and crochet on!

We have two videos – for right handed and left handed crocheters. They will show you how to create the right tension between your index finger and thumb and how to wrap the yarn around them.

The how to hold your yarn and tension Left Handed

For left handed crocheters, you will hold your hook in the left hand and your yarn in your right hand.

The how to hold your yarn and tension Right Handed

For right handed crocheters, you start with the hook in your right hand and the yarn in your left hand.

02 A Slip Knot

03 The basic crochet chain/ chain stitch (Ch)

03b Slip Stitch

A slip stitch is basically one loop of your chain. It is often referred to as “Chain 1”. You will use slipt stitches as part of your Single Crochet work in order to “turn” the row. You will see this in the single crochet video below!

04 Single Crochet (Sc) US (Double Crochet (DC) UK)

Once you have mastered the basic slip knot and crochet chain, you are ready to have a go at Single Crochet! The video shows you clearly, how you first need to make a slip knot, followed by a chain (a chain however long the pattern needs it to be – this chain is known as a foundation chain, base chain or starting chain) and then how to start your Single Crochet (SC).

Count to the third stitch (as two are used for “turning your work” – this will make sense when you do the next row). You will need to push your hook into the TOP loop of your chain… once you have completed one row, the video shows you how to turn your work. You will need to chain one (also known as a slip stitch), turn the work. And this time, hook through both loops to start your next single crochet process.

If you use large crochet hooks and chunky yarn, you can quickly and easily make lovely scarves and blankets just using the single crochet stitch!

05 Double Crochet (DC) US – Treble Crochet UK

Now you have mastered the crochet basics – after all you know how to single crochet, which means you can already make things. It is time to learn to DOUBLE CROCHET stitches. Once equipped with a double crochet, you can make Granny Squares! Granny squares only require chains, slip stitch and double crochet (US).

06 The Half Double Crochet Stitch US – Half Treble Corchet UK

The half double crochet stitch is a popular stitch to use in many patterns. So it is good to learn how to make this one!

07 How to make a Magic Ring or Magic Circle

A magic ring or magic circle is often a starting point – especially for amigurumi crochet projects. So it is great to get your head around how to make these. Again, they will feel fiddly at first, but are much easier than you think! We also have this magic ring tutorial as a step by step photo guide with written instructions – should you prefer that!

Beginner’s Crochet Projects

It is now time to give a simple project a go! These two projects are side by side, as they are GREAT projects for beginners! You only need to crochet between 9 and 10 rounds and to make either of these cuties. They are made using super chunky chenille, but you CAN use ordinary yarn to make them – but of course, that will mean they will be smaller – perfect to fit on a key chain or as a backpack charm! Check out the free crochet bee pattern (all you need is a single crochet stitch and a magic circle for this one!) and the free crochet heart pattern!

Make a Granny Square

If you want to get started on a Granny Square, take a look at this video! I found doing granny squares over and over again – both when I was learning and when the kids were learning – was a great way to build tension skills and get your crochet looking great! Aim to make at least 5-6 of these! For the Granny Square you will learning about making a turning chain, which is part of the basic crochet stitches (and easy!!).

Congratulations. You now know the crochet basics!! We will be adding more video tutorials over next weeks. But you should get practicing now!

Coming soon:

How to increase

How to decrease

Frequently Asked Crochet Questions/ Beginner’s Problems

Why have I forgotten everything I did last week? I will never learn!

If you have a couple of weeks break between “practice sessions”, don’t worry if you have “forgotten it all” and you need to restart and refresh your memory. That is all part of learning and embedding what you have learnt. I still have go back and check “again” what the treble stitch is etc. Bookmark this page, and just come back to the videos. Or bookmark the YouTube How To Crochet playlist.

Does the loop on your hook count?

The loop on your hook doesn’t count as a stitch – this took me ages to work out and meant that I was always one short.

Which Loop to Pick Up?

When picking up a stitch, you pick up BOTH parts of the loop, for some reason I didn’t realise this and it look rather funny – you end up with like a ribbed edge. Don’t do that. Though when you are picking up that first row (i.e. you have done your chain and you are now crocheting into it) you pick the one loop up.

Don’t forget to check US vs UK terminology

Remember, the American and British terminology is different. A British treble stitch is an American double stitch etc (see the top of this article). Patterns will state at the beginning which terminology they are using. I find the most common one is the US terminology.

Which is the first stitch at the beginning of a row

Watch our instructional videos closely – they will help with this. I found the “beginnings of a row” confusing for quite a while. Which stitch exactly is the first one? This comes with practice (I found..) and getting used to a pattern. So again, give yourself a chance to practice the basicof the crochet and worry about the beginnings and ends later… it will eventually all fall into place. Just don’t give up!

Once you are feeling confident, why not have a browse of our FREE CROCHET TUTORIALS here:

Free Crochet Patterns