An Essential Guide to Crochet Stitches for Beginners
Crochet patterns use a combination of basic stitches, and once you learn a few, you can make all kinds of projects. Crochet stitches are formed from loops made with a hook. The different stitches come out of the number of loops you make as well as where you work the stitches. As you become familiar with a few building block stitches, you'll see how more advanced stitches are simply a variation on the basics.
As you get started with crochet, choose a light-colored yarn that doesn't split easily. The color makes it easier to see your stitches and the texture of the yarn prevents frustration as you work. Yarn labels usually suggest the best hook size to use with a specific yarn. You can always try a different hook size, but it's good to start with the suggestion.
Most crochet projects begin with a slip knot on the hook, followed by a chain. Make a starting chain by wrapping the yarn over the hook and then pulling it through the loop from the slip knot. You can repeat this to make as many chains as you need, always pulling the yarn through the active loop that's on the hook. As you make the chain and all your other stitches, try to keep your tension even. It takes practice, but as you get the rhythm of the stitches, it becomes easier.
Once you have a chain, learn how to make single crochet stitches, working in each chain. The next stitches you'll want to know are double and treble crochet. The process for each one is similar, but they involve wrapping the yarn a different number of times to make more loops, which in turn, makes them taller. From here, there are still more basics, but why not try a few simple, but exciting stitches?
Single Crochet Stitch
After creating your first chain, single crochet is the first stitch to learn. With just this basic stitch, you can make lots of projects, but it's also good for understanding the process of most crochet stitches. This stitch makes a tight, closely worked material. On one side, the stitch looks like a V with a horizontal bar underneath, and the other side has angled lines.
Double Crochet Stitch
An extra step takes you from single to double crochet. The additional wrapping and loops make this stitch twice as tall as the single crochet stitch. That means you can make bigger projects faster. So many patterns incorporate this stitch that you'll want to master it right away so you can create things that look complicated but are really just a few basics.
Treble Crochet Stitch
Also called triple crochet, this stitch is three times as tall as a single crochet. When worked in rows, it creates a series of vertical lines joined at the top and bottom. The result is a light and airy material that drapes well. Like most crochet stitches, treble crochet is perfect for combining with other stitches to make beautiful designs.
Puff stitch is a great stitch to add texture and thickness to crochet. It has lots of loops and really does look like a little puff ball in the middle of your work. It's popular for making hats, but it shows up in lots of patterns, from small flower motifs to full blankets.
For a classic crochet motif, you'll want to learn how to form shell stitches. This beautiful stitch combines double crochets into a fan shape that is perfect for borders. But these shells also work together to make solid or lacy crochet material. Try the simple version first, then look for variations for even more options.