Learn how to crochet the easy way.

Photo by Imani on Unsplash

For many, crocheting is a fun hobby suitable for multitasking. You can fashion a blanket or scarf with yarn and your crochet hook while watching TV or listening to an audio book. You can even crochet while exercising on a stationary bike. If you’re interested in crochet but have no prior experience, follow this step-by-step guide to getting started.

Acquire materials

To start crocheting, you’ll need a crochet hook, yarn, scissors, a darning needle (large-eye) and a measuring tape. You’ll also want a bag, box or bin for storing your crochet materials. Lastly, you’ll need a pattern to work from. Free crochet patterns are readily available online.

Medium-weight yarn with good stitch definition is easiest for novice crocheters to learn with. Start with light-colored yarn. The visibility of stitches is better with lighter colors, which helps you know where to insert the hook. You’ll soon get the hang of this and find you can crochet with dark colors almost as quickly as with light colors. Where hook size is concerned, the hook you choose for a project should depend on the weight of the yarn you’re using. If you are serious about learning how to crochet, purchase small, medium and large hooks when shopping for starter supplies.

Learn the slip knot

All crochet projects begin with a slip-knotted crochet hook. If you’re not already a slip knot master, practice until you feel comfortable crocheting a slip knot without the help of a tutorial. If you’re right-handed, insert the crochet hook from left to right so it rests over the left side of the loop, under the working yarn and over the right side. Left-handed crocheters should work from right to left, again ensuring the hook rests over the side loops and under the working yarn.

Crochet a foundation chain

Once you’ve got the slip knot down, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the foundation chain. Once your crochet hook is firmly bound by a slip knot, the next step is to crochet a chain onto the hook. Also called a starting chain, this is the chain into which all other stitches are crocheted.

Start single

The first stitch any novice crocheter learns should be single crochet. Not only is single crochet the easiest crochet stitch. The first few steps of many other patterns call for a single crochet. If you’re well acquainted with single crochet, it will be easier to learn these taller stitches.

Practice the basics

Diligently practice your slip knot, starting chain and single crochet. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to expand your crochet practice once you have a good handle on these essentials. A strong foundation will help you when crocheting pieces with corners and seams and other more elaborate projects.

Expand your crochet practice

Once you’ve mastered the basics and crocheted a few straightforward pieces, try your hand at more intricate crochet stitches. To crochet more fitted clothing garments and accessories that require shaping, you need to know how to decrease and increase crochet stitches. There are a number of methods for doing this. The easiest to start with are single, half double and treble crochet stitches. Another method to explore is crocheting in the round, or flat circle crochet, which opens a new world of crochet pattern options.

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About Jason Ernst


Jason received degrees in International Studies, Economics, and German Literature from the University of Arizona in 2011, and has worked as a freelance writer ever since. His research and writing interests include interior decoration and design, home entertainment, history, art, architecture, and travel. He is currently a regular contributor to the AMLI Residential lifestyle blog. Circle Jason on Google+