How to crochet.
It is simple. Follow these steps.

by Janice Jones     |Last updated 03-15-2021

To learn how to crochet, you have to remember a few things:

  • Crochet is the simplest of all needlework.
  • There are no special rules to crochet, but general guidelines only.
  • Crocheting is a very forgiving technique. It encourages you to experiment. Even if you make a mistake, it won't take too much time to correct it.
  • You have an opportunity to create your own beautiful designs, even if you are the beginner.
  • The most important thing - crocheting is a lot of fun.

If you have never crocheted and are itching to know how to crochet right away, get a ball of thick, plain yarn to practice. The less fancier the yarn is, the easier it will be to crochet. Get a standard five-inch long (H-8 to J US Hooks or 5 to 6 mm Metric crochet hook.

Its number has to be appropriate thickness for the yarn - look at the yarn label or ask the shopkeeper. It is easier to work if the hook is made of steel and has a plastic or wooden handle.  A medium weight or number 4 is ideal for the beginner.

Are you ready to learn how to crochet? Let's begin!

Do you remember the way you made a picture puzzle? We will use the same logic while we are learning how to crochet. To assemble a puzzle you need:

  1. The puzzle pieces.
  2. To know the rules of assembling them to make the whole picture.

Our stitches are "puzzle pieces". Fortunately, there are only THREE basic stitches in crochet. (I told you, it is simple!) All other stitches are just their variations.   But, for the purposes of this page, I'll add in two more stitches as a bonus for you.

Once you know how to crochet these basic stitches, your are ready to "assemble" them and to create all kinds of your own patterns and designs.

How to Crochet Basic Crochet Stitches

Five basic Stitches all Crochet lovers should know.

  • Chain stitch
  • Single crochet
  • Half Double Crochet
  • Double Crochet
  • Treble Crochet

Chain (ch)

The chain stitch is the most basic and you will use this one on all projects you work.  

Important note: Do not pull your yarn too tight because it will be difficult to get your hook through a very tight chain. Keep trying, it just takes practice.

Chain stitch in crocheting:  diagram created in red
Chaining stitches in crochet

Step 1. Make a slip knot: cross the tail end of the yarn under the main length of the yarn coming from the ball.

Step 2. Insert the hook into the loop and grab the yarn with hook. Draw the hooked yarn through slip knot and onto hook. This makes one chain stitch. Pull the short tail, if necessary, to adjust the chain stitch

Step 3. Repeat Step 2 until you have the required length of the chain.

A crochet chain made in light green yarn.Each chain stitch creates a small v. Count each v as one stitch.

Learn how to make a chain stitch.

Single Crochet (sc)
UK Double Crochet (dc)

Diagram showing how to make a single crochet stitch

Step 1. Work a length of chain. For instance, 21 chains.(You do not count the loop on the hook). The number of chains should be equal the number of stitches required plus one. Your 21 chains will make 20 stitches.

Step 2. Skip the first chain stitch. The single crochet (sc) is placed in the 2nd chain from your hook. Draw the yarn through the chain stitch and up onto the hook. There are now 2 loops on the hook.

Step 3. Bring the yarn over hook from back to front, and draw it through both loops on the hook. One loop remains on the hook. You have made one single crochet stitch. Repeat Step 3 to the end of the row. You will have 20 single crochet stitches.

Step 4. To start the second row, make 1 ch (1 chain) before turning the work. It will be your 1 turning chain. After turning the work, insert the hook into the next stitch. (Your first stitch is the turning chain). Continue working 1 single crochet (1 sc) into each stitch of the previous row.

Step 5. Finishing: cut the yarn from the main ball, leaving a piece approximately 6 in in length. Pull this piece through the loop so that a little knot is formed.

Single crochet stitch made with pink yarn.

Learn more about the single crochet stitch

Double Crochet (dc)
UK treble crochet (tr)

Diagram showing how to make a double crochet stitch

Step 1. Work a length of chain. For instance, 23 chains. (You do not count the loop on the hook). The number of chains should equal the number of stitches required plus three. Your 23 chains will make 20 stitches.

Step 2. Put the yarn over the hook. Skip the first 3 chain stitches. The double crochet (dc) is placed in the fourth chain from your hook. Draw the yarn through the chain stitch and up onto the hook. There are now 3 loops on the hook.

Step 3. Yarn over, pull through the first 2 loops. There are 2 loops on the hook now. Yarn over, pull through the remaining two loops. One double crochet is completed. Repeat Step 2 and 3 to the end of the row. Make sure you have exactly 20 double crochet stitches at the end of the row.

Step 4. To start the second row, you should chain 3 so all your stitches will be at the same height. These are your 3 turning chains. They count as the first double crochet (dc) for the second row. This is why when you start the second row, you go into the 2nd stitch. Continue placing 1 dc in each stitch to the end. Make sure you have exactly 20 stitches.

Note: If you find there is a hole at the start of the rows, chain 2 instead of 3 to get the needed height. You will have to see what works best for you. This bit of advice applies to all of the stitches described on this page.

Go to the Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial

Two Additional Variations of the Crochet Stitch

There will be many different stitches you will learn as you go along in your crocheting adventure, but here are two more that are very similar to the above three.

Half-Double Crochet (hdc)
UK half treble crochet (htr)

The half-double crochet is a slightly taller stitch than the single crochet (sc) and makes a slightly denser project.  It is worked similar to the double crochet, except that you do a yarn over twice.

You will be chaining 2 stitches at the end of the row to turn, so that if you started with 22 chain stitches, you will end up with 20 half-double crochet stitches.

Step 1. To begin a half-double crochet stitch, draw up a loop of yarn around the hook (yarn over).

Step 2.  Insert your hook under the top 2 loops of the next stitch.  Yarn over.

Step 3.  Pull the yarn through the stitch, then draw the yarn over the stitch again.  There will be 3 loops on the hook.

Step 4.  Pull the yarn over through the 3 loops still on your hook. Work each chain stitch until you reach the end of the row.

Step 5.  Chain 2 and Turn your work.  You have completed one row of half-double crochet.

NOTE:  The chains that you make at the end of the row are normally counted as one half-double crochet stitch

Half Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial

Treble Crochet or Triple Crochet (tr)
UK double treble crochet

The treble crochet stitch (tr) is taller than the double crochet (dc)

Step 1.  Make a foundation chain (ch).  For practice, I suggest you make a chain of 18 stitches. Allowing for turning using 4 chain stitches, you will end up with 14 treble crochet stitches per row.

Step 2. Start by wrapping your yarn over the hook twice.  (YO twice).

Step 3.  Insert your hook into the 5th chain from the hook.  Turn your hook slightly so it is facing forward, pass the hook under the yarn os it crosses over the hook.  Draw the yarn through the stitch.  There should be four loops left on the hook.  

Step 4. Pull the yarn over and through two loops on the hook. 

Step 5.  Pull the yarn-over again through the next two loops and yarn over.

Step 6.  Pull the yarn over through the last 2 loops.

Step 7.  To turn, chain four and begin the next row.

NOTE:  Be sure to count the stitches per row.  There should be the exact number on each row.  If you have less than the correct number, you have forgotten to work every stitch.  If you have too many, you are adding stitches where they don't belong.

Treble or triple crochet stitch swatch created in a gold color

Visit the treble crochet Stitch tutorial

There are two major ways to form a crochet pattern:

If you are a visual person, I recommend you to visit Annie's Attic's Stitchguide and view their videos. It will be a wonderful addition to your learning experience. Don't be too excited! Don't try to watch all videos at once. For the beginning you will only have to figure out how to crochet three of the most used stitches. One step at a time.

Now you are ready to make magic of a single strand of yarn. Let's "assemble" our basic crochet stitches into something more serious. Our next step is to learn how to crochet patterns in order to form a complete piece of fabric for your own designs.

How to Change Colors in Crochet

How to change colors in crochet:  one method is to pick up the new color at the beginning of the row.

Whether you are changing colors or simply adding a new ball of yarn, there are different ways to do this depending on what feels best for you.  To know for sure try all the methods on this page and choose the best method for you.

Learn how to change colors in crocheting

Related Pages

Crochet Patterns in Rows: How to read charts.

Crocheting Instructions: How to crochet in rows.

Crochet in Rounds: How to read charts.

Crochet Instructions: Experiment with loops to create a pattern.

Beginner Crochet: How to calculate gauge for patterns.

Crocheting Basics How to calculate the correct size of a sweater.

Granny Squares: How to crochet a solid Granny Square.