by Janice Jones |Published 01-19-2021
The single crochet stitch is likely the first one you will encounter and learn to do when you begin this exciting hobby. It is the most basic stitch and all others will be some variation of it, so it makes sense to get it right from the beginning.
This page is all about a step by step method to making the single crochet stitch. If you are dying to use the stitch in a real project and not just practice, I’ve provided some ideas for you later on this page.
The best news about this stitch is that you can make hundreds of projects using just this stitch.
When I first started crocheting years ago, I only learned two basic stitches, the single crochet, abbreviated as sc and the double crochet (dc). I found that I could make so many different things for myself, the home, and gifts for others that I often forgot there were other stitches to learn!
Before you can begin to make this stitch, you will need to know how to make the slip knot and chain stitch. If you already know how to do the single crochet and want to discover other crochet stitches, you can find a list of them on my basic crochet stitch page.
Light colored yarns work very well for beginners because you can see the individual stitches without needing extra lighting. You don’t need to limit yourself to white, but venture out in shades of light pink, blue, orange, green or purple. Tans and cream colors are also very easy to see.
If you haven’t figured out all the terminology that goes along with yarn and other crochet threads, become familiar with learning to read yarn labels. Yarns are categorized by weights and the easiest weights for first time crocheters is a number 4 worsted weight or a number 5 bulky weight. Worsted weight yarns are generally less expensive and are perfect for beginners.
By now, you’ve probably ventured out into a hobby store and found yourself confronted with rows of crochet hooks. Don’t be alarmed with all the choices.
While there are many different options when deciding on crochet hooks, for the purpose of learning to make the single crochet stitch, choose a size 4, 5 or 6 mm. In US sizes, that would be a G-6, H-8 or J-10. The smaller sized hooks such as the 4 mm or G-6 work best with the Number 4 worsted weight yarn where as if you choose to use the bulky yarn, you will want to choose the larger hook.
You won't need much knowledge to master this stitch, just the basic slip knot and chain stitch. If you haven't read those tutorials, please check them out and then come back.
It is amazing how many projects you can complete just by knowing the single crochet stitch. But my guess is that once you find out how easy it is, you'll want to move quickly to the next challenge. Don't worry, I have you covered.
Great. Grab some light color yarn that is approximately a worsted weight or number 4 and a hook that is about a G or an H. They are the easiest sizes and yarn weights to use.
If you want to make an actual project, keep reading because I have a couple very simple projects with step-by-step tutorials that will help you master this stitch long before you ever finish your project.
The single crochet cross stitch is a fairly dense stitch. This means that the fabric you crochet may be solid but feel stiff. If you prefer that the fabric you create is softer and has a drape, you may prefer to start with a hook that is one size larger than the pattern calls for.
Step One: Make a slip knot and chain 21.
Step Two: Make a single crochet stitch in each chain across the row.
Congratulations, you’ve worked the hardest row on you practice swatch. The next rows will be easier.
Now, let’s count the stitches you just made. You should have completed 20 stitches.
Row Two: Make a Single Crochet Stitch in each of the single crochet stitches across the row.
Make one chain stitch, and turn your work over so the reverse side is facing you. This time you will be work into the top of the single crochet stitch you just made.
At the top of the row, you will see the v shapes that you are familiar with when learning the chain stitch. Insert your hok under the first v-shape.
Yarn over as we did above, pull the loop back through the stitch. Yarn over again and pull through both loops on your hook. You should notice that your hook is going under the v shape. At this point, do not pick up either the front or the back loop of the v-shape. You will learn that some patterns call for picking up only one or the other loops but for now, you will be inserting your hook under both loops.
Continue making a single crochet stitches in each stitch across the row to you reach the end. You should still have 20 stitches. Chain one and turn your work.
Repeat this process to create a fabric with single crochet stitches. Remember that practice makes perfect and don’t expect yourself to be an expert with your first try.
My work was awful when I first started, stitches were uneven and I had loops of yarn coming from nowhere. It’s all about getting the feel of the yarn and hook in your hand and learning how to control the tension as the yarn moves slowly across your fingers.
You may be the type of person that hates to practice, I know I’d rather be creating something beautiful that I can keep. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started on a project.
You can make a simple dish cloth that is both beautiful and functional just by practicing your single crochet stitch. Dish cloths are best made using a 100% cotton yarn. It’s practical and you can launder it easily in your washer and dryer. I made this one using:
Ch - Chain
For this project, you will want to get some bulky weight yarn (CYC #5), a US Hook #K (6.5 mm), scissors, and a tapestry needle with an extra large eye for weaving in ends.
The actual gauge is not important in this project.
All instructions are written in U.S. terms.
Make a slip knot and Chain 25 stitches. Insert hook in second chain from hook and make single crochet stitches in each of the the chains across the row. Chain one and turn.
Continue to make single crochet stitch in each sc across the row. Chain one and turn.
Continue in this pattern until you have reached your desired size or until you reach 6.5 inches (17 cm).
Don’t forget to count your stitches on each row. You should have 24. If you have more, than you’ve picked up a stitch somewhere, probably by trying to single crochet in the first stitch instead of the second stitch in the row, or possibly adding one at the end of the row. Less than 24 stitches means that you missed a place to add a sc.
Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Shell Stitch Border
If you prefer, you can finish off the dishcloth with a shell stitch border.
To create the border, before fastening off, *create 5 dc in same space, skip one, create one sc in next space, skip one space, create 5 dc in same space.* Repeat * around border.