The Single Crochet Stitch:  Start to Finish

     by Janice Jones     |Updated 03-23-2024

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.  

Single crochet swatch with hook and yarn

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.

Before You Start:  Tips for the Beginner

1. Use Light Colored Yarns

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.

light colored yarns including white, off-white and pastels

2.  Easiest Yarns for Beginners

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.

Comprehensive Guide to Yarn

Number 4 Medium weight worsted yarn symbol
Number 5 bulky weight yarn

3.  Crochet Hooks: Types and Sizes

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.

How to Hold the Yarn While Crocheting


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.

Are You Ready to Begin the Single Crochet Stitch?

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.

Single Crochet Stitch Tutorial:  Step-by-Step

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.   

A crochet chain worked in pink yarn and marked so you can count the chains.

Step Two:  Make a single crochet stitch in each chain across the row.

  • Insert your hook into the second chain from your hook.  Remember that the loop on your hook does not count as a stitch. 
Single crochet stitch demonstrationInsert your hook into the second chain from your hook
  • Wrap the yarn from the back of your hook and over the front of the hook (yarn over or yo). 
Yarn over demonstrated in making the single crochetWrap the yarn from the back of your hook and over the front of the hook
  • Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook.  Now you have two loops on your hook. 
yarn over with two loops on the hookTwo loops on the hook. Yarn over again
  • Wrap the yarn from the back of your hook again (yo) and pull through both loops on your hook.  You just made one single crochet.
Pull through two loops to finish the first single crochetPull through two loops to finish the first single crochet
  • To make the second single crochet, insert your hook into the next chain stitch.  Yarn over and pull the loop back through the chain stitch so that you have 2 looks on your hook.  Yarn over again and pull through two loops.  Continue in this way until you get to the end of 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.  

Are you having problems getting your hook through the chain stitch?  Often if we make our chain too tight, the first row of stitches are difficult to make. 

You can either wiggle your hook a little to get into the chain stitch or consider ripping out the chain and then making it slightly looser. 

Remember if you are not bringing your stitches to the full diameter of the hook, the stitches will be too tight and will be difficult to work later on.

First row of single crochet completedFirst row of single crochet completed

Step 3:  Second Row

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.

Two completed rows of single crochetTwo completed rows of single crochet. See the label

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.

Practice the Single Crochet Stitch or Make something instead?

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.

Single Crochet Dish Cloth Tutorial:  FREE Pattern

Partial swath of single crochet dishcloth free pattern

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:

Skill Level

From the Craft Yarn Council, the symbol used to determine the skill level required to finish the project.


Dc - Double Crochet Stitch

Tr - Trebble Crochet Stitch

Sc - Single Crochet Stitch

Hdc - Half Double Crochet Stitch

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.

Finished Measurements


The actual gauge is not important in this project.

Project Notes

All instructions are written in U.S. terms.

Skills Needed for this Project

Half double crochet

Double Crochet Stitch

Single Crochet Stitch

Chain Stitch

Understand Pattern Directions


  • 100% cotton thread number 4 worsted weight
  • Size G/6 or 4mm crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry Needle for Weaving in Ends


finished single crochet dishcloth pattern

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. 

Pin for Future Reference

Single Crochet Stitch Pin

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About Janice

Hi, I’m Janice, the voice behind Smart-Knit-Crocheting. I love to knit and crochet and even more, I love teaching others what I know.

Though I learned to knit and crochet as a child, I didn’t get serious about these amazing hobbies until I retired. I’m a certified knit and crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and am working on becoming a Master Hand Knitter through The Knitting Guild Association.

I’m currently living with my husband of over 50 years and our 7 Shih Tzu dogs.

I love hearing from you, so please drop me a line and let me know what you’re working on, whether you love knitting or crocheting more, and if you have any questions. Please visit my about me page for more information.

Happy Crocheting