crochet stitches
Tips & Tricks

Beginner Crochet: Starting with the Basics

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You have decided to learn crocheting. Got your supplies (and if not…check out this blog for the supplies you really need).

And…now what?

Going to be real honest.  There are going to be several moments in the beginning of this journey that you are going to want to throw in the towel. Scream.  And may even use some colorful words as the yarn is thrown across the room.

I promise.  It will all come together. 

Our starting point for this blog is the basics. 

The basics for a beginner crocheter includes:

  • how to hold the crochet hook
  • how to start the first loop (slip knot)
  • how to make a chain stitch

Heading over to many crochet pages and the first sentence usually consists of “crocheting is an easy craft to learn”. 

Ummm….sort of.  I want everyone to walk into this with our glasses on.  There are several parts of this journey that are going to be super easy and others that will be on the frustration level of 487. But…it is so worth it to stick with it!

For this blog, we are going to focus on the first few steps for any project and also learn a stitch. 

Once you have these down pat, you are sooo close to start your first project.

My disclosure.  There are those that are crochet snobs (there…I said it).  Some will say you have to hold the hook this way, stitch this way, use this tool….you get it.

The lesson I have learned is that it does not matter.  Find what feels comfortable for you.  This is a craft that is very repetitive in the motions and being comfortable is a must.

How to hold the crochet hook

I am right-handed and the tips listed below are for how I use the hook.   For my left handed friends, please check out this page.

There is no hard/fast rule about the best way to hold the hook and your yarn.  YOU pick what is most comfortable for you.  I really cannot stress this enough. Try it out different ways and pick what works best for you.

One of the most commonly seen methods to hold the crochet hook is either like a pencil or a knife.

How to hold a crochet hook

How to hold the yarn

Holding the yarn is the biggest pain in the booty for this craft as this is what sets the tension of the year. 

When I first started, this part EXACTLY was the thing that had me questioning why I was trying to learn this. 

Don’t give up.  The more you practice, the easy this will get.

Ok…what is yarn tension?

This is talking about the tightness that is given to the yarn.  This is what can make your stitches super tight or super loose. The biggest thing here is how the project will turn out is completely based on the yarn tension during the project.

How do you hold your yarn?

I found this picture on Sigoni Macaroni page and it is EXACTLY what I do.

how to hold yarn

The yarn is hold between my pointer and middle finger which lets the rest of the year move along freely.  The way the tension is changed is by squeezing the middle and pointer fingers together while lightly letting go when pulling the yarn.

Here are a few other options that are popular.

how to hold yarn

I searched the Tube and found us a great video that shows both hook and yarn. 

Ok…on to the slip knot.

What is a slip knot?

This is how we get the yarn on the hook and will be the first step for all of our crochet projects.  As with anything, there are several different methods to create this.  Check out this one simple method.

crochet slip knot how to

Check out this great video from Bella Coco that shows other methods for the slip knot

Now that we have the hook and yarn together, we are ready to roll.

Our first stitch is a chain stitch.

When reading a pattern, this stitch is abbreviated as “ch”. This also has several nicknames and include the row 1, starting chain, base chain, or foundation chain.

crochet chain stitch how to

Check out this video from Fiber Flux

Anatomy of the beginning chain. 

anatomy of the beginning chain

This is a good spot to stop.  I would recommend grabbing on of your larger hooks and yarn without any fuzz and start practicing. 

When you are ready to start over, just take the yarn off the hook and gently pull.

What’s next?

Our next post is going to cover the Single Chain Stitch and how to turn.  AND…we will be making this!

Make sure to sign up for the Therapy in Knots newsletter HERE and not miss upcoming posts. 

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  • Roxanne

    Omg girly, thank you for keeping the instructions REAL! You are teaching me (literally right now) how to crochet. I have looked at so many websites. Bought so many “instructions” ( total waste of & and time)🤦🏻‍♀️! I don’t even know how I stumbled in your website but all I can say is Thank You Jesus! I was about to just flippin give up. Now I’m having fun. My daughter (who is 17 going on 25) has started to learn crotchet with me and your posts and videos!

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