A video and a step-by-step guide

Learning to crochet is easier than you probably think. Once you learn how to hold your hook and how to chain, you’ll master the other crochet stitches in no time.

Crocheting is a fun hobby. Not only is it relaxing with many health benefits, but once you get there, you’ll find it super quick to make anything from a crochet blanket to a crochet bag.

So if you’re thinking of getting into a new craft, our beginner crochet tutorial is just what you need. We’ll show you the basic stitches step by step so you’ll be confident in your crochet journey. It’s time to grab your hook and yarn and get started!

What is the hook?

Crochet means “little crochet” in French and is a way of creating fabric by interweaving loops of yarn with a crochet hook. It is an ancient craft that dates back hundreds of years.

Most fashionable in the UK at the end of the 19e century, Queen Victoria reportedly instructed her ladies-in-waiting to only crochet because of the “delicate” appearance of their hands while they clung. Knitting was absolutely forbidden in the royal household.

Is crochet easy to learn?

People often wonder, is it easier to knit or crochet? While both of these yarn-based crafts are easy to make once you learn the basics, crocheting involves only one hook rather than two needles.

Arguably much faster than knitting with its possibilities for high and elongated stitches, crochet allows beautiful floral fabrics and crocheted blankets to grow in no time.

Ciara Cosgrave/Eye EmGetty Images

What is the best yarn to use for crochet?

To get started, all you need is a ball of DK weight mercerized cotton yarn, like Rowan Cotton Glacé, and a matching crochet hook. Although balls of yarn recommend one hook size (3.75mm in this case), you may find a slightly larger hook easier to start with. In this case, we recommend a 4 mm.

Be aware that although the abbreviations in the English and US patterns each read the same, the terms mean very different things – so always check which abbreviations a pattern uses. These instructions are for English abbreviations.

Abbreviations are listed next to each stitch name below.

Cropped hands crocheting yarn on paper

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How to hold your hook and yarn

Before you start crocheting, make a slip knot and apply it to the hooked end of your hook.

how to crochet

To make a slip knot, create a loop and pull another loop of yarn through. Place it on your hook and gently squeeze it to fit your hook snugly.

how to crochet

Hold it in your right hand on the flat center of the hook, with the underside of the hook angled down.

The yarn is held in your left hand, with your thumb and middle finger pinching your work (at this point, just the knot of a knot under your hook) directly under the hook for easier control and to keep everything from wobbling.

Your thread should then flow from this work (still just a knot at this stage), on the tip of your index finger which is held straight and taught, with your thread resembling a harp string as it descends to your thumb, and weave the end of the yarn attached to the ball between your middle and ring finger which you tighten and loosen to control your tension as you work.

Note: Regardless of the stitch, the yarn is always wrapped around the hook from the back of the work, over the hook and towards you.

Work a chain (Ch) step by step in pictures

This is the simplest crochet stitch that often forms the basis of any crochet project.

Step 1

how to crochet

Make a slip knot and apply it to the hook near the end of the hook to hold it in the right hand.

2nd step

how to crochet

Holding the yarn in the left hand and moving the hook from left to right under the yarn, pick up one loop of yarn at a time before pulling through the loop on the hook and letting the outgoing loop on the hook fall over the new one and off the tip of the hook.

Step 3

how to crochet

Repeat until you have the desired number of channels. When facing forward, each chain will look like a V-shaped loop. Count the loops to determine the number of chains, but don’t count the loop on your hook.

    Working a double crochet (dc) stitch step by step in pictures

    Step 1

    how to crochet

    Insert the pointed end of your hook into the second presentation ch of your hook and pass your hook from left to right under your thread.

    2nd step

    how to crochet

    Grab that loop of yarn and pull it through your chain, so that two loops are on your hook.

    how to crochet

    Step 3

    how to crochet

    Take another loop of yarn and pull through both loops of your hook, allowing those worked loops to fall over the tip of your new loop and off the hook.

      If you start a new row, crochet 1 ch before inserting your hook in the 1st st to start the 1st dc of the row.

      Work a treble crochet (tr) stitch step by step in pictures

      Step 1

      how to crochet

      *Wrap a loop of yarn around your hook before inserting the hook into the designated stitch (if working at the beginning of a chain, miss the first 3 stitches and insert your hook into the fourth; if starting a new row , work 3 ch before working your first dc in the second stitch along the piece). Angle your hook down toward your work.

      2nd step

      how to crochet

      Wrap another loop of yarn around your hook and pull through the work, towards you. You should now have three loops of yarn on your hook.

      Step 3

      how to crochet

      Wrap another loop of yarn around your hook and pull through two loops. You will have two loops left.*

      Step 4

      how to crochet

      Take another loop of yarn and pull it through the two remaining loops. This forms your point.

        You’ll know you’ve completed any stitch when you have only one loop of yarn left on your hook.

        how to crochet

        When in doubt, remove your loop from your hook and untangle your work until only one remains, and simply put it back on. The hook is quite sturdy and holds up well to being undone when you need to take a step or two back.

        Working a triple stitch 2 together (tr2tog)

        The decreases are quite easy to crochet. The general rule is that you work the first stitch to include in the decrease until the stage where there are only two loops left, then put it on hold when you start the next one and bring it to the same stage. Sounds like gobbeldygook? Do not worry.

        Take a treble 2 together (tr2tog) for example.

        Simply knit as shown from * to * above, then knit as follows:

        Step 1

        Wrap a loop of yarn around your hook before inserting the hook into the next stitch.

        2nd step

        Wrap another loop of yarn around your hook and pull through the work, towards you. You should now have five loops of yarn on your hook.

        Step 3

        Wrap another loop of yarn around your hook and pull through the first two loops. You will have four loops left.

        Step 4

        To complete the stitch, wrap another loop of yarn around your hook and pull through all four loops on the hook.

        Tiny colorful granny squares crocheted and spread on the floor

        Cyndi MonaghanGetty Images

        You now know how to crochet! Crochet beginners often like to make granny squares, which can be sewn together to create a blanket, tablecloth, or even a scarf.